Tarek Zaki, Hotel Manager at Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences

Tarek Zaki, Hotel Manager at Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences

1. About your start “you’re studies, qualifications and why you chose to work in the field of tourism?

It all started when I moved to London and joined Thames Valley University (currently called University of West London) to study Hotel Management attaining their Higher National Diploma curriculum, followed by acquiring BA (Hons) in Hospitality Management. I have chosen the field of tourism, as I had an uncle who worked in hotels and consequently had a passion for hotel’s business since a young age. I liked the idea of “people serving people” in the hospitality industry being also my driver to join the hotel sector.

2. What about your vision for developing and boosting tourism in Egypt?

I believe that developing and boosting tourism in Egypt would benefit from:
• Strengthening the hospitality culture further through dedicated curriculum taught to children in schools & universities.
• Create a strong local transportation network within and in between cities with intent of offering a quality mean of transportation and to save on time spent in journeys between various attractions.

3. What are your professional ambitions for tourism?

My professional ambition for tourism is reflected in:
• Increasing annual tourism visitors to Egypt to take the ranking it deserves among the world leading tourism destinations.
• Create and promote both traditional and conventional tours to show case our beloved country and offer the tourist an attractive modern variety.

4. How do you see the competition?

Over the recent years, the competition has evolved through introduction of new operators, opening of new hotels, and renovation of the product. This means that competition has become fiercer requiring a distinctive edge in service delivery to be differentiated from your counter parts.

5. What about Hilton Zamalek?

Hilton Zamalek is a nice property, located in the exquisite island of Zamalek, directly overlooking the Nile River. The hotel offers guests rooms and spacious suites suitable for short and long terms stayers. The variety of rooms and suites also appeal to both leisure and corporate segments. We have an attractive selection of Food & Beverage outlets including; Nile Breeze Restaurant offering a sumptuous breakfast buffet and an international a’la carte menu throughout the day, Swimming Pool terrace for a relaxed snack / meal in the open air overlooking the Nile, Abu Ali Café offering an oriental theme with shisha, and our Tea Time lounge with comfortable seating and magnificent views of the Nile River. For wellness and fitness fans, we have a health club that includes a Fitness center, sauna, steam room and massage facilities in addition to our heated swimming pool and Jaccuzi. In Hilton Zamalek, the team and I continuously strive to improve and diversify our services and products on offer to our esteemed guests with an aim of exceeding their expectations to win them as repeat guests and spread the positive buzz around.

6. What about Hilton’s concept of blue energy?

Blue energy is a Hilton initiative dedicated to get the best out of its team to further strengthen areas related to the team members, guests, community and sustainability of the environment we live and work in.
Blue energy is an excellent program that empowers and engages our team members and namely those who are members of the blue energy committee, to act within those pillars and bring out their best in meaningful activities.

7. How can we make the best use of our national team qualifying for the World Cup Finals in boosting our economy and tourism?

It is certainly a big occasion for Egypt to be part of the World Cup finals in Russia 2018 after being away for 28 years. I would recommend the following:
• Showing the tournament in our respective hotels and big screens in the main squares of various cities.

8. What does the administration of Hilton Zamalek Hotel provide for the staff to make everyone feel comfortable and increase their sense of belonging to the hotel?

Whilst considering the above, we take into account our company driven initiative of “Thrive@Hilton” as it would truly help us evolve the way we work to create space for what matters: inspiration, creativity and meaningful connections. Through new initiatives like building in time to recharge during the workday, sabbaticals and modern tools for increasing recognition, we will enable our Team Members to grow and flourish in body, mind and spirit.

9. Away from work ( talk about your family)?

I am married and have two boys aged 13yrs and 11yrs. I must admit that they have been very supportive to me and have sacrificed a lot given the nature of my job that require long working hours and relocation between various destinations in Egypt and abroad. They are my inspiration in what I do, and I listen to their ideas / feedback which on many occasions I find valid and suitable to consider in my professional domain.

10. If you were not working in the field of hotels, what would you have preferred?

• I would have been a banker, but I am grateful that I have pursued my career in hotels as I am enjoying its challenges and opportunities given its dynamic nature and continuous evolvement.