Christian El Khoury, general manager of Ritz-Carlton DIFC, has over two decades of industry experience. In an exclusive interview, he outlines the luxury hospitality landscape, as well as his plans for The Ritz-Carlton DIFC.
What attracted you to the position of general manager at Ritz-Carlton DIFC and what have been your most significant achievements to date?
The Ritz-Carlton brand is synonymous with the Middle East. I believe that travel is an opportunity to create lasting memories. Offering legendary service and inspiring life’s most meaningful moments aligns with my personality and approach to work. It is a culture I truly belong to. Leading the team at the iconic Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Center is a dream come true.
How are you leveraging your prior experience in your current role?
Coming from a commercial background and being a detail-oriented leader while also being a people person enables me to set goals. Furthermore, it allows me to perform better in my current role, leading to greater job satisfaction.
How is the luxury segment faring compared to other segments?
The luxury market is experiencing a significant shift as the newer generations of consumers are expected to dominate the market. Generations Y and Z will represent 80 percent of the global personal luxury goods market by 2030 (Bain & Company, 2023). Luxury consumers are increasingly valuing personalized, authentic experiences, posing a significant challenge for the luxury segment.
What strategies are you implementing to ensure that The Ritz-Carlton DIFC remains a leader in luxury hospitality?
We believe that 80 percent of the guest’s experience is based on emotions. Therefore, we focus on connecting with guests on an emotional level. We personalize experiences by gathering preferences and building on them to create legendary experiences. Genuine care and anticipating the needs of our guests remain our focus.
What are the major challenges associated with managing a luxury property located in the heart of DIFC?
Managing a luxury property in the heart of Dubai International Financial Center comes with its unique challenges and opportunities. We emphasize maintaining a unique value proposition as a common thread. Furthermore, we maintain updated and accurate guest profiles, analyzing surveys to monitor our performance. Consequently, we take necessary actions and engage with our guests regularly for feedback and to make valuable adjustments wherever necessary.
What differentiates The Ritz-Carlton from other luxury hotel brands and how do you plan to reinforce this?
The Ritz-Carlton sets the standard for luxury experiences globally with an unwavering commitment to service. Putting guests’ needs first and innovating the hotel experience is what sets us apart. At Ritz-Carlton DIFC, we prioritize innovation and creativity to remain relevant and continuously create extraordinary moments for our guests.
Are you working on specific initiatives or projects to enhance guest satisfaction and engagement at The Ritz-Carlton DIFC?
Absolutely. We have several initiatives in place to enhance guest satisfaction and engagement, in addition to creating a memorable first impression, personalizing the guest experience and anticipating guests’ needs. Furthermore, we make it easy to connect and provide feedback and stay updated. Thus, we actively listen to guest feedback.