Michael Cottan Michael Cottan

With 30 years of hospitality experience under his belt, 25 of which have been with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Michael Cottan has worked his way up from “humble beginnings”, to his current role as executive vice president — operations, for the Middle East, India and the Indian Ocean.

It’s been a busy year for the group. First up, the operator relaunched its Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa in Oman as a private standalone resort following renovations. It was previously marketed as part of the adjacent Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa.

Additionally, phase two of Shangri-La Dubai’s extensive renovation is also due to finish this year.

The opening of the 236-room Shangri-La Hotel, Jeddah has been postponed to 2019. It will offer serviced residences as part of the development. The group is also looking at signing new projects in Makkah and Riyadh, Cottan tells Hotelier Middle East.

Earlier this year, Shangri-La was announced as the hotel operator for the Bahrain Marina complex, opening in 2022. Within the mixed-use complex, Shangri-La will manage a 250-room hotel, 150 one- to three-bedroom suites, eight beachside chalets, and 21 waterfront villas.

Looking ahead, Shangri-La Dubai has set an ambitious target of tripling the size of the company over the next three to five years, Cottan reveals. As part of this strategy, he hopes to double the group’s portfolio of hotels in the Middle East, India and Africa over the next two years. Given his long career with the group, Cottan was also tasked with setting up two new regional centres in Singapore and Dubai to de-centralise the organisation, creating better efficiencies and a platform for development in these regions.

Baran Turkel

Managing director, Turkey, Middle East & Central Asia, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
In 2017, Best Western Hotels debuted its new brand Vib in Antalya, Turkey. Vib is defined by Best Western as a, “new hip, chic, boutique concept and lifestyle brand that re-imagines the Best Western hotel experience for today’s traveller who is seeking innovation, technology integration and style with an authentic, local flavour.”

Michael Cottan

Executive vice president — operations, Middle East, India and the Indian Ocean, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
Additionally, phase two of Shangri-La Dubai’s extensive renovation is also due to finish this year.

Jamal Serhan

CEO and senior vice president, Warwick Hotels and Resorts
Responsible for 1,800 staff in the MENA region, Serhan previously told Hotelier Middle East he believes his priority is to help people develop their skills, empowering and leading by example.

Sumair Tariq

Managing director, R Hotels
Ajman-based R Hotels marked its 10th anniversary in 2018. The group possesses the largest room inventory in the emirate, and under managing director Sumair Tariq’s leadership, R Hotels has grown from two properties in 2010 to seven operational hotels across the UAE today.

Simon Coombs

President and CEO, Shaza Hotels
After a quiet 2017, Shaza Hotels has ramped up its plans for the regions, signing several new hotels in the GCC this year and adding to its stable of operational hotels.

Aboudi Asali

Chief executive officer, Hospitality Management Holdings
Also adding to its portfolio, HMH took over management of the 337-room Coral Al Barsha in October 2017, and opened the 403-key Coral Medina in Saudi Arabia in recent months.

Mohamed Soussan

Group general manager, Ayla Hotels & Resorts Management Company
The group is also meant to open its first hotel in Djibouti

Ammar Kanaan

Group general manager, Central Hotels
A new entry on the list, Ammar Kanaan oversees Central Hotels’ properties in the UAE.

Fadi Mazkour

Co-founder & regional director branding and business development, MENA Hotels & Resorts
Over the new few years, the group is set to double its footprint, with seven hotels in the pipeline, which will add 916 new rooms to MENA Hotels’ portfolio.

Kamal Simon Fakhoury

Chief executive officer, Cristal Group
CEO Kamal Simon Fakhoury has led the group’s expansion in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

By THE NUMBERS

5 Number of years in role 

25 Number of years with company 

7 Number of operating hotels in the region as of July 2018

2 Number of pipeline hotels in the region as of July 2018

 

Baran Turkel

Managing director, Turkey, Middle East & Central Asia, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
In 2017, Best Western Hotels debuted its new brand Vib in Antalya, Turkey. Vib is defined by Best Western as a, “new hip, chic, boutique concept and lifestyle brand that re-imagines the Best Western hotel experience for today’s traveller who is seeking innovation, technology integration and style with an authentic, local flavour.”

Michael Cottan

Executive vice president — operations, Middle East, India and the Indian Ocean, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
Additionally, phase two of Shangri-La Dubai’s extensive renovation is also due to finish this year.

Jamal Serhan

CEO and senior vice president, Warwick Hotels and Resorts
Responsible for 1,800 staff in the MENA region, Serhan previously told Hotelier Middle East he believes his priority is to help people develop their skills, empowering and leading by example.

Sumair Tariq

Managing director, R Hotels
Ajman-based R Hotels marked its 10th anniversary in 2018. The group possesses the largest room inventory in the emirate, and under managing director Sumair Tariq’s leadership, R Hotels has grown from two properties in 2010 to seven operational hotels across the UAE today.

Simon Coombs

President and CEO, Shaza Hotels
After a quiet 2017, Shaza Hotels has ramped up its plans for the regions, signing several new hotels in the GCC this year and adding to its stable of operational hotels.

Aboudi Asali

Chief executive officer, Hospitality Management Holdings
Also adding to its portfolio, HMH took over management of the 337-room Coral Al Barsha in October 2017, and opened the 403-key Coral Medina in Saudi Arabia in recent months.

Mohamed Soussan

Group general manager, Ayla Hotels & Resorts Management Company
The group is also meant to open its first hotel in Djibouti

Ammar Kanaan

Group general manager, Central Hotels
A new entry on the list, Ammar Kanaan oversees Central Hotels’ properties in the UAE.

Fadi Mazkour

Co-founder & regional director branding and business development, MENA Hotels & Resorts
Over the new few years, the group is set to double its footprint, with seven hotels in the pipeline, which will add 916 new rooms to MENA Hotels’ portfolio.

Kamal Simon Fakhoury

Chief executive officer, Cristal Group
CEO Kamal Simon Fakhoury has led the group’s expansion in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.