The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi rises from the cobalt blue Indian Ocean like a gem, sitting in its own exclusive island in the middle of Noonu Atoll. As pristine as the island is known to be, every guest remembers the utmost thoughtful hospitality provided in the resort. In operation for almost two decades now, the resort and its management has evolved to curate the perfect holiday for guests making their way indulge in a magical experience. And the secret to it all? Investing in its islanders.
While in the resort for the graduation ceremony of SABA 360 Training on SABA’s 8th return to the island, we went behind the scenes to find out the right formula to build a dedicated team that serves guests with professionalism and personality. We chatted with leading members of the resort management and the SABA team on the occasion.
Training, Health and Safety Manager at The Sun SIyam Iru Fushi, Haanif Abdulla hosted our team for the graduation ceremony – a unique initiative by the resort for its butlers. Celebrated in a joyous ceremony, the graduation took place in the presence of all HODs of the management, and the SABA team giving away awards and certificates to the participants. An exciting cake cutting and refreshments followed, putting everyone in a groovy mood instantly.
Haanif expressed the importance given by Group General Manager – Abdulla Thamheed (Thambe) in initiating the training after several months of discontinuation. Thambe believes that investing in the betterment of his people, especially with an amazingly useful training such as SABA 360, a constantly evolving cycle of knowledge sharing can be established among all members of the team.
SABA 360 training by the SABA Butler Academy in South Africa was delivered by Newton Cross Jill Hunter from the academy. Colorful, energetic, creative and lively are just a few words that might describe the week-long training session, but it definitely does not do it justice. Mr. Cross being the enigmatic personality he is, involves all participants in a requirement-based program that takes them on adventures such as role playing, journaling, dancing, mindful games, and so on ensuring their full attention and engagement during the session. Most importantly, there was a lot of laughing and enjoyment as part of their every day.
30 butlers across several departments of the resort were split into 2 groups of 4 days training per group. The beauty of the curated program was that it was fitting to not only butlers, but the core elements taught in the program could benefit anyone who participates. All HODs of the participating departments were in full support of the program and kept close updates of the progress.
Notably, Haanif ensured that all arrangements were in place, especially with the establishment of the Learning Theatre at the resort which is a milestone step towards achieving a streamlined Learning & Development function. Supporting him was the full-of-life Operations Manager, Abdulla Abdul Latheef (Atham) who tremendously supported SABA team on the training and its participants in making it a success.
Mohamed Shahudhan, a successful graduate of SABA 360, shared his thoughts too. “We learned new etiquettes, gained knowledge that can be applied at work and in personal life as well. We also gained and improved our communication skills while engaging others in Hospitality industry. This training has truly added value to myself and my colleagues. We are grateful to the Sun Siyam Irufushi Management for the wonderful opportunity.”
The management’s aim is to create an environment where all islanders feel safe to express themselves, and get creative with their work. Everyone is encouraged to serve with passion, pay close attention to the smallest details, and tailor an experience for their guests with a genuine heart. As guests who have been on the island, we can assure you that we felt right at home seeing smiling, a playful ambiance and butlers who took care of our every need.