In The Hot Seat – Raziena Cajee

Team TMN catch up with Raziena Cajee, Director of Marketing and Communications at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray who talks about her role and what she thinks of marketing and communications today in the Middle East’s hospitality industry…

Name: Raziena Cajee

Age: 33

Nationality: South African

Current job title: Director of Marketing and Communications, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

When did you first arrive in Dubai?

July 2002

Where did you work prior?

I joined Jumeirah Group in 2005 and held several roles starting with Marketing Management Trainee from 2005 – 2006, Assistant Marketing Communications Manager from 2006 – 2008, Marketing Manager from 2008 – 2010 and most recently Corporate Brand Marketing Manager from 2010-2017.

What were your first impressions of the marketing and hospitality industry in the Middle East?

The hospitality industry is synonymous with luxury in the Middle East, where service standards make more impression, and going over and beyond to exceed guest’s expectations is at the forefront.

Has your opinion changed much?

I believe that as the hospitality industry continues to grow in Dubai, the personalisation for guests experiences have since been prioritised and it is remarkable.

Tell us about your current role…

I lead and develop the resort’s marketing and communications team across PR, marketing and partnership development.

What challenges do you face?

Having come from a corporate brand level, I’ve always approached all projects as opportunities to learn and enhance my expertise. At corporate, most of the projects were cutting edge with an everlasting goal orientated approach and at a property level, the dynamics are different with a fast paced tactical and commercial approach, which has exciting elements attached to it.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

I thoroughly enjoy working with my team and mentoring them to enhance their skill set in alignment with their career growth objectives.

How would you rather be contacted at work?

I prefer meeting with people and having face-to-face discussions as this attributes to more insight rather than through email communication or telephonic discussions.

What impact does digital marketing have on the hospitality industry today?

Digital marketing allows us to connect with guests through every stage of the guest’s journey i.e. dreaming, researching, booking, experiencing and sharing. Throughout this journey, we as marketers are able to customise and personalise our communications to entice guests through a storytelling approach. Digital has really allowed us to be more accessible to our guests.

Has the culture in the region served as an advantage or limitation in marketing the hospitality industry in the UAE?

The heritage of the Jumeirah brand is clearly linked to the culture and this has had a positive impact on all marketing activities, whereby we ensure we bring to life our brand the promise of ‘STAY DIFFERENT’ through one of the brand pillars, which is ‘culturally connected’.

Who inspires you?

I’ve always been truly inspired by Nelson Mandela through his ambition, dedication and drive in working towards equality.

What’s the most exciting thing that has happened to you in your career?

I have been offered the opportunity to work on Jumeirah Inside in collaboration with Google to create a digital immersive platform in the hospitality industry, which has won nine awards to date, including three honoree mentions. I also worked on the opening of 17 hotels globally during my time at Corporate Brand level and through the experience, I was able to travel to fantastic destinations around the world and explore new cultures as well as learn a lot about cultural marketing relevancy.

Describe yourself in five words…

Passionate, ambitious, caring, strategic and motivational

What’s your most overused saying?

Passion and drive defines success

Five things you can’t live without?

Family, travel, iPhone, my team and laughter

If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?

Travelling the world and exploring new cultures.

What is your favourite form of media?


How do you see the marketing industry changing in the Middle East in the coming years?

I believe mobile will continue to grow through personalisation and accessibility as well as technology enhancements. Visual content will evolve especially in the digital world by disrupting conventional marketing, whereby the speediness in creating amazing content will be more apparent. Social and user-generated content will heighten, and brands together with users will co-create content that intensifies brand relevancy.

New appointment at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, part of Jumeirah Group has appointed Raziena Cajee to the role of Director of Marketing and Communications. With over 12 years of experience in corporate marketing communications, Raziena joined Jumeirah Group in 2005 and most recently held the position of Brand Marketing Communications Manager, where she lead the brand strategy and development as well as the management of Jumeriah Group’s Dubai team. In her new role, she will work alongside Katja Graf, Director of Sales and Marketing at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray to further develop and lead the resort’s marketing and communications team across PR, marketing and partnership development.

“I am pleased to welcome Raziena to the team and confident she will deliver continued success to the marketing function at the resort,” says Hakan Petek, General Manager, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.

New PR Manager at Fairmont the Palm

Dubai-based five-star resort, Fairmont the Palm has appointed Jenna Saunders to the role of PR Manager. With over six years of experience, Jenna previously worked with Jumeirah Zabeel Saray as Communications Executive and most recently with TOH PR as PR Account Manager. In her new role, she will manage all PR activities and work across Fairmont’s portfolio of F&B, lifestyle and luxury clients.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Fairmont The Palm,” says Jenna. “I look forward to working with the team and contributing towards making this yet another outstanding year for Fairmont The Palm across the region.”

Jumeirah appoints Senior PR and Communications Executive

The Jumeirah Zabeel Saray has welcomed Kimberly Lobo to the role of Senior Public Relations and Communications Executive. Previously a PR Account Executive at Ketchum Raad, where she worked across corporate clients such as CNN and Airbus, Kimberly brings over six years of experience in journalism and PR to her new role. As Public Relations and Communications Executive, she will be responsible for assisting in the management of PR and media relations across the resort, ensuring media coverage in local, regional and international media markets. Kimberly will produce written material for media purposes such as editorials, newsletters, biographies, fact-files and Q&A’s and develop PR strategies for the property as well as provide support with awards and research.

“I always believe in working hard and that it does pay off, because in the end you’re always rewarded,” says Kimberly. “I’m grateful to Jumeirah Zabeel Saray for offering me the position and seeing my potential as a Senior Public Relations and Communications Executive at the resort.”