How long in Bahrain? I have been in Bahrain for 14 months.
Works for? The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa Three words to describe your job? Passion and dedication, and loyalty is very important.
Why do you enjoy your work? It is rewarding in every job to be proud of what you do and, in this line of work, you need to add the ingredient “love” to really have the total reward. Without passion and dedication from the heart you won’t be able to be successful and enjoy every single, exciting day. I like to serve, to cook and enjoy people.
Longest shift you’ve ever worked? I think I do remember it was something like 16 hours.
Best perk of the job? Tasting great food is definitely the best perk on the job.
Most difficult situation you’ve faced? When I got stuck at a border for 16 hours in my car with an 18-month-old baby.
Favourite thing about Bahrain? One of my favourite things is shopping, especially at the fish or vegetable market. Then for relaxation I love to walk along the beaches and enjoy the quietness and the endless, open sea. Also Bahrain has so many cultural sites to explore from the Pearling Trail in Muharraq to Qal’at al-Bahrain, the Bahrain Fort.
Tips for newcomers? Be open minded, have faith and confidence in what you are doing and embrace culture with all its beauty and colours.
The General manager Name: Mohammed Sartaj Alam
How long in Bahrain? It was ten years in October.
Works for? Dome Café Bahrain, Almoayyed International Group.
Three words to describe your job? Challenging, Innovative and pleasurable.
Why do you enjoy your work? I enjoy my job because I know what I bring to the people. It makes me happy when our guests leave the café with a very good impression, appreciate our efforts and give thanks to my staff.
Longest shift you’ve ever worked? During the industrial training of my bachelors degree in hotel and restaurant management, I was assigned at the banquet of Grand Hyatt New Delhi as a food and beverage supervisor. I was serving to a wedding party which ended after 26 hours of hard work without a single break.
Best perk of the job? My independence, spot decision-making power and full support from my directors.
Most difficult situation you’ve faced? When I was handed over a faltering operation with a limited time period to bring back to breakeven point.
Favourite thing about Bahrain? I love everything about Bahrain especially the friendly people and diverse culture.
Tip for newcomers? In Bahrain, it’s very easy to make money but very hard to save it because you have a lot to do, to go, to dine and to shop.
The Property lawyer, partner Name: Paula Boast
How long in Bahrain? Four years.
Works for? Trowers & Hamlins
Three words to describe your job? Challenging, fun, every day is different
Why do you enjoy your work? It involves a high level of interaction with clients, often face-to-face and I am construction lawyer so that industry sector is an unusual one, plenty to talk about.
Longest shift you’ve ever worked? Four days straight. I was a trainee lawyer. We were in the middle of preparing for a fast-tracked fraud trial in the UK when everyone else went off with the flu.
Best perk of the job? That feeling of knowing that you have successfully helped someone to solve their problem.
Most difficult situation you’ve faced? Telling clients that they are not in the strongest legal position possible for their particular case is always tricky. But you do have to be upfront and honest with them.
Favourite thing about Bahrain? Always a thrill to leave for a short break, but I still look forward to coming back here, it feels like home. That and my long runs or bike rides around Hamala first thing in the morning as the sun is coming up.
Tips for newcomers? Ease yourself into living in Bahrain, don’t stress, there’s no hurry, and everything will just come together in the end.
The Gym and swimming instructor Name: Leilani Ignacio
How long in Bahrain? I have been in Bahrain four years.
Works for? Sheraton Bahrain Hotel.
Three words to describe your job? Fun, exciting, fulfilling.
Why do you enjoy your work? The job is fulfilling especially when teaching the kids to swim and once you see them learn and start swimming alone.
Longest shift you’ve ever worked? 13 hours from 7am to 8pm.
Best perk of the job? Enjoying gatherings and activities for employees arranged by the hotel.
Most difficult situation you’ve faced? I am teaching two special needs children and the tasks are quite challenging but at the same time it’s fun to see them learning.
Favourite thing about Bahrain? People and the mix of cultures.
Tips for newcomers? Don’t spend too much, there are too many things to buy and too many places to go so don’t keep spending. Try to find a place to shop with reasonable prices and good quality items. There are lots of good shops out there. Look around!
The Brand specialist Name: Gemma Renton
How long in Bahrain? Four years.
Works for? Al Ghassan Motors as the McLaren specialist and sales manager.
Three words to describe your job? Demanding, client-facing and dynamic.
Why do you enjoy your work? It’s rewarding and great fun. My colleagues and clients are all passionate about the cars and we give a unique customer experience. McLaren have put a lot of time and investment into producing a class-leading super sports car with the mp4 12c. When customers drive it the result always amuses me. Their reaction is one of disbelief!
Longest shift you’ve ever worked? Some days will be in the office and then on to dinner with clients. I think the longest has been 15 hours.
Best perk of the job? Enjoying McLaren hospitality at the F1.
Most difficult situation you’ve faced? I am overseeing the new showroom at Moda Mall and directing sub contractors. There have been complications but I’m confident the result will be fantastic!
Favourite thing about Bahrain? The BIC. We hosted a McLaren track day recently and it was very popular. Also the customers, Bahraini customers are passionate about sports cars.
Tips for newcomers? I would say have an open mind and embrace the local culture.
The Communications manager Name: Khalid Safa
How long in Bahrain? Born and raised here
Works for? Ebrahim K Kanoo
Three words to describe your job? Interesting, fast-paced and non-stop.
Why do you enjoy your work? I like that each day differs from the other, as EK Kanoo is such a large group we are always working on different things.
What’s your favourite car to drive? Any new car from our showrooms.
Best perk of the job? Being part of one of the biggest groups in Bahrain.
Longest shift you’ve ever worked? 72 hours during the first Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix as I vaguely remember.
Most difficult situation you’ve faced? None.
Favourite thing about Bahrain? Friendly people, great weather and everything is just ten minutes away.
Tips for newcomers to the island? If you get in with the right crowd, Bahrain is the greatest place on earth, I would also recommend to try Bahraini Tikka.
The Bar/restaurant manager Name: Siyana Koycheva
How long in Bahrain? Almost seven years
Works for? JJ’s Irish Restaurant
Three words to describe your job? Exciting, stressful and fun.
Why do you enjoy your work? My job is very exciting. I meet so many different people every day. I like to build a good relationship with every person coming through the door and make sure they’re having a good time and enjoying the place. Longest shift you’ve ever worked? The longest was 15 hours on St Patrick’s Day. But since I joined this business 16 years ago, i feel like I’m working all the time...ha ha.
Best perk of the job? Being part of the best venue on the island.
Most difficult situation you’ve faced? Every day is different, sometimes it’s easy, sometimes not but when you hear good things about our venue and the job we are doing, that makes me happy.
Favourite thing about Bahrain? People, culture and the time here goes so fast.
Tips for newcomers? Come and see me when you arrive and I will tell you.
The Store manager Name: Inna Zabrodskaya
Nationality: Dual Russian/British
How long in Bahrain? 3 years
Works for? Agent Provocateur Moda Mall
Three words to describe your job? Exciting, challenging, luxurious.
Why do you enjoy your work? Working in a luxury environment, being surrounded by beautiful merchandise and dealing with high-profile diverse clientèle.
Longest shift you’ve ever worked? Supervising my first store inventory: I came to work at 8am and left around midnight which makes around 16 hours!
Best perk of the job? In general customers feel quite shy just entering the store, let alone trying anything on! So the best thing about my job is to make customers feel immediately at ease. And then ultimately to help change a woman’s perception of lingerie to that of being an important piece of any woman’s wardrobe.
Most difficult situation you’ve faced? Probably the first morning after I arrived back in 2009. I had never been to the Middle East before, so the weather and culture was a bit of a shock. I remember waking up in my hotel room in panic, grabbing my suitcase and flight ticket home but ...I am still here.
Favorite thing about Bahrain? The quiet and unpretentious beauty of the island and its people which you cannot see straight away.
The Business Support Manager Name: David Lloyd
Age: Is but a number. How long in Bahrain? 3.5 years
Works for? Aer Rianta International (Middle East)
Three words to describe your job? Complex, Interesting and collaborative.
Why do you enjoy your work? There are times that it can be a bit overwhelming but variety is the spice of life.
Longest shift you’ve ever worked? In this job 15 hours but the longest has to be 26 hours.
Best perk of the job? Working with a great team. Most difficult situation you’ve faced? This role brings a number of challenges as does life – it’s how we deal with them that counts.
Favorite thing about Bahrain? The amount of high quality eateries and the Arabian Celts – Celts Abu Gaelic football team. (And it looks like he’s also a big fan of Bahrain Bulldogs icehockey team too).
Tips for newcomers to the island? Get out there – Bahrain has so many things to offer you just have to find them.
The Automotive group general manager Name: Declan John McCluskey
Age: 45 How long in Bahrain? 1 year 9 months
Works for? YK Almoayyed & Sons Give us three words to describe your job? Challenging, exciting, rewarding
Why do you enjoy your work? Every day is a different challenge, and after 22 years in this industry I still look forward to going into the office.
Longest shift you’ve ever worked? I don’t really monitor the time as I enjoy my current role, but only this week I have done four days of 8.30am to beyond 8.30pm. The longest ever was many years ago when I worked 36 hours straight.
Best perk of the job? It has to be meeting some interesting customers every day; seeing my staff develop and of course being able to drive some outstanding cars.
Most difficult situation you’ve faced? Keeping the business running smoothly last year when for several days we had difficulties getting to the showroom – my team were excellent so it was business as normal as soon as we could get fully operational.
Favorite thing about Bahrain? The people – you get a real sense of community here unlike other countries in the region. Tips for newcomers to the island? Take the time to explore Bahrain – it may be a small country, but there is far more here than most people think.
The Group food and beverage director Name: Najeeb Joseph Rihan
Age: 40 How long in Bahrain? 9 years
Works for? Elite Hospitality
Give us three words to describe your job? Hospitality, growth and creativity.
Why do you enjoy your work? It requires decision making on the spot and a passion to achieve.
Longest shift you’ve ever worked? 23:59 hrs
Best perk of the job? Challenges.
Most difficult situation you’ve faced? During successful events, not being able to accommodate people.
Favorite thing about Bahrain? Friendly citizens.
Tips for newcomers to the island? Discover the simplicity of a new environment.
The Director of room operations Name: Bartlomiej Mart (Bart)
How long in Bahrain: 2 months
Works for: Marriott Executive Apartments and Residence Inn by Marriott Manama.
Give us three words to describe your job… Attention to detail.
Why do you enjoy your work? It’s fascinating to work with a brand new team of people from all over the world towards opening the fi rst Residence Inn by Marriott in the Middle East. I love to be part of an opening team.
How does Bahrain differ from where you worked before? The Middle East, and Bahrain especially, is a place with opportunities for development and new projects. Bahrain itself is much more friendly than most of the big cities I have worked in.
What’s your favourite thing about the island? Residence Inn by Marriott Manama Juffair! But really, the friendliness of the people – so far me and my family really enjoy living in a cozy community where people know and help each other. I am planning to discover more of Bahrain and its heritage in the months to come.
Top tip for Bahrain newcomers? Explore the island and culture – there are some great people and fantastic places to discover.
The Radio DJ/Freelance writer Name: Marie-Claire Honeywill
Age: Old enough to know better, young enough not to care How long in Bahrain: 15 years in April
Works for: Radio Bahrain
Three words to describe your job… Diverse, entertaining and loud.
What do you enjoy about your work? I love the way music can take you from any mood you’re in to any mood you want to be in.
Best perk of the job? I get to meet all sorts of really interesting people.
Fave thing about Bahrain? The food. There’s a different place to eat on almost every corner! Tip for newcomers to the island? Take the time to get to know the culture and the people. Too many people come to this part of the world with preconceived ideas that are nothing like the real Bahrain.