There has been, as with last year, a shake-up in Jumeirah Group. In February 2016, the home-grown operator appointed Stefan Leser as CEO, but he left in May of this year citing “purely personal” reasons.
Since then, Jumeirah has released a statement revealing that “a search for Stefan’s replacement has been initiated and, in the meantime, Marc Dardenne, Jumeirah Group’s chief operating officer, will run the business, working closely with Dubai Holding CEO, Edris Al Rafi”.
Dardenne joined Jumeirah as group chief operating officer in September 2016, and while the operator declined to share any information for this list, we know that he played a role in the opening of Jumeirah Al Naseem in Dubai and leads the pre-opening team, which is currently preparing for the opening of Jumeirah hotels in markets, including China, Jordan, Abu Dhabi, and Bali.
New openings in the Middle East and North Africa include the 294-room Jumeirah Sa’adiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi; Jumeirah at Saraya Aqaba, Jordan, which is part of a development where the operator will also manage a Wild Wadi Waterpark in addition to the hotel; and the Jumeirah at Saraya Bandar Jissah, Oman, which will open this year, according to the official website.
Our research shows that Dardenne’s experience in the regional market is vast. He served with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (Marriott International) and Emaar Hospitality Group in Dubai prior to moving to Patina Hotels in Singapore for a five-year hiatus from the region, before moving back to take up the role with Jumeirah Group.