The Discovery Inn and Diya Restaurant are owned and run by hotelier Sakib Awan and his wife Neelo, who relocated to Timor-Leste from Australia in 2002.
Sakib is a graduate of the prestigious LaSalle College of Hotel Management in Montreal and has worked in five-star hotels around the world. Neelo holds a Diploma in Business Management, awarded in the UK, and has a wide knowledge of business operations in the international trade arena.
Following Timor-Leste’s independence in 1999, Sakib and Neelo began trading in Timor-Leste and quickly developed a profitable stable of businesses. In 2006, when the departure of UN forces looming, they demonstrated their faith in Timor-Leste’s future by deciding to develop a hotel – the Discovery Inn. The hotel opened in June 2007 and its superior standards were immediately recognised by the international community, with the European Commission booking the entire hotel for five months. Since then, the Discovery Inn’s reputation for quality and consistent service has grown, and Diya Restaurant continues to enjoy the patronage of Dili’s discerning diners.
Sakib and Neelo have raised the bar on Dili’s hospitality scene, and, just as importantly, they have passed on a wealth of experience and knowledge to the hotel’s East Timorese staff, all of whom have been trained in-house.
“The secret of our success is in the detail,” says Sakib. “Our service is consistent and our staff are smiling. We pride ourselves on setting new standards. We like to recognise potential in people, inspire them and lead from the front.”