Ibrahim Razeen is the Front Office Manager at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort with a passion for the hospitality industry. He began his career in 2006, after completing a diploma in tourism and hotel operations. Since then, he has gained valuable experience at several luxury resorts in the Maldives, including Banyan Tree Maldives, Naladhu Private Island, Huvafen Fushi Maldives, and Anantara Veli Resort. In this interview, Ibrahim shares his journey in the hospitality industry and how he ended up as the Front Office Manager at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort. He also offers insights into his approach to providing exceptional guest service and advice for those just starting their career in the hospitality industry.
Maldives Insider: Razeen, can you tell us about your journey in the hospitality industry and how you ended up as the Front Office Manager at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort?
Ibrahim Razeen: Sure, my journey in the hospitality industry started with a passion for tourism and a desire to build a successful career in this field. After completing my diploma in tourism and hotel operations in 2006, I joined the food and beverage service team at Banyan Tree Maldives. I gained valuable experience working in this role and got to understand how a resort operates.
In 2007, I got the opportunity to join Anantara Hotels as a butler at Naladhu Private Island Maldives. This experience gave me an insight into the inner workings of a luxury resort and helped me to develop a deeper understanding of the hospitality industry. I worked hard and was soon promoted to the role of Assistant Villa Operations Manager.
I continued to work in the hospitality industry and gained valuable experience at other luxury resorts, including Huvafen Fushi Maldives. In 2018, I rejoined Anantara Hotels as the Assistant Front Office Manager at Anantara Veli Resort. It was a great opportunity for me to take on a new challenge and develop my skills in managing front desk operations, guest services, and overall guest experience. I was later promoted to the position of Front Office Manager at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, where I currently serve.
MI: What do you think sets Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort apart from other luxury resorts in the Maldives?
IR: At Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, we offer our guests a unique and authentic experience that showcases the beauty and culture of the Maldives. Our resort is situated on a private island and offers a range of activities and experiences that allow guests to immerse themselves in the local culture.
Not only is the resort easily accessible from Male, guests at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort are also spoilt for choices when it comes to culinary experiences. From housemade dry-aged beef and Italian favourites to South Asian, Japanese and Thai restaurants located at its sister property, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort (just a stone’s throw away), long-staying guests will not be bored when it comes to dining.
We also place a strong emphasis on sustainability and have implemented a number of eco-friendly initiatives to reduce our impact on the environment. Our guests appreciate our commitment to sustainability and often choose to stay with us because of this.
MI: As the Front Office Manager, what is your approach to providing exceptional guest service?
IR: My approach to providing exceptional guest service is to always put the guest first. I believe that every guest is unique and has different needs and preferences. I strive to understand these needs and preferences and tailor our services to meet theirs.
I also believe that attention to detail is key to providing exceptional guest service. We pay attention to the little things, such as remembering guests’ names and preferences, to make their stay more comfortable and enjoyable.
Finally, I believe that a positive and welcoming attitude is essential to providing exceptional guest service. We strive to create a warm and welcoming environment for our guests and make them feel at home.
MI: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their career in the hospitality industry?
IR: My advice would be to work hard, be passionate, and never stop learning. The hospitality industry is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices.
I would also encourage anyone starting their career in the hospitality industry to be open to new experiences and opportunities. Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges and step outside of your comfort zone. The more experience you gain, the more valuable you become as an employee.
I would advise anyone starting their career in the hospitality industry to remember that guest service is the foundation of our industry. Always put the guest first and strive to provide exceptional service that exceeds their expectations.
Oriana Migliaccio: The Marine Guardian Transforming Conservation in the Maldives
At the heart of Anantara’s commitment to tailored luxury and authentic experiences lies the passionate work of Oriana Migliaccio, a marine biologist whose devotion to oceanic preservation resonates deeply in the sky-blue waters of the Maldives. Oriana, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer with a PhD in Life and Biomolecular Sciences, embodies the spirit of discovery and conservation at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, and Naladhu Private Island Maldives.
Raised on the sun-kissed shores of Naples, Italy, Oriana’s early years were steeped in the wonders of the Mediterranean Sea, a rich biodiversity hotspot. She frequently spent winter breaks at the aquarium. “It is this deep love for the marine world that got me interested from an early age in pursuing a career in marine biology,” she reflects. Following her passion, Oriana earned her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Marine Biology in Italy. Her journey then took her to the Maldives for an additional master’s in Tropical Marine Biology, where the allure of tropical environments steered her focus towards specialising in coral reef biology and conservation. This newfound dedication culminated in earning her PhD in the United Kingdom, solidifying her commitment to preserving marine ecosystems.
Oriana’s expertise, honed in the jungles of Borneo as a Conservation Manager and Dive Leader, now flourishes in the Maldives. Her initiatives span coral reef restoration, sea turtle protection, and sustainable practices, all pivotal to the region’s marine ecosystem. A crowning achievement is her creation of the “Reef Hero” PADI specialty, a course designed to educate divers on coral conservation, nurturing a new wave of ocean stewards.
“I created the ‘Reef Hero’ course during my time as a marine biologist and dive instructor in Malaysian Borneo. This course, focusing on coral reef restoration and rehabilitation, was inspired by my diving students’ desire to positively impact the oceans they love exploring. Witnessing the adverse effects of marine issues like debris, over-fishing, pollution, and global warming, this inspired me to create guidelines that can be used by recreational divers to save coral reefs around the world.” – Oriana Migliaccio
In April 2023, Oriana joined Anantara, where her role transcends traditional boundaries, as she immerses guests in a world of marine wonders through various interactive initiatives:
- Marine Talk on Coral Reef & Marine Life: Weekly educational sessions that spotlight the vital role of coral reefs and the importance of responsible diving.
- Discovering Marine Biology for Kids: Fun, interactive lessons that spark young minds’ curiosity about the underwater world.
- Workshop on Repurposing Ghost Nets: Transforming abandoned fishing nets into bracelets, raising awareness about their impact on marine life.
- Marine Biologist Corner: An open forum for guests to engage with Oriana, deepening their understanding of marine conservation.
- Visit the Coral Nursery: Snorkeling adventures to coral nurseries, where guests explore coral species and participate in the resort’s coral restoration efforts.
- Coral Adoption: Encouraging guests to play an active role in coral restoration, either by planting corals or sponsoring a coral rope, and tracking their growth.
“In the Maldives, a country faced with pressing environmental challenges, sustainability and environmental conservation are not just trends. They are a necessity,” Oriana emphasises, outlining the long-term goals for sustainability and marine conservation at Anantara’s Maldives resorts. “The survival of this tropical paradise is intertwined with adopting sustainable practices and reducing the anthropogenic impact on the environment.”
Following the devastating coral bleaching event of 2016, Oriana has been instrumental in Anantara’s HARP initiative (Holistic Approach to Reef Protection), aimed at rehabilitating damaged coral reefs. With over 10,000 corals grown and planted since 2017, the project is on course to double this number, enhancing marine biodiversity. Guests are invited to become coral gardeners, contributing to the project’s success while receiving progress updates on their adopted “baby corals”.
Collaborating with esteemed organisations like the Olive Ridley Project, Manta Trust, and the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program, Oriana’s work includes a photo-ID programme for studying sea turtles, manta rays, and whale sharks. She invites guests to join as citizen scientists, aiding in data collection during their underwater explorations.
Oriana Migliaccio’s contributions reflect the essence of Anantara’s luxury experience — unique, immersive, and deeply connected to the local environment. Her passion and dedication are not just preserving the ocean’s beauty but also inspiring guests to become active participants in its conservation, ensuring its wonder endures for generations to come.
For more information on Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, please visit www.anantara.com.
Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry
In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.
Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.
After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.
Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.
In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.
As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.
Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.
Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.
As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.
Hamzath Ameen: Elevating human resources
In the fast-paced and thriving hospitality industry of the Maldives, where exceptional service and guest satisfaction are paramount, there are individuals who stand out for their dedication, expertise, and leadership qualities. Hamzath Ameen is making his mark as a proficient human resources professional in island resorts of the Maldives. With an impressive career trajectory and a passion for excellence, Hamzath has become a respected figure in the industry.
Hamzath Ameen was born and raised in Addu Atoll, a region known for its stunning natural beauty and vibrant culture. Following his schooling, he pursued his higher education at Cyryx College in Male’, where he successfully completed an Advanced Diploma in Business Management. This academic foundation laid the groundwork for his future career in the dynamic world of hospitality.
Hamzath embarked on his professional journey at Dhonveli Beach Resort, where he assumed the role of Accounts Officer. This initial foray into the hospitality industry allowed him to gain valuable insights into the financial aspects of resort operations and the importance of maintaining accurate records and efficient systems.
Eager to expand his horizons and broaden his skill set, Hamzath sought opportunities at various reputable companies and resorts throughout the Maldives. His determination and exceptional work ethic caught the attention of industry professionals, leading to his appointment as the Human Resources Officer at Furaveri Island Resort. Recognizing his potential, Ameen quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to the position of Assistant Manager, and subsequently, Human Resources Manager.
During his tenure at Furaveri Island Resort, Hamzath made significant contributions to the establishment’s human resources department. He spearheaded various initiatives to enhance employee engagement, streamline recruitment processes, and foster a positive work culture. Under his leadership, the resort witnessed an increase in employee satisfaction and a notable reduction in turnover rates, solidifying Hamzath’s reputation as a skilled people manager.
In 2022, Hamzath accepted an exciting new opportunity and joined Rihiveli Maldives Resort as the Human Resources Manager. With his wealth of experience and proven track record, he assumed a pivotal role in overseeing the resort’s human resources functions, including recruitment, training and development, performance management, and employee relations. Hamzath’s strategic approach and ability to build strong relationships with staff and management alike have made him an invaluable asset to the resort.
Hamzath Ameen’s journey from an Accounts Officer to a respected Human Resources Manager exemplifies his commitment to personal growth and professional excellence. Through his hard work, dedication, and leadership abilities, he has successfully carved a niche for himself in the competitive Maldivian hospitality industry. Hamzath’s passion for nurturing talent, fostering positive work environments, and delivering exceptional guest experiences continues to make a lasting impact on the resorts he has served.
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