Ignace  Bauwens Ignace  Bauwens

Since joining Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in 2016, Ignace Bauwens has been instrumental in expanding the group’s portfolio of hotels across the Middle East and Africa, including key GCC markets such as the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. During his short time with the group, Bauwen’s remit has also expanded to include Eurasia.

Over the last two years, Bauwens has overseen the group’s portfolio grow by 30%, from 8162 rooms in 2016 to 10,593 rooms today in the Middle East and Africa.

In the past 12 months alone, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has expanded its growing portfolio in the region with seven important openings across the MENA region. This includes the largest TRYP by Wyndham in the world with 650 rooms, which opened in Dubai in August, as well as the introduction of the Wyndham Garden brand to the region, with openings in Bahrain (also the largest Wyndham Garden in the world) and the UAE, which will add to an additional Wyndham Garden opening in Saudi Arabia, expected later this year.

The Middle East remains an important market for the hotel operator, especially Saudi Arabia, where the group currently operates nearly 2,000 rooms.

In June 2017, Wyndham introduced the first Ramada Encore by Wyndham into the Kingdom. In the past year, the group has expanded its development pipeline, with plans to bring add seven additional hotels and over 1,000 rooms over the next three years across a variety of brands and destinations.

These include the launch of new brands in the region with Wyndham Garden in Dammam and Riyadh, and Howard Johnson by Wyndham in Dammam. The group has also signed more Ramada Encore and Ramada by Wyndham hotels in Al Khobar and Riyadh respectively.

Bauwens tells Hotelier Middle East: “Saudi Arabia is another important market where we have 12 hotels and almost 2,000 rooms and we see strong growth opportunities, particularly in the mid-market sector.”

Kamel Ajami

Vice President, Operations, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & Levant, Hilton
Saudi Arabia has been a key area of focus for Hilton as it is its largest developmental market in the in the region and the company expects to grow from 10 to 40 properties in the country within the next five years.

Ignace Bauwens

Regional vice president, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Over the last two years, Bauwens has overseen the group’s portfolio grow by 30%, from 8162 rooms in 2016 to 10,593 rooms today in the Middle East and Africa.

Mohamed Awadalla

Chief executive officer, Time Hotels Management
Given the group’s growth in operating properties Time Hotels has witnessed year-on-year growth of 13%, with profit up 19% as of June 2018

Simon Casson

President – hotel operations, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Over the last year, Casson led the opening of two new properties — the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Al Shaya in November, and the Four Seasons Hotel Tunis in December.

Henk Meyknecht

Chief operating officer Middle East & Africa, Kempinski Hotels
In addition to the new signings, the group also lost one hotel. Kempinski Hotel Ajman was reflagged as the Ajman Hotel, under the Blazon Hotels brand early this year.

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.

By THE NUMBERS

5 Number of months in role

2 Number of years with company

54 Number of Middle East operating hotels

23 Number of Middle East pipeline hotels

 

Kamel Ajami

Vice President, Operations, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & Levant, Hilton
Saudi Arabia has been a key area of focus for Hilton as it is its largest developmental market in the in the region and the company expects to grow from 10 to 40 properties in the country within the next five years.

Ignace Bauwens

Regional vice president, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Over the last two years, Bauwens has overseen the group’s portfolio grow by 30%, from 8162 rooms in 2016 to 10,593 rooms today in the Middle East and Africa.

Mohamed Awadalla

Chief executive officer, Time Hotels Management
Given the group’s growth in operating properties Time Hotels has witnessed year-on-year growth of 13%, with profit up 19% as of June 2018

Simon Casson

President – hotel operations, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Over the last year, Casson led the opening of two new properties — the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Al Shaya in November, and the Four Seasons Hotel Tunis in December.

Henk Meyknecht

Chief operating officer Middle East & Africa, Kempinski Hotels
In addition to the new signings, the group also lost one hotel. Kempinski Hotel Ajman was reflagged as the Ajman Hotel, under the Blazon Hotels brand early this year.

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.