"If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart." Arab proverb.
For centuries, Arab hospitality has been the brightest and strongest ambassador of the Arabian culture to the world.
This unique type of generosity has even a name – Karam.
Over centuries, Arab hospitality became an art
You can trace back Karam as far as 900 BCE, when the first tribes settled in what is called today the Arabian Peninsula. The reason why Karam became a necessity is obvious: The harsh living conditions in this desertic area made hospitality a surviving necessity – it was evident to welcome the unknown traveler, as you would expect to be welcomed yourself next time you would journey. It was all about surviving. Over the centuries, hospitality became an art with rituals well established such as sharing coffee, the luxury product of the time. Even today, offering coffee or tea to a guest is a must that no host would ever forget to propose!
In fact, the Arab hospitality is as lively in the 21st century as it was a thousand years ago: Middle Eastern modern houses still reflect this way of living with an area dedicated to guests, clearly separated from the family quarters.
With such an elaborate art of hospitality and welcoming, you would expect the Middle East to be at the forefront of the world’s hospitality brands development.
It is not.
Of course, the Arabian Peninsula hosts great hotel brands that were born and developed in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), and that are rapidly spreading well beyond the region.
Surprisingly enough, unless you’re an industry specialist, there is no way to know that these brands were born in the heart of the Arabian world: Their look and feel could make anyone believe that they are the offspring of a European or North American hospitality company.
Does that mean that the Arabian renown hospitality tradition is to stay forever within the close family, friends and visitors’ circles? Do we have to believe that we cannot adapt Arab generosity and art of welcoming to the organized hospitality industry, while the great Asian hospitality was able to successfully translate their also centuries old traditions, and fit them to hotels and airlines tight requirements?
It hasn't been done yet. Until today... Until we, at Amsa Hospitality, decided to take up the gantlet!
Amsa Hospitality is dedicated to bring Arab hospitality traditions to the modern world
Our proud motto that we live and act accordingly is “Hallmark of Arabian Hospitality”.
We believe, and prove it every day, that Arabic hospitality can leave the private circle to be interpreted in such a way that it can be implemented in the very formal environment that is a hotel brand, able to be spread worldwide.
Of course, Arab hospitality is much more than offering coffee or tea to travelers. It is about generosity; the pleasure of sharing, giving.
This is what hospitality means the world over.
But for us, it means more: It means that Arab generosity is a smile that comes from the heart. It is that gesture of offering, of guaranteeing that the traveler that comes to you knows they are welcome – not because you are a hotel and that’s your job, but because you mean it.
Is the immemorial Arab generosity and warmth able to address the hospitality industry rules and regulations, while exceeding 21st century guests’ expectations in a globalized world? Absolutely.
To succeed, we need to fully master all of today’s hospitality techniques and know-hows. Only then can we develop a never seen before brand that will proudly showcase our Saudi, therefore Arabian, roots. Everyone will see that an almost three millennia-old tradition of welcoming and care fits perfectly our century, and addresses today’s travelers dire need of true meanings.
Blog written by: Mohammad Alathel