Ulrich Eckhardt leaves Kempinski Hotels

Veteran hotelier leaves along with Bugra Berberoglu and Gemil Uestuen

Ulrich Eckhardt had been general manager of Kempinski Hotel Ajman since it opened in 1998
Ulrich Eckhardt had been general manager of Kempinski Hotel Ajman since it opened in 1998

Kempinski Hotels has lost the services of three of its most senior executives in the region, including president Middle East & Africa Ulrich Eckhardt.

The company said Eckhardt, who had also been general manager of Kempinski Hotel Ajman since it opened in 1998, had decided to retire.

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Meanwhile, it said Bugra Berberoglu, SVP Operations Middle East & Africa, had left the company to “consider other career opportunities”.

Completing the management clear-out, Gemil Uestuen, President & CEO of Kempinski Trading JLT, the hotelier’s procurement arm, has left to “dedicate more time to his family before starting his next professional challenge”.

Eckhardt had more than 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry and had joined Kempinski Hotels in 1995, as SVP Latin America & Caribbean. He had headed up operations in the Middle East and Africa since 2007.

Until a successor is announced, the region’s operations will be overseen directly by overseen directly by Kempinski Hotels chief operating officer Marcus van der Wal, who paid tribute to Eckhardt’s contribution.

"Ulrich Eckhardt spearheaded the group's impressive expansion in the Middle East and Africa, which allowed the group's portfolio to become more geographically balanced and position the Kempinski brand as an important player in the region,” he said. “We thank Mr Eckhardt for his contribution to the group's success, and wish him an enjoyable and well deserved retirement."

Berberoglu joined Kempinski in 2004 and had been general manager of Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi before taking on his last role. Van der Wal will also take on his responsibilities before a replacement is named.

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