Ulrich T. Eckhardt

Ulrich T. Eckhardt

president Middle East & Africa, Kempinski Hotels

Kempinski is celebrating its 15th anniversary in the UAE this year and its achievements must be credited to the man who set the ball rolling back in Ajman in 1997, Ulrich T. Eckhardt.

This has been recognised by Kempinski’s head office, with Eckhardt being awarded the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual General Manager’s meeting in July.

Since opening Kempinski Hotel Ajman, which Eckhardt still manages, he has grown the portfolio to 11 hotels in the Middle East across UAE — including Emirates Palace — Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and Egypt.

There were no new properties added this year, however, three hotels opened in Africa and India, also under Eckhardt’s remit, where he is focused on emulating the success achieved in the Middle East. One hotel in the Middle East and five in Africa were also signed in the past 12 months.

In 2014, expansion is set to pick up pace, with five scheduled openings in the Middle East; Kempinski Hotel Royal Maxim in New Cairo, Kempinski Hotel Summerland in Beirut, Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski in Riyadh, Kempinski Al-Othman Hotel in Al Khobar, and Kempinski Hotel Marsa Malaz in Doha — which will be the first five-star hotel to open on The Pearl, Qatar.

Expanding the portfolio is a key priority for Eckhardt, who recently promoted Bugra Berberoglu to regional senior VP of operations to enable himself to focus on signing more new hotels. “We now have hotels in every key destination in the Middle East so our focus has turned to Africa and South America where we see a lot of potential for growth,” he says.


Rudi Jagersbacher
Pascal Gauvin
chief operating officer, India, Middle East And Africa
Guido de wilde
senior vice president and regional director - Middle East
Alex Kyriakidis
president, Middle East & Africa
Christophe Landais
managing director
Selim El Zyr
president & CEO
Gerald Lawless
president and group CEO
Bani Haddad
regional vice president for the Middle East and Africa
Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi
president and CEO
Amine E. Moukarzel
president, president
Pascal Duchauffour
area vice president EMEA
Ulrich T. Eckhardt
president Middle East & Africa
Simon Casson
regional vice president and GM
Andreas Mattmuller
chief operating officer
Josef Kufer
chief operating officer
Sami Nasser
senior vice president, operations, Middle East, Africa and India
Peter Fulton
group president
Mark Willis
area vice president for the Middle East & Sub Saharan Africa
Michel Noblet
president & founding partner
Hamad Abdulla Al Mulla
chief executive officer
Mahmoud Mokhtar
vice president of operations for KSA
David Thomson
chief operating officer
Jiri Kobos
vice-president operations
Glenn de Souza
vice president for international operations - Asia and Middle East
Moritz Klein
GM, Area GM
Anton Bawab
regional president
Paul Arnold
vice president of development, Europe, Middle East and Africa
Raj Shetty
chairman & managing worker
Ziad Al Chaar
managing director
Magdi Samman
regional director of operations & development
Sultan B. Al Otaibi
general manager
Simon Coombs
president & CEO
Mohammed H. Arkobi
vice president & managing director
Fadi Mazkour
managing director hotel division
Darroch Crawford
managing director
Hussein Ali Hatata
vice president — hospitality division
Peter Blackburn
president & CEO
Russel Sharpe
chief operating officer
Tarek el Sherif
managing director
Serge Zaalof
president/managing director
Aqeel Raees
chief executive officer
Dr Ali Kasapbashi
group general manager
Hatem Gasmi
founder and managing director
Anders Dimblad
area general manager
Horsten Ries
managing director
Patrick De Groot
general manager
Rupprecht Queitsch
General manager


Kempinski Hotels open in Middle East
Hotels in confirmed pipeline for Middle East
Middle East hotels opened in past 12 months
Middle East hotels signed in past 12 months
Middle East hotels due to open by end 2014
Years in hospitality
Years in Middle East

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