Nedaa Zohair Fatani During my university years, I opted for a career in hospitality, a sector not widely popular among my fellow Saudi female students.
But I was energetic and ambitious, and I viewed the industry as offering me the opportunity to expand my horizons.
With the support of my husband and family, my dream of working in hospitality has become a reality.
I am now an assistant convention manager at the Jabal Omar Hilton Makkah Convention Hotel. I am very passionate about my job, and I am enjoying the challenge of working for an organization that strives to become the best in the business. I have found that one of the key aids to running a successful business is networking.
I enrolled in the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University, in the UK, and graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in international hospitality management. I took advantage of the knowledge gained from my university studies to start my career at the entry level, working at the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel.
Working at such a prestigious hotel provided me with unparalleled experience and set me on the way to becoming a hotelier.
During my employment at the luxury flagship hotel in London, I moved between different departments, each time gaining a better understanding of the workings of the industry and the requirement for professionalism and high standards.
I learned how to deal with guests and create my own personal touch. Meeting with more than 70 nationalities taught me how to celebrate cultural differences and develop the skills to work in group settings with people from a range of backgrounds.
I was honored to be chosen as the first Saudi female to be nominated and to take part in the Hilton’s Shine 4D manager development program. It aims to provide industry staff with the support and skills needed to build self-confidence during their climb up the hospitality career ladder.
My work experience in London was different from my time in Makkah. I believe that working in such a well-organized, feverish environment taught me how to become a leader and influence others to join the field of hospitality. Both experiences taught me that.
With the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan and Saudi government support for the hospitality sector and tourism, I feel the industry offers a great career-building opportunity.