Simon Casson Simon Casson

Simon Casson started out in the hospitality industry washing dishes in a restaurant kitchen in England as a teenager. He joined Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts nearly 30 years ago, and has since climbed the ranks to become president of hotel operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

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.

The group also launched Four Seasons Hotel Megève in France in December, and Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, which also fall under Casson’s remit. Up next is the 375-room Four Seasons Hotel Makkah, signed late last year. The property, located adjacent to the Al-Masjid Al-Harām (the Grand Mosque) will also offer 90 Four Seasons private residences and will be the company’s second property in Saudi Arabia, joining Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre.

As the group continues adding to its portfolio, with new properties to be announced shortly, Casson is determined to maintain the brand’s reputation for excellent service.

He says: “As our EMEA hotel count has grown over the past 24 months, I have made it a priority to ensure that the culture and humanity in the field, which ultimately is the prime driver of superior service, remains carefully intact. I made a point to visit all 39 of the hotels in person and, as I have done so, always hold town hall meetings to share, connect with and listen to our employees.”

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.

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.

By THE NUMBERS

2 Number of years in role 

29 Number of years with company 

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

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

 

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.

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.