MUSCAT: Sarah Khaled came to Oman in September 2019, just before the COVID-19 made its global landfall.
The worst to get hit was travel industry and directly affected by the lack of travel and tourists were the hotel industry, of which Sarah is part of. But Sarah, who is working as the Director of Marketing and Communication with Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah, a hotel chain in Muscat, didn’t let it bog her down.
Last year she brought in the idea of launching the “Largest Collection of National Flags by The Sea of Oman” on Shangri-La’s beach during Oman’s 50th National Day in 2020 which generated great interest and exposure within Oman.
Resilience is the name of the game, Sarah says. But seeing COVID-19 take its toll on people close to her did change her outlook in life.
“I also lost several family members due to COVID-19 and it was heart-breaking to pass through all this here on my own as it was not easy to fly back home with all the uncertainty surrounding travel at that time. The past year and a half has been a bumpy ride with a lot of ups and downs. I have an 11-year-old daughter, and shifting to online schooling has been extremely challenging, which has added another layer of pressure on all of us. With my highly demanding job responsibilities, it was not an easy sail, and I am sure all the working moms out there can relate.”
Sarah feels drawn to Oman with its beauty and warmth of the people. In spite of the toll the pandemic has taken on the hospitality industry, Sarah feels buoyed as she takes on each day as a challenge. Sarah was named as one of the top 50 marketing talents in the Middle East by a reputed publication recently.
“I am grateful for everything I passed through as it made me stronger. I would have never imagined activating that survival mode in a million years. Before the pandemic, most of us were taking life for granted, but now I really appreciate the simple things in life, even if it was a hot cup of coffee with a view. Always remember that the best view comes after the hardest climb!”