Kamal Fakhoury
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Kamal Fakhoury

Chief executive officer, Cristal Group
The group operates five properties in the Middle East and North Africa currently, and plans to manage seven more in the coming years

Established in the UAE in 2007 — and in the British Virgin Islands in 2012 —Cristal Hotels and Resorts opened its flagship property in Abu Dhabi, Cristal Hotel, in April 2009. The Cristal Group’s co-founder, Kamal Fakhoury, took over as the CEO last year.

The group operates five properties in the Middle East and North Africa currently, and plans to manage seven more in the coming years. With 894 rooms currently in hand, Cristal intends to add significantly to that number — 1,780 more keys are planned.

In the last year, the group has opened two new hotels, Fakhoury tells Hotelier Middle East. “We opened our first Emerald-branded hotel in Erbil, Kurdistan, and we opened our first Bayat by Cristal hotel in Abha, Saudi Arabia,” he says, adding: “We have also expanded further in our existing markets of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.”

Having been with the group for 10 years, Fakhoury says: “[I] worked very hard to steer it through difficult economic and geo-political times; I am delighted to have managed to continue growing the company to 12 hotels today. Also, after three years of negotiations, I managed to solidify a joint venture with StayWell Hospitality Group from Australia to become strategic partners globally.”

An industry veteran, Fakhoury has worked in the hospitality sector for 24 years, of which 14 were served in the Middle East. His ultimate goal, he says, is for Cristal to become a leading hotel operator in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

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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

42
Previous Ranking
1
Number of years in the role
10
Number of years with the company
5
Number of operating hotels in the region as of July 2017
7
Number of pipeline hotels in the region as of July 2017

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