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Estelle Aucagos, a recognized professional in the luxury hotel industry in Qatar

At 28, Estelle Aucagos has lived in Qatar for 5 years. The young Guadeloupean works for a group of luxury hotels in Doha. At the beginning of July, she was listed among the 30 under 30 most promising in the sector.

His smile is communicative and his enthusiasm too. Estelle Aucagos is an adventurous, passionate, hardworking and ambitious young woman.
At 28, she is “Cluster Senior Manager, eCommerce & Digital”. She manages websites, campaigns and online sales for four hotels in the Marriott International chain, including 2 Ritz-Carlton, in Doha, Qatar.

A great career and hard work recognized by his peers.
His work has recently been praised. She entered the list of “Hotelier Middle East 30 Under 30, the list of leaders under 30 years of the hotel industry in the Middle East, of the magazine “Hotelier”.

A beautiful distinction that rewards the choices and risk-taking of this middle-class woman based for 5 years in the city of luxury and modernity.

Every step of her journey was meant to lead her there.

Like many before her, it was at the age of 17 that the young Estelle left her island, a Baccalauréat S obtained at the Jardin d’Essais high school in her pocket, to continue her studies. Direction Poitiers, to join a preparatory class at Camille Guérin high school.
She then chose a top business school, ESSEC Business School, in Paris. A course that allows him to do several internships.

During my Master’s, I went to work for 6 months in Bora Bora, 6 months in New York, 6 months in Sydney and I finished my schooling in Barcelona at Pompeu Fabra University, before starting my first permanent contract in Qatar.

And it’s a bit by chance that she “find” in Qatar.

Back in Guadeloupe for a few months, after her Masters, Estelle is certain that she wants to continue working abroad. She chooses to apply for different offers and have video interviews, from the family home.

She wants to stay in the hotel industry, a passion that was confirmed during her previous internships. For a little over 2 months, she peels job offers. And it is by falling on a report that she discovers Qatar and its political situation. In 2017, the country suffered an economic and diplomatic embargo imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the region. Far from being frightened, Estelle decides to look at job offers in the country.

I was on the Marriott website during the report, so I researched the destination and found the perfect job: hospitality & digital. I applied, with little hope, and what was my surprise when the team contacted me! It was only after the first interview that I really learned about the destination, the region, etc.

Doha, a destination that does not reassure his parents.

But it was the job of my dreams, in the company that I wanted so we talked about it and as always, they supported me. A month after applying, I got the offer, and the adventure began!

Estelle is fearless… So she takes off, not without being prepared… Thanks to friends and acquaintances who have lived in Qatar or Dubai, she lands, ready to live this new experience.

She is still struck by the ratio of men to women. In the country, there are approximately three men for every one woman. A figure due to the number of people who came to work in industries such as construction or infrastructure. Somewhat impressed, she notes notable differences.

With local customs, the male-female relationship is different. It is rare, for example, to shake hands with a Qatari man, since the local culture prefers that men and women do not have physical contact if they do not know each other. These are things that I am now used to and that happen naturally. The local culture creates a much more pronounced respect for women too. Very quickly, we realize that as a woman, we have privileges or dedicated receptions to avoid queuing for example. Qatar is also a very safe country, and I can walk around alone at night without any worries.

And the young woman quickly got used to her new environment and its challenges. 90% of the time she works in English. The remaining 10%, in Arabic. If she does not yet master the language, she manages to organize translations and coordinate the online content of the sites and the campaigns.

Every week, she updates the content of websites, or accounts on major accommodation sites (such as for example). She prepares advertising campaigns on Google and YouTube and also takes care of reports on e-commerce figures for her employers.

A know-how noticed by professionals in the sector. Hence the list of “30 under 30” (30 under 30) published each year by the magazine “Hotelier Middle East”. It recognizes the 30 hoteliers under 30, working in the Middle East or Africa, who are the most promising. A pride for the young woman.

For Estelle, daring to go to the Middle East is a good idea for any young person wanting to enter the world of tourism and hospitality.

© Estelle Aucagos

The list was a big surprise. Coming here, I would never have dreamed of being part of this list, there are so many of us in the region! So, it’s really a pride to receive this recognition, especially after 2 years of upheaval due to Covid-19. The virus has been hard on the tourism industry, in Qatar as in Guadeloupe and all over the world. As hoteliers, we have all wondered about the future of our jobs in this period of uncertainty.

In 5 years, Estelle Aucagos has made a name for herself in Doha and taken advantage of everything the city has to offer.

Estelle Aucagos

Estelle during an excursion in the Sealine desert.

© Estelle Aucagos

Estelle Aucagos

Qatar is a country where diversity is key: 80% of the inhabitants are expatriates and the activities there are many and varied.

© Estelle Aucagos

From now on, the question of the aftermath arises… A question also asked by his mother! If she admits not knowing what the future holds for her, it is obvious Estelle likes Qatar. A career she “loves”, “great friends”, she does not plan to leave the country in the coming months. Especially since a major event is approaching.

The FIFA World Cup is 6 months away, an event with global reach and the excitement couldn’t be greater! So, for sure, I will stay until December 2022. After that, I don’t know, so I keep an open mind.

His experience in Qatar, the “one of the best of his life“. She does not hesitate to invite young people to travel and to discover other countries. In Doha, she made friends with people from all over the world: Great Britain, Germany, South Africa and even sister island Martinique.

Estelle Aucagos

Estelle currently works for 4 luxury hotels, including the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, in the background.

© Estelle Aucagos

Enriching encounters that she recommends to all those who want to open up to the world. With always in a corner of the head, a possible return to the country, to bring its stone to the building.

Living abroad in general is an opportunity to meet extremely varied people and cultures. To question what we find “normal” and to take a step back by thinking about our beliefs, values, etc. Leaving Guadeloupe physically does not mean abandoning it, it’s another way of discovering and advancing our island. The people I meet here had often never heard of it and now they are planning trips there. In Qatar, there is one of the best airlines in the world and some of the most luxurious hotels. If one day I can come back and bring these acquired skills back to serve our tourism industry, that will also be my way of contributing.

Estelle Aucagos hopes one day to be contacted by another young Guadeloupean wanting to get started.

Do not be afraid to get started or contact people who have already had the experience, for information. Our Overseas network is much bigger and stronger than you might think.

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