Meet the team: Waldorf Astoria DIFC, Dubai
Hotelier meets the executive team from the Waldorf Astoria DIFC, which is expected to open in April 2019
The Waldorf Astoria DIFC, Dubai, has revealed its executive team, which, according to a company statement, collectively has 120 years' international hospitality experience.
From the left, clockwise are Yasmine Farrouk, Gerald Richstein, Gonzalo Martínez Bueno, Madhur Sachdeva, Claire Sirrieh, Victor Chalfoun and Ayman Al Mohamed.
Victor Chalfoun heads the team as general manager, bringing 18 years' hospitality experience to the first Waldorf Astoria city hotel in the UAE. Chalfoun's experience includes domestic and international hospitality experience. His first role as a general manager was with Conrad Pezula, South Africa. Subsequently, he became the general manager of Hilton Cape Town City Centre before joining Waldorf Astoria DIFC, which is his 10th role within Hilton’s portfolio.
Commercial director Claire Sirrieh started her career in 2000 at Hilton Al Ain, before working at several Luxury Collection hotels. In 2008 she became communications and revenue manager for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Greece, before being promoted to complex director of revenue management. In 2012 Sirrieh rejoined Hilton as commercial director in Cyprus, before joining Waldorf Astoria DIFC in 2018.
Madhur Sachdeva has more than 15 years' experience in the hospitality industry. Sachdeva has worked in India, Lebanon and the UAE, operating in various roles within Oberoi Group of Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Habtoor Hotels and Conrad Dubai. As Waldorf Astoria DIFC’s new director of finance, he will manage the financial running of the 247 room and suite and 28 residential apartment property.
Heading the Human Resources Department is Yasmine Farouk, who brings more than 17 years' experience to her position. Farouk has worked in multinational companies such as Schneider Electric. She first joined the hospitality industry in 2012 as director of human resources at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and has worked with Hilton since 2017 in a cluster role across the properties of Hilton in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
Gerald Reichstein began his culinary career in 1987 in his native Germany, working for numerous Michelin star restaurants. In 1997, he went on to work in Russia and a further eight countries across nine luxury hospitality brands. According to a statement, His most recent role as executive chef of the Doubletree Hilton Minsk led the hotel to win numerous awards, including “Culinary Leader – Hilton Europe / Continental 2017”. He joined Waldorf Astoria DIFC as executive chef in 2018.
Mexican national Gonzalo Martínez Bueno has joined Waldorf Astoria DIFC as general manager Restaurants & Bars. After completing training at t Les Roches International Hotel Management School in Switzerland, he pursued numerous food and beverage roles, working at St Regis Doha, W Hotel Mexico City and Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi, before joining Waldorf Astoria DIFC six years later.
With more than 15 years' hospitality experience in Dubai Ayman Al Mohamad is Waldorf Astoria DIFC’s director of rooms. His career has seen him work at five-star properties such as Grand Hyatt Dubai, Raffles Dubai, Conrad Dubai and Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates.