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Zoë Rodriguez

Dubai, I miss you !

By Dubai

I am still in jet lag, this trip does not want to end in my head. This was my first study abroad and has been an amazing experience where I got to meet classmates whom I have never seen before, staff that is energetic and knowledgeable, and an amazing tour guide who has stolen my heart away from me.

Dubai has been an unforgettable experience where I wish I could stay for a very long time. Learning from it’s culture and people has got me looking at the world in a very different way.

Being able to be behind the scenes of Atlantis and Burj al Arab was very impacting to me due to my field of study and work. I was over amazed by the customer service and staff in each hotel. Although both hotels are for different occasions, both meet the purpose of satisfying their guests with a final outcome, which is creating a loyal and more than satisfied member. Burj al Arab was a very short visit but being able to step into a suite was more than enough. It made me want to learn more about taking care of rooms like these and what it takes to service a perfect room with such perfect scores. And from Atlantis? Well, Stephanie was very persuasive regarding the work she does and how happy she is with the decision of going to the other side of the world and working for such an amazing hotel. Where can I apply?

Byblos, was a great example for me to what a hotel should not be at any given moment. It is not only about looking pretty in the outside, it is being able to deliver customer service past the short skirts of their employees and the “At Byblos we do not make mistakes and guests check out as friends.” In the future when I get to host a visit in my hotel, I will definitely make sure that everyone is being taken care of and actually speak around the room. It is not enough just being the son of the owner, it is actually about making connections and selling your brand!

Customer service in Dubai had me blown away, and that is something that I will definitely apply in my professional work ethic and make sure my team is providing the output services. At the end of the day, we are here to accommodate them as best and as professional as possible.

Thank you Dubai for teaching me so many great things everyday; my heart is set on you and I will come back one day. IMG_2913IMG_1967

Second post – While in Dubai

By Dubai

Attraction: Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa attraction is something I have never seen or done before. We have the Empire State Building, but I have not been able to do that Yet. Learning about it and having to experience is something out of this world.

Let’s start off by the entrance. It is smooth and hectic free; it amazed me. Usually, attractions like this one are packed with people and there are lines to get in even after buying the ticket. I saw that there was a lot of people movement but you didn’t really feel it, they have it well set up in a way that it flows. It is not too packed in a sense that ruins the experience for everyone. If I compare it to the Empire State Building, it is a hassle to even buy tickets, make the line and eventually go up. Organization at its finest here at the Burj Khalifa.

Site visit: Atlantis
Atlantis blew my mind away. Hospitality here is something that the States is lacking. I work at a hotel, and making comparisons was extremely easy, from the walk-in experience to the exit. Guest experience is fundamental at Atlantis, something that should be applied everywhere in the world, but specially the States since it is a country that everyone has the highest expectations of.

The guest is the #1 priority and with more than 1000 rooms, they are still successful at it. With their check in and check out experience, they make it as easy and hassle-free as possible. With the in-room option and different front desks to do it from, there are no lines at any given time. If too many people are checking in, they open the next station further in. That is something I could definitely apply in my hotel because we do get a lot of check-ins  to a point that lines build up and the check in experience is completely ruined. This is something I could really improve in my hotel since that is one factor that is hurting in our reviews.

Furthermore, here in Dubai they never say no to a guest, if it’s impossible to accommodate or achieve, they find their way around it — the sky is the limit. That is definitely another motto that I am going to apply for myself, my guests, and my employees; they all should be trying their absolute best to satisfy the guest and create a memorable experience that lasts a lifetime.

Doing the walk around I noticed how every single employee greeted everyone with a genuine smile that was very hospitable, and it showed how much they enjoy their work and appreciate guests, which it results in the guest feeling warm and welcome. I had not noticed before how important a smile is until I started making comparisons against the hotels in the U.S.  Afterwards, to finish of the tour, we closed by having a presentation from a very successful hotel company (Kerzner) that was so persuasive that it made the majority of us want to work with them. I gave them my business card and, for sure, will be contacting them for a future here or anywhere else around the world.

This is definitely helping me in becoming a world citizen by simply making the smallest connection with potential employers, providing them with my business card, and being able to have someone around the world that could potentially give me a job someday. Another way this is making me a global citizen is by meeting our amazing tour guide, learning about a new culture and places that could come up in a conversation at any given time and being able to say “while I was in Dubai…,” and having that knowledge of what the real life experience is.

Pre-departure Blog- Dubai, are you ready for us?

By Dubai

After months of planning, the day is about to come! But to be completely honest, it does not feel like we are even leaving anywhere. My mind still cannot believe we are going to the other side of the world where everything is the most luxurious of everything, tallest of the world, biggest of the world, fanciest of the world, fastest of the world…

Dubai is in every tourism junkie’s bucket list and career goals! Nope, it still cannot sink in my mind. I am crazy excited to see the world expo! This is absolutely the first time I will be informed about one, and I cannot wait. I have never heard of this world expo, so learning about it will be pretty amazing. I searched their website and it looks like it will be a huge event where they will be presenting the global theme of Mobility, Sustainability & Opportunity. Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to attract 25 million visits, 70 percent of which will be from overseas, so this will be a great informational session on how they have been preparing for this big event which will be held in just 4 more years.

I am very excited about all of the activities that we will be doing, but one that popped while searching for which to talk about was the Desert Safari and Dinner show. This is the #1 activity in trip advisor! What better way to learn from a new culture than actually living it, drinking it, and dining it. I am a very picky person, specially when it comes to unknown smells, so my mom actually asked me: “Are you really going to see camels up close?” My answer was “this is once in a lifetime opportunity, why not enjoy it to the fullest?”  Smelly or not, I am willing to enjoy every single thing about this trip.

The experiences we will be having for the next 10 days are something that no one will take from us.  It’s an experience to see the world in a completely different way; to understand tourism and the different cultures outside of what we see in our day to day basis. It will give us a new topic to talk about in adult conversations and have a voice in. All of what we are doing in this trip will be an experience to see everything in the tourist’s eyes and that, for sure, will help us in taking care of our guests. We will apply it to our day to day operations as hoteliers and provide more luxurious assistance to our guests.


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