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ALI HAMAD LAKHRAIM ALZAABI

Founder, president, and CEO, Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Middle East and Africa
Under Alzaabi’s leadership, development and acquisitions at the company have raced ahead, with 40 new contracts signed in the last 12 months

The past year has revealed that Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi is a master of time management and extremely skillful at juggling multiple roles. A prolific, self-made Emirati entrepreneur, he holds senior leadership roles in several businesses he has founded, in the investment banking, private equity, and real estate sectors, as well as in hotel ownership and development.

The founder, president, and CEO for Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Middle East and Africa, has also managed to find the time to launch eight hotels since July 2016, with 20 more due to open by the end of 2017 — at which point the group’s portfolio will have grown by more than 50% over the last year.

For Alzaabi, the past year is only the start of rapid, region-wide expansion for the group, with the goal of operating more than 100 properties within the next three years.

Under Alzaabi’s leadership, development and acquisitions at the company have raced ahead, with 40 new contracts signed in the last 12 months, adding more than 15,000 rooms across the Middle East. Among these was Studio M Dubai World Central, which has around 750 keys, making it one of the largest budget hotels in the region.

New brands have also launched in the region, spanning from budget and mid-market concepts such as Studio M, M Hotel, and Millennium Executive Apartments, through to luxury concepts such as Biltmore. The group has also developed and signed another new brand for the region: Agarwood. The eco-lifestyle concept, researched and developed specifically for the Middle East, is due to debut in Salalah, Oman, later this year.

Three Studio M hotels are due to open in Dubai by 2018, as well as another in Muscat and one in Saudi. With more than 10,000 keys in the pipeline, Saudi Arabia remains a key strategic focus for the group. It operates five properties in the kingdom, with an additional 23 properties in the pipeline. Two new hotels in Saudi Arabia with more than 1,400 keys — close to Al Masjid Al Haram, with direct access to the Holy Ka’aba — are in the offing.

Three further properties are in store for Makkah, with a goal of opening 10 to 12 hotels in the next six to 12 months, encompassing the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah and extending to the North, South, and Western Provinces. The next openings for the country include Millennium Hotel in Madinah as part of Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport, and Millennium and Copthorne hotels in Makkah Al Naseem, due to open later this year.

“Our development objective is to have 130 hotels by 2020,” Alzaabi says, adding: “We have successfully positioned Millennium Hotels & Resorts MEA as one of the major players in the hospitality sector, not only in the UAE but across the region, and for this I am truly grateful to all of our team.”

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ALEX KYRIAKIDIS
President and managing director
OLIVIER GRANET
Managing director and chief operating officer
PASCAL GAUVIN
Chief operating officer, India, Middle East and Africa
MARK WILLIS
Area senior vice president Middle East, Turkey, and Africa
ANDREAS MATTMÜLLER
Chief operating officer, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
ALI HAMAD LAKHRAIM ALZAABI
Founder, president, and CEO, Millennium Hotels & Resorts
OMER KADDOURI
President and CEO
ROBERT KUNKLER
Chief operating officer
KAMEL AJAMI
Vice president operations
AMINE MOUKARZEL
President/ partner
IGNACE BAUWENS
Wyndham Hotel Group regional vice president
SAMI NASSER
COO luxury brands
PETER FULTON
Group president – Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Southwest Asia
HUSSAIN SAJWANI
Chairman
Simon Casson
President – hotel operations, Europe, Middle East & Africa
Dr Badr Al Badr
Chief executive officer
Antoine El Sayegh
President
Imad Elias
CEO
Vincent Miccolis
Country general manager, Middle East and Turkey
Mohamed Ahmed Awadalla
Chief executive officer
Henk Meyknecht
Chief operating officer, Middle East and Africa
Andrew Shaw
Assistant vice president — development EMEA
Laurent A. Voivenel
Senior vice president, operations, and development for the Middle East, Africa, and India
Sumair Tariq
Managing director
Baran Turkel
Managing directorTurkey, Middle East, and Central Asia,
Hatem Gasmi
Founder and managing director,
Aboudi Asali
Chief executive officer
Gabriel Escarrer Jaume
Vice chairman and CEO
Jamal Serhan
CEO and senior vice president
Hussein Ali Hatata
Vice president, hospitality division
Marc Dardenne
Group chief operating officer and interim CEO
Siegfried Nierhaus
Vice president Middle East
Rob Weeden
Vice president sales and marketing Europe
Kamal Fakhoury
Chief executive officer
Nehme Imad Darwiche
Founder and chief executive officer
Mohamed Soussan
Group general manager
Simon Coombs
President and CEO
Suparat Chirathivat
Vice president business development
David Grant Thomson
Chief operating officer
Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi
Executive chairman
Philippe Zuber
President and chief operating officer
Anton Bawab
Regional president
Frederic Flageat-Simon
Chief executive officer
Sir Rocco Forte
Founder and chairman
Philippe Harb
Chief operating officer and partner
Ranjit Phillipose
General manager

BY THE NUMBERS

7
Previous Ranking
16
Number of years in the role
16
Number of years with the company
30
Number of regional operating hotels
40
Number of hotels in regional pipeline

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