Marriott International launched its Tahseen program for the third year in Saudi Arabia, reinforcing its commitment to developing Saudi Arabia’s future hospitality leaders. Established in 2018 in partnership with Cornell University, Tahseen aims to fast track the next generation of hospitality leaders in the Middle East. This year’s program in Saudi Arabia will see 52 candidates join the 12-month curriculum, which will accelerate their development as future leaders in the industry.
Francisca Martinez, Chief Human Resources Officer, EMEA for Marriott International, said, “We are excited to launch the third year of our Tahseen program in the Kingdom. Through Tahseen, we remain committed to advancing local talent and providing them with a platform to be able to contribute to the success of the country’s travel and tourism sector. The program offers great opportunities for candidates to develop the necessary skills and gain the experience needed to succeed in their careers and become future leaders in the hospitality industry.”
Tahseen was developed in partnership with Cornell University to focus on fast-tracking the next generation of hospitality leaders across the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The unique and highly individualized program focuses on practical application across all departments and an in-depth understanding of leadership skills led by teams across Marriott’s participating hotels. Over the course of 12 months, Tahseen provides candidates with operational experience and theoretical training, empowering them with the knowledge, skills and experience to accelerate in leadership roles within the industry.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions and precautionary measures, this year’s Tahseen program will be held remotely through virtual classes. Tahseen will also continue to offer all Tahseen candidates first-hand experience through Cornell University’s e-learning platforms and a university-led development program tailored specifically for the program.
The third year of Tahseen in the Kingdom features 52 candidates, including three participants from Bahrain. Of the total number of candidates, nearly 50% are women – marking the highest enrollment of females into the program since its launch in 2018.
Since its inception, more than 70 candidates have graduated from the Tahseen program in Saudi Arabia and moved into managerial roles within Marriott’s properties in the Kingdom. To date, more than 75% of the graduates remain employed at a Marriott property and have progressed in their careers.
Abeer Alreefi, who graduated from the Tahseen program in 2018, has since moved on as a Recruitment Lead for The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah. Looking back at her experience with the program, Alreefi commented, “Throughout the program, I had the opportunity to learn about time management, leadership skills, working under pressure and understanding the value of each department at a hotel. After graduating, I continued to learn and grow and become a better version of myself. I have implemented what I learned during the Tahseen program throughout projects I managed, including ‘Saudi Career Day’ and a recruitment trip outside the country. Learning and developing throughout the program with the rest of the Tahseen candidates was an amazing experience. I can’t help but feel proud for what we have achieved together.”
Muhannad Dawlah, Front Desk Agent at Assila, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jeddah, who will be a candidate in Tahseen’s program this year, added, “My cousin works at another Marriott property in the Kingdom, and he had told me about Tahseen. Since then, I kept my eyes and ears open to learn more about the program. It has been my dream to participate in Tahseen as I believe it is a great opportunity to develop my career in hospitality and travel.”
Tahseen is a program that falls under Marriott International’s Sustainability and Social Impact Platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction, which guides how the company makes a positive and sustainable impact wherever it does business. From empowerment opportunities to sustainable hotel development, the platform is designed to foster business growth while balancing the needs of associates, customers, owners, the environment and communities. One of the priority areas, or ‘coordinates’, of Serve 360 is Empower Through Opportunity. Tahseen is a program that directly supports and brings this vision to life.