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Exclusive: Interview with Rifaath Saaed, Director Sales & Marketing at Mövenpick Resort Maldives

Director of Sales & Marketing at Mövenpick Kuredhivaru Resort Maldives, Rifaath Saeed
Exclusive Interview with Director of Sales & Marketing at Mövenpick Kuredhivaru Resort Maldives, Rifaath Saeed.

One of the greatest features of the Maldives is that the island nation offers a variety of distinctive brands for guests to choose from. One of these brands, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts combines comfort and style to provide guests “moments by doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way”.

Mövenpick Kuredhivaru Maldives ticks all these boxes when it comes to enjoying a vacation the Maldives. The resort emphasizes a strong Food and Beverage heritage, is perfect for families of all sizes, relaxation, or if you’re a newcomer to the Maldives, Kuredhivaru offers everything you need for the full Maldives experience!

MVHotels caught up with Rifaath Saaed, the Director of Sales & Marketing at Mövenpick Resort Maldives. Rifaa shared with us a bit about her own experience in the hospitality industry and also everything you’d want to know about the timeless Mövenpick Kuredhivaru Resort Maldives!

1. Could you briefly tell us about your past career experience?

Rifaa: I started my career as a Sales Coordinator for Huvafenfushi Maldives preopening. From then onwards, I had worked with Kerzner in project management during the construction for One and Only Reethi Rah. Business Development Office/ Sales Manager for W Retreat and Spa – Maldives preopening as well as Sheraton Maldives rebranding. I also Did preopening for Dusit Thani Maldives and Kandima Maldives. After 4 years with Kandima, I joined Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives.

2. Tell us about Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Madives and AccorHotels

Rifaa: Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives opened in 2018 and is the first Mövenpick branded resort in the Maldives. Mövenpick’s service philosophy is about making moments by doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way. Creating a private haven of comfort, we bring these moments to life with a blend of Swiss excellence and rich Maldivian hospitality. When we talk about Swiss excellence we refer to efficiency, attention to detail, and delivery of service excellence.

Founded in Switzerland in 1973, but with a heritage of food and beverage excellence stretching back to the 1940s, Mövenpick holds a growing portfolio of more than 90 hotels in 25 countries. Mövenpick was acquired by Accor in 2018, allowing a phase of further expansion with the world-leading augmented hospitality group. Accor has been acquiring hospitality expertise for more than 50 years, resulting in an unrivaled portfolio of 39 hotel brands, from luxury to economy. The Group operates over 5,100 hotels and residences across 110 countries.

3. Being a part of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, how did it help your career?

Rifaa: Having worked in various independent hotel chains within the Maldives, I realized that it’s the right step for me to move to an international brand which would enable me to enhance my knowledge and further my development. Being part of a global chain opens various doors when it comes to developing yourself personally and also created a link for me to build new relationships with clients. Accor actively promotes diversity and inclusion, ensuring a strong framework to ensure equal opportunities for all people regardless of gender, generation, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disabilities.

Accor also operates a global learning and development division within the group called Accor Academy. It consists of dedicated Learning & Development specialists who develop training programs around the world for all departments. I saw this an invaluable opportunity to not only help in my career path but gain more knowledge and develop myself personally.

4. Could you share 03 ways how Mövenpick is planning to overcome the difficulties faced due to the current situation?

Rifaa: The health, safety, and wellbeing of our staff, guests, and partners remain our top priority as always and as we reopen, we will go even further with the implementation of additional hygiene and safety measures that draw on our long-standing experience and best practices. Our mission is to protect our guests and staff, making sure travelers know they will feel safe, and by doing so revive guests’ interest in travel

Our partners are our biggest supporters and maintaining the relationship and providing as much flexibility as we can to support them is a key factor for our recovery – both to us as well as our travel partners.

5. As the property is planned to reopen on 1st October, what are the procedural changes that will be implemented?

  • Dedicated team member to answer questions on preparing for their stay in terms of safety and hygiene procedures
  • Reinforced cleaning program in public areas with frequent disinfection of all high touch areas.
  • Strengthened room cleaning protocols including extra disinfection of high touch room and bathroom areas.
  • Social distancing enforced in all common areas.
  • Sanitiser provided in key public areas (front desk, restaurants, etc)
  • Reinforced food safety standards and provide additional a la carte option
  • All of our team members have undergone comprehensive safety and hygiene training

6. What is the Unique feature of Movenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives? Any reasons why guests should prefer the resorts over other brands?

Rifaa: With Movenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives we tick all the boxes when it comes to vacationing in the Maldives. As a distinct brand with strong Food and Beverage Heritage, the resort offers various options for someone looking for a luxury resort with quality and excellent culinary experience whether it’s private dining in your villa/suite or exploring our restaurants.

It’s perfect for bigger or smaller families looking for quality family time with accommodation in large villas or Beach Suites, or even the 3 bedroom residence plus varieties of activities for children at Little Birds Club.

For those looking for relaxation, our overwater Spa provides excellent service and we have recently joined forces with Healing Earth an award-winning brand for wellness and a holistic approach.

It’s a great experience for those who are coming to the Maldives for the first time, to explore the natural beauty and rich culture of the Maldives – long beach (direct access from Beach accommodation), snorkel right next to overwater villas, and enjoy the lush vegetation.

Our guests can be as active as they want with a variety of recreational activities which they can enjoy. We have a dedicated recreation team to create activities based on guest preferences. Whether its learning tennis in our tennis court, water sports activities, or fun football games with our team.

For honeymooners and couples looking to achieve a romantic escape, we can create a memorable experience for them starting from the comfort and privacy of their accommodation.

Under Mövenpick’s “we make moments” service concept, we create powerful memories that last a lifetime. The combination of these moments, from our team members and guests, creates the basis of the Movenpick experience.

7. In terms of the Unique geographical location of Maldives. How do you think we can take it as an advantage to the tourism industry?

Rifaa: Compared to other destinations, the unique geographical formation of the Maldives is a huge advantage in terms of safety. The unique one island one resort concept itself offers comfort and privacy which fits the travel requirements of most guests.

Feature image by MVHOTELS
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Saurabh Pandit Appointed as Revenue Manager at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi

Mr. Saurabh Pandit
Sun Siyam Iru Fushi has announced the appointment of Mr. Saurabh Pandit as its Revenue Manager.

Saurabh’s journey in hospitality in the hospitality industry began as a Guest Services Officer at Hyatt Hotels. In this role, he deeply appreciated guest satisfaction and service excellence. Additionally, he also gained valuable experience and insight into the aviation sector as a Pricing Executive at Jet Airways. With his diverse experiences, Saurabh has shaped his customer-centric approach. This has given him a holistic understanding of the industry and its various factors.

Taking on the New Role at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi

With his decade-long experience in the industry, Saurabh ventures into this new role at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi.

I am thrilled to join Sun Siyam Iru Fushi and eagerly anticipate collaborating with exceptionally talented team. Together, we will leverage our collective expertise to implement innocative strategies and contribute to the continued success of the resort, says Saurabh.

With his profound knowledge and skills in revenue management and distribution, Saurabh is anticipated to play a pivotal role in elevating and enhancing the revenue strategies at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi.

In his new role as Revenue Manager at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Saurabh will spearhead revenue optimization initiatives and redefine distribution strategies. In addition to this, Saurabh will collaborate with cross-functional teams to ensure a seamless and efficient operation. His leadership will play a pivotal role in enhancing the resort’s competitiveness in the dynamic hospitality market of the Maldives.

We are confident that Saurabh Pandit’s appointment will further elavate the resort’s revenue management strategies. His proven track record in driving revenue growth and optimizing distribution channels aligns seamlessly with the resort’s vision for sustained success and enhanced guest satisfaction, says Jiji Rajesh – Group Director of Revenue & Distribution.

Prior to this new role as Revenue Manager at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Saurabh was at Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Nashik, where he played an essential role in enhancing revenue strategies and optimizing distribution channels.

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