ROBERT KUNKLER
8

ROBERT KUNKLER

Chief operating officer, Minor Hotels
Minor Hotels now has 14 hotels spanning 2,678 rooms coming up in the years ahead

Minor Hotels has had a good year in the region. It has opened two Anantara-branded properties in Oman, signed the development of the first Minor Hotels property in Saudi Arabia, and — just before the 2016 edition of this list — rebranded the Mövenpick Deira as an Avani property.

Two more Avani hotels have been added to the existing Avani Jebel Dhanna in the pipeline: Avani Ibn Battuta Dubai Hotel, in partnership with Nakheel, and Avani Al Marjan Island Ras Al Khaimah Resort. The company’s COO, Robert Kunkler, hints at more impending announcements.

Minor Hotels now has 14 hotels spanning 2,678 rooms coming up in the years ahead; this includes the first Tivoli-branded properties in the region. Pipeline hotels under development are located in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Tunisia in the MENA region, with others across the globe.

Kunkler says that in addition to the 10 properties in the GCC pipeline, there are a number of HMAs awaiting “imminent signing” in new markets; he reiterates that the Middle East continues to be an area of key strategic focus for Minor Hotels.

“The senior leadership team and I have ambitious plans to further expand Minor’s existing brands in the region and to explore strategic acquisitions with strong joint-venture partners,” Kunkler reveals.

He continues: “The group’s pipeline is already substantial in the MENA region, and I’ve made sure to be instrumental in securing new management agreements. Anantara Dubai Creek Hotel is under development in Culture Village in Dubai, scheduled to open in 2020. Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort will be the brand’s first property in the emirate when it opens in 2020. In addition, the group’s first hotels in North Africa are currently under development — Anantara Tozeur Resort in Tunisia and Anantara Al Houara Tangier Resort in Morocco.”

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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

15
PREVIOUS RANKING
3.5
Number of years in the role
5.5
Number of years with the company
13
Number of operating hotels in the region as of July 2017
14
Number of pipeline hotels in the region as of July 2017

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