Hilton Pyramids Golf’s Thriving GM
Behind every great hotel is a brilliant general manager. While we don’t need anyone to tell us how hospitable the Hilton Pyramids Golf is with its numerous amenities and events, we did love to speak with its affluent GM, Haitham Nassar, on his journey with the hotel chain and his efforts to keep it in its top position.
By: Mayar El-Shamy
Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m the general manager of Hilton Pyramids Golf. I have been working with Hilton for the past thirty years, and throughout my career I have been to various locations including Egypt, the Middle East, Europe and finally, the Pyramids Golf. I love my job!
What made you choose to thrive in the hospitality industry in particular?
At the time, it seemed different. It was interesting meeting different types of people, travelling abroad, seeing different cultures and serving people; although it is difficult, the reward is great. It mostly has to do with my aspiration and what makes this field special. My intuitions never failed me; it is an interesting career. It offers you lots of rewards including plenty of everyday knowledge; it’s a life on its own.
What were your keys to such success?
A simple answer is “team work”. At the end of the day, I stand on stage and receive the trophy, but the team makes it happen. Anyone who tells you anything else would be unfair. It’s a team effort; it’s commitment with lots of hard work; it’s a belief in what the team can do, and how you can self-improve and make your guests content.
You have been a member of the Egyptian Tourism Federation. How can we improve tourism in Egypt?
Tourism should be a project that the government embraces. We need to go and talk about it everywhere. Tourism used to be the number one revenue-generating field to Egypt. This is where we get the hard currency; this is where we used to make three-times what the Suez Canal makes. We must work to improve the industry with collective efforts.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
The challenge. I have been working in this field for thirty years, during which time every single day was different. We do the same job, but we cater to different people with different surroundings and this poses its own challenge. When you move to a new location, you start from the beginning.
What makes the Hilton Hotels around the world different?
The Hilton Hotels constitute the school where it all begins and where it all happens. Hilton was the first hotel chain to introduce TVs and telephones, so we’re pioneers who try to develop every day and to offer something new to our guests. How do we do it? With training and learning, and this is where Hilton is the number one hotel company in the world. .
How do you manage to keep the hospitality industry alive with the declining economy?
It’s a combination of efforts between the investors and the government. The government for the very first time offered funds to sustain touristic operations across the country. Tourism has always been a rewarding job, and it’s only fair that we try to sustain it in its drops and when it is suffering. Hopefully, we will overcome this era very soon, and the signs are very promising.
You’re a husband, a father, and an affluent General Manager of Hilton Pyramids Golf. How do you juggle between personal and professional lives?
My international experience and interaction with a lot of managers that I’ve learned from taught me how to switch off. It’s not easy, I used to consider it impossible when I was young, but after working as a GM for some time, it becomes a way of living that is in you. You do not separate between the two lives, but you learn how to enjoy both. A big reward in this field is our vacations. Because we have a wealth of knowledge within our team members, you have people you can depend on where you can delegate your tasks and enjoy your personal life.
What kind of obstacles did you have to face before you made it thus far?
Challenging myself that I can learn and improve from the day I started my career. I think it was a long shot to be a general manger with all these awards; to lead an incredible team with its member of the youth and seniors and of different nationalities and cultures. You can do it if you believe in yourself and learn from everyone; from the youngest and newest, to the oldest and most experienced senior. If you accept this, then you will always reach the sky.
A word for our readers…
Come and enjoy Hilton Pyramids Golf. Support tourism in Egypt; we have a lot of special offerings, which do not exist elsewhere.