In Conversation with… Rabih Zein

FACT caught up with Rabih Zein, General Manager of Royal Saray Resort Managed by Accor.

What first attracted you to the hospitality industry and what do you most enjoy about it?
I take delight in providing excellent service to my guests and ensuring their well-being. It’s incredibly satisfying to see the results of your efforts in the satisfaction and smiles of your guests at check-out. Serving guests makes me feel like I’m caring for a butterfly, and it brings me tremendous joy to know that the luxurious experience we provide will be etched in their minds for a lifetime.

Having started your career in Europe, what prompted you to make the move to the Middle East?
Although I began my career in Europe, I am of Arabic descent, so it was lovely to return to my roots. We can all agree that Arabian hospitality is unlike any other and the standard is set quite high, making the experience more rewarding in the end. I also wanted my children to grow up in the Middle East and gain a better understanding of its culture.

What changes do you have planned for the rebranding of Royal Saray to Accor standards?
The change has already begun with the introduction of the Accor mindset and the implementation of brand standards know-how. I’ll bring my 25 years of hospitality experience to concentrate on meeting the needs of the guests and the owner. Being a part of Accor, one of the world’s leading hospitality companies, to make Royal Saray a leader in Bahrain hospitality we’re taking a distinct approach. We are excited to bring in highly qualified professional team members from all around the world to enhance not just the property but also the guest experience.

How long have you been in Bahrain, is this your first time in the Kingdom and why did you choose to come here?
I only arrived a few weeks ago, although I used to travel to Bahrain on a regular basis for work. Bahrainis, I must say, have amazing friendliness in their blood; I was welcomed with open arms and Bahrain is a lovely island. I was blown away by the upgrades since my last visit in 2014, including the new airport, more flyovers, and fantastic infrastructure. With its rapid growth, Bahrain will undoubtedly become one of the leading countries and tourism destinations in the GCC/ Middle East, and I am excited to be a part of it.

Is there something you can tell us about yourself that will give our readers an insight into the man aside from the GM?
Personally, I am a tenacious and dedicated individual. I believe that if you enjoy what you do, you will always be successful. I consider my job to be a pleasure, which may seem strange, but I enjoy it. On a more personal note, my children grew up surrounded by hoteliers and my oldest son is currently pursuing a career as a hotelier. I’ve tried to involve my children as much as possible and they seem to appreciate this job to the utmost. ✤