A central feature of The Hotel Show, The Hospitality Leadership Forum is a series of forthright panel discussions addressing the key strategic opportunities and challenges that are shaping the regional sector at this time of accelerated expansion and change.

The agenda is developed in close consultation with the region’s leading hotel General Managers and offers the audience a rare insight into how they think; how they create, manage and develop critical elements of their properties; how they view the current market and what they’re planning next.



Rupprecht Queitsch
CEO & Senior Partner




Sharihan has joined the Hospitality Industry over 13 years ago, and successfully worked her path up to leadership positions in Jumeirah Group (Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah), pre-opening of Palazzo Versace Hotel Dubai, pre-opening of Address Boulevard Hotel prior to her role as General Manager for Manzil Downtown (Emaar Hospitality Group), and Steering Committee Member for EHG-Dubai Expo2020 for Hospitality & Sustainability. Her commitment to the Hospitality industry goes beyond Hotel Management and into Hospitality Education, Skills Training for Youth across National Skills and World Skills competitive platforms, and commitmet to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for her country the UAE through her industry, Hospitality. Sharihan’ s strategic outlook of the Service industry, Future of Work, Vocational & Technical Education for Hospitality and influencing policies has gained her international recognition as Asia 21 Young Leader 2019-2020 (amongst young leaders across Asia and Asia Pacific), the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award 2019, member of Sustainable Development Goals Solutions Network – United Nations; and national recognition as Arabian Young Impact Leader, Hotelier’s 25 Power Women in Hospitality and Best General Manager United Arab Emirates.

Sharihan Al Mashary 
General Manager 
Manzil Downtown

As we enter the last year before Expo 2020 opens, how is the hotel market performing and continuing to develop relative to key competing markets? What initiatives are being taken by hotel owners to preserve the profitability in their hotels, and where are the hidden opportunities in Dubai’s hospitality market?

Are the region’s new, and typically very successful mid-market offerings attracting new types of guest or simply reflecting broader changes in global tourist behaviour and needs? How do we expect to see this sector evolve and expand in coming years?

Manuel Garcia
General Manager
Millennium Place Marina

Mrad El Khoury 
General Manager
Grand Millennium Business Bay

Nayla Chowdhury
General Manager
Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport

Are owner visions and expectations of cash flow, profits and asset value being redefined as the regional hotel market enters its new phase of expansion, diversification and performance? How do regional GMs manage, negotiate and execute their owners vision?

Caroline Trichet 
General Manager
Pullman JLT

Laurent A Voivenel 
SVP, Operations & Development for MEA & India
Swiss-Belhotel International

What are the most innovative and forward-thinking operators doing to strengthen their distribution channels into existing and new markets, and how are they ensuring that their brand identity is clearly expressed?

Ian Rydin
General Manager 
Movenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate Dubai

Nila Pendarovski 
Hotel Manager
Rove Dubai Marina

Puneet Baijal 
General Manager
Roda Al Bustan

Following four successful years as General Manager of Armani Hotel Dubai, earlier this year, Mark Kirby was appointed Area General Manager of Address Downtown Hotels and General Manager of the iconic flagship hotel Address Downtown where he is responsible for driving the commercial strategy. Mark additionally oversees Address Sky View, Address Fountain Views and the Palace Hotel Downtown and is tasked with strengthening the Address Hotels + Resorts brand identity as well as outreach to new international markets.

Mark Kirby 
Area General Manager
Address Hotels Downtown

Three GMs who are all relatively new to the region discuss their first impressions of the market, their perception of the key differences to other markets that they’ve operated in and their strategic goals for the short and medium term.

Paul Franz
General Manager
Park Inn by Radisson Dubai Motor City

Thomas Peruzzo
General Manager
Armani Hotel Dubai

Werner Anzinger 
General Manager
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai

With an incredible volume of new restaurants reaching the market over the last year and some very well established brands faltering, what makes similar restaurant concepts perform differently, and where are gaps and opportunities for home-grown and third-party offerings over the next 12-18 months?

Mark Lee 
General Manager
Media One Hotel 

Rohit Sharma
General Manager
Citymax Bur Dubai

Stefan Viard
General Manager
ME Dubai

What do we understand about the characteristics of brand loyalty in Dubai’s new and repeat tourists, and how are leading players using this information to shape their communications and offerings?

David Allan
Cluster General Manager
Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Waterfront and Dubai Canal Views

Stuart Birkwood
General Manager
Radisson RED Dubai Silicon Oasis

Ulrich Hoffmeister
Cluster General Manager
Jumeira Rotana & BurJuman Arjaan

What can we understand from successful new hotel and restaurant design in the region, as well as the rate and nature of renovation and refurbishment occurring in the market? How do operators understand the true impact of interior design on their guest’s behaviour and spending?

Justin Wells
Director & Global Head of Hospitality

Laura Eggleton
General Manager
Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown

Walter Knight
General Manager
Grayton Hotel, by Blazon Hotels

Since taking the role just over a year ago, Fredrik has overseen one of the fastest and highest-profile rebranding exercises in the history of Dubai's hospitality industry, overseeing 1,600 guest rooms and suites, 18 restaurants and lounges, two spas and 34 banqueting and meeting spaces across three significant, distinct properties.

Fredrik Reinisch,
Complex General Manager
V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton, Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City & Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts

Competition and excellence are hallmarks of the regional hospitality industry, but has pricing become so competitive that we may now need some form of intervention to save the industry from itself?

Damir Boshnjak
Hotel Manager
Studio One Hotel

Siegfried Poppe
General Manager
FORM Hotel Dubai

Torsten Obermann 
General Manager
Steigenberger Business Bay Dubai

Examining how hoteliers monitor and anticipate guest spending patterns and tailor effective promotions and pricing offers to appeal to them.

Andreas Plum 
General Manager
Lapita Hotel, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Autograph Collection

George Ganchev
General Manager
Ajman Hotel managed by Blazon Hotels

JS Anand
Founder & CEO
LEVA Hotels & Resorts

With margins tightening across the market, savvy hotel operators are analysing and rethinking all aspects of their operations to identify new efficiencies. What are the richest areas for improvement and what are the most impressive recent innovations driving return and value on investment?

Bassam Zakaria
General Manager
dusitD2 kenz hotel – Dubai

Gonzalo Rodriguez
General Manager
The H Dubai

Nader Batniji
General Manager
Copthorne Hotel Sharjah

A succession of highly distinctive and immediately successful hotels continue to open and operate across the nation. Are they targeting different types of visitor than Dubai? What's making them so distinctive and compelling? Who are they actually attracting, and why?

Adib Moukheiber
General Manager
Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi

Iftikhar Hamdani
Cluster General Manager
Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Ajman, Ramada by Wyndham Beach Hotel Ajman and Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche

Patrick Moukarzel
General Manager
Al Bait Sharjah

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