Remembering Dubai’s hospitality icon Abdin Nasralla

Estimated read time 7 min read

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Consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis.” byline=”Noreen Nasralla” caption=”Abdin Nasralla has spent half a century building Dubai’s hospitality scene.” credits=”SUPPLIED”]

Abdin Nasralla: Remembering Dubai’s hospitality and tourism icon

Everyone knew him as Abdin Nasralla, the hospitality guru who shaped Dubai’s tourism scene. We simply knew him as baba. Our light.

My brothers and I grew up learning about hospitality through our dad. He loved it to the core. We are proud that our father contributed to this great industry in Dubai and the region.

Rising up with the sun, he prayed early in the morning, read his Quran, and headed out with energy and enthusiasm— every single day. His mission was to excel and perfect every side of operations. Abdin always believed that everything had room for improvement. Excellence was his vision. He never stopped aiming beyond the stars. That is why he was highly trusted and regarded by many key leadership figures and stakeholders.

Abdin’s foray into hospitality started in the early 70s when he travelled to the UK from Egypt to study hospitality. With passion and dedication, he built a track record of more than 50 years, becoming an icon in his field and representing the industry in many global hospitality shows.

From the Jebel Ali Golf Resort to The Oberoi in Egypt, Abdin’s career also spanned years at the Jumeirah Group in Dubai. He was at the helm to open and run Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and was with Meydan Hospitality before his last job with Meraas, part of Dubai Holding.

At work, Abdin never left a stone unturned in his journey toward excellence. He believed in being on the frontier of the customer experience in order to ensure happiness and satisfaction. By personally addressing customers, Abdin always contributed to personal memories and touched millions of hearts. He was genuine.

Dubai was where he channeled his years of expertise, contributing to the growth of tourism and hospitality in the emirate while becoming a representative of the Hotel and Catering International Management Association and a hospitality connoisseur.

Rising up with the sun, he prayed early in the morning, read his Quran, and headed out with energy and enthusiasm— every single day. His mission was to excel and perfect every side of operations. Abdin always believed that everything had room for improvement. Excellence was his vision. He never stopped aiming beyond the stars. That is why he was highly trusted and regarded by many key leadership figures and stakeholders.

A perfectionist who never rested, Abdin was welcoming, hospitable, and generous with his team. He reprimanded, but he also praised. He was firm but always fair in his approach. With a keen eye for detail, only he could notice the slightest of errors.

He was also the light in the room. He had a charismatic approach, making him beloved by everyone who met him. Abdin spoke and gave from his heart a language that reached the core.

Abdin touched lives. He was a source of advice, guidance, and love. Employees reached out to him as a teacher. Colleagues reached out to him as an advisor. Friends reached out to him as a giver.

No matter what he had, he would give it all—his time, his money, his care, his attention, his energy. He lived a life of true purpose, and that makes him unforgotten, forever.

Noreen Nasralla co-authored the book, Passionate Hoteliers, with her father, Abdin Nasralla. The book is available on Amazon. Part of sales go to the Nasralla outreach. ICA/Expat Media

This story also appears in the Expat Media Special Edition magazine


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