At the age of 19, Jose Luis Ruiz Arroyo entered the hospitality industry by working at a luxury property in the south of Spain. He worked both in operations and sales, and took his first role as hotel manager at the age of 24. Since then, his CV has included stints at the Hotel Monte Triana, Johanneswerk International Senior Residences, Melia Hotels International, and Hilton in 2015.
Today, Arroyo leads Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Al Jadaf Culture Village as general manager, focused on the pre-opening and successful launch phase of the new property. In this interview, we asked him about leadership, upcoming attractions in Dubai, and his plans for the 326-room hotel.
TD: What do you think are the traits of a good leader?
JA: In my own opinion, a good leader always leads by example and has the ability to create the proper culture in the organisation that makes the team grow and strive towards excellence. Having the ability to work on short term objectives and priorities while contributing to and never losing sight of the long-term strategies is also an excellent trait to possess.
“The ability to create the proper culture”
You’ve worked all around the world — why Dubai?
Dubai is a first-class market for the hospitality industry; a melting pot of different cultures and origins; where the East meets the West in many ways, but it is also very proud of its culture and traditions. As a destination, Dubai is clean, safe, modern and full of quality attractions for visitors.
Can you tell us more about the upcoming attractions near the hotel?
Jameel Contemporary Arts Centre has just been inaugurated in Culture Village – Jadaf Waterfront, along with its own Sculpture Park. Also, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Library will be opening soon with over 60,400 square metres, and expecting 9 million visitors annually.
“9 million visitors annually”
I’m very pleased to see this amazing project coming to life right opposite the Creek from us which is Dubai Creek Tower, Dubai Square, and the Harbour, which will be excellent demand generators for our business within a very short distance to our Hilton Garden Inn, Al Jadaf.
Any challenges you’re seeing ahead?
Currently, the growth rates of supply and demand are slightly unbalanced which is affecting the ADR in the market. Our plan is to tackle this issue through differentiation and by continuously exceeding our guests’ expectations so that they become loyal to the Hilton brand and our property.
What are your plans for the hotel?
Our priorities this year are several: a successful commercial ramp-up, establishing our desired reputation in the market, opening our specialty restaurant and bar with “Str.Eat Culture” in February, and adding one more outlet in the rooftop towards the end of the year. Apart from these, we also want to establish ourselves as an excellent venue for meetings and events, with state-of-the-art facilities and services.
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