Tell us more about yourself and your career background
I’ve been with Hilton for over 15 years now. I began my career as part of the Finance team at one of the world’s largest copper recyclers and global supplier of non-ferrous metals. My journey with Hilton started in 2007 when I joined Hilton Sofia, Bulgaria as Director of Finance where later I was promoted to the position of Director of Finance & Human Resources. I worked at Hilton Sofia for nine years.
In 2016, my first international transfer within Hilton led me to Abu Dhabi, where I joined Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island as Director of Finance. A year later, I was promoted to the role of Cluster Director of Finance for both Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island and Hilton Al Ain.
Towards the end of 2019, I joined the pre-opening team at Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas in Qatar – a beautiful resort featuring town houses, private pool villas, 15 F&B outlets and Desert Falls Water & Adventure Park.
Were you part of the initial team to launch Waldorf Astoria Lusail?
Yes, I was a part of the pre-opening team at Waldorf Astoria Lusail Doha - the first Waldorf Astoria property in Qatar.
Did you face any challenges while launching?
The launch was an exciting time because it coincided with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
It was a very busy period for us when we opened the property. We launched the hotel mid-October and in one month from our opening, we became very busy with the FIFA World Cup.
We had to set up the systems and processes very fast and train the team within a very short period
What are the achievements you’ve had since working at Waldorf Astoria Lusail Doha?
My greatest achievement yet since opening the hotel last year will be setting up the departmental structure and hiring the amazing talent that now constitutes the Finance team. The long nights and hard work have now paid off from the first guest check-in experience to serving the first coffee sold at our iconic Peacock Alley. There was also a rewarding feeling of satisfaction when we submitted our first month-end results capturing revenue and costs, as well as providing the management with the first P&L account.
How do you keep updated with all the financial changes in the hospitality sector?
The hospitality industry is constantly evolving. It is therefore important to stay updated on Finance related news around market trends, prices, developments, and much more.
Another great source is networking with your colleagues across the industry and staying in touch with the legal and tax advisors in-market for all upcoming changes.