As the chief executive officer of UAE-headquartered property developer giant Emaar’s hospitality group, Olivier Harnisch has enjoyed a busy five months since his appointment.
Earlier this month, it emerged that Emaar has 6,310 hotel rooms in its pipeline, with Vida Dubai Mall being the latest hotel project to be announced.
Emaar Hospitality Group has big plans. It is expanding its portfolio, with 27 upcoming projects already announced in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and Turkey. The group also plans to introduce its brands in key gateway cities and tourist destinations in Europe, the Middle East, India, and China.
Emaar completed a dizzying array of UAE projects between July 2016 and July 2017, including the Address Boulevard in Downtown Dubai, and three of the four operational hotels under the Rove Hotels brand, including Rove City Centre, Rove Healthcare City, and Rove Trade Centre. It has also announced the first Address Hotels + Resorts hotel in Saudi Arabia, Jabal Omar Address Makkah. This is in addition to plans to complete 10 Rove Hotels in Dubai by 2020.
While Harnisch has completed half a decade in the region, Emaar’s new CEO boasts an impressive total of 30 years’ hospitality industry experience.
According to Harnisch, who is responsible for a total of 4,000 employees across the group, the first quarter of 2017 saw Emaar’s hospitality revenue alone grow by 8% from January to March, to AED 437m (US $119m) from AED 406m ($111m) in the same period in 2016. Gross profit increased by 39%, from AED 158m ($43m) in Q1 2016 to AED 219m ($60m) in Q1 2017. Address-branded hotels under the Emaar Hospitality Group recorded an average occupancy of 92% during Q1 2017, which Harnisch adds is higher than the industry average.
Harnisch’s vision for the future of the company is to “set strong global roots”.