Event Preview: Hotelier Great GM Debate in Dubai

Serge Zaalof, Rudi Jagersbacher and Thomas Tapken to speak this year

Rudi Jagersbacher, Hilton.
Rudi Jagersbacher, Hilton.
Serge Zaalof, Atlantis The Palm.
Serge Zaalof, Atlantis The Palm.

This year’s fourth annual Hotelier Middle East Great GM Debate in Dubai will present its largest list of speakers to date, with some exciting new names already signed up to the agenda

The fourth annual Hotelier Middle East Great GM Debate, being held on September 9 at Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, promises a stellar speaker line-up, with a host of new names signed up to share and promote industry best practices.

Speakers include Rudi Jagersbacher, president MEA, Hilton Worldwide; Thomas Tapken,  area vice president — Dubai & Northern Emirates, Rotana Hotel Management Corporation; Serge Zaalof, president & managing director, Atlantis — The Palm; Henk Bruggeman, director operations — Middle East and China, Hakkasan Dubai; and Jason Myers, managing director — Jumeirah Restaurants & general manager — operations, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts.

They will join Hotelier Middle East’s advisory panel, instrumental in devising the content for the agenda, who include Bani Haddad, regional vice president — Middle East & Africa of Wyndham Hotel Group; Luigi Romaniello, managing director of Rosewood Abu Dhabi; Rupprecht Queitsch, general manager of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai and Stephan Schupbach, general manager of Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.

The Debate will tackle a range of issues, all related to driving growth in the UAE hotel sector and addressing the opportunities available to hospitality leaders across the country in the coming years.

Panel sessions include: Hospitality leaders & innovators; Attracting guests from across rising markets; Winning guests; Can hoteliers compete in F&B?; and Thinking like a businessman – is it the difference between a good and great GM?

There are also a host of interactive workshops, with the general managers in attendance able to select one morning session and one afternoon workshop. Morning topics include: Profit per square foot – are you making the best use of space in your property?; F&B concepts – are there any genuinely new ideas left?; and Optimising web, social and mobile opportunities for your property, which will be led by digital enthusiast Jitendra Jain, regional director of marketing — Middle East, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

In the afternoon, workshops will focus on: Managing loyalty programmes; Leasing opportunities in F&B — what are the pros and cons?; and HR strategies — recruiting, rewarding and retaining.

The day will be themed around the subject of “Hospitality Leaders, Innovators and Game Changers”.

As Schupbach said at the advisory panel meeting: “The reality now is that a GM must treat a hotel as his or her own business. It means asset management and proactively planning for better use of space all the time.” In addition, he acknowledged that GMs must be “more creative, while still considering brand and image.”

Romaniello added: “If a GM has passion, it is going to make all the difference in the world. Being visible and present empowers and motivates the staff.”

Queitsch agreed: “A great leader has passion and can identify with whatever product they have, and then are able to get their staff on board.”

All of these issues, and more, will be discussed on September 9 — it’s the one event you can’t afford to miss.

New speakers for the Hotelier Great GM Debate 2013
- Rudi Jagersbacher, president MEA, Hilton Worldwide
- Christian Grage, VP of operations for the Arabian Peninsula, Hilton Worldwide
- Serge Zaalof, president and managing director, Atlantis — The Palm
- Mohamed Awadalla, area vice president, TIME Hotels
- Thomas Tapken, area vice president — Dubai & Northern Emirates, Rotana Hotel Management Corporation
- Andrew Humphries, regional vice president and general manager, Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi
- Tim Cordon, general manager, Radisson Blu Hotel — Dubai Deira Creek
- Luigi Romaniello, managing director, Rosewood Abu Dhabi
- Jitendra Jain, regional director of marketing, Middle East, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
- Gert Kopera, senior vice president food & beverage, Jumeirah Group
- Patrick Antaki, complex general manager, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort and Al Maha, A - Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa
- Karim Bizid, general manger, Oberoi Dubai
- Henk Bruggeman, director operations — Middle East and China, Hakkasan Dubai
- Stefan Viard, general manager, Vida Downtown Dubai
- Jason Myers, managing director - Jumeirah Restaurants & general manager — operations, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts

Event Details
Registration for the Great GM Debate 2013 is now open! Attendance is free for Hotel GMs.
For more details, registration and the full agenda, head to the website.

For more information on sessions and speakers visit: www.hoteliermiddleeast.com/conferences/
Limited sponsorship opportunities are available. For information, please contact Diarmuid O’Malley on +971 4 444 3568 or dom@itp.com

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