The Center East is more and more turning into a hub for main sporting occasions, internet hosting the Components One Grand Prix in Bahrain, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. The UAE additionally hosts UFC occasions, and Qatar has been a outstanding host for soccer, having held the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and set to host the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2027, marking the occasion’s first time within the Center East.
A report by the UNWTO signifies that the worldwide tourism sector recovered 63% of its pre-pandemic ranges in 2022. Nonetheless, the Center East outperformed this common, recovering 83% of its pre-pandemic customer numbers.
Forbes’ “High 100 Journey & Tourism Leaders 2023” checklist offered essentially the most influential leaders within the area’s journey and tourism business. Amongst these, six Lebanese had been featured on the checklist, together with:
#29 Haitham Mattar
Haitham Mattar assumed his present position as Managing Director of India, Center East & Africa at IHG in April 2021. IHG manages and franchises 180 lodges throughout these areas.
In 2022, IHG expanded its portfolio by opening a number of new lodges, together with voco Bonnington Dubai, voco Doha West Bay Suites, Crowne Plaza West Cairo, and InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah. The corporate additionally signed agreements for over 25 further properties, together with InterContinental lodges in Riyadh and Jeddah, a Vacation Inn in Najran, a Resort Indigo in Jeddah, and Staybridge Suites in Dubai.
Mattar brings 27 years of business expertise to his position at IHG. Previous to becoming a member of the corporate, he served as a senior advisor to the Saudi Ministry of Tourism and held the place of CEO on the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Growth Authority.
#30 Raki Phillips
Raki Phillips has been on the helm of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Growth Authority (RAKTDA) for over three years. Underneath his management, Ras Al Khaimah achieved its highest-ever annual customer numbers in 2022, with 1.13 million in a single day arrivals. The emirate’s resort stock at the moment stands at over 8,000 keys.
RAKTDA, in partnership with RAK Hospitality Holding and RAK Chamber of Commerce and Business, has earmarked $136 million for the event of over 20 tasks.
Phillips brings over 20 years of expertise to his position at RAKTDA. His previous roles embody serving as a senior companion and senior vice chairman of growth on the Worldwide Hospitality Consulting Group. He additionally serves as an government board member of RAK Airport.
#59 Mohamad El Hout
Mohamad El Hout has been main Center East Airways (MEA) for 25 years. The airline, underneath his management, offers providers to 32 locations spanning the Center East, the Gulf, Africa, and Europe.
MEA’s portfolio contains a number of subsidiaries similar to Center East Airways Floor Dealing with, the Mideast Plane Providers Firm, Cedar Government, Center East Airports Providers, and the Lebanese Beirut Airport Catering Firm.
In January 2023, MEA unveiled its new headquarters, referred to as “the inexperienced constructing.”
El Hout’s affect extends past MEA. He’s a member of the board of governors on the Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation. Previous to his present position, he served as an adviser to the governor at Lebanon’s Central Financial institution.
#86 Bani Haddad
Bani Haddad, with 30 years of business expertise, based Aleph Hospitality in 2015. The corporate, which now employs 650 individuals, operates 13 lodges throughout the Center East and Africa.
In February 2022, Aleph Hospitality was valued at $20 million. That very same 12 months, the corporate launched Aleph CARES, a world sustainable growth program that units sustainability requirements for all its lodges.
In 2023, Aleph Hospitality continued to increase its operations. In February, it signed an unique settlement with Fauchon Hospitality to handle its luxurious resort portfolio. Then, in March, the corporate opened a regional workplace in Saudi Arabia.
Earlier than founding Aleph Hospitality, Haddad served because the regional vice chairman for the Center East and Africa (MEA) for the Wyndham Resort Group.
#92 Richard Haddad
In January 2023, Haddad assumed the position of CEO at Ishraq Hospitality, previously referred to as Abjar. The corporate, which is a part of the Mohamed & Obaid Almulla Group, owns eight properties. These embody Vacation Inn Categorical lodges, Staybridge Suites Dubai Al Maktoum Airport, Crowne Plaza Dubai- Deira, and Crowne Plaza Dubai Jumeirah.
Ishraq Hospitality has plans for growth, having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Capital Elite Growth to launch two new lodges within the New Capital, Cairo, Egypt, set to open in 2025.
Previous to his position at Ishraq Hospitality, Haddad served because the CEO of Jannah Lodges and Resorts and labored on the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Growth Authority.
#93 Kamal Fakhoury
Fakhoury took on his present position in September 2016 at The Cristal Group, an organization that manages 4 properties within the Center East, together with two in Kurdistan, Iraq, one in Saudi Arabia, and its flagship property in Abu Dhabi. The group, established in Abu Dhabi in 2007, additionally has 5 further lodges within the pipeline.
In 2022, the group reported an annual resort turnover of over $15 million. The next 12 months, in 2023, Fakhoury led the corporate into the realm of white-label hospitality options, forming strategic alliances with main resort chains similar to Hilton, Accor Lodges, IHG, Marriott, and Wyndham Worldwide.
Fakhoury brings over 30 years of hospitality expertise to his position at The Cristal Group. Previous to his present place, he served because the COO of the Cristal Group from October 2007. His earlier expertise contains roles at Rotana Lodges, Starwood Lodges, Radisson Lodges, Hyatt Lodges, and The Luxor Resort and On line casino in Las Vegas.
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