Associate Director Hotels, Colliers International
Damien has worked in the hotel industry for the last 19 years, starting his career in operations with Starwood and Marriott in Europe, moving on to a development role in Mexico.
Before relocating to the Middle East, he worked for Yellowstone Club, a US based ultra-high net worth destination club, as General Manager.
In Dubai, Damien worked as a hospitality consultant with an edge in F&B before working for Meraas, helping them to create their F&B portfolio and bringing brands to Dubai.
Damien oversees the Hospitality Asset Management Function for Colliers International MENA office in Dubai. In his role, he performs strategic asset reviews, develops asset plans and helps owners set up their in-house asset management capabilities.
Damien holds a MBA from INSEAD and a bachelor degree from the Lausanne Hotel School.
Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi National Hotels PJSC
With more than 25 years in the hospitality industry, Khalid had the opportunity to manage various hotels under well-reputed international hotel chains in different countries.
Khalid has had exposure to different business models, resorts, city hotels and mix used development.
Before joining Abu Dhabi National Hotels, Khalid spent 5 years in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He was the Managing Director of Al Hokair Group, where he played a key role in the group’s successful IPO.
Prior to that, Khalid worked as General Manager for Accor & Banyan Tree.
Khalid a 53 yr old Finnish citizen of Moroccan origin, holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Strathclyde University, United Kingdom.
Head of Asset Management, The First Group
Mariano Faz is Head of TFG Asset Management in Dubai. www.tfgassetmanagement.com. He is responsible for the asset management of the company’s Hospitality and Real Estate portfolio which comprises over 3,000 units in the UAE and an additional 3,000 hotel units under development. During his tenure, Mariano has guided the strategic planning efforts to achieve investment objectives on behalf of owners. He provides leadership to the asset management team and ensures that the hotels are managed to the best of their capacity.
Mariano is an active HAMA (Hotel Asset Management Association) member and also is part of the HSMAI (Hotels Sales & Marketing Association International) Advisory Board. Mariano brings over sixteen years of expertise within the hospitality sector, where he has held a number of management, finance and operational roles. He has successfully negotiated multiple hotel management contracts, coordinated pre-openings and possesses in-depth knowledge of hotel industry trends. Before joining TFG Asset Management, Mariano served as the SVP of JLL Hotels in Dubai where he focused on investment and advisory. Prior to that, he worked for Ilunion hotels as a Chief Operating Officer for three years and Barcelo hotels in Europe where he successfully managed to expand the brand through management contracts and lease contracts.
Mariano is a Spanish national and holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University International of Catalonia, Spain and a Master in Finance from EADA, Barcelona. Mariano is a regular speaker at prominent Hospitality Conferences in the Middle East. He also collaborates in multiple hotel sector publications related to Hotel Asset Management topics.
Head of Asset Management, OMRAN
Zoltan is an experienced real estate investment professional with over 20 years of industry experience covering multiple senior managerial and leadership positions across geographies.
His primary background is in hotel investments and asset management, but Zoltan has been involved in extensive work in real estate asset classes like office, residential and mixed use developments. He began his career in philanthropic organisations, then moved to KPMG, where he worked for a decade in the Real Estate, Leisure and Tourism sector for the Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Previous to joining Omran, Zoltan was employed by the largest sovereign wealth fund of Oman (SGRF) where he was responsible for the hospitality portfolio and related transactions.
Zoltan hold an MSc in Engineering, a Bachelor degree in social sciences and an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management, Cleveland, Ohio, specializing in International Management and Finance. He is a certified asset manager from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.
Managing Director - Middle East & Africa, Meliá Hotels International
François Kassab has been recently appointed as the Managing Director leading the region of Middle East & Africa for Melia Hotels International. Bringing over 20 years of leadership experience, Kassab is playing an instrumental strategic role in driving the regional positioning in line with the company’s overall expansion plan.
Prior to his current position, Kassab successfully occupied the role of Chief Operating Officer of Millennium and Copthorne Hotels Middle East & Africa heading the evolvement of its commercial and operational strategy.
Kassab founded his thriving career path through a wide range of industries and across different continents, before relocating to the Middle East region joining InterContinental Hotels Group in 2006. François Kassab completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management and Marketing from Lycee Hôtelier De Saint – Quentin En Yvelines in Paris, France. He furthered his education when he received his Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management in 1998 from ESSEC Business School in Paris, France.