Gabriel Escarrer Jaume joined family-run company Meliã over two decades ago and has served as vice chairman and CEO for nine years.
It’s been a busy year for Meliã in the Middle East — over the last 12 months, the group has signed four new hotels bringing its pipeline to six upcoming hotels in Dubai, Marrakech, and other cities in the region.
The group suffered a minor setback this year when it was announced that ME Dubai by Meliã hotel has been pushed a year, and will now open in Q4 of 2018 instead of Q4 of this year, citing “further constructions”. When it opens, ME Dubai will be part of the 95-metre high Opus building designed by the late Zaha Hadid in partnership with Omniyat.
The group’s new strategy is based on an “asset-lighter, more management-oriented model” according to Jaume. Case in point: Meliã Hotels International was tapped to operate the Desert Palm Dubai Hotel (previously managed by Minor Hotels) under the Melia brand in July 2018.
Over the last few years, Jaume has also led the company through a digital transformation, optimising management systems, commercial strategy and back office processes.
“Within this extensive program, we are making remarkable progress in our systems, our organisation, our technology, and our sales, as demonstrated by the 27% annual growth of our sales website, melia.com over the last three years,” Jaume notes, adding that the group expects direct sales to continue growing at an annual rate of 30% over the coming years.