GET­TING THE MES­SAGE ACROSS

Shangri-la Dubai catches up with Natashia Ha­jee, new di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions with

HotelNews Middle East - - Talent -

DE­SCRIBE YOUR FIRST EVER ROLE IN THE HO­TEL IN­DUS­TRY?

My first ever role was as an as­sis­tant com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager and it was one of the best ex­pe­ri­ences of my ca­reer. The in­dus­try is so dy­namic and there are al­ways op­por­tu­ni­ties to be as cre­ative as pos­si­ble and to tell sto­ries. I had a won­der­ful team to work with which made ev­ery day very en­joy­able.

WHO IS THE PER­SON WHO HAS IN­SPIRED YOU MOST IN YOUR CA­REER?

I think there are two peo­ple who have in­spired me in my ca­reer and in fact, con­tinue to do so. The first is my fa­ther. He has the most amaz­ing work ethic and the best at­ti­tude when deal­ing with dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions. He al­ways taught me the value of hard work and be­ing kind to those around me. It is amaz­ing what you can ac­com­plish by just be­ing nice. The sec­ond per­son would be Hay­ley Sturgess, my pre­vi­ous di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions. She is a true leader and men­tor. She taught me ev­ery­thing I know about the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, our roles in the ho­tel and how to work in such a dy­namic en­vi­ron­ment. We were al­ways on the same page and it was just such a joy to come into work ev­ery day. How many peo­ple can gen­uinely say that? The knowl­edge that I gained from work­ing un­der her is some­thing I will for­ever cher­ish. She con­tin­ues to be my men­tor even though she has now moved back home to the UK.

HOW DO YOU VIEW THE HO­TEL SCENE IN THE RE­GION?

It is so dy­namic and so fas­ci­nat­ing. The city it­self is al­ways evolv­ing and this just pro­vides us more op­por­tu­ni­ties to evolve with it. With so much com­pe­ti­tion the only op­tion is to get cre­ative, which I love!

WHAT IS THE BIG­GEST CHAL­LENGE OF YOUR ROLE?

I think the big­gest chal­lenge is al­ways mak­ing sure I keep ideas fresh and pro­vide the lead­er­ship team with as much sup­port as I can. With so many dif­fer­ent de­mands, you al­ways have to make sure you are there for every­one equally.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE AS­PECT OF YOUR ROLE?

Be­ing cre­ative! I love com­ing up with fun and in­no­va­tive ideas.

IF YOU COULD WORK IN ANY HO­TEL IN THE WORLD WHICH WOULD IT BE?

I would ac­tu­ally open up my own lit­tle bed and break­fast some­where in the coun­try­side, ei­ther in Europe or Canada.

WHAT TIP WOULD YOU SHARE WITH NEW STAFF START­ING OUT IN THE HO­TEL IN­DUS­TRY IN THE RE­GION?

Be flex­i­ble and adapt­able – this in­dus­try is fast paced, ex­cit­ing and so just be ready.

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