Gabriel Escarrer Jaume Gabriel Escarrer Jaume

Gabriel Escarrer Jaume joined family-run company Meliã over two decades ago and has served as vice chairman and CEO for nine years.

It’s been a busy year for Meliã in the Middle East — over the last 12 months, the group has signed four new hotels bringing its pipeline to six upcoming hotels in Dubai, Marrakech, and other cities in the region.

The group suffered a minor setback this year when it was announced that ME Dubai by Meliã hotel has been pushed a year, and will now open in Q4 of 2018 instead of Q4 of this year, citing “further constructions”. When it opens, ME Dubai will be part of the 95-metre high Opus building designed by the late Zaha Hadid in partnership with Omniyat.

The group’s new strategy is based on an “asset-lighter, more management-oriented model” according to Jaume. Case in point: Meliã Hotels International was tapped to operate the Desert Palm Dubai Hotel (previously managed by Minor Hotels) under the Melia brand in July 2018.

Over the last few years, Jaume has also led the company through a digital transformation, optimising management systems, commercial strategy and back office processes.

“Within this extensive program, we are making remarkable progress in our systems, our organisation, our technology, and our sales, as demonstrated by the 27% annual growth of our sales website, melia.com over the last three years,” Jaume notes, adding that the group expects direct sales to continue growing at an annual rate of 30% over the coming years.

Robert Kunkler

Chief operating officer, Minor Hotels
Robert Kunkler, the leadership team have “ambitious plans to further expand Minor’s existing brands in the region and to explore strategic acquisitions with strong joint-venture partners.”

Gabriel Escarrer Jaume

Vice chairman and CEO, Melia Hotels International
Gabriel Escarrer Jaume joined family-run company Meliã over two decades ago and has served as vice chairman and CEO for nine years.

Kurt Straub

Vice president of operations – Middle East, Africa and South West Asia, Hyatt
In his new role, Straub will guide the group as it embarks on its ambitious expansion strategy to double its portfolio in the Middle East and North Africa by 2022.

Vincent Miccolis

Regional general manager, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, The Ascott Limited
As regional general manager, Miccolis has spearheaded The Ascott Limited’s entry into new markets such as Turkey, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

Amine E. Moukarzel

President, Louvre Hotels Group MENA
Louvre Hotels relaunched its Golden Tulip brand to cater to millennial travellers.

Laurent A. Voivenel

Senior vice president, operations & development for the Middle East, Africa & India, Swiss-Belhotel International
A seasoned hotelier, Laurent A. Voivenel has ambitious plans for Swiss-Belhotel International’s operations in the region.

Dr Badr Al Badr

Chief executive officer, Dur Hospitality Company
Dur Hospitality is one of the largest and longest-standing hospitality companies in Saudi Arabia.

Hussain Sajwani

Chairman, Damac Properties/ Damac Hotels & Resorts
The property development company’s hospitality arm — Damac Hotels & Resorts is looking to boost its current portfolio of 1,700 hotel units over the next three years, delivering 15,000 operational units by 2021.

Taras Ettl

Vice president Middle East & Asia, Deutsche Hospitality
In April 2018 the group opened its third property in Tunisia — the Steigenberger Hotel Palace Marhaba on the Gulf of Hammamet — joining two hotels that opened in the country in 2017: Steigenberger Kantaoui Bay, and Jaz in Sousse. Deutsche Hospitality’s current portfolio of 10 hotels is set to nearly double, with eight new properties in the pipeline in GCC markets.

Michael Wale

Chief executive officer, Kerzner International
Adding to its One&Only portfolio in Dubai, the group will open a new One&Only Urban Resorts in 2020. The property will be located within the One Za’abeel development in the Za’abeel district.

By THE NUMBERS

9 Number of years in role 

22 Number of years in the company 

6 Number of operational hotels 

6 Number of hotels in the pipeline 

 

Robert Kunkler

Chief operating officer, Minor Hotels
Robert Kunkler, the leadership team have “ambitious plans to further expand Minor’s existing brands in the region and to explore strategic acquisitions with strong joint-venture partners.”

Gabriel Escarrer Jaume

Vice chairman and CEO, Melia Hotels International
Gabriel Escarrer Jaume joined family-run company Meliã over two decades ago and has served as vice chairman and CEO for nine years.

Kurt Straub

Vice president of operations – Middle East, Africa and South West Asia, Hyatt
In his new role, Straub will guide the group as it embarks on its ambitious expansion strategy to double its portfolio in the Middle East and North Africa by 2022.

Vincent Miccolis

Regional general manager, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, The Ascott Limited
As regional general manager, Miccolis has spearheaded The Ascott Limited’s entry into new markets such as Turkey, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

Amine E. Moukarzel

President, Louvre Hotels Group MENA
Louvre Hotels relaunched its Golden Tulip brand to cater to millennial travellers.

Laurent A. Voivenel

Senior vice president, operations & development for the Middle East, Africa & India, Swiss-Belhotel International
A seasoned hotelier, Laurent A. Voivenel has ambitious plans for Swiss-Belhotel International’s operations in the region.

Dr Badr Al Badr

Chief executive officer, Dur Hospitality Company
Dur Hospitality is one of the largest and longest-standing hospitality companies in Saudi Arabia.

Hussain Sajwani

Chairman, Damac Properties/ Damac Hotels & Resorts
The property development company’s hospitality arm — Damac Hotels & Resorts is looking to boost its current portfolio of 1,700 hotel units over the next three years, delivering 15,000 operational units by 2021.

Taras Ettl

Vice president Middle East & Asia, Deutsche Hospitality
In April 2018 the group opened its third property in Tunisia — the Steigenberger Hotel Palace Marhaba on the Gulf of Hammamet — joining two hotels that opened in the country in 2017: Steigenberger Kantaoui Bay, and Jaz in Sousse. Deutsche Hospitality’s current portfolio of 10 hotels is set to nearly double, with eight new properties in the pipeline in GCC markets.

Michael Wale

Chief executive officer, Kerzner International
Adding to its One&Only portfolio in Dubai, the group will open a new One&Only Urban Resorts in 2020. The property will be located within the One Za’abeel development in the Za’abeel district.