Ramsey El Saarany’s journey: From an enthusiastic student to a passionate hotel manager at Sofitel Dubai The Palm

“One of my first jobs was as a bell attendant in a luxury hotel in London during the summer after school.  The experience of engaging with guests and dealing with a variety of requests and challenging situations really excited me. I then decided to pursue this passion further and I went onto study hospitality management at Surrey University. 

“I remember visiting Dubai for a vacation and seeing Burj Al Arab for the first time – I remember thinking that this would be a dream come true to come and work in Dubai and to work at this hotel,” said Ramsey El Saarany, hotel manager at Sofitel Dubai The Palm, who was born and brought up in London.

After completing his Hospitality Management degree, Ramsey did get what he had set his sights on.

“I was fortunate to join Burj Al Arab as a management trainee. I spent six months in the kitchens working alongside some very talented and passionate chefs; another six months across the front office and housekeeping operations – cleaning rooms and checking in guests.  

“I covered almost every department in this hotel and it was a fantastic experience that laid a very strong foundation and instilled an even stronger passion for the business that is still alive and kicking in me today. 

“After working at Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah in senior leadership roles, I then moved to Downtown Dubai where I was part of the pre-opening team of Sofitel Dubai Downtown. I later moved on to a new role at Sofitel Dubai The Palm where I oversee all aspects of the operations of this award-winning resort.  I have been truly blessed to be able to work across many iconic properties, with many incredible people, in this dynamic city,” says Ramsey.

Dubai, he says, has always fascinated him – and for reasons shared by most expats in the city.

“I enjoy living in Dubai due to the diversity of the culture, dynamism, safety and security here. It is one of the most futuristic cities in the world. With extensive investment in advanced infrastructure and the completion of incredible projects with unmatched speed and scale, the city has transformed itself from a local trading community into one of the most inspirational, exciting and successful cities to have a home in. And it has maintained its status as the best city to live in, thanks to the successful handling of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Ramsey says. 

Dubai, he stressed, has proved to be a regional safe haven in a year of an unprecedented healthcare crisis, referring to the pandemic. 

“Last year with the whole ongoing situation, it was one of the first cities to open its doors and has remained open until today. I think the aggressive vaccination drive by the government helped further improve the country’s position as a safe and secure destination to live and work in,” Ramsey said.

“I have been privileged to witness the city grow and emerge as one of the best cities in the world.  There’s beauty in being by the banks of the creek and an energy that I love when I visit the bustling Downtown Dubai. I also enjoy soaking up the sun around the amazing beach at JBR – there is such a diverse range of places for me to enjoy with my family and I make the most of all the city has to offer,” he said. 

Ramsey’s advice for those wanting a career in hospitality: “The hospitality business is a fast-growing business where responsibility can come at an early age, and where hard work and good attitude can lead to great career opportunities for everyone. 

“My advice would be to identify your passion and do what makes you happy – they say if you find something you enjoy, it becomes a vacation and never really a ‘job.’  They say the most adaptable survive – not the strongest, and therefore it is key to continue to nurture and develop your skills to attain your goals. I always believe that networking and fostering great relationships with the people around you are crucial and the key to happiness at work and in life.”


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