Having taken on his role just a few months ago, Zager is now tasked with building Wyndham’s management portfolio in the Middle East and Africa.
Leading the way in the region in the economy sector, Wyndham has this year opened its second Days Inn hotel in Saudi Arabia, and has signed its first Howard Johnson in the Kingdom, anticipated to open in the third quarter of this year. The 50-room hotel will be run as a franchise — a model that Wyndham is starting to move away from as it ramps up its Middle East management portfolio under the regional leadership of Michael Zager, who replaces his predecessor Bani Haddad in the top 10 of the Power 50 list.
Zager has successfully established the group’s management services offering during his three years in the region, during which he has developed standard operating procedures across multiple commercial functions and overseen hotel openings in locations as diverse as Qatar, the UAE, the UK and, most recently, Tanzania. Zager was also instrumental in the regional integration and evolution of the Ramada brand following Wyndham Hotel Group’s acquisition of the international rights in 2004.
“My family and especially my father, who was a hotelier himself – he started as a chef, went to hotel school and worked abroad for many years, including in Germany, France, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, where I grew up. He taught me the core values in both life and hospitality – trust, respect, honesty, love and patience – and I am very thankful for that”.