Interview with Bill Keffer – General Manager JW Marriott Marquis Dubai.
He is leading the hotel team of 1,200 associates and more than 70 nationalities.
What characterizes your hotels in terms of environmental practices ? how do they embody the spirit of your brand?
On September 18 we have received our ISO 14001 certification for outstanding environmental practices. The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is the first large hotel in the UAE to receive the certification, a statement of its deep commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. The hotel is also the first JW Marriott among 67 properties globally to receive the award, a notable achievement within two years of opening.
The primary goals of JW Marriott Marquis Dubai’s environmental policy include reducing consumption of natural resources and energy, reducing global waste, improving discharges and industrial waste management and increasing respect of environmental regulations.
We are immensely proud of this achievement, not only because it shows our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, but also because it builds on the many existing successes of Dubai’s hospitality industry. Now we can also add Environmental Excellence to our achievements, something that the region is working hard to develop and be recognised for.
What is the most beautiful memory as Hotel General Manager? Can you tell us an anecdote that you have experienced?
In early 2012, I was part of the pre-opening team for the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. It’s the largest Marriott International hotel outside of the USA and only the second JW Marriot Marquis in the world, so it was a very significant opening. It’s also the largest hotel in the UAE and officially the world’s tallest, a fact which we are very proud of. In 2014, I was appointed General Manager and this was a very memorable moment for me; leading a team of 1,450 multicultural associates and operating 1,608 guest rooms. The highlight was definitely a visit from Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, HRH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He came to visit the hotel before the official opening and I personally gave him the grand tour. He was delighted with what he saw and decreed that the hotel should be fully opened as soon as possible, because it was destined to be a great asset to the city of Dubai.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.