Sir Rocco Forte
45

Sir Rocco Forte

Founder and chairman, Rocco Forte Hotels
In March 2017, the family-run company made hospitality industry news with its Middle East debut

Established by Sir Rocco Forte and his sister Olga Polizzi in 1996, Rocco Forte Hotels is a family of 11 individual landmark luxury hotels and resorts, predominantly in European locations.

In March 2017, the family-run company made hospitality industry news with its Middle East debut, the opening of the 210-key Assila Rocco Forte Hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which also offers 94 residential suites. Insiders interpreted the move as intent by Rocco Forte Hotels to expand beyond Europe.

“The opening of the Assila Rocco Forte Hotel, Jeddah is the first Rocco Forte Hotel in the Middle East. It marks the beginning of a period of growth, with the aim of doubling the size of the group in the next five years,” says Forte.

“The Middle East represents a new market and an exciting opportunity for growth in a vibrant and diverse city, which heralds both business travel and the advance of the post-oil tourism in Saudi Arabia. I have personally travelled extensively in the Middle East and have been fascinated and enchanted by its people and landscape, and look forward to discovering so much more about the Middle East with the opening of the Assila.”

Recruited to run the Assila in Jeddah was 14-year Rocco Forte veteran, Harry Fernandes, who moved to Saudi Arabia from the company’s European operations to be the hotel’s general manager.

While the next 12 months will see two new Rocco Forte hotels opening — the group’s second in Rome and its first in China with an opening in Shanghai — it remains to be seen what the Middle East can expect from
the company.

more

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

21
Number of years in the role
21
Number of years with the company
1
Number of regional operating hotels
0
Number of hotels in regional pipeline

From social media