Emaar CEO Olivier Harnisch. Emaar CEO Olivier Harnisch.

Emaar Properties today announced the appointment of Olivier Harnisch as the chief executive officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, its hospitality and leisure business, a press statement has said.

Olivier brings to Emaar over 30 years of hotel and tourism industry experience, joining Emaar from Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in Brussels, where he was chief operating officer, responsible for a portfolio of over 350 leased, managed and franchised hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar said: “Emaar Hospitality Group is now taking the operations of our hospitality group to the next level, to meet the aspirations of the next generation of travellers, and to drive Dubai’s growth as a global tourism hub.

“Olivier Harnisch’s significant regional and international experience in both hotel and restaurant operations will be an asset in driving our onward growth, with a focus on bringing value-added guest experiences, and managing our growing number of hotels that serve distinct market niches.”

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Harnisch is fluent in six languages and has acquired expertise in all aspects of the hospitality business through multiple leadership roles across four continents.

Harnisch said: “The brand identity of Emaar and its commitment towards offering memorable guest experiences are strong foundations to take the hospitality business to a new era of growth. Going forward, we will focus on further enhancing guest experiences, implementing new strategies that create long-term value for all stakeholders, and expanding our footprint within and outside the UAE.”

Harnisch started his career in 1986, and was initially associated with individual hotels, food & beverage operations and airlines for over 13 years. He then worked at Hilton Worldwide for over 14 years where he held the position of vice president for Northern and Central Europe, before joining Carlson Rezidor Group in 2012.

He holds an MSc in Organisational Labour from the University of London, an MBA in International Finance from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and a Degree in Hospitality Management from Berlin School of Hotel Administration.

Emaar has over 35 new hotels and serviced residences in the development pipeline in the UAE and international markets.