Face to face: Anke Glassing, general manager, Vida Downtown Dubai

 

Vida Downtown Dubai has already made an impact as a boutique, design-led hotel concept – what do you believe makes this property stand out from the crowd?

Vida Downtown Dubai is an upscale boutique property from Emaar Hospitality Group, and this sets us apart from a crowded market and helps us to differentiate ourselves. We pride ourselves on our environmentally-friendly credentials and many of the visitors appreciate the ethical dimension built into the hotel’s philosophy – particularly concerning the environment. We are a cigarette-free and paperless hotel, two policies that remain consistent with our overall culture and something that visitors like and appreciate. We are recipients of the Green Key Certificate from the Emirates Green Building Council making us part of the 5% of Dubai hotels who have been awarded this accolade.

Anke-Glässing, General Manager of Vida Downtown Dubai
Anke-Glässing, General Manager of Vida Downtown Dubai

Another area that highlights Vida’s unique offering is the partnerships and collaborative work we undertake that keeps us fresh and original. Our work with Japanese artist, Yasuaki Onishi, has helped to change the face of our lobby at the beginning of the year and added something different for the regular diners and guests.

Vida's pool deck
Vida’s pool deck

What are your plans for enhancing what Vida Downtown Dubai has to offer?

Our guests and diners value Vida Downtown Dubai as the ultimate go-to social space where ideas and aspiration fuse to form a formidable partnership. We have a number of exciting and innovative projects in the pipeline and will continue our exciting collaboration with Dubai’s fashion and artistic community. We have quickly become the home of artists, designers and the region’s culinary curators and ensure we keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to knowing what’s hip and happening across the city.

How do you plan to put your expertise in guest satisfaction and Emiratisation into practice at the property?

Guest satisfaction is the essence of hospitality, and at Vida Downtown Dubai, we focus on ensuring the highest standards of service – personalised yet unobtrusive. To achieve this, I work with the team – across the property – and we have set clear guidelines on the service standards. I believe that the best service comes from the heart, and that means we need to have a committed and motivated team. We have a fantastic multicultural group of people who understand the value difference that genuine service brings. We also follow the official guidelines regarding Emiratisation – and also reach out to have the best talent from the country to work for us. We provide them extensive training on-the-job.

What have you learned in previous hotelier roles that will help you take Vida Downtown Dubai to the next level in terms of concept and hospitality

The hotel lobby
The hotel lobby

standards?

Vida Downtown Dubai is a top-performing and award-winning hotel in every aspect. I have held a number of senior positions, which enabled me to gain extensive knowledge in brand marketing and on leveraging the hotel’s strength to achieve top performance. I want to continue this, but also take the knowledge I’ve gained and pass it to the younger generation. I have learnt of the property’s success and how it has grown in concept and stature, and I’d like to credit the team for achieving such great results and for expanding Vida’s reputation. I have tried to foster a positive culture that inspires our team to be the best they can be every day, and this trickles down to our guests and the experience we create while staying here. A strong leader surrounds themselves with great people who are motivated to achieve the best they can, and I’m confident we will achieve even more impressive success in the future.

What does it mean to you to be one of few female GMs in the UAE?

Working in this industry is in itself rewarding. Being able to see younger professionals grow and work with fellow hospitality connoisseurs to achieve collective goals, keeps me motivated and wanting to achieve more than ever since I embarked on a career in hotels. Management is about temperament, leadership and effectiveness – key characteristics that I attempt to relay back to my team on a daily basis. Growing and learning together helps our establishment in the long-run and in turn means we provide a unique service for our guests that ultimately contributes to longevity and future growth.

 

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