The O Interview is proud to present Vipin Khattar, General Manager at Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Hotel & Residences.
Vipin’s primary objective is to increase the hotel’s standards to higher levels by maximising the property’s financial and strategic performance, offering all guests the utmost quality in hospitality.
We want to invite you to discover more about Vipin in the following interview.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I noticed the ‘hospitality’ bug within myself at a very early age. Being the go-getter that I am, I pursued my dream career and landed in Dubai. With over 16 years of experience in the hospitality industry, I now take pride along with my team, in being a part of a success story in itself – the Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Hotel & Residences – a property that captures the essence of Dubai. Having travelled over 52 countries, I have nurtured an everlasting passion towards working for the community and caring for people so they can be their best.
How did you get into the business/the role you’re in today?
I did a post-graduate degree in Hospitality Operations from IHTTI School of Hotel Management in Switzerland which influenced my choice to move to UAE. I originally joined the Hyatt group in October 2002, as a convention sales manager in the pre-opening team for Grand Hyatt Dubai.
I then had the opportunity to be a part of the pre-opening team at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai as Director of Business Development.
My stint with Hyatt Hotels began yet again when I moved to Hyatt Regency Dubai and Galleria as the Director of Sales and Marketing, and then to Grand Hyatt Dubai holding an Area Director position.
Prior to my currently held position as the General Manager at Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Hotel & Residences, I was appointed as the General Manager at Hyatt Regency Sharm El Shaikh, another iconic property that I am fortunate to be associated with.
What is the best thing about working for your company?
Just one word – people! We have a fantastic team of young and endearing professionals who prove to be the greatest asset to our organization. At Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Hotel & Residences, we serve our guests with passion and consistancy that help us create an emotional connect everytime they visit. I firmly believe that success comes easier when you work with dedication and a can-do approach!
What are the most important highlights people should not miss when they visit your hotel?
Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Hotel & Residences is a fabulous amalgamation of local influences and modern design, that captures the essence of Dubai, exuding a clever, energising and confident appeal.
The mixed use facility towers offer a fantastic variety of meeting spaces that can hold upto 19 breakout facilities enabled to host indiviudal events or private gatherings! Alongside two pillarless banquet spaces, we also have Al Manzil, which is more of a Residential styled meeting space, specifically deisgned for personalized events.
A highlight hard to miss will definitely be La Tablita, an award-winning Restaurant that offers authentic Mexican cuisine along with traditional Mariachi!
I am also very proud to officialy announce a new project in the pipeline; which is a brand new concept of a Rooftop bar & lounge perched on the 34th floor, inspired by the life of an ecentric woman and her secret life at her loft which is full of quirky elements and lush greens.
What do you find most challenging about the Meetings/Hospitality industry?
The need to keep up with the rapid changes in today’s social and political environment is an on-going challenge. One has to have the right tools and expertise in order to lead the direction especially when the hospitality sector constantly witnesses new market trends almost every quarter.
Our industry has also seen a sharp rise of almost 30% in direct bookings that are done through smart phones and tablets, in the last two years. This swift adaptability towards technology that now enables guests to reach us faster is also a trend we must watch closely!
Did you have any mentors or people who deeply influenced your career?
A lesser known fact about me is that I hail from a family of Doctors and Engineers. My wish to join the hospitality industry definitely took my father by surprise, who is a Dental Surgeon by profession. It is my family that set a wonderful example of ‘giving’, embibed the importance of ‘serving to the community’ and taught me the relevance of ‘care’ in our lives. I firmly believe that the theoretical knowledge I have gained over the past few years has infleunced me into being a true Hospitality professional.
How does your hotel keep up with the constant desire to be known and hold value amongst its diverse clientele?
In 2018, it is still all about personalization. As a result, at Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Hotel & Residences, there is a strong emphasis on building long-term relationships with our guests. We train our teams to really listen and act with empathy. We work to create connections with each one of our guests – whether it is through unique experiences at our F&B outlets, through carefully curated guest-room amenities, or through small thoughtful surprises on birthdays and anniversaries. It’s often the small things that make a difference, and allow us to create that special connection with our guests.
When we talk about music, who is your favourite artist or band?
Ed Sheeran is an extremely talented musician who makes music for the soul. His tunes miraculously connect with every generation and most importantly, gets my foot tapping every single time!
A team of Professionals that you admire and why?
The West Indies Cricket team’s success story is a great example to refer back to. With a series of losses in the last decade that the team had been facing, bringing the trophy home seemed a bit out of bounds. Their impressive bounce back in 2016, when the team won its first ICC world championship brought home laurels and set examples of unity, perseverance and team-effort.
And not to forget, their very famous victory song ‘Champion’ still resides deep within every sports person’s heart!
Proudest moment in your career to date?
I am grateful to be a part of the team that has achieved tremendous milestones and created history, together.
Be it departmental KPI’s, or efforts to enhance Corporate Social Responsibility, the people at Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Hotel & Residences came together to deliver an outstanding performance. Throughtout the year of 2017, we witnessed a great jump in overall guest satisfaction compared to the year 2016. The year also marked an addition of 304 apartments to an already existing high inventory, which now enables us to host over 600 guests travelling together at a given time.
What is your favourite destination in the world and why?
Being closer to nature makes me feel more connected to myself. Sun, Sand and Sea; that is what I yearn for amidst the day-to-day rush! The ocean breeze and clear blue skies certainly have my attention everytime I see an upcoming trip on my cards!
What is the best advise you would give to the young professional generation?
Focusing on enhancing the level of curiosity and passion will take you further ahead in the journey of success. An urge to learn adds more value than mere intelligence!
Thank you for your time, Vipin!! We wish you all the best!