ONE-ON-ONE: Nezha Aanou Memarian, Executive Housekeeper, Al Bait, Sharjah
After completing two years studying French law, Nezha Aanou Memarian, Executive Housekeeper of Al Bait, Sharjah, switched her career choice and enrolled herself in hospitality school in the third year of her graduation programme. Memarian started her career in Morocco with a 5-star property, and then moved to Dubai to work for the iconic and the most luxurious 7-Star hotel, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. In the meanwhile she took a course in interior designing from Switzerland prior to the opening of Al Bait, Sharjah, the first luxury boutique resort in Sharjah. Today she has more than 15 years of working experience in the hospitality industry.
When I started university, I chose to study law, but after completing two years I felt that it was not what I would want to do for the rest of my life. Hence, I switched to hospitality and found my calling. I took management training in Riad Salam Beach Resort Casablanca, and after completing my training, I was hired in the same property as an Assistant Housekeeping Manager, only to grow in two years to be the Housekeeping Manager and quality reviewer of the sister properties of the same brand. I am privileged to have also been a part of the management that opened Al Bait Sharjah - the first heritage luxury resort. Al Bait - a GHM and member of LHW is a jewel of the Emirates that creates a luxury escape, combining the best of modern comforts and amenities within a step back in time, allowing guests to explore the heritage of Sharjah. I have been blessed to work with people from all over the world. Different phases of my professional journey have equipped me with valuable learning, most notable among them being to make a family out of my team. Handling a team of more than 370 members taught me how to respect our differences, cultures and how to guide them to achieve their best.
The best part of your job
I firmly believe that a good leader is as good as his team. However, busy our schedule is, I always make it a point to have some light moments with my team as it is easy to get caught up chasing deadlines but we must always take some time out to have a bit of fun.
With so much information shared across different media, climate change is affecting everyone, and I believe that it’s everyone’s responsibility to adopt a lifestyle that is sustainable and conscious of our environment and ecosystem so that we can leave behind a healthy planet for our future generations. Each colleague in the housekeeping team has completed 750 hours of housekeeping training over a period of six months before the grand opening of Al Bait Sharjah. Every member in the housekeeping team is equipped to handle a variety of cleaning products and chemicals, as well as machines meant for different spaces and fabrics, as well as recycle items to contribute to our resort’s sustainability efforts. We work closely with a company that provides environment friendly chemicals, which we use for a variety of cleaning processes, and in terms of equipment, our team uses TASKI Vacuum cleaners that are built with advanced features, offering a unique combination of sustainable, high-efficiency concept with eco function and ultra-silent whisper technology. The luxury heritage resort’s public areas have a lot of trees and greenery, and it is important to maintain these areas from fallen leaves. Recently, our team was introduced to a very effective vacuum machine that collects leaves without using electricity.
Training is important to deliver an impeccable service to our guests, and I believe that going back to basic training always helps in maintaining high cleaning standards, especially for guest rooms and public areas. Each team member of our resort’s housekeeping team attends 15 hours of training each month, and we have a thorough leadership and management training programme for our future housekeeping colleagues.
I always strive to perform better than yesterday and to achieve perfection in anything that I, myself or my team does. Challenges are a part of professional growth, and I always try to channelise obstacles into motivation, go that extra mile to achieve the best result, in terms of managing my team, coordinating operations or guests. Like mentioned earlier, Al Bait Sharjah is a luxury heritage property with well-preserved walls that must be at least century old. The decor aesthetics at the resort are inspired by traditional Emirati style and extensively use antique brass, so we have to be careful to use the right chemical for the right duration when cleaning and treating.
What lies ahead
Having more green and ecofriendly products, especially for laundry, is something that our resort’s management is working towards. I would love to upgrade our cleaning equipment with a multipurpose vacuum that can vacuum and steam at the same time.