Hotel valet job gives him confidence

ABU DHABI — Mohammed Mubarak Hossain is one of the youngest valets at the Millennium Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

By Silvia Radan, Our Staff Reporter (A Day in Life of....)

Published: Sat 1 Mar 2008, 8:44 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:35 PM

Mohammed Mubarak HossainHe left his home in Bangladesh in 2000, when he was only 20 years old and came to the UAE to make a better future for himself.

“My family is still in Bangladesh and one day I would like to return to them. I really like living here, but my country will always have a special place in my heart,” Mohammed told Khaleej Times.

While waiting for the next car to pull in front of the hotel, he remembers his life’s journey in the past eight years. “After arriving in the UAE I worked with my cousin in his auto spare parts shop in Dubai,” remembers Mohammed.

A year later, he moved to Al Ruwais in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, where he worked as a driver. Four and a half years ago, another “brother” told him about an opening for a valet in a hotel.

“It was at Millennium. One of the conditions for the job was that the applicant should have a driving licence and be able to drive both automatic and manual gear cars. I applied and got the job straightaway. Now I am very happy with it. My duty is to park the cars of the hotel’s guests, but sometimes I also help the bellboys with the luggage,” he says.

“I like driving both types of cars, although I think automatic gears are much easier for crowded cities,” Mohammed points out.

“Sometimes,” he admits, “while parking the guest’s car we might scratch the car by mistake. Even if the car owner might not notice the scratch, we would tell him.”

He says that in most cases the car owners understand the situation. “We even had one guest from Qatar, who stayed with us for three years and one day the driver parking his car got hit by another vehicle. We offered him Dh1500 for the car repair, but he was so nice he refused to take it,” he remembers.

Cars have always fascinated him. Currently, his favourites are the new BMW X5 and the latest Range Rover, but for now, Mohammed has to be content with a 1995 Mercedes, which he owns, and his cousin’s 2000 Toyota Corolla, which he also drives sometimes.

At Millennium, Mohammed and his other eight valet colleagues work in nine-hour shifts. “In the night shift it is only one and despite the appearances, it is rarely quite, especially in the early part of the night, when a lot of guests come and go to the Marrakesh restaurant, which has live entertainment, or the ballrooms, where there are often parties and weddings,” he says.

He doesn’t have a favourite shift, although during summer, he prefers the early morning shifts as they are the “coolest” ones.

One thing he enjoys about working in Abu Dhabi is freedom. “I live alone here and there is no one to keep asking me where I go and what I did. It’s not that I do bad things, but I enjoy the peace of mind,” he points out.

“But what I love most about this job is that it has given me sense of confidence. Before I came to the Millennium I was very shy, but here I met so many people of different nationalities and now if I go anywhere in the world, I would not be afraid or confused. I would be confident. No problem,” declares Mohammed.

Travelling is, in fact, one of his hobbies. “On my days off, I like to travel, usually to Dubai or Sharjah, where I visit my friends,” says Mohammed. Occasionally, he also goes to Al Ruwais, which is still his favourite place in the UAE because “it is clean and quiet.”

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