The Path to Success is Never Plain Sailing

Ms Claire Zammit Xuereb delivered an inspirational message at the Malta Stock Exchange Awards Dinner


AX Group Hospitality Director, Ms Claire Zammit Xuereb, was invited to give a speech at the Malta Stock Exchange’s (MSE) Annual Awards Dinner on Friday 22nd November, 2019. Having helped to build a family dynasty within the hospitality sector in Malta, famed for its dynamic and innovative approach, Ms Xuereb is a true role model for women in business.


Her success did not come easy, she admits. In fact, she had to overcome several obstacles in her professional, personal and private life, which made her journey to the top more difficult, yet more satisfying.


“Life has shown me that whenever we understand the true meaning of anything, of any one thing, it is only then that we truly move forward, steadily and confidently towards our goals. I want to talk about my experience with success, not that of monetary value. This depth is hard to reach unless you have touched the heights of what success means to you and then reached the very bottom,” said Ms Xuereb, opening her speech.

An ‘observer’ who likes to find things out first-hand, rather than being taught by the book, Ms Zammit Xuereb admits that, as a child, she would struggle in school, as she learnt more from trial and error than from being lectured. Later, she flourished when her passion for the hospitality industry took her to further her studies overseas at the Centre International de Glion. Having grown up as the daughter of a successful and respected businessman, Ms Zammit Xuereb was determined to live outside the shadow of her father while adding value, nonetheless, to the family business.


Being self-driven, motivated and determined to succeed, Ms Zammit Xuereb’s strong character helped her to overcome the personal struggles that would later come at her unexpectedly.


“I know that many of you can relate to the feeling of working hard and following your passion with lots of love and endurance, then taking a deep breath and saying ‘I made it’. I did that too. Right then when I said it, the saddest most violent tragedy hit me. It hit me so hard that it took away the life in me,” said Ms Zammit Xuereb.


“Because I experienced the ‘impossible’ in the most negative form, I realised that I could also experience it in its positive form. So, after a year in the depths of darkness, I started to collect the broken pieces and create a new version of myself. A ‘vintage’ model, that had seen life’s highs and lows, and has now become a so-called collectible item that can help to inspire others,” said Ms Zammit Xuereb. “I started all over again, seeing things and reacting to everything differently. I promised myself to dream again.”

Ms Zammit Xuereb is a firm believer that great success comes to the people who overcome the greatest obstacles. In order to grow, one must not victimize themselves and give up when the going gets tough. Those moments that seem impossible to overcome, she says, are the moments that build character and push you, and your enterprise, to reach new horizons.


“The world is moving very fast, and staying still within your comfort zone will only take you backwards. If you don’t fall, you will always fear the fear of falling,” she says.


Ms Zammit Xuereb lives by her own advice. After rebuilding herself in the wake of personal tragedy, she also pushed boundaries within the hospitality industry, challenging the norms of customer experience and discovering new possibilities in the sector. In 2017, AX Hotels opened its first boutique hotel in VallettaAX The Saint John. Two years later AX Hotels opened the first 5-star luxury hotel in Valletta – Rosselli AX Privilege, as well as two restaurants, Grain and Under Grain. Simultaneously, the Group has also undertaken the first major project of its charitable arm, AX Foundation, led by Claire Zammit Xuereb, in order to help people living with Invisible Disabilities.


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