Craig Cook Executive Assistant Manager
Up close with Craig Cook………..
Australian born Craig Cook is always up for a fresh challenge: whether sharing the stage with the Three Tenors at a peace concert or setting up the Food & Beverage Department’s for four new Movenpick Hotels & Resorts properties in Dubai.
The soon to be opened Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel is the perfect example of his ambitious belief that nothing can be unsurmountable. Eventhough His direction and directive is to lead a team of professionals the same way he would like to be directed always willing to be at the bottom of the pile and the front in the firing squad, He Leads a well organized structured message “deliver fantastic results whilst working as a Team”, this attitude is what makes Craig Cook an asset to any company hence he is overseeing Ibn Battuta Gate, Movenpick Deira, The Royal Amwaj & Oceana Hotel & Spa, is currently tasked with shaping the groups food & beverage offering: creating & evolving concepts, turning them into reality, setting up quality standards and managing a team of many hundreds of employees. Describing his role, he says, “I am lucky to have a great team. It’s quite a large task at hand and it goes beyond just pre-opening because we are actually developing a lasting legacy for the company. It’s like a scrap book with blank pages; we’re filling them in!”
Describing his greatest challenge finding Hoteliers “that are passionate about change” Craig says: “Our brand isn’t about regurgitating what has been done; it’s about blazing a new trail and creating new trends. We are very selective about who we hire because we want people with the right attitude.”
Joining Movenpick from Tiara Hotels & Resorts, where he spent two years as Executive Assistant Manager, Craig brings 16 years of experience to his role, during which he worked with brands like Starwood Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Anantara Hotels & Resorts and Disney Cruise Line.
Interestingly, prior to plunging into the hospitality industry, Craig earned a Bachelor of Music degree majoring in Operatic Performance as a baritone, enjoyed a successful stint as a professional opera singer and even has a solo album, titledThis is the Moment, to his credit. His love affair with music began when he started singing in the Australian Voices Youth Choir as a child.
The highlight of his musical career was his performance at the Missa De Tempore in Aevum: Message of Peace from Medjugorge to the World in 1996 where he sang with Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, José Carreras and Cecilia Gasdia in Medjugorge, Croatia. Describing the experience he says: “I was lucky enough to be selected after auditioning and was one of four people from Australia to sing with these operatic visionaries. It was a sensational, once in a lifetime experience.”
Musical talents aside, Craig is also a keen sports enthusiast and is an avid golfer and enjoys regular visits to the gym. He also enjoys clay pigeon shooting, which he says helps him unwind and is a regular at the Jebel Ali shooting range.