Recently appointed country director of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Saudi Arabia, Mohamad Haj Hassan outlines Wyndham’s commitment to the kingdom’s Vision 2030.
What can you tell us about your career journey?
My career in hospitality spans over 25 years. It has been a dynamic one, in which I have gained a wealth of expertise across various brands. I have even experienced first-hand the substantial growth and development of the industry. Having worked with Marriott, IHG, Accor and Rotana, I have enhanced my skills and gained diverse experience.
Overseeing the successful launch of 20 hotels across the MENA region has been memorable. This allowed me to manage intricate projects while underscoring my adaptability to different cultures and business landscapes.
Consequently, through my journey, I’ve gained a deep understanding of startup operations, strategic planning and effective team management.
What are your plans for the brand in KSA?
As Saudi Arabia continues to cultivate its growing tourism ecosystem, ensuring Wyndham remains aligned with the country’s ambitious development vision remains a high priority. Additionally, I intend to build upon the strong relationships that have been forged in the region. Moreover, I continue to nurture future collaboration with leaders in tourism, local governments and business partnerships to ensure growth. In the high-quality midscale offering, we have built an accessible and inclusive brand.
In line with our commitment to sustainability, we’ll continue to evaluate the strategies to reduce Wyndham’s environmental impact as well as exploring ways in which we can further reduce our footprint. Moreover, we plan to implement new initiatives.
After taking stock of the current hospitality industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we aim to focus on new trends.
In your opinion, what are the main challenges and opportunities in the Saudi hotel market?
The kingdom’s hospitality market welcomes a wealth of opportunities. Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 goals are paving the way for impressive growth across diverse sectors. Paired with the government’s dedication to infrastructure and upcoming giga projects and events, the kingdom’s allure is undeniable. The government’s PPP recognition fuels foreign investment, fostering industry growth and promising prospects for economic diversification and foreign companies.
Navigating recruitment and talent retention could be seen as a challenge in the burgeoning hospitality market in Saudi Arabia. However, implementing robust training and development programs, enhancing education-industry partnerships and focusing on skill enhancement can ensure a positive outcome. We create an inclusive, adaptable workplace for Saudi Arabia’s expanding hospitality market through talent and cultural integration.