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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody,

I would like to find out about Guest Relations Officer job in 5-star hotels in Sharm. I am currently in my home country and don't have the opportunity to personally meet people in this position. Advice from those fo you who are familiar with or have worked in this role would be much appreciated.

1. Dress code - Is there a uniform?
2. Work schedule - Half day or full day? Hours?
3. Accomodation (living in hotel) - Do employers provide a single room or you share it?
4. Is internet access available in the room?
5. Where do you do the laundry?
6. Do employers provide discounts for using hotel amenities?
7. Any dangers a single lady needs to be aware of.
 

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Hi everybody,

I would like to find out about Guest Relations Officer job in 5-star hotels in Sharm. I am currently in my home country and don't have the opportunity to personally meet people in this position. Advice from those fo you who are familiar with or have worked in this role would be much appreciated.

1. Dress code - Is there a uniform?
2. Work schedule - Half day or full day? Hours?
3. Accomodation (living in hotel) - Do employers provide a single room or you share it?
4. Is internet access available in the room?
5. Where do you do the laundry?
6. Do employers provide discounts for using hotel amenities?
7. Any dangers a single lady needs to be aware of.

Hi and welcome :)

I have not personally worked as GR but have friends who have (and are). I will answer well as I can until someone who knows better comes along.

Don't feel shy to ask a potential employer these sorts of questions though - you have the right to know everything before accepting a job.

1. Dress code - Is there a uniform?
Every hotel I have been in has a uniform, and usually you have to buy it (varies hotel to hotel though - some ask for payment up front, others take it from your salary, others cover the cost).

2. Work schedule - Half day or full day? Hours?
There will be different shifts covered by a rota. Usually 6 day working week, 8 hours working day. Again different in each hotel, and you can expect to work a split shift with a lunch break.

3. Accomodation (living in hotel) - Do employers provide a single room or you share it?
Unless you take a managerial position expect any accommodation offered to you to be shared. It would also not be in the main hotel, but in staff quarters with a separate staff entrance.

4. Is internet access available in the room?
Depends on the hotel. Most hotels will have wi-fi access available as part of the guest facilities offered, but in this case you would have to pay for it. It is very unlikely you would find a hotel offering you free internet access.

5. Where do you do the laundry?
Again it will vary. Most will provide washing facilities within the staff area.

6. Do employers provide discounts for using hotel amenities?
Usually yes.

7. Any dangers a single lady needs to be aware of?
Is this specifically related to working as GR or being in Egypt in general? There is nothing more sinister in Sharm to be wary of than anywhere else in the world. You can expect a lot of attention from Egyptian men, but few would pose any real danger unless you were being provocative.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi and welcome :)

I have not personally worked as GR but have friends who have (and are). I will answer well as I can until someone who knows better comes along.

Don't feel shy to ask a potential employer these sorts of questions though - you have the right to know everything before accepting a job.

1. Dress code - Is there a uniform?
Every hotel I have been in has a uniform, and usually you have to buy it (varies hotel to hotel though - some ask for payment up front, others take it from your salary, others cover the cost).

2. Work schedule - Half day or full day? Hours?
There will be different shifts covered by a rota. Usually 6 day working week, 8 hours working day. Again different in each hotel, and you can expect to work a split shift with a lunch break.

3. Accomodation (living in hotel) - Do employers provide a single room or you share it?
Unless you take a managerial position expect any accommodation offered to you to be shared. It would also not be in the main hotel, but in staff quarters with a separate staff entrance.

4. Is internet access available in the room?
Depends on the hotel. Most hotels will have wi-fi access available as part of the guest facilities offered, but in this case you would have to pay for it. It is very unlikely you would find a hotel offering you free internet access.

5. Where do you do the laundry?
Again it will vary. Most will provide washing facilities within the staff area.

6. Do employers provide discounts for using hotel amenities?
Usually yes.

7. Any dangers a single lady needs to be aware of?
Is this specifically related to working as GR or being in Egypt in general? There is nothing more sinister in Sharm to be wary of than anywhere else in the world. You can expect a lot of attention from Egyptian men, but few would pose any real danger unless you were being provocative.

Sam
Hi Sam,

Thank you for kind greetings and a detailed reply :)
While I'm still at home, I am trying to get an overview of what an average "package" and life standard would be like, before I personally meet employers and can get more info. So thanks again for your kind help! :)

I'll be more clear asking about dangers: Is it safe to live in a hotel? When you live in your own apartment you know noone else has a key to it, but in a hotel, admin/maintenance staff and don't know who else may get access to your room where you are keeping jewellery, laptop etc. Doubtless, in a top-scale hotel robbery is not a case if you are a guest, but what happens when you are an employee?

Another thing I would like to ask about is stereotypes: I know that women from former USSR don't have a very good reputation in Egypt (unfortunately, there is a valid reason for it and is quite disappointing.) I'm just curious, is reputation the same regardless of the job you are in? Or in more professional position a woman will be taken more seriously than in an entry level job like GR?

Best regards and have a nice day :)
 

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Hi Sam,

Thank you for kind greetings and a detailed reply :)
While I'm still at home, I am trying to get an overview of what an average "package" and life standard would be like, before I personally meet employers and can get more info. So thanks again for your kind help! :)

I'll be more clear asking about dangers: Is it safe to live in a hotel? When you live in your own apartment you know noone else has a key to it, but in a hotel, admin/maintenance staff and don't know who else may get access to your room where you are keeping jewellery, laptop etc. Doubtless, in a top-scale hotel robbery is not a case if you are a guest, but what happens when you are an employee?

Another thing I would like to ask about is stereotypes: I know that women from former USSR don't have a very good reputation in Egypt (unfortunately, there is a valid reason for it and is quite disappointing.) I'm just curious, is reputation the same regardless of the job you are in? Or in more professional position a woman will be taken more seriously than in an entry level job like GR?

Best regards and have a nice day :)
Hi,

It is a very good idea to get a feel for things and what to expect before you come, or even start job hunting. When employed by a hotel, you could usually expect the package to include full board accommodation (i.e. including meals), but with a relatively low salary. When it comes to GR positions, another factor you should consider is the languages you speak, usually it is required to speak English and either Italian or Russian additionally (these being the most dominant three nationalities in Sharm). Other hotels target specific markets and may require either French, German, Spanish etc.

When it comes to living in a hotel and safety, I don't think being a single woman would affect the situation. You are right in that you may not know who has access to a key, but it's not just that to worry about, it would also be whether your room mate(s) can be trusted. I would recommend buying a lock for your suitcase, if you don't already have one, and keep valuables locked away.

Living in your own apartment would not necessarily be any more secure. Personally, the first thing I did when moving into a rented apartment was change the locks. In general theft in Egypt is minimal and I have only heard of a few isolated cases in Sharm of apartments being broken in to, so try not to worry too much.

The last thing you mention is stereotypes - and in Egypt the prejudice and sometimes racism in this is much higher than I first thought. I don't think it matters if you take a professional position or an entry level position, prejudice will still be there, at least until proven otherwise. I mean, if you find a Russian manager probably the first thought would be "who did she sleep with to get there" even if she is extremely intelligent, highly qualified and worked hard to be there. Actually, this may well even extend to all females, not just Russians. Unfortunately stereotyping is existent, but a sensible employer does look at an individual's merits when hiring, it's the rest of the population who don't know anything about you who would judge - but let them, who are they to judge you anyway?! :) (Unless I have misunderstood the question and that is not what you meant :confused2: )

Sam
 

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Sam did you not get the memo?...... all unveiled females are whores? you must not be reading the papers lately......

I completely agree with Sam that stereotyping here in Egypt is ridiculously out of control. Women are not supposed to be able to do a man's job; hence if they are doing such a job, they slept with someone.

I always thought working in the hotel business would be a blast. Everyday would be a different experience!

If you haven't pinpointed your location, there are also other great areas in Egypt for tourism. Hurghada, El Gouna (my favorite), etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi,

It is a very good idea to get a feel for things and what to expect before you come, or even start job hunting. When employed by a hotel, you could usually expect the package to include full board accommodation (i.e. including meals), but with a relatively low salary. When it comes to GR positions, another factor you should consider is the languages you speak, usually it is required to speak English and either Italian or Russian additionally (these being the most dominant three nationalities in Sharm). Other hotels target specific markets and may require either French, German, Spanish etc.

When it comes to living in a hotel and safety, I don't think being a single woman would affect the situation. You are right in that you may not know who has access to a key, but it's not just that to worry about, it would also be whether your room mate(s) can be trusted. I would recommend buying a lock for your suitcase, if you don't already have one, and keep valuables locked away.

Living in your own apartment would not necessarily be any more secure. Personally, the first thing I did when moving into a rented apartment was change the locks. In general theft in Egypt is minimal and I have only heard of a few isolated cases in Sharm of apartments being broken in to, so try not to worry too much.

The last thing you mention is stereotypes - and in Egypt the prejudice and sometimes racism in this is much higher than I first thought. I don't think it matters if you take a professional position or an entry level position, prejudice will still be there, at least until proven otherwise. I mean, if you find a Russian manager probably the first thought would be "who did she sleep with to get there" even if she is extremely intelligent, highly qualified and worked hard to be there. Actually, this may well even extend to all females, not just Russians. Unfortunately stereotyping is existent, but a sensible employer does look at an individual's merits when hiring, it's the rest of the population who don't know anything about you who would judge - but let them, who are they to judge you anyway?! :) (Unless I have misunderstood the question and that is not what you meant :confused2: )

Sam
Thanks. It's good to hear views, opinion and advice from a person like yourself, who has experience living in Sharm and is willing to help others to get set up. Much appreciated :)

May I ask you about a few other things, if you don't mind?
I speak the required languages, so I thought GR could be an easy starting point. How diffucult would it be to get a promotion from this job? Of course, it all depends on you/your backgroud/skills/hard work/some luck, but speaking generally, are there development opportunities for GR out there? Do you know people who did step up?

How about events/banquet coordinator type of role in a hotel - is it be difficult to find this kind of job in Sharm (Egypt)? I don't speak Arabic though (yet;) ), if that would be a prerequisite.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sam did you not get the memo?...... all unveiled females are whores? you must not be reading the papers lately......

I completely agree with Sam that stereotyping here in Egypt is ridiculously out of control. Women are not supposed to be able to do a man's job; hence if they are doing such a job, they slept with someone.

I always thought working in the hotel business would be a blast. Everyday would be a different experience!

If you haven't pinpointed your location, there are also other great areas in Egypt for tourism. Hurghada, El Gouna (my favorite), etc.
Hi,

Thanks for your feedback. I have heard of Hurgada and El Gouna as well. If you compare Sharm with these locations what's the difference for someone looking to secure a job?
 

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I'm living in Hurghada for the last 4 months, moved over from the UK after a year of reasearch and prep....and I love it. Its hard and every day something pisses me off usually only to a mild degree but yeah every day is an experience :)

With regards to jobs here, its very competitive and the main languages you need to be able to speak are Russian, German, English and of course Arabic.

Racism is rife as is age discrimination so be prepared for that.

As for stereotypes, just keep your chin up, work hard and the rest you can't change so why worry about it? If you're that bothered about how you will be viewed as a woman, Egypt isnt for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm living in Hurghada for the last 4 months, moved over from the UK after a year of reasearch and prep....and I love it. Its hard and every day something pisses me off usually only to a mild degree but yeah every day is an experience :)

With regards to jobs here, its very competitive and the main languages you need to be able to speak are Russian, German, English and of course Arabic.

Racism is rife as is age discrimination so be prepared for that.

As for stereotypes, just keep your chin up, work hard and the rest you can't change so why worry about it? If you're that bothered about how you will be viewed as a woman, Egypt isnt for you.
There's always pros and cons and it's just the matter of what outweights the other.
Thanks to this forum I am getting a clearer idea of what is coming! :boxing: :D
 

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Thanks. It's good to hear views, opinion and advice from a person like yourself, who has experience living in Sharm and is willing to help others to get set up. Much appreciated :)

May I ask you about a few other things, if you don't mind?
I speak the required languages, so I thought GR could be an easy starting point. How diffucult would it be to get a promotion from this job? Of course, it all depends on you/your backgroud/skills/hard work/some luck, but speaking generally, are there development opportunities for GR out there? Do you know people who did step up?

How about events/banquet coordinator type of role in a hotel - is it be difficult to find this kind of job in Sharm (Egypt)? I don't speak Arabic though (yet;) ), if that would be a prerequisite.
Hi.

Ask as many things as you want :D
I do know people who have been promoted, yes. My friend here worked as GR for one year, and was then promoted to GR Manager. She really enjoys her job. Some hotels will only promote from within, so you have to work your way up - Four Seasons is an example of that.

I think when applying you should ask about promotion opportunities so as not to be disappointed, and it shouldn't show badly in an interview, it should show ambition and the desire to stay with the company on the long term.

I have never seen any kind of events/banquet coordinator role in a hotel here. This seems to generally be covered between the GR and animation teams (as far as I know at least - again having not worked in a hotel personally I may be wrong).

GR jobs I think are easy to find in Sharm - I always see things advertised and have even been offered a few positions myself in the past when I haven't even been looking for work!! Arabic will not be a pre-requisite. Any foreigner that speaks Arabic would be seen as a bonus, but given that the hotel will have a lot of Egyptian staff then the Arabic language is covered, they are more concerned about foreign staff dealing with the foreign guests.

Sam
 
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