Sunday 18, September 2016

Makkah – MENA Herald: In line with the Government’s Vision 2030, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has embarked on ambitious plans to increase the number of jobs occupied by Saudi nationals in the country’s booming tourism and hospitality sector.

By 2020, the National Transformation Program calls on Saudi Arabia to increase the representation of local talent in the tourism and national heritage sector, while industry reports state that the national tourism development program aims to ‘Saudize’ a good percentage of the current 900,000 jobs available in the sector. At present, the tourism sector is the second largest employer of Saudi nationals in the Kingdom.

“There is a great opportunity for the private sector of the hospitality industry to invest in the national workforce of the Kingdom,” said Ismail Sirry, general manager of Conrad Makkah (Jabal Omar), the first Conrad property opened by Hilton Worldwide in Saudi Arabia.

“Our strategy has always been focused on attracting highly-educated Saudi nationals and empowering them with necessary skills and expertise to pursue a successful career in hospitality. As a group, we encourage qualified Saudi jobseekers to undertake all kinds of positions in the hospitality sector, because we believe that the national workforce is the sound voice of their local culture and the true advocates of their country’s growth and development.”

Officially opened in June this year, Conrad Makkah is aspiring to rank high for Saudization under the Kingdom’s Nitaqat system. The hotel has already attracted a significant number of highly-qualified Saudi nationals working across different hotel functions, from security, F&B, Housekeeping, Concierge, administration to front office and HR departments. To further bolster Saudization efforts in the country’s hospitality sector, Conrad Makkah will be offering a two-year training program to talented, recently graduated Saudi nationals to fast track them to management positions under Hilton’s Mudeer Al Mustaqbal (Manager of the Future – MOF) Program, offered to all 11 Hilton properties in the Kingdom. During the course, participants will combine operational and all-round experience in F&B, Front Office and Housekeeping, while working within main operational areas.

“At Conrad Makkah, we are committed to creating promising job opportunities and solid working environment for Saudi nationals to help them enhance their skills and expertise and move up in their career ladder,” said Hattan Ahmed Ba’akadah, the hotel’s Human Resources director, a Saudi national with almost two decades of experience in the hospitality industry.

“We truly believe that there are many well-educated Saudi graduates who value the effort it takes to build a globally-recognized hospitality experience and acquire crucial managerial competences. Those are the ones we are looking for as team members and those are the ones we are ready to invest in and train as we aim to cultivate and sustain a resilient Saudi workforce in our hotel,” he added.

During the MOF program, participants have access to Hilton Worldwide University, an online learning platform offering participants more than 5 million hours of training through 2,500 courses in formats such as e-books, social learning and webinars. They are constantly assessed and mentored by senior managers within Hilton to ensure the smooth progress of their learning and development process.

Located in the Jabal Omar development, Conrad Makkah is one of few hotels in the Holy City to offer direct access to the Al Haram.

Guests staying at the stunning 438-room facility can receive luxury service the moment they land at the airport, with a private car equipped with Wi-Fi, food, and refreshments, available upon request to transport them to the Holy City.