Enan Galaly – Founder of Helnan Hotels and The Ambassador of Denmark for The Historical Relations in the Middle East for promoting historical and cultural relations between Denmark and the Arab World, bestowed with the highest historical titles in Denmark, “1st Degree knight of Dannebrog” from her Majesty the Queen of Denmark Margrethe II – is a fascinating personality with many accolades and achievements.
Born in Heliopolis – Cairo to an academic family, as a young boy, Enan was a boy Scout leader and active member in many community groups. He left his homeland to embrace new ideas and experiences in Vienna as well as in Denmark. He also worked in hotels and restaurants to expand his hospitality experience.
Later on, he became a Danish citizen and enhanced his career into the hospitality industry holding various positions until he became an “Assistant General Manager”. Years later, he was promoted to “General Manager” and by the age of thirty, he became The Managing Director and President of the “Hvide Hus” Hotels Chain.
Enan then established “HELNAN” the Scandinavian, international company , its headquarter based in Denmark and now with thousands of employees. The letters “HEL‟ stands for Heliopolis, where he was born and keeps his childhood memories, while the second half “NAN‟ is derived from the last letters of his name.
The first Hotel he owned is the historical Phoenix Hotel – Aalborg that was built in the 18th Century. The hotel is named after the Arabian Phoenix, a mythical bird in the Phoenician old story, which was burnt in the sun temple of Heliopolis to leave Egypt and rose up again in Europe. This story resembled what Enan had been through in Egypt until he left the country to start his journey and his future life in Europe.
As Chairman of The Advisory Council for the International Association of University Presidents, Enan has been awarded several honorary doctorate degrees. He received an Honorary Doctorate from “Fairleigh Dickinson University”, USA as a Role Model for the American youth and as a Global citizen.
In addition to an honorary doctorate awarded to him by “JF University”, Oberlin Japan, he is also a Role Model for Japanese youth, and for his work among different civilizations.
From his personal experience as an international entrepreneur, Enan is able to motivate and inspire others from his real life challenges and encounters. He returned to his native country and revived his early childhood memories by launching two properties in Egypt, the former Helnan Shepherd in Cairo and Helnan Palestine in Alexandria.
Galaly further invested in the tourism development by owning and managing about forty hotels in different parts in the world, mainly in several cities in Egypt that were not on the local nor the international tourist map such as Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Port Said, Fayed, Fayoum, Ras Sudr and Nuweiba.
He believes strongly in human skills after seeing that Denmark, despite not having key natural resources, had invested in education and human resources that resulted in high quality of manpower as well as the highest standards of living in the world.
Enan believes in giving back to his society and his team, invests in numerous initiatives continually that impact the society positively. Keeping in mind his personal achievements and community projects, Enan was invited to speak at the International Association of University Presidents 2017 event held at Vienna‟s City Hall, Austria to an audience that included hundreds of high rank officials from around the world.
As an advocate of globalization that is possible today with new age satellite navigations, medical advancements and technology, Enan believes that it is possible to make the world a better and peaceful place without economic, health or war issues.
According to him, a Global citizen is one who develops every place he is in while respecting his beliefs, principles and traditions – he believes in doing things for the benefit of the community as a whole wherever he is, regardless of his family, community, traditions, customs and homeland, without forgetting about his values.
Galaly mentions that every country and society has great advantages in terms of people, traditions, resources, capabilities and potentials that can be used to build a better future; however, most of the people do not exploit those valuable values around them.
Enan is passionate about Africa and its development in tourism and he feels that their coastlines have the best sandy beaches in the world that compete with the Hawaiian beaches, but without one umbrella on any of them because there is no international awareness of it.
He says that while some African countries have made a huge progress in the tourism sector during the last few decades with more hotels, there is great need to develop the Human Resources so that employees can perform professionally in different positions and use their training and technical education.
Enan says “the Scandinavian countries as Denmark , have merged many resource and manpower systems and achieved remarkable developments”. He believes the rest of the world can learn and follow these systems instead of reinventing the wheel.
As a role Model for young people in different countries such as the United States, Japan and Denmark, we hope Enan continues to inspire the new generation to learn from their experiences and use their knowledge for the development of their communities and countries as he did.