Staying true to a hotelier’s journey with Joseph Karam

Staying true to a hotelier’s journey with Joseph Karam

Joseph Karam’s love for hospitality stems from an early age. Having spent his childhood playing at the iconic Belmont Hotel in Lebanon’s mountain town of Ehden, he went on to study hotel management and obtained his MBA in HR.
Now, with over 20 years’ hospitality experience under his belt, the successful hotelier is gearing up for the role of general manager at Crowne Plaza Dubai Jumeirah, which will add a new layer of responsibilities to his position as cluster GM for the Holiday Inn Express Jumeirah and Crowne Plaza Dubai Deira. We sat with him to learn more.

How do you plan to use your hospitality know-how in your new role with IHG?
My diverse background and experience has made me who I am today: an all-round hotelier. I love to empower people and see them grow in their careers, so with my skills in leadership, I want to inspire my number two and my senior management team, leading by example.
While my new role will entail overseeing the strategy and the bigger picture for the hotels, I still plan to be on the ground, ensuring that we are delivering the best possible service to our guests. The team members’ happiness shows in the service they provide, so it’s essential to foster a positive work culture, driven by learning, development and appreciation.

Holiday Inn Express Jumeirah and Crowne Plaza Dubai Deira recently launched catering services with your support. Why would you recommend that other hotels do the same?
Catering remains one of the best marketing tools, with no budget necessary. Those attending a birthday, anniversary, a private dinner or any kind of large-scale event can experience the products of the hotel firsthand. A happy guest will then recommend this service to others, meaning a positive association is created and word of mouth spreads.

What are your plans for Holiday Inn Express Jumeirah Dubai, Crowne Plaza Deira Dubai and Crowne Plaza Jumeirah Dubai?
For HIEX Jumeirah, as part of the Ishraq Hospitality plan, we are upgrading the property to three-star status. In order to achieve this, we will be enhancing the facilities of the hotel to appeal to the modern traveler.
In terms of Crowne Plaza Dubai Deira, we are focusing on customized events, like weddings, as the property has a spacious ballroom. In addition, the F&B outlets at the hotel remain a strong priority.
For Crowne Plaza Dubai Jumeirah, the team will complete the renovation and work on establishing the property as the preferred five-star hotel in the area. With the newly renovated rooms, upgraded F&B outlets — including Pan-Asian, Ginger and The Docks Pub — and the backing of a strong global brand, Crowne Plaza will be able to target new markets at a higher level, which will help to increase both occupancy and average rate.

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