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BOH Interview: Premier Inn Dubai Silicon Oasis' Vanessa Pabia

Hotelier Middle East Staff, February 25th, 2019

Vanessa Pabia, hotel administrator, Premier Inn Dubai Silicon Oasis, says it is important to evaluate situations with a clear head and never react emotionally

What is your career background, and how did you did you get into hospitality?

I joined Premier Inn, in August 2011. Previous to that, I worked as a quality assurance inspector for an electronics company in the Philippines for five years. I began my career in hospitality as a housekeeping room attendant. After a year in the role, I got an opportunity to train and move to reception. I pushed myself to learn more, and which led to a role in the reservations team. After more than two years in reservations, in July 2016, I was promoted to hotel administrator at Premier Inn Dubai Silicon Oasis.

What are your responsibilities at Premier Inn Dubai Silicon Oasis?

My role is a combination of human resources, finance and administration. I have a number of daily responsibilities that are key to keeping the business running. This includes getting work done by 10am for the finance department, monitoring cashiering, handling hotel HR issues, and any administration duties. It’s my responsibility to connect all the departments within the hotel - housekeeping, sales, maintenance and department heads – and work closely with the operations manager.

What are some of the current trends in hospitality?

The current trends show that bookers want to build trust and loyalty, so developing good relationships is key. This will help us attract repeat business, with more guests staying more often. There is also a trend to increase online bookings directly through our own website, so to achieve this, Premier Inn offers incentives such as early check-in, late check-out and two-for-one offers with partners.

What are some of the challenges you face?

Meeting impending deadlines and managing workloads from each department within the hotel simultaneously are some of the challenges. Time management is key to overcoming these challenges. When there are tricky situations, it’s best to stay calm and listen to what is being said. This is important. You can then evaluate the situation and act upon it with a clear head, and not react emotionally.

What is your ultimate goal?

To become a hotel administrator was a dream come true, but now I have set my sights higher and would love to become a general manager, maybe at Premier Inn or another location. My ultimate goal would be to manage my own resort at home in the Philippines.

What would you say are your major achievements?

I am most proud of my first role as housekeeping room attendant. It was my first role in the UAE and an opportunity I was very grateful for. It was a major achievement for me: coming to a new country and starting a new career in hospitality. Now as hotel administrator, I have been able to appreciate the importance of the role and how it contributes to the success of the hotel.

What are some of the strategies you have developed for Premier Inn Dubai Silicon Oasis?

I have a developed a strong relationship building strategy, as this makes my role easier to undertake. Building relationships with key accounts and bookers helps with communication, builds trust and loyalty. It also ensures problems can be ironed out early on, and there are no issues with finance and collecting payments.

Can you walk us through a regular day at work?

I usually start my day at 9am, and must have accounts closed by 10am for the previous day. Most of the morning is taken up with cheque collection, and issuing invoices to our bookers. After lunch, I look to the other departments and put in the orders for housekeeping and maintenance. Throughout the day I answer emails from bookers and suppliers, and the reception and reservations teams often call on me to confirm latest stay rates and payment options for key accounts. I usually leave by 6pm.