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Ascott supports Saudisation in growing hospitality sector

RIYADH, January 29, 2020

Extending their support to the Saudi Arabia government’s Vision 2030, The Ascott Limited is among the few private companies that have stepped in to support the kingdom’s Saudisation endeavour with its global and local programmes.

First introduced in 2016 across a few of its properties in the Middle East, Ascott’s global talent project ‘The Serviced Residence Manager Programme’ (SRMP) is an enormous milestone opportunity for executive level employees. The programme, which was developed by the brand’s headquarters and has been running across Ascott’s properties worldwide for years, is now a burgeoning topic across Ascott’s Saudi properties with the selection of its first Saudi participant in Riyadh last year. Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh took the lead by nominating an executive level Saudi talent to the programme.

SRMP is designed to meet the growing need of operationally-ready staff to manage Ascott’s serviced residences, and in Saudi Arabia will be aimed at training Saudi talents to higher positions within the group, thus empowering Saudisation in the country’s corporate segment.  

Combining intensive classroom-based learning with on-the-job practical training and mentoring, the SRMP takes approximately 33 weeks for eligible Ascott employees to complete. By the end of the programme, successful candidates will be ready to take on senior roles of assistant residence managers and residence managers, anywhere within the Ascott group.

“As the group continues to enjoy unprecedented growth, it’s vital we plan ahead by equipping our high-potential middle management staff with the skills profile they will need to one day manage and operate an Ascott serviced residence,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional general manager for Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India. “From theoretical background in finance management to fine-tuning their housekeeping, guest service, operations and leadership skills, the SRMP course has been strategically designed to transform our most promising hospitality talent into the future leaders of Ascott.”

“Investing heavily in the developmental potential of our staff maximises our talent retention and supports the group’s overall growth strategy. A salient feature of the programme includes sending participants to the Corporate Training Centre in Singapore, which encourages them to network with the global Ascott family and share best working practices,” Miccolis added.

Parallelly, taking the lead at regional level, Ascott also launched the Saudi Graduate Programme in June 2019, in alignment with the aims of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to encourage and support domestic tourism. The Saudi Graduate Programme empowers Saudi talents whereby high-achieving Saudi nationals are trained in the skills needed to take on managerial leadership positions within the dynamic hospitality career path in the Ascott group.

“These are exciting times in Saudi Arabia with the kingdom gradually embracing a historic series of cultural reforms,” said Miccolis. “As the nation pushes ahead with Saudisation and the Saudi Vision 2030, the kingdom’s tourism industry is evolving at a rapid pace and creating a wealth of new jobs within the hospitality sector.”

Initially launched across Ascott’s Jeddah cluster of properties that include Ascott Sari Jeddah, Ascott Tahlia Jeddah, Citadines Al Salamah Jeddah and Spectrums Residence Jeddah, Ascott plans to roll out its Saudi Graduate Programme across all the group’s residences in the kingdom, including those located in the capital, Riyadh, as well as in the cities of Al Khobar and Abha.

“High-profile training initiatives such as our Saudi Graduate Programme play a vital role in helping to promote, nurture, develop and diversify this valuable homegrown pool of young talent,” added Miccolis.

At last year’s World Travel Awards, Ascott was named Saudi Arabia’s ‘Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’ for the third year in a row, while Ascott Sari Jeddah was again named Saudi Arabia’s ‘Leading Serviced Apartment’. These high-profile wins not only underline the Ascott brand’s prestige within the kingdom, but also serve to highlight the ever-growing opportunities for Saudi nationals within the hospitality industry. - TradeArabia News Service




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