Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, has appointed Aboudi Asali as Senior Vice President Development for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. Mr. Asali takes up the leadership of the MEASA development team from Cherif Hosny, who left the company in August 2014.
A British national, educated in Austria and the USA, Mr. Asali joins Jumeirah Group with a twenty-year career in hospitality including senior appointments in the Middle East and Europe. Having started in hotels in the USA and Saudi Arabia, Mr. Asali worked as a hospitality consultant for Andersen until 2002. He then joined Marriott International as Vice President International Lodging Development and structured a dedicated development team for the Middle East region. In this role he negotiated and signed management agreements for over 40 hotels, comprising more than 10,000 rooms including the 1,608-room JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai.
Since 2012 Mr. Asali has run Aprio Hotel Advisory Services advising hotel owners and developers in the EMEA region on the operator selection and contract negotiations. Recent projects have included the Inter-Continental Dubai Marina and Sheraton Juba, South Sudan. Aprio also advised several operators, including Steigenberger Hotels and Morgans Group that are planning to enter the Middle East region.
Mr. Asali will report to Group Chief Development Officer Robert Swade and assumes responsibility for driving the expansion of the Jumeirah brand across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Jumeirah Group currently operates 22 hotels and has management agreements to operate a further 17 hotels, which are under development. These include eight in the MEASA region – two in Muscat, Oman; two in Marrakech, Morocco; and one each in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Aqaba, Jordan; Mumbai, India; and Mauritius.
In addition Jumeirah Group is expanding its footprint of owned assets in Dubai with the construction of a 430-room luxury hotel to complete the Madinat Jumeirah Arabian Resort and a new 350-room hotel near Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
Speaking on the appointment of Mr Asali, Group Chief Development Officer Robert Swade said: “Jumeirah’s growth strategy is focused on expansion in MEASA and Asia in particular. Aboudi’s extensive experience of the market in the MEASA region and his engagement in some of the most significant recent deals gives Jumeirah an unrivalled opportunity to attract a wide range of potential development partners and build up a strong pipeline of future openings.”