Omanisation with stress on local flavour at Anantara Jabal Akhdar

Oman Tuesday 05/September/2017 21:34 PM
By: Times News Service
Omanisation with stress on local flavour at Anantara Jabal Akhdar

Muscat: Guests staying at the Anantara Jabal Akhdar can expect the best in local traditions and hospitality, as the resort hires Omanis from the towns surrounding the resort, who are very familiar with the green mountain and its outlying areas.
“We are meeting our Omanisation requirements according to the regulations of the Ministry of Manpower,” said Sami Al Balushi, HR director of Anantara Jabal Akhdar.
“We currently employ 67 Omanis, but we are still committed to extending this drive and extending this requirement. The target set by the ministry is 30 per cent, but this is added to every year, and we are currently meeting that mark.”
Local community
“What we are looking for is to connect our guests with an indigenous and authentic experience, and under this policy, we try to hire as many people from the local community,” he added.
“Most of our Omani employees—around 80 per cent of our staff are from the areas around Jabal Akhdar. We have conducted over 16 recruitment events so far.”
New employees at Anantara are provided training and operational awareness by a dedicated department at the resort, which also features cross-discipline training, so that employees are familiar with other aspects of the running of the resort as well, giving them a clearer understanding of the bigger picture of just what is required to run it successfully.
Hani Awlad Dhani is a mountain guru at Anantara. He guides visitors through the precarious climbing trails on the mountain, and ensures that the best safety practices are observed by them all the time.
“With the commitment to provide an authentic experience, each Anantara resort tries to adapt its activities to the local culture and customs,” said Al Balushi.
“At Jabal Akhdar, we focus on the natural beauty, resources and cultural heritage, so what better way to provide that than to recruit people, who were born on the mountain, and know every corner of it?”
“I grew up in this environment, and I used to work with a group of guides, who used to provide excursions to the mountains for tourists because we had a passion for these mountains,” added Dhani.
British team
“When I joined up with Anantara, a British team who had experience in mountaineering and rock climbing gave me, and the all other recreation team members, certification and training.”
“We are currently expanding our list of activities to include zip-lining and trekking among other things, so I am receiving some very useful training here,” he said.
Manar Al Sawafi, a reservations agent at Anantara, was among those who were grateful to the resort for providing them with quality training programmes.
“I was a fresh graduate from college, and this was my first job,” she said, speaking to the Times of Oman.
“I came here with no experience, but I received training during my first week on the job. I gained plenty of knowledge on how to manage Anantara’s systems, and interact with hotel guests. I improved my skills in terms of both written and verbal communication, since we are in contact with people via both phone and email.”
The training new employees receive at Anantara is sure to help both them and the resort make a name for themselves in the long-run, according to Firas Rashid, director of Sales and Marketing.
“Not only does this practice of ours help meet the Omanisation quotas, but it also helps with providing better quality Omani employees as they know this area very well and have spent a major part of their lives here,” he said. “This will definitely help us stand out among the other resorts, and it will also help these people go a long way in their careers, whether at Anantara or elsewhere.”