Our Other Events
Asia Pacific Tourism Destination Investment Conference
North America Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference
20-22 November 2013
Brazil Hospitality Investment Conference
5-6 May 2014
São Paulo, Brazil
Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference
20-21 May 2014
Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference
9-10 June 2014
Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center, Turkey
Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference
20-22 October 2013
Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, Sochi, Russia
Managing Partner, CEO
Chairwoman of the Board
Marti Hotels and Marinas
Vice President, International Lodging Development
Marriott International, Inc.
Mr. Nasser has been Vice President, International Lodging Development of MII since January 2012. He is located in Istanbul, Turkey. Previously, Mr. Nasser was Development Consultant, Turkey, of MII from September 2007 to December 2011. Prior to that, Mr. Nasser was a co-founder and shareholder of APlus Healthcare Hospitality Services Co. from June 2006 to December 2010.
Frederic de Brem
Sevgi Kurt Gürbüz
Consultant - FFE & OSE Procurement
BDO Hospitality Consulting
Sevgi received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from İstanbul Technical University in 2003 and acquired her master degree at İstanbul Technical University in Project & Construction Management on Contract Management.
Having started her professional career at ENKA Construction in 2003, she worked on several hotel projects on procurement management, purchasing, budgeting and tendering of furniture, fixtures, equipment and operating supplies (FFE & OSE).
Then she decided to specialize on hotel procurement and started her own company the-GAIA as the first FFE&OSE Procurement company in Turkey.
She has a wide local and international supplier database, being familiar to several brand specifications.
She is currently acting as the General manager of the-GAIA FFE&OSE Procurement with her experienced team servicing several hotel projects, such as Conrad Hotel İstanbul,Viceroy Hotel Bebeköy, Swissotel Moscow and Swissotel Bodrum.
Sevgi is a solution partner of BDO Hospitality Consulting in the field of FFE&OSE Consultancy and Procurement.
Deputy Director of Tourism Investment
Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Republic of Indonesia
Board Member | Development
Pestana Hotels & Resorts
- 46 years, 3 children, living presently in Lisbon.
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Pestana Group, heading the Development and Expansion plans, reporting to the Chairman & CEO.
- Graduate in Business Administration & Management from the Catholic University, post-grad in hospitality management at the Cornell Univ. NY.
- First business experience in family owned leisure resort in Portugal
- Started his career in Venture Capital in Lisbon; Launched and led for 3 years the first Equity Fund specialized in the hospitality area, in Portugal, in public/private partnership.
- Joined Pestana Leisure Group in 1996
- Has been responsible for its international growth first in Africa, then Brazil & South America and now Europe & US
- Between 2004-2006 was the CEO of “Pousadas de Portugal”, the most traditional chain of small luxury hotels in Portugal, privatized in 2003.
- Won in 2002 (S.Paulo) the “Hospitality Entrepreneur of the Year” Award.
- Member of the Cornell Society of Hotelmen, contributed to several books & articles specialized in the Tourism Industry in Portugal and Brazil.
Michael A. Fishbin
Global & Americas Hospitality Leader
Director of Property and Tourism
Claudia Pendred is the EBRD’s Director for Property & Tourism.
Mrs. Pendred has over 20 years of experience in banking throughout Central and Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe and Russia.
Previously she was the EBRD’s Director for Romania and before joining the EBRD, she worked at N.M. Rothschild & Sons, where most recently she was Director of Corporate Finance, focused on Central and Eastern Europe. Earlier on, Mrs. Pendred worked at J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co and before that she worked with UNICEF and the World Bank.
Mrs. Pendred holds an MBA degree from INSEAD Business School, an MA from Harvard University and a BA from the University of Oxford.
Business Development Director
Mangalis Management Group
Dario Filippone is the Group Business Development Director and member of the executive committee of Mangalis Management Group. In this position he participates in the creation of Brand Standards for the newer brands, contribute to strategic decision of the company and is in charge for the definition and implementation of the development strategy for all the brands of group. Mangalis has created 3 new brands (Yaas, Seen, Noom) and has a pipeline of 15 new hotels under construction and aims to expand in the EMEA region with 50 hotels by 2019.
Dario started his career in operations being director of a private owned hotel in Italy, then he has worked for Accor in South America before joining Hotwath HTL as an associate and HTI Consulting as Vice President. As consultant Dario was responsible for hotel transaction advisory, contract negotiation advisory ( Management, Lease and Franchising agreement), feasibility study and asset management.
Director - Asset Management (Hospitality & Real Estate)
Jan-Joost van Rijsbergen
Senior Vice President, EDITION Global Development
Marriott International, Inc.
Kevin Montano is the Senior Vice President responsible for the global growth of the EDITION brand. Kevin has significant experience in the lodging industry and has developed hotels in the US and Asia for Marriott International for 29 years.
As head of the EDITION Development team, Kevin works closely with the Marriott development offices in London, Hong Kong, Zurich, Dubai, Paris, Moscow and Brazil. This wide network of hotel developers provides off-market opportunities to aggressively grow the EDITION brand in all of the key international gateway cities.
The ten EDITION hotels currently under construction in cities such as, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Bangkok and Abu Dhabi, highlight the depth of this new brand.
Kevin is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School and Syracuse University. He is based in Bethesda, Maryland and New York City.
Antalya Convention Bureau
Born in Söke - AYDIN on 19.09.1964. He studied at Çankaya Primary School in Mersin, continued his education at Tarsus American College. He graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Science, and the section of Business Administration in 1986.
As of the high school he committed to the tourism sector and continued after his graduation from the university as professional. He worked for different national and international tour operator companies as middle and senior level positions.
Besides his professional life he also take responsibilities at the several NGO’s like as a founding member of Skal Club Kuşadası, founding member of Kuşadası Promotion Foundation, had duty for 12 years at the TÜRSAB Executive Board of the Regional Comity.
Since 2011, he is acting as General Manager at Antalya Convention Bureau and married with his classmate Zülal and he is the father of Efe.
Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company
Rutger Smits is the CEO for Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company (ARTIC), the hotel subsidiary of Al Faisal Holding. He has an extensive and varied hospitality background, including operational, management, development and consulting experience in leadership roles with InterContinental Hotels, Andersen, HVS, Cushman & Wakefield, Deloitte as well as his own consulting company. He has lived and worked around the globe in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, and has travelled extensively.
Based in Qatar, as the CEO of ARTIC he is responsible for the management and growth of ARTIC’s hotel portfolio, which currently comprises some 25 projects around the globe, both operational and in various stages of development.
FDI Director for Germany, Central & Eastern Europe and Turkey
Senior Vice President Development
NH Hotel Group
Claudio Capaccioli has over 20 years of experience in the Hospitality industry. Since January 2012, Mr. Capaccioli serves as SVP of Development, responsible for the global Development of NH Hotel Group. During the last 7 years in the company, he has been directly involved in the negotiation of over 100 hotels and in the sale of properties in excess of €350m.
Previously, he worked in Carlson Wagonlit Travel (Business Development), Deloitte (Strategy and Real Estate), Aramark (Strategic Marketing and Sales) and Costa Cruises (Planning, Logistics and Accountancy) in various countries around the world.
Claudio Capaccioli holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics, and a Master degree from Cornell University and from IESE.
Chief of Staff
Deputy Director of Investment Promotion
Director of Promotion Development
Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board
Dr. Rudy Salahuddin is the Director of Promotion Development of Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).
He graduated with a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from University of Indonesia in 1993, and received a Master and Doctor in Engineering Management and System Engineering from The George Washington University in 1995 and 2002.
Dr. Rudy joined Indonesia Ministry of National Development Plan (BAPPENAS) in 1996 and was assigned to various postings including Deputy Director for Post and Telematics (2002-2006) and Deputy Director for Energy Development and Utilization (2006-2007).
He joined BKPM in 2007 as Director of Promotion Development. He was then appointed as Director of Exhibition and Promotion (2010-2011) and Director of Investment Planning for Service and Economic Zone (2011-2012) before his appoinment as the Director of Promotion Development for the second time in 2012.
He is also the Commissioner of PT PNM Venture Capital, a subsidiary company of PT Permodalan Nasional Madani) and PT Tugu Pratama Indonesia (subsidiary company of PT Pertamina).
Global Healthcare Travel Council
She was born in Malatya in 1965 and has completed her bachelor degree at Uludag University and acquired her masters degree at Istanbul University in Business Management and Organizational Development.
Having started her professional career at Koç Holding, in 1991 she decided to specialize in International Trade and she started off training again at Istanbul University's International Trade Department and also was certified as a Customs Consultant during this time.
She worked at various managerial positions until 2001 when she decided to run her very own Ugurlu Consultancy Ltd. to provide support in international trade, branding, state subsidies to companies.
Ministry of Economy and Culture of the Ministry of Tourism in Turkey for hotel investments documents related to the support given and received grants and consulting arrangements serve.
Between 2011 and 2012 she was the lady president of the business organization MESIAD that represents Merter with an export volume of 3,5 Billion Dollars. She is currently acting as the General Manager of Ugurlu Consultancy with her professional team and supports an active pool of 250 companies.
Chief Executive Officer
Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company
Omar Al Jaroudi
Chief Executive Officer
SHUAA Saudi Hospitality Fund
Omar Al Jaroudi, a Saudi national, comes with over 27 years of diversified experience in the fields of commercial and investment banking. He started his career in 1984 with the Saudi French Bank initially in commercial banking and later moved to investment banking.
In 1995, he moved on to help setting up Lebanon Invest, an investment bank which was merged in the year 2000 with Banque Audi SAL after which Mr Al Jaroudi joined SHUAA Capital in March 2007. During this period, he amassed vast and diversified experience, both in the region as well as in Europe, in the areas of investment banking, private equity, asset management, local and regional brokerage, and distribution. He also serves on the board of several companies both in the Middle East and Europe.
Mr Al Jaroudi holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from Syracuse University in New York and a Bachelor’s Degree
in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut
Journalist, Facilitator & Documentary Film Producer
Andrea Thilo studied Social and Business Communication Studies at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. She completed a traineeship at the German public broadcaster NDR, worked as TV-reporter and editor for NDR and ARD and ran the art consulting company KUNSTKONZEPT from 1990-92. From 1995-97, she presented the weekly show “liebe sünde” on Pro 7 and reported for the European BBC1 show 'The E-Files' on a freelance basis.
Since 1998, Andrea Thilo has worked as a film producer and freelance journalist (mostly for DIE ZEIT). Regularly, she is booked as host for conferences, World Cafés, open space formats and other events, especially in the field of culture, education and sustainability.
In 1999, Andrea Thilo founded the production company BOOMTOWN MEDIA GmbH+CoKG in Berlin together with her partners Thomas Grube and Uwe Dierks. Their first production, called WARSCHAU EXPRESS, was nominated for the German television award in 2000. Five years later, the producer trio Thilo, Grube & Dierks got awarded the German Film Prize for the internationally recognized box office hit RHYTHM IS IT!. The documentary film about the education work of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle attracted more than 670,000 viewers alone in Germany and was sold to 15 other countries. In 2008, TRIP TO ASIA was released in German cinemas and in various European countries. Other cinema documentaries had been released soon after: PORGY & ME | IN THE WORLD OF GERSHWINS´PORGY & BESS and PEACE PUNCH | THE YEAR OF DECISION.
Andrea Thilo, mother of two daughters, left her company BOOMTOWN MEDIA at the end of 2010 to further connect and communicate in the field of culture, learning and sustainability.
Managing Director - Hotels Division
Al Hokair Group
With more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, Khalid has had the opportunity to manage hotels under well-reputed international hotel chains in different countries. His previous experience includes over
15 years with ACCOR where he was the General Manager of the Pullman City Center Hotel & Residence Dubai. Prior to joining Al Hokair Group, Khalid was the General Manager of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts a luxurious property in Bahrain.
Khalid has had the exposure to different business models, resorts & city hotels; from medium and large sized properties to luxurious categories.
Khalid, a 48 yr old Finnish citizen of Moroccan origin holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Strathclyde University UK.
Deputy Secretary General
Director of Development
Based in Dubai for nine years
Martin leads the development efforts of Melia Hotels International in the Middle East Region.
With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and related industries, Martin acquired strong knowledge in hotel sales, marketing, public relations, hotel management in Europe, the US and Middle East, both in operations,hospi tality real estate advisory and development, as well as capital markets.
Martin holds a degree in Hospitality Management from the Conrad N. Hilton College at the University of Houston in Texas, USA.
He frequently travels to all GCC countries and abroad and leads top level client negotiations, participates in industry expert panels, conferences and exhibitions and has acquired a strong level
of market knowledge, client network and recognition. Strong market and subject knowledge as well as close owners and investors relations are essential to success in the
region and abroad ,which Martin masters.
Kabir Mulchandani is the Group Chief Executive Officer of SKAI Holdings. A seasoned real estate entrepreneur, Mulchandani has dispersed over US$8bn worth of real estate in Dubai, developing a reputation of successfully identifying the right market opportunities, consistently entering and existing investments at the right time, and has an unrivaled understanding of market movements, both long and short term.
In January 2013, Mulchandani was awarded the prestigious Esquire Middle East Businessman of the Year award after achieving more than US$3.6m worth of business in SKAI Holdings’ first year of operations. Other accolades include Arabian Business’ 11 th
Most Powerful Indian in the Gulf 2013, the 28th
Richest Indian in the GCC 2012 and the Businessman of the Year 2012. He was awarded CEO of the Year at the 2013 CEO Middle East awards.
In just a few short years, SKAI Holdings has established itself as a leading real estate player in the UAE. The firm launched its flagship project, Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah, a US$1bn hotel and furnished residences project on the Palm Jumeirah, in June 2013. SKAI Holdings is currently working with developers and contractors to complete and refurbish three projects in
Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Circle, valued at US$109m.Mulchandani studied Industrial Engineering at Stanford University in the United States and at Philips Exeter Academy
Group Chief Financial Officer
Seven Tides & Asteco
UAE Country Director & Head of Project Management ME
Faithful & Gould
Tom Hasker is Faithful+Gould’s country director for the UAE and head of project management for the Middle East region.
He has worked in the industry for 17 years and has delivered major projects and programmes in the hospitality, healthcare, retail and commercial sectors – to time, cost and quality objectives in the Middle East and Australia.
Tom’s responsible for the strategic growth of the UAE business and oversees a wide variety of projects from a project, planning and commercial management function.
Head of Corporate Real Estate Investments
Sameer Kazi is the Head of Real Estate Investments at SEDCO Holding. SEDCO is a multi-billion dollar Family Office of Bin Mahfouz family based out of Jeddah that has several billion dollars invested in real estate assets globally. SEDCO also owns the Elaf hotel brand which is a leading Saudi hotel chain with strong presence in Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah. In his role, Sameer is responsible for driving the strategic direction and performance of the real estate portfolio through investments, asset management, workouts, development projects and divestitures. The real estate portfolio is globally diversified across North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia. The assets include residential, office, retail, development project, land bank, hotel, logistics, light industrial, funds and REITS.
Capitas Group International Limited
Mr. Tariq Hameed is the Managing Director for CGI’s Development Management Services. He brings over two decades of management & business development experience in the fields of Shari’ah compliant real estate financing, strategy consulting, corporate banking and business leadership.
Tariq leads the Development Management team at CGI and is directly responsible for business development and capitalization within the business. Along with his team, over SR 2 billion of investments have been raised during the past two years from within the Kingdom. Tariq works with a network of private family institutional, government and international investors.
Prior to joining Capitas Group International, Mr. Hameed was Managing Partner for the Middle East at Access Consulting Limited – a multi-disciplinary Management, Corporate Finance & Strategy Consulting firm, incorporated in Dubai (DIFC). Earlier, Tariq was a Member of the Management Committee of Tamweel PJSC – one of the largest Shari’ah compliant real-estate financial institutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the largest provider of home finance in the UAE. He has previously worked with Citi Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.
Some of the key engagements Tariq has been involved in include:
Structuring land acquisition models applied to financial feasibility assessment of a 2 million sqm urban regeneration project in Makkah (Jabal al Sharashif and Nakasah)
Capital raise for the SAR 1 billion real estate financing company in KSA
Structured and capital raise for a SAR 1 billion Shari’ah-compliant mezzanine SME Fund for KSA
Structured and capital raise for a SAR 100 million Shari’ah-compliant mezzanine construction finance company for KSA
Structured a USD 100mn Shari’ah compliant income-generating real estate fund for the GCC
Developed the business strategy for a USD 130 million mono-line mortgage finance company for a UAE commercial bank covering KSA & UAE
Developed capital structures and raised USD 130 million for various UAE-based real estate developers
Originated mortgage business of USD 1bn in UAE
Tariq holds a MBA degree in Banking & Finance from Pakistan’s premier business school, the Institute of Business Administration
Chief Executive Officer
Bob Puccini Group
Bob Puccini knows what makes social spaces and restaurants successful. Companies such as Fairmont, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Ritz Carlton, and Strategic Hotels and Resorts come to Bob because they know he understands the business from every perspective. Having been responsible for designing and remodeling over 1,000 restaurants worldwide, combined with his unsurpassed ability to survey a market, he appreciates a client’s goals and translates his perceptions into a winning concept that has earned Bob a stellar reputation and many longtime clients. Before founding Puccini Group in 1996, he served as Partner and Senior VP for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for ten years during their expansion from 4 to 35 restaurants throughout the United States. Today, Kimpton remains one of Puccini Group’s closest clients.
Bob has worked under many titles throughout his 40-year career, starting with dishwasher at the age of 16, then moving to restaurant General Manager, and by 30, he was Vice President of a national chain of restaurants. It was there that he began not just operating, but concepting and developing restaurants as well. In the late 1980s he met Bill Kimpton and worked for him on the development and operations of the restaurant division through the extensive growth years at the Kimpton Group. He has continued working as a consultant to this day. In addition, Bob has owned and operated restaurants in California, Oregon, and Canada. He understands the inner workings of every facet of the restaurant business and is quick to identify solutions in any under-performing hotel restaurant.
With current projects around the globe, from Dubai to Macau to his home city of San Francisco, and as a globally-thinking professional, Bob currently belongs to both the International Society of Hospitality Consultants and the Foodservice Consultant’s Society International. In 2002, he was named the Anti-Defamation League’s Food and Wine Industry Person of the year and won the prestigious Platinum Circle award from Hospitality Design in 2006.
Bob particularly relishes his role as a leader in the restaurant industry and its community, and has served on the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association and the Board of Advisors at University of San Francisco’s Hospitality Management program. He holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from San Diego State University and spent 1969 in Brazil with the Peace Corps.
Recognized as an industry expert, Bob is an internationally sought after speaker at hotel investment conferences in Berlin, Macau, Mumbai, Dubai, Istanbul and Beijing. With over forty years in the hospitality industry, Bob’s love for restaurants has helped Puccini Group become the niche market leader for hotel F&B outlets, in terms of concepts, design, and operations.
Chief Executive Officer & Director
Gulf Hotels Group
Aqeel Raees is the Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Gulf Hotels Group, he is responsible for all divisions of the group, which includes the Gulf
Hotel, Gulf Brands International, Gulf Executive Residence, Gulf Convention Centre and Gulf Executive Offices. He has overseen the expansion of the group with the addition of the Ocean Paradise Resort in Zanzibar which is managed and partly owned by the group, The K Hotel in Juffair which is managed by the Gulf Hotels Group as well as the latest projects in the Group’s expansion plans, Gulf Residences Amwaj a two apartment buildings in Amwaj Islands, offering deluxe accommodation as well as unique F&B outlets planned to be opened in 2014 and
as part of Gulf Hotels Group’s strategic plan to establish its presence as a regional brand the Group has acquired a plot of land in the Business Bay area in Dubai, UAE and
has commenced the development of the 240 room, five star Gulf Hotel Business Bay Hotel in Dubai
He is one of the pioneers of the hospitality and tourism industry in the Kingdom of Bahrain, who began his hotel career when he got a scholarship to study hotel management in the United Kingdom 40 years ago. He held many senior positions in the Gulf Hotel and in 1990 he was appointed General Manager a post that he has held for 12years after which he was appointed
Chief Executive Officer of the Group. Aqeel Raees led the hotel successfully, especially through the difficult times the Tourism industry faced over the years such as the Gulf war, the worldwide economic crisis and the political unrest in 2011 and succeeded in maintaining the hotel’s leading position between five-star hotels in Bahrain and he managed to achieve excellentresults in terms of occupancy and the development of hotel facilities and outlets.
Aqeel Raees was awarded the WORLDHOTELS Leadership Award 2013 during the WORLDHOTELS’ Annual International Leadership Conference that took
place in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2013 recognizing his outstanding and inspirational leadership within the group,
In addition to his role in Gulf Hotels Group, Mr Raees is also
- Vice Chairman, Chairman Executive Committee and Managing Director
- of Bahrain Family Leisure Company.
- Member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Sulmaniya
- Ex. Vice President of the Skal International Club of Bahrain
- Ex. Member of the Board and Chairman Financial Committee of the
- High Council for Vocational Training
- Ex Chairman of the Specific Council for Training in Hospitality
- Ex Member of the Board of the Arab Union for Hotels & Tourism
- Ex Member of the Supreme Council for Tourism.
VP Sales & Development
Born in 1971 in Germany, Sven Doliwa discovered his passion for hospitality during a traineeship at the early age of 14. Since then his career has led him to different stations within the industry, making him a true expert in the fields of Sales, Marketing, Distribution and Business Development.
Doliwa joined Worldhotels in September 2013 and is based in the group’s headquarters in Frankfurt. He overlooks and drives Worldhotels’ sales efforts in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and leads the company’s Hotel Development department, aiming to expand the Worldhotels portfolio with unique hotels in new destinations.
Before joining Worldhotels, Doliwa held senior sales positions with multiple international hotel companies such as Kempinski and Hilton. He gained international experience working for Rotana Hotels in UAE, where he oversaw the group’s regional Sales activities, as well as with Kempinsiki in Bulgaria and Jordan, where he held an executive position in the hotel opening team.
Most recently before joining Worldhotels, Doliwa was Vice President Commercial at Grand City Hotels in Germany, where he was responsible for Sales, Marketing, PR, Revenue Management and Distribution. Among his main achievements with the group was the successful integration of 120 Hotels within 7 years, the strengthening of the companies entire Sales, Marketing, Revenue Management & Distribution Department, as well as the successful positioning of the group’s hotels in the market through turnaround management.
Sven Doliwa lives near Frankfurt with his wife and son (7 years) and loves to spend his leisure time with his family, travelling, barbecueing and riding his motorbike.
Abdulla Bin Sulayem
Chief Executive Officer
Seven Tides & Asteco
Senior Vice President Development Middle East & Asia Pacific
Based out of Singapore, Andrew Clough has been responsible for building and leading Hilton Worldwide’s Development Team in the Middle East & Asia Pacific since 2004. The focus during this period has been accelerating the rollout of Hilton Worldwide’s portfolio of brands, building development alliances and assembling a dedicated team of development professionals across offices in Dubai, Mumbai, Delhi, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney.
Andrew has been involved in a large array of activities and initiatives within Hilton Worldwide spanning all facets of the hotel business from real estate development, business development, sales and marketing, finance, operations and asset management. He has acquired significant real estate experience across this period through hands on involvement in projects such as the redevelopment of the Hilton Sydney and adjoining commercial complex.
Andrew first started his career in Hilton Worldwide in 1997 heading up the Finance and later Sales and Marketing teams in Australasia before joining the Hotel Development Team.
Prior to joining Hilton Worldwide, Andrew worked in a number of roles with Arthur Andersen across Australia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Europe. Andrew holds an MBA (Executive) from the Australian Graduate School of Management, is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business.
Amro Attia Gomaa
Holding Company for Tourism, Hotels & Cineama (HOTAC)
Chief Operating Officer
Nicholas Clayton, a US citizen, joined Jumeirah Group as Chief Operating Officer in April 2012. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer, Group Operations, in February 2014.
He previously acted as President and later CEO of the Viceroy Hotel Group where he led a team of 3,500 in 15 properties to deliver the highest standards of excellence from 2006 to 2012.
His earlier career included 14 years with Ritz-Carlton in the United States, Australia and finally Singapore where he was Managing Director of the Ritz-Carlton Millenia. He then joined Mandarin Oriental in 2001 as Senior Vice President Operations based in Hong Kong where he was responsible for the group’s 18 Asian and European properties.
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
King Abdullah Economic City
Fahd Al-Rasheed is the Managing Director and CEO of Emaar Economic City (EEC). Under Al-Rasheed’s leadership, the company oversees the master planning and development of one of the largest development projects on earth; King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). KAEC is being developed as a world-class city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 100 km north of Jeddah with a capacity to host a population of two million people and a planned investment of over USD 100 billion.
Prior to joining EEC, Al-Rasheed held the post of Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). Previous to his work in SAGIA, Al-Rasheed worked for Saudi Aramco’s Finance Division where he led strategic initiatives in investments and corporate finance.
Al-Rasheed serves on the boards of several organizations including EEC, King Abdullah Port, Saudi Airlines Catering Company, the New Cities Foundation, the Foundation Board of the Global Shapers of the World Economic Forum, and the Jeddah Chapter of the Young President Organization. He is also engaged with the World Economic Forum’s Agenda Councils, where he has served on the Agenda Council for Real Estate as well as the Agenda Council for Urbanization. Al-Rasheed has received several recognitions including being named the 25th most influential Arab in the list of Power 500 published by Arabian Business, was honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011, and received the 2012 Property CEO Award from “Middle East CEO”, a leading regional publication.
Al-Rasheed holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis, an MBA from the Stanford Business School, and is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate (AMDP).
Chief Operating Officer
Geoff Andrew has been involved in travel and hospitality for almost 30 years and has acquired a wealth of international sales, marketing and distribution experience.
Prior to joining Worldhotels, Andrew was for seven years the Managing Director of Worldhotels‘ sister company, Nexus – a firm specialising in online sales management solutions for hotels. During this time he led the growth of the company from a small subsidiary of Worldhotels, to the profitable independent company with a strong base of international hotel chain clients that it is today.
From 2002 until 2007, Andrew was head of sales & marketing for Corinthia Hotels International, the Malta-based hotel group. Prior to that, he served as Managing Director of Summit Hotels & Resorts (now part of the Preferred Hotel Group) and also held various senior positions within the Utell organisation, including Senior Vice President, The Americas.
Geoff Andrew is a UK citizen but has spent much of his career living and working overseas, particularly in the USA. He is married and lives in Surrey, England, with his wife and three children.
General Manager and Owner
Concorde De Luxe Resort
President & CEO
Sidar Global Advisors (SGA)
Cenk Sidar is the President and CEO of Sidar Global Advisors (SGA), a Washington, DC-based global macro research and strategic advisory firm that has been assisting top financial institutions, governments and multinational corporations investing in emerging/frontier markets since 2009. Sidar successfully developed the firm`s client base, building a broad range of experience assisting Fortune 100 companies, hedge funds, and private equities in their overseas operations and investments. He is a frequent contributor to various outlets including Bloomberg, Foreign Policy, and Hurriyet Daily News and has made television appearances on CNBC, Bloomberg HT, Turkish Radio Television, and Voice of America.
Sidar holds an MA degree in international economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, a postgraduate degree in European studies from SAIS’s Bologna Center in Italy, and a BA degree in business administration and international relations from the Istanbul Bilgi University. In 2012, Sidar has been selected as one of the top 99 foreign policy leaders under 33 in the world by the Diplomatic Courier and the Young Foreign Policy Professionals. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Advisory Council and the Atlantic Council.
LDC - Leisure Development Consultants
AYHAN YEGINSU, with over 40 years of international experience in the hospitality and leisure industry, started his career in the hotel management with Sheraton and Kempinski Hotels. Thereafter he has held senior management positions with Panorama Leisure, Equinox Leisure, Daedalus Development Corporation and LRG, developing theme parks, resorts, Golf and mixed use complexes in more than 50 countries. He is currently President of LDC – Leisure Development Consultants, specialising in Hotel Development Consultancy, 3rd party Management and acting as Owners Representative. His knowledge of Eastern Europe, Middle East and Turkish market, economic and socio-political forces is a significant asset to LDC, with emergence of these markets for resort, hotel and leisure development. He is a member of ISHC.
Senior Managing Director and Partner
Frank RoccoGrande is Sr. Managing Director & Partner at BLG Capital Ltd., a real estate investment management firm focused on investment and development of real estate assets in Turkey. Mr. RoccoGrande previously spent two years as a Partner at AccessTurkey Capital Group, an Istanbul based alternative investment asset management firm where he focused on private equity and real estate investments. Prior to moving to Turkey he was a Partner at Valeo Partners, a New York based middle-market private equity firm and previously a Director at Newtek Capital, a New York based middle-market private equity firm.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer
TREUGAST Solutions Group
Prof. Gerhard founded TREUGAST Solutions Group 25 years ago and currently acts as CEO of the corporate management board.
Prof. Stephan GERHARD is also Managing Partner of Horwath HTL Austria and owner of Solutions Holding. The Solutions Holding has, in addition to TREUGAST, investments in innovative hotel groups, such as "25hours" hotels, but also traditional businesses such as Arcona hotels, which are partly managed under the brand Steigenberger.
With over 30 years of consulting experience in the tourism industry and as a Certified Rating Advisor, especially in Germany he is an acknowledged industry expert.
He started his career in 1974 with an apprenticeship in hotel management and after a couple of years of practical experience in the hospitality business, he started his academic studies in Business Administration. Within this period he identified soon the need for impartial and highly specialized advisory services.
Because of his expert knowledge, Prof. Gerhard was called Resident Professor for "Hospitality Development" at Baltic College/University of Applied Sciences. Furthermore he is an active member of the hotel & tourism industry for several decades in the following institutions:
• Board member to spearhead the foundation of FBMA e.V. (Food & Beverage Management Association e.V. – the national association of executives in the hospitality industry)
• Member of the tourism committee of the IHK Berlin (Chamber of Commerce & Industry Berlin)
• Member of the management board of DSR Hotel Holding (which holds owning AROSA Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Louis C. Jacob, etc.
• Advisory board member of the German hotel congress
• Expert advisory committee of the International University Bad Honnef, which ranks among the leading hotel schools worldwide
• and many others
To honor his exceptional achievements for the hospitality industry Prof. Gerhard was awarded with the special award ’’Hotelier of the Year 2011“.
Wyndham Hotel Group
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Chief Investment Officer
IFA Hotels & Resorts
President & CEO
Simon Coombs is the President & CEO of Shaza Hotels. His position before joining Shaza as President and CEO was as Executive Vice President and CFO at Kempinski.
Prior to his appointment at Kempinski, Simon spent 16 years with Hyatt International in various positions linked to development and finance. Most recently, he held the Hong Kong based position of
Vice President of Finance for the Asia Pacific region, where he was responsible for Corporate Finance, Hotel Finance and Treasury functions as well for the implementation of Global Corporate Strategy for Hyatt International in Asia Pacific.
Using this wealth of experience, and his fluency in the business language of the region, Simon is instrumental in the development and expansion of the Shaza brand. A demanding and vitally important portfolio which sees him traversing the region in an effort to acquire and sign the best properties to the Shaza chain
Tawfiq Abou Soud
Drake & Scull Engineering
Head of Hotels
Billy is the Head of the Hotels team at Greenbrook BD Ltd, an asset management group based in Central London. His responsibilities include the origination, underwriting and execution of new potential opportunities, as well as the asset management of their European hotel portfolio, including the hotel development of the 360 room Mondrian London at Sea Containers.
Billy worked at the Great Hotels Organisation, where he advised hotel owners on operational efficiencies and sales and marketing strategies.
In 2007, Billy joined BNP Paribas Real Estate where he worked on hotel acquisitions. Before joining Greenbrook BD, Billy worked at Voyager Partners, a hospitality fund, where he played a key role in their 40% acquisition stake into Fairmont Raffles Hotels International.
Billy earned a B.A from Florida International University and an MBA from Cass Business School University of London.
Jean Marcel Fernandes
Director of Financing and Investment Promotion Department
Ministry of Tourism in Brazil
Born in São Paulo and a law graduate from the University of São Paulo, Mr. Fernandes holds a Master’s Degree in International Law from the University of Buenos Aires and is a published author of two books. With his ample experience in international issues, he is especially involved in political and economic topics and has been responsible for the promotion of government relations with neighbouring countries. He was head of commercial promotion for Itamaraty (Foreign Affairs). Today, Mr. Fernandes is the Director of Financing and Investment Promotion Department of the Ministry of Tourism in Brazil.
Director Business Development
Online Birds Hotel Marketing Solutions
Philipp S. Ingenillem is acting Director Business Development at Online Birds Hotel Marketing Solutions, a leading full-service online marketing company for the hospitality industry in Europe. Prior to his current activities he was Sales Manager of a CRM-database developer for big hotel chains, Toedt , Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH in Munich. Mr. Ingenillem looks back on a long career in the international luxury hotel sector, with stations at Hilton, Claridge 's Hotel London, Kempinski, Sofitel, Sheraton and LeMeridien. During this period he acquired a profound operational knowledge and perfected his profile by achieving a business administration degree with a focus on Hospitality Management from the Munich University of Applied Sciences. During this time, Mr. Ingenillem gathered more profound experience in some areas of business consultancy for privately owned hotels ( feasibility studies, concept development, etc.). Various other work stations in Scotland, Ireland, Greece and the USA are mentioned only for completeness sake.
Philipp S. Ingenillem zeigt sich für den Bereich Business Development bei Online Birds Hotel Marketing Solutions verantwortlich, einem der führenden Full-Service Online Marketing Unternehmen für die Hotellerie in Europa. Vor seiner jetzigen Tätigkeit war er Sales Manager eines CRM-Datenbank Entwicklers für die Kettenhotellerie, Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. in München. Herr Ingenillem blickt auf eine langjährige Laufbahn in der Luxushotellerie zurück, mit Stationen bei Hilton, Claridge’s Hotel London, Kempinski, Sofitel, Arabella Sheraton und LeMeridien. Hier eignete er sich ein profundes operatives Wissen an und rundete die Hotelausbildung abschließend mit einem betriebswirtschaftlichen Studium an der Hochschule München mit Schwerpunkt auf Hospitality Management ab. Während dieser Zeit sammelte Herr Ingenillem weitere, profunde Erfahrungen in Teilbereichen der Unternehmensberatung für die Privathotellerie (Machbarkeitsanalysen, Konzeptentwicklung, etc.). Diverse weitere Arbeitsstationen in Schottland, Irland, Griechenland und den USA seien nur der Vollständigkeit halber genannt.
Colliers International Hotel GmbH
Andreas Erben has more than 20 years of experience with commercial and residential real estate business with more than ten years focusing on hotels.
In 2008 Andreas became Managing Director of Colliers International Hotel GmbH. He is responsible for all activities of Colliers in the hotel segment.
• More than 20 years experience in the real estate business
• Former Department Manager Union Investment responsible for hotel leasing and development
• Specialised on project developments in the 1-to 5-star segment, especially for internationalbrands
• Since 2012 Director of Hotel Investment Cross Border Team EMEA
Co Founder and Vice President
GetYourGuide Deutschland GmbH
Tao is co-founder and managing director at GetYourGuide. He oversees the operational teams including sales, customer service and content to ensure that travelers have the best possible experience when they book with GetYourGuide. Under his guidance GetYourGuide has grown into the world's largest collection of things to do in more than 2000 destinations worldwide.
From guided tours and desert safaris to balloon rides and canal cruises, GetYourGuide serves its customers over 25'000 memorable things to do that make up the fun part of their trip. Tao studied economics at Tilburg University and physics at ETH Zurich where he met his co-founders.
Dr. Peter Agel
Senior VP Strategic Customer Relationships EAME
Dr. Peter Agel is Senior Vice President Strategic Customer Relationships EAME with MICROS-Fidelio Software GmbH and member of the Global Hotel Steering Group with MICROS. Prior to his engagement with MICROS-Fidelio, Peter was a partner with ghh Consult in Wiesbaden/Germany dealing with hotel development projects and MICE businesses.
After his studies in Economics and Geography with focus on town and country plan-ning he works in the travel and tourism industry for more than 20 years. He was Man-aging Director with TRUST International Hotel Reservation Services (then part of Ber-telsmann Media worldwide). He also served as CEO with Worldhotels (formerly known as Steigenberger Reservation Service). For more than 10 years he managed Steigenberger Consulting dealing with hotel and tourism projects worldwide.
Peter is a specialist with integrated digital solutions for the hospitality industry world-wide. His competence cover in particular distribution technology and services as well as customer-focused developments. Software as a Services, service oriented architecture and distribution channels for the hotel industry are part of his daily business with MICROS-Fidelio.
Peter also services as Vice President Technology and Think Tank with the Travel In-dustry Club Germany. More information also on facebook, linkedin and Xing.
Chief Executive Officer
Red Onion GmbH
Prof. Karl Born
Lebenslauf Prof. Karl Born
Geboren am 2.9.1943 in Konstanz
Aufgewachsen und Schulbesuch in Mannheim
Lehre als Industriekaufmann
Studium an der Verwaltungs- und Wirtschaftsakademie Mannheim
01. Januar 1969
Condor Flugdienst, Frankfurt: Leiter der Kostenrechnung, Leiter der Betriebswirtschaftlichen Abteilung (Controlling)
zuletzt Verkaufschef (Prokurist)
01. Oktober 1987
Wechsel zu TUI nach Hannover
Direktor Flugverkehr; Generalbevollmächtigter
01. Oktober 1992
Mitglied des Vorstands
01. November 1997
Mitglied des Vorstands TUI Group
verantwortlich für den Geschäftsbereich Europa Mitte (Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz, Polen)
Zugleich Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung TUI Deutschland und direkt verantwortlich für das Ressort Touristik
06. April 2000
Auf eigenen Wunsch Niederlegung des Vorstandsmandats
01. Oktober 2000 bis 30. September 2006
Professur für Betriebswirtschaftslehre/ Tourismusmanagement an der Hochschule Harz, Wernigerode
Seit 1. Oktober 2006 Honorarprofessor Tourismusmanagement/Tourismuswirtschaft an der Hochschule Harz, Wernigerode
März 2009 VDRJ-Preis der Deutschen Reisejournalisten „für besondere Verdienste um den Tourismus“
Mitglied des Aufsichtsrates der Dorint GmbH, Köln
Mitglied des Aufsichtsrates der Ameropa GmbH, Bad Homburg
Mitglied des Beirats der DSR Hotel Gruppe, Rostock
Mitglied Studienkreis für Tourismus, Ammerland
Mitglied Deutsche Gesellschaft für Tourismuswissenschaft (DGT)
Vorsitzender der Jury für die Verleihung des Willy Scharnow-Preises
Mitglied wissenschaftlicher Beirat TINTKO (Team für Internationale Touristische Kommunikation)
Mitglied wissenschaftlicher Beirat des Deutschen Tourismusverbandes (DTV) für die Vergabe des Tourismuspreises
Ian Schrager Hotels
H. E. Mahendra Siregar
Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board
Mahendra Siregar, age 51, is the Chairman of Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) since his appointment by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on 1 October 2013.
He graduated with a Bachelor degree in Economics from University of Indonesia in 1986, and received a Master in Economics from Monash University in 1991.
Mahendra joined the Foreign Affairs Ministry in 1986 and was assigned to various postings including Economic Third Secretary of the Indonesian Embassy in London (1992-1995) and Information Counsellor of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC (1998-2001).
He joined Coordinating Ministry in late 2001 as Special Assistant to the Minister. He was then appointed as Deputy Minister in charge of International Economic and Financial Relations in May 2005.
He was then appointed as Chairman and CEO Indonesia Eximbank in September 2009 until December 2009.
He was appointed as Vice Minister of Trade by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on 11 November 2009.
Before his appointment as the Chairman of BKPM, Mahendra was Vice Minister of Finance since 19 October 2011.
He was Asia representative at the UNFCCC Adaptation Fund Board between 2007-2009.
He is President Yudhoyono’s Sherpa to the G-20 since London Summit 2009.
Christopher joined C.H. Stirling in 2013 following a successful 7 year investment banking career in the CEEMEA region covering MENA and CEEMEA clients. Christopher has a Bachelor of Laws, Commerce and Arts, having completed his analyst and associate years at TD Securities in their Media and Communications industry team. He then joined The Commercial Bank of Qatar in 2005 as Head of Corporate Finance working on the bank’s acquisition of National Bank of Oman and inaugural EMTN Programme and issuance. In 2007 he joined Merrill Lynch where he spent 5 years as a MENA and CEEMEA investment banker in both Dubai and London focusing on delivering Equity, Debt and M&A solutions to clients from the GCC to Russia. He was most recently the Head of Capital Markets at ADCB. At Stirling, Christopher is now working with many of his long standing clients. A self-motivated, results oriented, investment banker with a proven track record of creating value for clients through deep industry knowledge, fostering strong relationships, developing and executing innovative transactions, and focusing on strategic solutions Christopher co-heads the Stirling franchise.
Robert van der Graaf
Regional Vice President Full Licence Europe, Middle East & Africa
Director Strategy & Business Development
Al Habtoor Group
Sanjeev Agarwala is currently the Director Strategy and Business Development of Al Habtoor Group LLC. He is member of the Executive Committee for major business verticals of the Group.
He is an experienced Hotelier with more than 23 years in the Hospitality industry.
Sanjeev was the Group CFO from 2009 till 2011& Chief Investment Officer of Al Habtoor Group from 2007 to 2009. During this time, he was involved in transactions relating to Real Estate, Equity, Derivatives & Fixed Income. Prior to this Sanjeev was in charge of the Hospitality division of Al Habtoor Hotels in various capacities, last of which was Chief Financial Officer, Habtoor Hotels.
Sanjeev joined the Al Habtoor Group in 1997 after spending 2 years in Nairobi, Kenya and 7 years with ITC Limited in India.
He is a Chartered Accountant from India and a CPA from USA. Also, regularly lectures at the Becker USA AICPA classes. He is a graduate from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata; and a trained Co Active Life Coach from CTI California, USA.
Sanjeev and his wife have one son and one daughter. His Son is studying at the McIntire School of commerce @ University of Virginia, USA & daughter at Gems Modern Academy, Dubai.
The Ecological Sequestration Trust
Peter is a civil and structural engineer who has become a recognised world leader in major bridges, advanced composite technology, consulting engineering management and in sustainable development in cities.
In Arup Peter led their planning and integrated urbanism team for 7 years. He was an Independent Commissioner on the London Sustainable Development Commission for 8 years and supported London Olympics 2012 bid and delivery. He was nominated by Time Magazine in 2008 as one of 30 global eco-heroes and by Guardian as one of 50 people who could save the Planet. He is currently on the UNSDSN Thematic Working Group on Sustainable Cities supporting the Post 2015 SDG process.
He is a visiting professor in sustainable systems engineering at University of Bristol and a visiting professor in eco-cities at University of Westminster.
Ziad El Chaar
DAMAC Holding Co. LLC
Mr. El Chaar graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1990 and received a Master of Business Administration in 1998 from the American University of Beirut.
From 1993 to 2005, Mr. El Chaar worked for Fattal Holding, which is the largest distribution and representation company in the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq). From 1997 to 2001, Mr. El Chaar was General Manager in Syria for the same company during which time he turned the sales and distribution parts of the business in Syria from loss making to profit generating within three years. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. El Chaar was Group Executive Director of Fattal Holding and remained on the board of that company until 2008.
Mr. El Chaar joined DAMAC Properties in 2005 as Vice President of International Sales. Mr. El Chaar became International General Manger in 2006 and remained in that role until the beginning of 2009 when he became General Manager of operations. Since the beginning of 2011, Mr. El Chaar has been the Managing Director of DAMAC Properties.
Boutique Hotel Media
Piers hosts the annual International Serviced Apartment Summit inc Extended Stay, July 8-9 in London to raise awareness of the sector, encourage networking, best practice and the sharing of ideas whilst addressing the challenges the sector faces to drive the industry forward.
He cares passionately about the growth of niche sectors within the hospitality industry and spearheads the growth of BoutiqueHotelNews.com and the annual International Boutique and Lifestyle Hotel Summit. Piers holds an MBA, ISMM and IDM Diplomas and has previously held senior positions in the UK national media and retail industries.
President & Managing Director
ICTP (International Coalition of Tourism Partners
Professor Geoffrey Lipman is Director of greenearth.travel, a global think tank network, promoting green growth and travelism (travel & tourism) and specializing in strategy, innovation and funding. His current focus is the China, Africa, Europe market development. His emphasis is on the link between low carbon lifestyles, and smart sustainable mobility, lifestyles and destinations. Clients include governments and multinational companies.
He is also President of ICTP (International Coalition of Tourism Partners) and a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council Lipman is Adjunct Professor at Victoria University Australia, Visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes University UK and Senior Tourism Research Fellow at George Washington University US. He is an Associate at Cosmos China, founded by Maurice Strong and President of GATEtrip the travel & tourism
investment arm of GATE Global Impact.
From 2006 to 2010 Lipman was Assistant Secretary General and Spokesperson of UNWTO, the World Tourism Organization. He was the first President of WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) 1990 to 99: Chair of Green Globe 2000-07 and Executive Director IATA (International Air Transport Association) where he worked from 1966 – 85, as well as founding partner in Global Aviation Associates, specializing in aviation government relations & competition. He has served on Boards of public & private sector groups in Europe, M.East & Canada.
Lipman has written and lectured around the world on tourism strategy, sustainability and airline liberalization. He is the lead co-author/editor of Green Growth and Travelism; Letters from Leaders issued at the recent Rio+20 Earth Summit. He has co-authored studies on opening up European Aviation and on Airline Globalization established a Think Tank on Free Trade in the Air and led a major study on EU airline merger policy. He was a member of 2 European Union High Level Commissions - on Airline Liberalization and on Tourism Employment as well as the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Development, the President of Zambia’s Business Advisory Council and the Ethiopia Think Tank. He is a Fellow of the Tourism Society.
Over this period Lipman has played a leading role in a number of global tourism initiatives including IATA’s Liberalization reform, Development support and Consumer interface: WTTC’s Agenda 21 for Travel & Tourism, Green Globe and Tourism Economic Research: UNWTO’s ST-EP initiative, Liberalization with a Human Face trade strategy, Davos Process on Climate Change and Roadmap for Recovery/T20 Strategy.
Lipman has participated in many international, regional and national Travel & Tourism Economic Summits as speaker and moderator. He is recognized for irreverent, out of the box thinking on strategic and tactical policymaking, commitment to the Travel and Tourism Sector as an instrument of positive socio-economic change, as well as his passion for sustainable development and green growth.
Founder and Group CEO
Ahmed Ramdan, is the founder of Roya International, the most recognized hospitality advisory firm in the GCC, directly responsible for over a hundred completed assignments.
It was Ahmed’s dynamic vision that led him to identifying the need for transferring his valuable knowledge and independent industry guidance to those investors with an eye on developing their own hospitality portfolio.
His involvement was an instant success, becoming evident in all key areas, shaping investor visions into concrete highly regarded hotels/mixed-use developments, efficient hospitality designs and significant cost savings. All ultimately leading to enhance long term return on investments.
As a result of Roya’s acclaimed achievements, Ahmed and the Roya team were invited by prominent government institutions to serve as key advisors to some of the region’s most iconic Master plans, namely, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai Media City, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Reem Island and Saadiyat Island.
Before branching into his own ventures, and driven by a passion for the hospitality industry, Ahmed had embarked on a 30 year long career journey across all the various fields in hotel management, including the running of multiple properties on behalf of global hotel brands such as InterContinental Hotels and Le Meridien hotels.
HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz
President & Managing Director
Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA)
Prince Sultan was born in Riyadh on the 27th of June, 1956, married with 3 children and the second son of the Crown Prince, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
He earned a Master’s Degree in Social and Political Science, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs – Syracuse University, USA 1999.
He is an avid pilot since 1976, and holds an Airline transport pilot certificate from the USA, Saud Arabia & France, with qualifications to fly several types of Jets (G-IV, G-V, LR-Jet, B737) and Helicopters and gliders, as well as being qualified as desert and mountain pilot.
In August 2012, Prince Sultan was appointed as Member of the Allegiance Council.
He is the President & Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) since 2008. The Commission was established in 2000, P Sultan was the Secretary General until 2008.
In June 17th 1985, Prince Sultan was chosen to represent Arab Sat-the Arab world’s satellite agency, to be among the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery as Payload Specialist on its Mission STS 51G. Shortly afterwards, he joined the Royal Saudi Air Force as a fighter pilot, from which he retired in 1996 with the rank of Colonel.
Prince Sultan was elected Chairman of the Board of the Disabled Children's Association (DCA) since 1988, and Chairman of the Executive Committee since 1999.
In 1996 he founded Al-Turath (Heritage) a non-profit since foundation, and serves as its president.
Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Aviation Club (SAC) since 2001.
Member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Presidency of Civil Aviation in Saudi Arabia since 2005.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Prince Salman Center Foundation and Center for Disability Research (PSCDR) since 2008.
Prince Sultan is active in many charitable and humanitarian organizations. He enjoys skiing, flying, photography, architecture, reading and travel.
Head of MENA Research
Head of MENA Research, Emirates NBD
Khatija joined Emirates NBD in June 2011and is responsible for macroeconomic research on the GCC countries.
Khatija started her career as an analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities in Johannesburg, South Africa, before taking up a position in the EMEA economics team at Deutsche Bank AG, London
in 2001. During her 7 years at Deutsche Bank, Khatija covered several countries in central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.
After moving to Dubai, Khatija worked as an economics consultant, before joining regional investment bank SHUAA Capital at the start of 2010. Khatija has had several articles published in regional business magazines and her views are regularly quoted in the financial press
HH Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum
SHUAA Capital and the Chairman of Dubai International Holding Company
His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum is the Executive Chairman of SHUAA Capital and the Chairman of Dubai International Holding Company, a private investment firm with extensive experience in natural resources, mining, traditional and renewable energy.
His Highness is also a founding investor of Virgin Megastores in the UAE and the founder of A1 Grand Prix in 2001. His Highness graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in Finance.
He has been recognised for his leadership qualities on a number of occasions, including being named “CEO of the Year” by CEO Middle East in 2009 and “Young Global Leader of 2007” by the World Economic Forum
Eva Bachmann is a Development Manager at Meininger Hotels. Meininger is a unique and atypical hospitality product. It´s unique positioning and design enables it to cater equally to school groups, families, individual travellers and corporate guests. Meininger currently operates a portfolio of 16 properties in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium and the UK. Additionally, Meininger has a definite pipeline of three additional hotels. The company has ambitious growth plans and is keen to establish a presence in all key European cities within the next five years.
Eva has 7 years of hospitality industry experience, of which 4 years in hotel real estate. She previously gained experience working for CBRE Hotels in London, where her focus was Asset Management, Investment Advisory and Acquisition Support.
Eva has a BSc in International Hospitality Management from the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne (EHL).
PT. Budidharma Dibyaraga
Agnes Lourda Mardohar Hutagalung Budidharma, CONFEC, ITEC, CIBTAC, BABTAC, Aromatherapy, WM, CIDESCO called Lourda, was born in Jakarta, November 25, 1959. She graduated from the University of Indonesia (UI) majoring in Communications, Public Relations and Advertisement in 1988. Before graduating from this reputable university, She used to be a project manager at Lancome from 1988 to 1990. From 1996 to present time, she is the president of PT Indo Gaya Spa. It is a standpoint of her to focus intensely on the development of Indonesian Spa Wellness. During that, time, she is running the Spa Wellness service. To support spa wellness service, she built a spa wellness training center named Essentia Spa Academy and PT Essentia Tritunggal which focuses on the Spa Wellness products. While she also took some courses which is closely related to spa wellness.
During her dedication to spa wellness industry, she gained some achievements. in 1995, the Spa at Bali Hyatt, was chosen as one of six best spa world by Cosmopolitan UK. In 2000, Gaya Spa on Jalan Wolter Monginsidi, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta was the only free standing with five star level in Indonesia rated by Jakarta Java Kini, one of reputable hotel media. In 2001, Tea Tree Spa at Holiday Inn Batam voted as Best Spa of Bass Hotel & Resort Asia Pacific. In 2005, Essentia Spa Singapore recommended as the Best Spa experience Award in Singapore by Singapore Tourism Board (STB). She is the founder of Indonesia Spa Professional Association (INDSPA), Indonesia Wellness Master Association (IWMA) and Wellness and Health Entrepreneur Association (WHEA). Currently, she has no choice than still being the chairwoman of Wellness and Health Entrepreneur Association (WHEA).
Simon is the founding chairman of HOFTEL, which has grown into the leading global association for hotel real estate investors spanning different operators, with members’ portfolios now well above US$ 30 billion. Members include significant investors worldwide such as Host Hotels & Resorts, LaSalle Investment Management, Blackstone, Fonciere des Murs, Algonquin, Canyon Equity, CapMan, CTF Development, Dolphin Capital, Swire Properties, Sun Hung Kai Properties and Harilela Hotels. We also have domestic players like HR Group in Germany, Amburaya and Boutique Asset Management in Thailand, VinaCapital and Indochina Capital in Vietnam and Lionstone Development in the USA. HOFTEL holds meetings for its members annually in Europe and Asia asd well as publishing a quarterly Hotel Owners Journal.
Simon has widespread hotel industry experience, having been Chief Development Officer at Onyx Hospitality in Thailand from 2009 – 2013 and, prior to that, Chief Financial Officer of both luxury operator Six Senses and of hotel ownership company Hospitality Europe. Before that he worked for ten years in the corporate finance division of JP Morgan in London, coming to head up their EMEA hotel practice.
Simon has a First Class degree in Modern History from Christ Church, Oxford
25hours Hotel Company
Florian Kollenz joined 25hours hotels in January 2014 and is in charge of the group’s international expansion. Prior to his role with 25hours, Florian was a Senior Consultant with PKF hotelexperts in Vienna where he oversaw the fields of corporate finance and operator selection. Before that, Florian worked several years for the Austrian Hotel and Tourism Bank and gained operational experience with Meliá Hotels International after graduating from the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna.
The ONE Group
Jon has over twenty years experience in hospitality with leading UK brands including My Kinda Town, All Bar One and Novus Leisure.
More recently Jon re launched The Chicago Rib Shack in London's Knightsbridge and advised UK operators on their branded opportunities.
Now as the commercial director of The ONE group, Jon heads up development in EMEA and the Far East focusing on JV partnerships and turn key hospitality solutions for new and existing hotel owners with The ONE Groups ONExperience programme.
Outside of work, Jon is STILL a keen footballer and enjoys contemporary culture of restaurants, food and music
Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Manoj Shrivastava, Chief Operating Officer at Homestead Infrastructure Development Pvt. Ltd. has 16 years of experience in areas of Corporate Strategy & Planning, Start-up Operations, General Management, Business Development, Financial Planning, Joint Ventures and New Concept Development. His concept of Boutique Branded Residences has emerged as a dynamic game changer in the real estate market. Two of such iconic towers, Michael Schumacher World Tower and Ballet by Sharapova, with evidently similar characteristics of the icons, are poised to put India on the world map.
Proud recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award for the Most Innovative Corporate of the year in India for 2012-13, Mr. Manoj Shrivastava holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, is a CFA and has graduated with an MBA degree in International Business. He is an intuitive thinker with an enterprising outlook and is engaged in development of unique concepts in Architecture.
Henri Giscard d'Estaing
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Prior to his appointment as Chairman & CEO of Club Méditerranée, Henri Giscard d’Estaing served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company (2002-2005), and General Manager (2001-2002). Beforehand, as from 1997, he was entrusted with the positions of Vice President in charge of Finance, Development and International relations.
In the Danone group, which he joined in 1987, he was successively Development Manager (in particular, he carried out the acquisition of the American group Nabisco’s European subsidiaries in 1989), CEO of the British subsidiary HP Food Lea and Perrins and CEO of Evian-Badoit and, lastly, Director of the Mineral waters division.
He began his career at the Cofremca, from 1982 to 1987, were he was a Partner specialized in the study of food consumption changes and their consequences in terms of marketing and strategy.
Henri Giscard d’Estaing was born in 1956. He is a graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies and has a masters degree in economic sciences.
Henri Giscard d’Estaing serves on the Board of Directors of the Casino Group, Guichard-Perrachon since 2004 and is a member of the Randstad Supervisory Board since August 2008.
He served a mandate as General Councillor of the Loir-et-Cher (French deparment) and was on this occasion the youngest General Councillor in France.
He likes nature and gardens and practices skiing and windsurfing.
He is married and the father of three children.
Francisco J. Meliá Fullana
Chief Executive Officer
Centro Canalejas Madrid S.L
Cum Laude Graduate in Business from the University of West Florida (U.S.A.).
M.B.A. from the Instituto de Empresa (Business Institute) of Madrid
Two years in consulting in the financial area.
Since 1993 he has worked for Construcciones LAIN, S.A., occupying different posts in the financial area within what is today the OHL Group.
Until September 2012 he occupied the post of Director of International Corporate Finance of the OHL Group and Relations with Investors of the OHL Group, years later also being named Director-General of OHL Desarrollos.
January 2012 he was named CEO of the Sociedad Centro Canalejas Madrid, owned 75% by Villar Mir Group and 25% by OHL Desarrollos, whose objective is the development and exploitation of the most important mixed-use project currently in Spain.
The project consists of a Four Seasons Hotel, a shopping centre, residences and car park with a total of 70,000 square metres.
Executive Vice President
Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels & Hospitality Group
With over 29 years experience in the consulting field, Ricardo Mader Rodrigues has developed
comprehensive expertise in the hospitality and tourism industries in 10 countries in Latin
America and other regions. His consulting experience includes market research and analysis,
facilities evaluation, financial projections, feasibility studies, development of marketing strategies
and marketing plans, planning and development assistance, and operational evaluations, hotel
companies selection and contract negotiation, and asset management.
Quoted in various industry publications, Mr. Rodrigues has been a guest speaker on numerous
topics in hospitality and tourism seminars, including market analysis and financial projections
and the state of the lodging industry in Brazil.
Professional experience includes:
¨ Partner of HIA/Horwath HTL - São Paulo, Brazil
¨ Responsible for HIA´s annual industry report "Lodging Industry in Numbers - Brazil"
¨ Managing consulting assignments for international hotel companies such as Marriott,
Starwood, Hyatt as well as other domestic organizations
Mr. Rodrigues is a member of ISHC and is a graduate of the Business Administration School of
Fundação Getulio Vargas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has undertaken further study in hotel
management, strategic planning for the hotel industry, and consulting for hotels and related
industries at the "School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University". His professional training
was supplemented by a formal on-the-job training program with an international consulting firm
in the United States. His education has been further enhanced by over 200 hours of
professional course work, training, and instruction.
Chief Executive Officer
Budi Tirtawisata is the CEO of Panorama Group, the most integrated Tourism Group of Companies in Indonesia focusing on 3 businesses : Tourism, Transportation, Hospitality, with 5 business pillars : Destination Management (Inbound), Travel & Leisure, MICE Organizer, Transportation and Hospitality Development & Management
The group has established partnerships / joint ventures in Indonesia with various global tourism players such as : Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Chan Brothers, Europcar, Gray Line, Booking.com, Reed Exhibition, and Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.
Panorama sees the momentum of growth in the tourism industry in Indonesia, and the Group’s expansion plan includes hotel and recreation park developments, hotel management services, hotel distribution channels and food & beverage businesses. Panorama aims to be a global player and a truly Indonesia’s pride…!
PT Teluk Mekaki Indah
President Director of PT Teluk Mekaki Indah, which is currently developing a tourism area of 500 ha and 200 ha will be developed as a major tourist resort in West Lombok.
Mr Ralph, with an educational background in economics and hospitality Management has been in the field of tourism and hospitality industry more than 30 years. During his career as well as professional or consultant, began as Comptroller and as an executive position of a Consultant Hospitality and Hotel Operator of national and International, has a lot of works, assisting and training the company will build a hotel such as Feasibility Study, Project Management, Technical Assitancy, Pre Opening Set up and owner consultant.
Additionally today often act as speaker in the field of training in the field of Hospitality Investments, both for private investors and Financial Institutions. Mr Ralph, also had a lot of experience in participate in various workshops, like Hotel Executive Development Program, Held by Hotel Restaurant and Travel Administration Department University of Massachusetts, USA and Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association and tourist seminars and exhibition.
Head of Public Communication and Promotion of the Committee for Accelleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development
Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs Republik of Indonesia
Edib Muslim is Head of Public Communication and Promotion of the Committee for Accelleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development (KP3EI). KP3EI is the entity that collaboratively manage the endeavors to achieve the Indonesia’s vision to become an advance and prospherous country in 2025. Prior to his engagement in KP3EI, Mr. Edib Muslim since 2010 served as Senior Strategic Analyst for the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affair. From 2000 through 2010, he served as Strategic Policy Advisor of the Republic Indonesia high rank officials in several Ministries and Regional Government. From 1998 to 2011 He was CEO for Indonesia based strategic policy consulting firm, PT Galang Sinergi Nusa. He is now serving as Executive Director and Partner of Lembaga Investasi Berkelanjutan (Sustainable Development Institute) that engages for supporting high level and sensitive investment advisory of regional asset and access management. Mr. Edib Muslim was serving as initiator and team leader for the development of the Lake Toba Ecosystem Management Plan (LTEMP) in 2001-2004. Mr. Edib Muslim has also extensive experience serving large multinational clients in a variety of industries, principally focusing on the corporate social, economic and ecological engagements.
He is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on national and international
issues affecting the assets and accesses management of Indonesia and its
relation to global market.
A graduate of Australian National University on Strategic and Defence Studies,
Mr. Edib Muslim also completed International Relations degree in the Faculty
of Social and Political Sciences, the University of Indonesia, Jakarta.
Owner and CEO Eco-Regions Indonesia
Eco Solutions Lombok
John Higson is founder and CEO of
Eco Regions Indonesia (ERI),
Indonesia's leading experts on
creating large scale integrated Eco
Tourism Regions. ERI are currently
establishing Asia's largest ecotourism
ERI creates platforms for hotel and
resort partners by providing
sustainable legislation and green
solutions that guarantee the
environmental integrity of each
region, making sure that the
paradise location stays paradise.
ERI also create joint ventures with
local communities that promote
local businesses which provide
high quality organic food and other
products for hospitality partners.
The first two Eco Regions are
Tanjung Ringgit (3 200 ha) in SE
Lombok including the famous "Pink
Beach" and the Eight Islands
(20 000 ha) in NW Sumbawa with
eight untouched paradise islands
and a existing protected harbour
on the main land.
ERI work with government bodies
and a network of over 50 of the
world's top sustainability experts
that can provide a wide variety of
tried and tested, cost saving green
technologies and solutions for
John Higson is an international
keynote speaker and Sweden's
most merited social entrepreneur
with many awards for his work.
Nova Bocana Barcelona S.A.U
Javier Casado is the General Manager of Nova Bocana Barcelona, the company that owns the hotel W Barcelona.
He joined Nova Bocana in his current position in October 2006, and he has been leading the project of the W Barcelona from the beginning, even before the construction works started, until now.
His responsibility has been to lead the project, being the main interlocutor between all the parts involved in it: the owners, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the builder, the architect, the technicians and public institutions.
Nowadays, after transforming Nova Bocana from a developer company into an asset management company, he manages not only the ownership of the hotel, but all the area and premises around it.
Javier has over 20 years of deep experience in all the fields within the real estate industry, ranging from ownerships to project and asset management, both in the public sector as well as in private companies.
Javier is a Civil Engineer with a Postgraduate in Business from IESE Business School.
Development Director for UK, Germany and Northern Europe
Meliá Hotels International
Johanna Lundström is Development Director for UK, Germany & Northern Europe at Meliá
Hotels International based in the corporate office in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Johanna, who is Swedish, joined Meliá in April 2011 as an experienced hotel brand developer
with an exceptional pedigree accomplished with Wyndham Hotels Worldwide, DTZ Hospitality
Group and Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. All of which followed a polished education and a BSc
degree in International Hospitality Management at Oxford-Brookes University, UK.
Her expertise lay in strategic brand positioning, development and financial analysis. Johanna
speaks six languages including Swedish, English, Spanish, German, Norwegian and Danish.
Johanna is responsible for growing Meliá Hotels International portfolio of brands which include:
Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts, ME by Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, INNSIDE by Meliá, TRYP
by Wyndham, Paradisus Resorts, Sol Hotels and Club Meliá.
Development Manager for Spain, Portugal and North Africa
Meliá Hotels International
John Alarcon holds a degree in business and administration for the Antonio de Nebrija´s
University. After completing his studies, in 2003 he attended a postgraduate degree in
"International Business" at the European Business School in London granted a scholarship by
the Spain Chamber of Commerce in United Kingdom. At this time he became part of the
central Office of “TRI Hospitality Consulting” in London where he received an intensive training
focused on market research, benchmarking and feasibility studies for hotels, resorts, golf
courses, apartments, timeshare etc., in different countries, but especially in Spain and
Portugal. After this formation, from 2004 to 2006 he joined to the “TRI´s Madrid” office where
he worked as a senior consultant carrying out feasibility studies throughout Spain, Portugal
and some European Cities. From 2006 to 2008 he subsequently worked as senior consultant in
“Matlin Associates”, boutique international consultancy company, working focused on the
investment particular area, especially focusing on assets sales and operator searches. After
2008 until 2011 he worked as a senior consultant at the Investment Department of “Aguirre
Newman”, specialized in the investment hotel area of the company. From July 2011 he is the
Developer Director at Meliá Hotels International covering the areas of Spain, Portugal and
Specializes in corporate and tax law; has advised extensively in the hospitality and leisure, consumer products and telecommunications sectors in Russia, has also advised on a number of major inbound investment and high-profile corporate reorganization projects; widely recognized as one of the leading providers of high-end corporate advisory services in the Russian legal market
Law degree with honors from Volgograd State University Law School; studied law for a year in the United States at Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University, as a recipient of a grant from the USIA NAFSA
Dmitry’s contact details are as follows: Tel+7 495 755 9691, Mobile+7 985 773 6818 Fax+7 495 755 97 01, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Vice President - Asset Management & Real Estate Partnerships
Alice joined the Accor group in 1990 as Manager in the Corporate Internal Audit department. In 1993 she took the Head of the Consolidation department until 1999 when she became Senior Manager for the Hotel Real Estate Finance.
After having dealt with various refinancing operations, and under the impulse of the General Management, she put in place in 2008 the Asset Management & Real Estate partnership department. Besides piloting and controlling the Asset Management program, she also manages the relationship with the major real estate owners (860 hotels with estimated value of 5Mds€).
Alice graduated in 1989 a Management Master from Paris Dauphine University, including a year at New York University.
Mr. Petersen is responsible primarily for asset management activities and oversees the firm’s hospitality investments in Europe. He is also involved in acquisitions with a focus on the hospitality sector.
Before joining Blackstone in 2007, Mr. Petersen worked for Westmont Hospitality Group where he was involved in several aspects of the group’s business worldwide. Prior to Westmont, Mr. Petersen was with InterContinental Hotels where he worked in a number of corporate positions in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Mr. Petersen studied economics as an undergraduate and holds a Master's degree in Real Estate. He has also studied Corporate Finance at London Business School. Mr. Petersen’s Master's degree dissertation on hotel real estate was used to initiate further academic papers on portfolio real estate hotel investment which have been published in European and USA industry publications.
Vice President, Tourism & Hotels
DEG German Development & Finance Institution
Valentina, Vice President of DEG carries key responsibility for the selection and structuring process of hotel investments (besides other manufacturing & services industries) in DEG’s finance and investment portfolio. She has been with DEG, the German development fund, for over 20 years and carries global experience in project finance and corporate lending as well as private equity investments especially in Africa and Eastern Europe. Valentina has given particular emphasis to a prudent selection of hotel investors and projects with key focus on energy efficiency concepts, water & waste treatments and nature oriented architectural building concepts. As a key supportive stimulus for DEG`s hotel & catering investments she likes to include the set up of hands on learning facilities for employees (e.g. training schedules, learning restaurant). Furthermore she sits on the Board of directors of several of DEG’s hotel investee companies.
Valentina was born in Hamburg, has a certified Hotel & Catering Diploma and studied in Reutlingen/ London (B.A. Hons. in European Business Studies). Previous to being employed with DEG, Valentina has been responsible for commercial banking transactions in Russia and Eastern Europe. She has worked and lived in Russia for more than 2 years. Valentina speaks English, Russian and French. She is married and has two children.
Hotels, Catering and Tourism Senior Specialist
ILO International Labour Organization
Dr. Wolfgang Weinz (60):
• Secondary school teacher
• Ph.D. on Trade Unions and Industrial Relations (University Heidelberg and Trinity College Dublin)
• Trade union officer on European internal market, Consumer- and Environmental Policy, NGG, Hamburg, 1986-90
• Managing director, German Environmental Convention, Frankfurt, 1990-92
• European Parliament, Research Unit on Consumer-, Environmental-, Agricultural- and Technology Policy, Brussels/Strasbourg, 1993-95
• Regional Coordinator Central and Eastern Europe 1995-2000,
Strategic Project Coordinator on MULTI 2000-07 IUF, Geneva
• Senior Technical Specialist Hotels, Catering and Tourism, Sectoral Activities Department, ILO Geneva, since 2007
• Publications on industrial relations, trade unions, environmental issues, Europe and EU enlargement, globalisation, Social Dialogue, Poverty Reduction and Hospitality/Tourism Industry
Please visit www.ilo.org/tourism for more information.
Jetwing Hotels Ltd
Hailed as a respected professional in Sri Lankan tourism, Hiran Cooray contributes an immense mixture of passion, honesty, integrity and tenacity to the industry. Carrying on the legacy of his father, the late Herbert Cooray, Hiran is the current Chairman of Jetwing - a family owned company which counts a storied 40 year history. His achievements are numerous and much acclaimed, being educated at the prestigious St. Joseph’s in Colombo and going on to graduate from the University of North Carolina and having followed a General Mangers course at Cornell University. Hiran has represented Sri Lanka on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) as well as being the immediate past Chairman of the organization; Chairman of PATA Sri Lanka Chapter and President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka; and was recently appointed an Alternate Member of the UNWTO – World Committee on Tourism Ethics.
Today, Hiran sits on the Boards of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (Asia Pacific region) and the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority. In addition, he holds over 50 directorships in various hotels and related companies – making him a much sought after speaker/panelist at tourism related international forums.
Managing Director – Hotels
London & Regional Properties
Desmond is Managing Director, Hotels at London & Regional and CEO of Mildmay Capital.
Desmond served from October 2006 to March 2013 as COO, Europe for Starwood Capital with responsibility for Asset Management. Desmond also led all Hospitality Acquisitions.
At Starwood Capital Desmond completed the acquisition of the Golden Tulip Group, comprising 200 managed and franchised hotels across the globe; the 50:50 purchase of The Cumberland Hotel, London (with London & Regional); the Crowne Plaza Shoreditch and HMA to convert to an ACE; and the £300m+ acquisition of the Principal Hayley Group. Desmond also co-chaired the Starman JV which re-positioned 32 service Le Meridien hotels across Europe.
From October 2004 to September 2006 Desmond was M&A and Development Director for Whitbread Group plc, driving the exit from the UK Marriott business for c£1,000m, and the creation of a JV with Emirates Airlines to roll out Premier Inn in the GCC.
Prior Whitbread, Desmond was Property Director for Sainsbury’s, and served for eight years as Global Head of Real Estate for Hilton International, responsible for the asset management of over £3,000m of hotel real estate, including hotel acquisitions and development.
Desmond is a Chartered Accountant and holds a BSc (Econ) Honours degree from the LSE.