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Five Minutes With… Ahmad Hussain, COO, Global Village – Dubai

Five Minutes With… Ahmad Hussain, COO, Global Village – Dubai

The entertainment destination received 3.9 million visitors as of end- February, confirmed Hussain.

How has Global Village been performing so far this year in terms of number of visitors/ participation?

Global Village has been doing exceedingly well in terms of visitor response and by the end of February 2015 we received 3.9 million visitors. We have had over 3,500 shopping outlets, nearly 150 kiosks and 27 restaurants and cafes that have participated this year at Global Village.

What was new this season?

Our theme this season is ‘Bigger and Better’ and we have had many new elements in this season. We have invested in new infrastructural changes which include a brand new main stage with superior acoustics, a new ‘green area’ in front of the main stage for our visitors, a new and extended dining area and other facilities. This season also witnessed the comeback of the big wheel and many new rides at ‘Fantasy Island’ as well as 20 mainstream Arab and Asian concerts. Furthermore, we have new attractions including Illumination World, Animals Land, Al Remal Pit, Prehistoric Oceanarium, and Haunted House.

How is the overall entertainment industry in the Middle East doing?

The leisure and attractions industry in the Middle East is still in its nascent stage compared to other global markets but having said that, this region has some very interesting projects in the offing which should take shape in the next two years.

What are the biggest challenges that it faces?

The leisure and attractions industry in any region faces the constant challenge of an increasingly multi-channel environment, where the options are many and customer loyalty is at a premium. At any point of time this challenge will remain the same in a growing market where more operators come into the forefront. The only way to address this challenge is to ensure superior customer engagement and to personalise the experience for the customers.

In the next edition, are you looking at launching any new experiences/concepts?

We have a long-term vision for the growth and expansion of Global Village and certainly have many new offerings planned for the upcoming edition as it will be our 20th season.

Will Global Village ever think about expanding beyond Dubai?

We are proud of ourselves being a UAE brand that was launched by the government 18 years ago. Our aim is to make Global Village an international brand by itself, attracting tourists and businesses from all over the world, in alignment with Dubai’s Expo 2020 vision.

Will you be hiring in the next six months?

Our management team consists of 40 members and our doors are always open for new talent that can contribute innovative ideas to the organisation.

What’s your leadership style?

I believe in mentoring and leading by example – my expectations from the people I work with are based on a sharing and learning platform.

What makes the perfect employee?

A perfect employee is a person who works with passion and commitment – once that is in place, then everything else follows.

Three tips for becoming the boss…

1. Discipline and dedication.
2. Commitment and passion.
3. Inspiring one’s team through example.

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