Hotelier awards Leisure Manager

Little did Clare Dickens from The Fairmont Dubai know what was in store for her when she turned up to the JC Maclean Hotelier Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel Dubai on November 8.

  • E-Mail
By  Sarah Campbell Published  December 12, 2005

Little did Clare Dickens from The Fairmont Dubai know what was in store for her when she turned up to the JC Maclean Hotelier Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel Dubai on November 8. The leisure club manager had been told her colleagues had nominated her for an award, but she didn’t realise that she was up against some of the industries finest to be named Leisure Club Manager of the Year. “I was told I had been nominated, but I didn’t know who I was up against and I didn’t realise the awards had such a wide catchment area. To be up against Six Senses and Jumeirah Beach was amazing, as they are very well known spas in Dubai and I know the managers by name and reputation,” Clare Dickens told Leisure Manager Middle East. “I felt very honoured to win this award. It was tough competition, as there are so many spas in this part of the world. For me, it was more important to be nominated by my peers; that really said a lot.” Trained as a beauty and massage therapist specialising in aromatherapy, Dickens began her spa career at the Nirvana Spa in the UK in 1992. Since then, she has added further vocational certificates to her resume, including training as a beauty therapy teacher in 1998 and working as training manager for skincare brand Guinot. She joined the Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Dubai in August 2004 and has been instrumental in elevating the spa’s product and treatments menu, as well as increasing awareness for the product. “My main achievement has been building a very strong team. We are very much a family here. We all have our own strengths and work to maximise on these,” Dickens said. “Recruitment has been a huge challenge. I source staff from all over the world through associations with different recruitment agencies. Some contacts approach us direct and some are about cold calling people when they arrive in Dubai. We are very much a mixture of nationalities.” Calling on her aromatherapy background, the main change Dickens has made to the Willow Stream Spa has been the launch of Aromatherapy Associates products. She has also been involved in creating signature treatments with them. “There are so many spas in the region, so I wanted something that was very unique to our guests. I already knew this company, so was confident they had the flexibility to create something unique for our property,” she explained. The Fairmont represents Dickens’ first foray into the Middle East, and she is still adapting to the change in business environment. “The Fairmont is very much a business hotel, and a lot of focus is placed on male treatments, which are equal to if not surpassing female treatments,” she said. “With the local laws on same sex treatments, this makes it very difficult to predict the levels of business on male and female business. There seems to be no pattern. That’s really frustrating, because you have a guest and you know you could give them the treatments they are after, but the laws prohibit you from doing this,” she added.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code