When visting Amara Spa for a spa review, I had the pleasure of meeting the Spa Manager personally. Ghassan was so nice as to take time for sharing his spa career story in an interview:
How did you get into the Spa industry in the first place?
I have studied physiotherapy at Damascus University in Syria in 1999 and worked as physiotherapist in a hospital for 3 years.
Afterwards I moved my career more towards Spa, Wellness and Recreation. I started my Spa job in Dubai in 2004 and involved in different roles in landmark Spas in Dubai from One& only Hotel, Moevenpick, Cleopatra Spa, and Atlantis the Palm Hotel. At the same time I was studying Spa management in Steiner school for more than 2 years while I was working. I am working now as Spa Manager and department head at Amara Spa at Park Hyatt Dubai.
What inspires you?
My little angel face when she smiles… we just had our 1st baby 40 days ago!
What is special about the spa industry in Dubai?
In general, Spa & Wellness businesses are in very good position in Dubai with many spas opening every year with different concepts. A mix of Eastern and Western approaches enriches the industry and develops it more and more.
A variety of different treatments and services with multi-nationality therapists always in line with trendy new spa services (such as couple massage, mother-to-be treatments, detox packages) are available.
What are your major external challenges?
I enjoy my work and life every day and no major external challenge come in my mind now.
What are your prime internal challenges within the spa?
I would say it is our goal rather than a challenge to get every in-house hotel guest to experience our Amara Spa before checking out. Currently the majority of our Spa guests are non hotel residents.
Where do you see the Spa industry in Dubai evolving, what are current trends?
The Spas in Dubai become day by day more Spa & Wellness as part of a wellness lifestyle. People want to feel good and look good. Detox packages and anti cellulite treatments for example are very well demanded, also couple treatments are very popular.
Have you worked/lived in different countries before? Which ones, and what learning experiences did you take from there?
Yes, I have been working in Yemen and Qatar, and it was an interesting experience where I learnt different concepts in Spa business prospective, for example in Yemen the Spa business is based on hotel guests and Spa members, whereas in Qatar it is all based on local residents since there is not much tourism.
You work with an international team?
Our team is cosmopolitan, with more than 20 team members from 6 countries within the Spa: India, Philippines, Thailand, Russia, Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh.
The overall hotel team in Park Hyatt Dubai is very cosmopolitan with 54 nationalities!
What is your very personal wellbeing tip?
Prevention is much better and easier than treatment, for example maintaining weight is better than trying to lose the weight after you gained it!
Ghassan has 15 years of operational experience in spa, wellness and physiotherapy in the Middle East, earned in a variety of roles, from therapist to manager, in luxury landmark Spa & Resorts such as Moevenpick, Cleopatra`s Spa, and the Spa at Atlantis the Palm.
He holds a physiotherapy degree from Damascus University, a Spa management diploma from Steiner school, and a physiotherapy licence from UAE and is a dedicated athlete himself.
Ghassan has been Spa Manager and department head at Amara Spa Park Hyatt Dubai for almost 2 years now. He strongly believes, that passion and patience lead to results and quality. Amara Spa Park Hyatt has been awarded 4th place (worldwide) in 2014 for ‘Best Spa’ by Conde Naste Traveller Magazine.
Do you wish to get in touch with Ghassan or ask a question? Please feel free to do so in a comment below this article.
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