Berliner reigns the golden hotelpalace in Dubai

A German on the most popular manager-position of the world.
A VIP arrives every day ``You don't have it even not in the starhotel Beverly Wilshire"

DUBAI. His position cannot be weighed in gold even in the most important golden town in the world. Nobody else in the world receives at least one "Very Important Person" each and every day - a statesman, king, prince, top manager, multimillionaire, show business star or other VIP. His name: Wolfgang Nitschke. A German who comes from Berlin. Managing Director of the Burj Al ARAB, the highest suite hotel in the world at the gateway to the Sheikdom of Dubai.

The man who is in charge of the most spectacular hotel complex in the world is himself no less elegant than the establishment he represents. From the top of his head to the soles of his feet he is the complete gentleman in every respect. The way he walks, the way he looks. Like his "Commander-in-Chief", General Sheik Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and one of the richest men in the world.

Sheik Mohammed, who each year sponsors the horse race which carries the highest prize money in the world is - among other things - owner of the "7-Star" hotel complex at Jumeira Beach. Still today, a good four months after the opening, His Royal Highness maintains a discreet silence with regard to the final cost of this most special of his "hobbies". Estimates range between one and two billion dollars.

The TOP of the TOP job at the Princes "special favorite" keeps Wolfgang Nitschke busy for between 14 and 16 hours every day. But none of his guests, business partners or employees will ever notice any signs of strain. He is always friendly and courteous, no matter what happens.

Already in the first few months after the opening many Germans, most of whom do not wish to be named, have visited the tower. Those who have not minded paying to belong to the group of privileged guests include, for example, Bertelsmann Queen Liz Mohn, Boris Becker and also Michael Schumacher, who lived in one of the 19 "intimate" villas on the securely guarded beach between the hotel complexes of the Jumeirah Beach and the ARAB Tower.

It is obviously not a problem for the super-super rich of the world, including those who are not from Germany, that a couple of hours sleep in the 178 qm - in other words the "smallest" gold-decorated two-floor apartment of the tower -cost a mere 4,400 Dirham - in other words about DM 2,200. The proud owner of a building contractors in a German capital city, who had to pay DM 20,000 for a stay of several days and who made no secret of this, was greeted with a great deal of envious shaking of heads from his friends.

Still, what does it matter. There are so many other rich people in the world who are in a position to enjoy TOP of the TOP luxury like this - either while traveling for business or pleasure. The unbelievable luxury at the hotel starts with a nine-vehicle Roll-Royce limousine service and continues with, for example, elevator doors decorated in gold leaf. Such a door also leads to the submarine which takes guests to the Underwater Seafood Restaurant which lies five stories under water.

The c.v. of Managing Director Wolfgang Nitschke reads like the golden visitors' book of a world capital city and is so comprehensive that it is not possible to quote even an excerpt from it here. In the hotels where today's boss of the Burj Al Arab was formerly in charge, for example in the Dorchester Hotel in England, owned by the Sultan of Brunei, he often walked side-by-side with the Queen of England. And as head of the famous Beverly Wiltshire Hotel in L.A. he also naturally got to know the big filmstars. As well as Julia Roberts, Tom Cruse and perhaps also Michael Jackson, Charles Bronson made a lasting impression on him. "The kind way he treated others and his gentle treatment of his sick wife was really moving", as Wolfgang says.

Wolfgang Nitschke, 59 years young, did not gain this most desirable post in international hotel management at the Burj Al Arab simply be applying for it in the normal way. He was headhunted during a three-month holiday he was taking in Florida after completing his term as Executive Managing Director of the Westin Hotel Group.

The top manager does not run the risk of suffering from the stress typical for those in similar positions, as he himself says, although he does not take part in any sports or games. "I don't think much of sport, at least not for myself. I raise my blood pressure by jogging up 10 floors now and then or by having a creative dispute with someone." But is seems that constructive arguments only take place in his professional life, and hardly in his marriage, because his wife is often in her native Ireland. At the moment she is looking after their house there.

"Wolfgang", as he was affectionately called by the staff after only a few days in his new job, can go to sleep at once in any situation, no matter how stressful the day has been. His thinks that this is the key to his good health. And he also keeps fit by eating healthy food.

Already during the first few days of his work in the noblest suite hotel in the world with two King Suites, each 780 qm in size, the President of the Congo and South Africa's President Nelson Mandela landed on the freely-suspended helicopter landing pad ON TOP.

As coincidence would have it, exactly on the same day as Wolfgang began his work as Managing Director of the Burj Al Arab, a German songwriter and singer arrived at the hotel, who had just written a song especially for this Arabian Hotel Palace at the request of Rolls Royce/Dubai, which His Royal Highness Sheik Mohammed received with pleasure in its very first pressing during the Royal Desert Arabic Night celebration. The Crown Prince had donated 31 Rolls Royce as prizes on the occasion of the Shopping Festival.

The song Dubai is a rising Star, which is an ode in celebration of the most famous gold town in the world, the most exclusive limousines and the most unusual hotel complex in the world and which has found a home next to Wolfgang Nitschke's CD player, should in the future play the role of souvenir for the Very Important Persons at the Arabic Tower. Thanks to the excellent cooperation between the two Germans.


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