Ignace Bauwens Ignace Bauwens

With more than 32 years of experience in the hospitality industry, since assuming the role of regional vice president, Middle East and Africa for Wyndham Hotel Group 10 months ago, Ignace Bauwens has dramatically increased Wyndham’s presence in the region.

Wyndham has 27 hotels and 6,167 rooms in the MENA pipeline, while already operating 49 hotels and 8,528 rooms in the region. Bauwens, with 15 years of experience in the region, is focused on new brands and new openings.

He says: “We are very excited to open the largest Tryp by Wyndham in the world, with 650 rooms, in Dubai in August 2017. Tryp by Wyndham in Abu Dhabi is already operational [and] we also plan to bring another of our brands, Wyndham Garden, to the region in 2017 with the opening of hotels in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and Ajman, UAE.” He adds that the largest Wyndham Garden in the world will also be introduced in this region, in Manama, Bahrain.

In the past year, Wyndham has expanded its presence in the region with many signings, including the 179-room Wyndham Garden in Ajman and the 126-room Ramada Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

“In the first six months of 2017, we signed deals on an impressive number of new hotels across the Middle East, including one hotel in Kuwait, one in Saudi Arabia, and four in the UAE, which combined will add 1,055 rooms to our count across the region,” Bauwens says.

“In the past 10 months, I have been evaluating new geographies for potential growth.”

He explains that he has identified key destinations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain for expansion, adding: “We also plan to double our presence in Africa in the coming years, with strong potential identified in Ghana, Kigali in Rwanda, and Lagos in Nigeria.”

Bauwens’ vision is to “build strong long-term partnerships with owners in the Middle East and Africa”. He believes that “the business of hospitality is not just about hotels and the physical infrastructure. It is about the people and the dedication and commitment of every professional in your team to work with passion and a genuine desire to make a difference to guests”.

Amine Moukarzel

President/ partner, Louvre Hotels Group/ Golden Tulip Hotels MENA
His leadership has overseen the overhaul of the core four-star brand, Golden Tulip Hotels

Ignace Bauwens

Wyndham Hotel Group regional vice president, Middle East and Africa
Wyndham has 27 hotels and 6,167 rooms in the MENA pipeline, while already operating 49 hotels and 8,528 rooms in the region

Sami Nasser

COO luxury brands, AccorHotels Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean
More than 30 properties are under development, which will add a further 9,000 hotel rooms to the group’s luxury upscale segment by 2021

Olivier Harnisch

CEO, Emaar Hospitality Group
Emaar’s new CEO boasts an impressive total of 30 years’ hospitality industry experience

Peter Fulton

Group president – Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Southwest Asia, Hyatt International
Hyatt has a total of 13 new properties in the pipeline for the MENA region across the Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Place, and Hyatt House brands

Hussain Sajwani

Chairman of Damac Properties / Damac Hotels & Resorts
The company has five hotels and 2,000 rooms in operation, and 26 pipeline properties

Simon Casson

President – hotel operations, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
Casson has led the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island, and the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya

Dr Badr Al Badr

Chief executive officer, Dur Hospitality
Dur Hospitality boasts a portfolio of more than 20 projects and properties worth SAR 2.4bn (US $640m) in the pipeline

Antoine El Sayegh

President, Gloria Hotels & Resorts
Sayegh and his team secured a number of hotel deals for the Gloria Hotel brand pipeline, including three in Dubai

Imad Elias

CEO, Roda Hotels & Resorts
With a total of six hotels currently operational, Roda has ambitious growth plans

By THE NUMBERS

  • Number of months in the role 10
  • Number of months with the company 10
  • Number of operating hotels in the region as of July 2017 44
  • Number of pipeline hotels in the region as of July 2017 20
 

Amine Moukarzel

President/ partner, Louvre Hotels Group/ Golden Tulip Hotels MENA
His leadership has overseen the overhaul of the core four-star brand, Golden Tulip Hotels

Ignace Bauwens

Wyndham Hotel Group regional vice president, Middle East and Africa
Wyndham has 27 hotels and 6,167 rooms in the MENA pipeline, while already operating 49 hotels and 8,528 rooms in the region

Sami Nasser

COO luxury brands, AccorHotels Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean
More than 30 properties are under development, which will add a further 9,000 hotel rooms to the group’s luxury upscale segment by 2021

Olivier Harnisch

CEO, Emaar Hospitality Group
Emaar’s new CEO boasts an impressive total of 30 years’ hospitality industry experience

Peter Fulton

Group president – Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Southwest Asia, Hyatt International
Hyatt has a total of 13 new properties in the pipeline for the MENA region across the Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Place, and Hyatt House brands

Hussain Sajwani

Chairman of Damac Properties / Damac Hotels & Resorts
The company has five hotels and 2,000 rooms in operation, and 26 pipeline properties

Simon Casson

President – hotel operations, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
Casson has led the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island, and the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya

Dr Badr Al Badr

Chief executive officer, Dur Hospitality
Dur Hospitality boasts a portfolio of more than 20 projects and properties worth SAR 2.4bn (US $640m) in the pipeline

Antoine El Sayegh

President, Gloria Hotels & Resorts
Sayegh and his team secured a number of hotel deals for the Gloria Hotel brand pipeline, including three in Dubai

Imad Elias

CEO, Roda Hotels & Resorts
With a total of six hotels currently operational, Roda has ambitious growth plans