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Marwan Al Ali

Marwan Al Ali

Chief Technology Officer
Jumeirah Group

What are some of your responsibilities?
My current responsibilities include setting up the IT strategic direction for the company and ensuring that IT is fully aligned with the business. I also look after the technology elements of worldwide properties currently in the pipeline, from property management systems to in-room technologies, and of course, overall operational responsibilities for all IT systems within the group.

What do you like most about your job?
Being part of this energetic team where every day carries a new surprise, the group has set very high expectations and targets, being part of this “dream team” makes me really proud.

What do you like least about your job?
My hand-held device which keeps me attached to my work 24/7.

Where did you go to school? What was your major?
I did my BTEC diploma in communications then continued to pursue my Hons. Bachelors Degree in telecommunications (electrical and electronics). These were both obtained from Etisalat College of Engineering in UAE.

What is your favorite movie?
Lord of the Rings (I have read the books many times).

What is your favorite song?
"The Power of Love," by Laura Branigan.

What is your favorite line from a movie or song?
“ET phone home,” from the movie ET.

What was your first job?
Network engineer at Dubai Aluminum Company. My first six months was all about installing cables (thick and thin coaxial plus fiber optics).

What was your most interesting day at work?
I was a fresh telecom graduate at an aluminum factory and a fiber optic cable broke next to a furnace. I had to work for six hours in blazing heat splicing the F.O. cores. Thankfully the job was a success and I did not end up in the hospital.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
I would invest some and give some back to society.

When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy gardening as it’s a real challenge in my home country. I also like to spend half an hour every night at bedtime reading, and once a week I go to the gym.

What is the next technology to impact the hospitality industry?
Introduction of RFID into mainstream hotels. This will really make life easier for staff trying to remember guest names, and financial transactions at front offices and restaurants will also become much easier. Another area is full fledged e-services for guests and employees, as I feel more can be done in hospitality.

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