The Founder and CEO of Amsa Hospitality, Mohammad Alathel, is a true Saudi entrepreneur who has brought the time-honored tradition of Arabian hospitality to the modern era through his pioneering hospitality company.
Mohammad has a wealth of experience, having worked as an investment analyst for a major Wall Street firm in New York before returning to Saudi Arabia. He played a crucial role in the conversion of the Saudi Stock Exchange, known as ‘Tadawul’, to a T+2 settlement cycle, which helped make the Saudi market one of the world’s top-performing markets.
After joining Al Qussie, a family group, Mohammad embarked on his grand project of creating a hospitality company that would showcase the celebrated ancestral Arabian tradition of welcoming and generosity. Amsa Hospitality was born, offering a unique experience unlike any other in the industry.
Under Mohammad’s visionary leadership, Amsa Hospitality is poised to revolutionize the hospitality sector by combining modern amenities with time-honored traditions.
Belonging to a Strong Business Foundation
Mohammad considers himself fortunate to have been born into a business-oriented family in Saudi Arabia, a country that is setting an example for other nations. The “Vision 2030” initiative of the Kingdom has opened up new avenues for entrepreneurs like him. From a young age, Mohammad has been drawn to both financial and hospitality ventures, and he understands that innovation is essential for success in today’s interconnected world. Although some may view this combination as unconventional, it has enabled him to cultivate a distinctive analytical approach that seeks out cutting-edge prospects.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, he seized the opportunity to examine the global hospitality market and identify opportunities for a new kind of hotel catering to the needs of younger generations. This realization prompted him to establish Amsa Hospitality, a hospitality group that stands out in the industry by thinking, acting, and developing differently.
First in the Market
Amsa Hospitality leads with the slogan, “Hallmark of Arabian Hospitality.” The group is revolutionizing the industry by offering a fresh perspective. Its motto is not just a catchy phrase; it holds true meaning. Firstly, Amsa Hospitality is the first and only hospitality group in the Gulf region that is creating an authentic Arabian hotel brand. While there are many stunning properties in the region, none of them offer a genuine Arabian hospitality experience that is based on cultural references.
Secondly, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the hospitality industry worldwide, resulting in new guest expectations and a shortage of employees interested in pursuing careers in hospitality. As the hallmark of the hospitality industry, Amsa Hospitality is currently leading a think tank with the participation of international industry leaders such as hoteliers, major suppliers, information technology developers, human resources applications developers, consulting firms, and sustainable hospitality certification bodies.
During the initial days of Amsa Hospitality, it became evident that it needed to be unique and more adaptable to outperform established rivals. Its values and work culture can be summarized as those of a “citizen company,” with a strong focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Amsa Hospitality’s goal is to address these challenges and develop solutions that will positively impact the industry. As it continues to grow and make an impact in the industry, its influence will only increase in the months and years to come.
Positive Work Culture
As a company, Amsa Hospitality aims to set a positive example for others in the industry, with transparency, trust, innovation, sustainability awareness, caring, and mutual aid as key values. The company has removed the concept of closed offices from their workplace, instead opting for a welcoming space with sofas and armchairs, encouraging a stress-free environment for colleagues and business partners to meet. Amsa Hospitality believes in being a ‘people company’ that values its employees and encourages a positive work culture.
With the latest user-friendly and safe technology, employees can work from wherever they choose, whether it’s from home, a coffee shop, or the office. In this tension-free work environment, accountability is high, and employees are encouraged to be innovative and team-spirited. The company has implemented a balanced matrix work configuration to optimize the organizational structure for cross-team collaboration, resulting in high employee motivation, increased innovation abilities, improved efficiency, and better loyalty towards the company’s goals.
Tech Advancement in the Hospitality Sector
Amsa Hospitality’s approach to technology is unique due to its focus on people rather than technology. The company’s matrix organizational structure requires it to provide team members with state-of-the-art technology to allow for seamless collaboration from anywhere. User-friendliness is a top priority, with all necessary applications just one click away on the company’s intranet site and training provided for ease of use.
When it comes to hospitality-specific technology for guests, Amsa Hospitality prioritizes user-friendliness, transparency, and the best possible solutions. It aims to adapt to guests’ needs, providing a seamless experience from booking to check-out, without compromising on entertainment or work. Guests can enjoy high-speed internet, their favorite series or movies on in-room TVs, and secure videoconferencing from their rooms or meeting rooms.
Amsa Hospitality also understands the challenges of working in a hotel and provides its team members with the latest technology for internal communication and to quickly addressing guests’ needs, simplifying processes and easing the workload. Collaboration between all team members, from housekeeping to chefs, is essential to making Amsa Hospitality’s hotels a great place to work.
Becoming the Hallmark of Arabian hospitality
As mentioned previously, the hospitality industry is undergoing a significant transformation, and Mohammad Alathel has been aware of these changes for at least a decade. With the COVID-19 crisis, these changes have become more apparent, such as the difficulty in attracting younger generations to the hospitality industry and the use of robots to replace human staff in some areas. However, Amsa Hospitality believes that the human factor remains vital in the hospitality industry and is working to address these challenges with its unique DNA and sustainable awareness.
Amsa Hospitality’s balanced matrix organizational structure, which applies to both the headquarters and hotels, is also helping the company succeed in addressing the challenges of the industry. The company’s use of technology centers around people, allowing them to meet the evolving expectations of guests, especially the younger generations, who communicate with hotels primarily through social media.
Amsa Hospitality’s commitment to being the hallmark of Arabian hospitality is evident in everything they do, and their unique think tank, consisting of industry leaders and experts, will allow them to address the industry’s challenges not only for their own hotels and lifestyle brand but also for the industry at large. The challenges facing the hospitality industry are numerous, and Amsa Hospitality is committed to adapting and finding solutions to stay ahead of the curve.
Message for Budding Hospitality Visionaries
The advice Mohammad has for emerging business leaders is to develop a well-planned project and maintain a belief in their ability to succeed despite numerous challenges. He emphasizes the importance of being a leader rather than a manager, as the younger generations reject traditional management styles and seek leaders who listen, understand, and adapt to their needs.
Mohammad recognizes that the hospitality industry is on the brink of a new era, with a workforce and guests who have different expectations than before. Quality of life, care for people, and the planet are prioritized over career advancement or luxurious amenities. As a business leader, he encourages others to listen to these changing expectations, understand them, and adapt to remain competitive. The hotels of tomorrow will look different from those of today, as the most advanced lifestyle brands have already demonstrated.
Mohammad shares that Amsa Hospitality is still in its early stages of development. The ultimate goal for the company is to launch its unique Arabian lifestyle hotel brand in the fourth quarter of 2024 and expand worldwide, with properties in all major cities. As an entrepreneur and leader, Mohammad looks up to hospitality pioneers like Conrad Hilton and Gérard Pélisson, who dedicated their lives to the growth and success of their hospitality groups. Mohammad is committed to making Amsa Hospitality one of the most prominent companies in the industry, and he sees it as a lifelong project that he is passionate about pursuing.