With over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Imad Akil, GM of Centro Mada Amman by Rotana, has successfully led the opening of multiple hotels in the region. In addition, he has played a pivotal role in supporting Rotana’s head office through various field visits and corporate initiatives. We sat down with the accomplished hotelier to discuss the hotel’s sustainability pledge and how the Jordan’s hospitality sector is evolving.
How would you describe the hospitality sector in Jordan?
With over 100,000 archaeological, religious and historic sites, including Petra, the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum, Jordan is a popular tourism destination. Indeed, 19.8 percent of the country’s GDP is generated by its tourism activities, with an average of 20 percent over the past decade. The culture of hospitality and generosity is deeply rooted.
How is Centro Mada Amman by Rotana able to stand out in a competitive market?
Centro Hotels by Rotana are designed to offer guests a unique and personalized experience. These hotels address the needs and desires of a new generation of budget-conscious, executive travelers who do not wish to compromise on style and quality. Centro is a contemporary brand that redefines the traditional concept of standardized accommodations and services. In the market, we are seen as young and fresh, strategically located in the heart of the city and dedicated to providing essential services that align with the dynamic lifestyles of modern travelers.
How important is sustainability for the hotel?
Sustainability ranks as one of our top priorities, and we demonstrate our commitment through various daily practices and activities aimed at waste management, water conservation, energy efficiency and responsible consumption of materials. Under Rotana Earth, our company’s CSR program, we’ve embraced best practices, organized events in support of sustainability and positioned Centro Mada as a green hotel on the map. Some notable initiatives include powering our hotel entirely with solar energy, transforming our meeting spaces into eco-friendly environments, establishing an on-site chef’s garden for local produce, implementing motion-sensitive lighting and energy-efficient LED bulbs, installing water aerators, providing recycling bins for waste segregation, utilizing eco-friendly materials and encouraging and educating our guests to participate in activities that promote a clean and safe environment.
How is the hotel engaging with the local community?
We support the local community by helping to provide medication to patients with cerebral palsy, hosting activities at the SOS orphanage village and cleaning up the neighborhood, as well as organizing blood and clothes donation drives. We highlight colleagues’ successes, recognize their efforts and provide a healthy atmosphere in the workplace. In addition, we make sure to include people of different backgrounds and diversity in the workforce, such as people with Down’s syndrome.
Lastly, we look after the cats, birds and other animals within the hotel grounds and support animal welfare organizations.
Overall, we have positively impacted hundreds of lives and continue to partner with groups that support local communities.