Hotelier marks career milestone


Sheraton Oman Hotel general manager Gerhard Foltin has celebrated 30 years with the global luxury hotel group, marking a milestone in his career.

He was presented a long service award by the group to mark the occasion, the hotel said.

Foltin, who was born in the small German village of Garmisch in 1943, achieved his dream of a career in the hospitality industry after securing a degree in hospitality management from the Universities of Berlin & Heidelberg.

He began his career at the Four Seasons Hotel in Munich. His passion for languages took him to places like Lausanne Palace in Switzerland where he learnt French, to Stockholm for Swedish and to the Hilton Park Tower in London to perfect his English.

He joined the Sheraton family in 1972 as the food and beverage manager at the Munich Sheraton Hotel where he spent five years.

He came to the Middle East for the first time in 1977 to join the then planned Sheraton Doha hotel project in Qatar. That project got delayed however due to technical reasons and Sheraton transferred him as general manager to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1979 to open the new hotel project there.

Seeing his success in Sheraton Jeddah, he was called back to Doha in 1981 as the general manager to open the Doha Sheraton.

He says the most spectacular day in his life came on February 22 1982, when the Qatar landmark was opened.

Foltin believes that all guests should get the same treatment and it is that little bit of extra hospitality which makes the difference.

With more than 25 years experience in the Middle East, Foltin says, "I have learnt to achieve my goals by being sensitive to the culture, environment and by interacting with the community.

"Management skills can be learnt, but to adequately reflect the art of hospitality a person in my business has to be able to convey the feeling that a consistent, reliable, personal service is always available."

Foltin took over as the general manager at Oman Sheraton in June 1999 where he continues to use his contacts to promote Oman as a promising destination for tourists.