Starwood hires to open three hotels in Al Habtoor City, Dubai - Insights

Starwood hires to open three hotels in Al Habtoor City, Dubai


As the project paces towards completion, Starwood Hotels & Resorts introduces the management team of the three luxury hotels that it will operate in Al Habtoor City – Dubai’s first-ever St. Regis (234 rooms), the UAE’s first W hotel (356 rooms) and the largest Westin (1004 rooms) in the Middle East.

Al Habtoor City Complex  Oct 2015
Al Habtoor City Complex Oct 2015

The three hotels, collectively presenting nearly 1600 rooms, 21 restaurants and lounges, two spas and three state-of-the-art ballrooms supported by 25 meeting rooms, are scheduled to open in a staggered formation, starting with The St. Regis Dubai in Quarter 4 of this year, followed by W Dubai – Al Habtoor City and The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City.

Leading the team and overlooking all three hotels as General Manager – Complex, is luxury hospitality veteran, Andreas Oberoi. Since joining in September 2014, he has been focused on compiling an expert team from the ground up, to soon launch, operate and ensure service excellence.

Speaking of the team, Andreas Oberoi shared: “We have aimed to bring together a stellar team – one that reflects the UAE’s highly diverse and multicultural society while bringing with them the strengths and expertise to position the three hotels and Al Habtoor City as the region’s landmark hospitality destination.”

Andreas Oberoi brings 30 years of experience in luxury hospitality across ten global markets including New York, Bangkok, Beijing and Munich. A Munich native, Oberoi was previously General Manager of Trump SoHo New York. Prior to this, he led openings of The St. Regis Bangkok and The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca, amongst others.

To see through successful openings and ensure the quality and service experience intimately associated with the St. Regis, W and Westin brands, Oberoi proudly welcomes his core team:

  • Peter Katusak-Huzsvar, General Manager of W Dubai – Al Habtoor City, was previously opening General Manager of W Guangzhou and W St. Petersburg.
  • Khaled Ghaleb, General Manager of The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City, was previously Hotel Manager at the Grosvenor House, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai, where he most recently opened Tower Two. Prior to that, he was Hotel Manager at Shangri La Hotel Dubai.
  • Bernard Obaro, Director of Finance – Complex, first came to Dubai in 1996 to open the Sheraton Deira. Most recently he was Director of Finance for Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates.
  • Stephane Buchholzer, Director of Culinary – Complex, will oversee 21 dining venues and 28 kitchens across the three hotels. He joins from The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina and Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, where he was Executive Chef for the two hotels.
  • Nathalie Massabki, Director of Revenue – Complex, joined Starwood in 1998 and has worked across markets as diverse as Paris and Cairo. Most recently, she was Area Director of Revenue for Starwood’s seven hotels in Abu Dhabi.
  • Dara Pinke, Director of Human Resources – Complex, has previously managed six pre-openings including the Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah – a role that saw her win a coveted Hotelier Middle East Award in 2014.
  • Sian Navarro, Director of Sales – Complex, was Area Director of Sales and oversaw four Starwood hotels in Venice, including the recently re-opened   Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel.
  • Candice D’Cruz, Director of Marketing and PR – Complex, joined Starwood in 2011 to open the region’s first St. Regis, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi. Previously she worked with Emaar and led the marketing for Burj Khalifa, home to the Armani Hotel Dubai.
  • Amanda Schmiege, Director of Spa & Recreation – Complex, will overlook two spas and leisure facilities across the three hotels. She was General Manager of The Red Door Union Square in New York before moving to Dubai this summer.
  • Barbara Arensmeyer, Director of Housekeeping – Complex, has more than 40 years of experience including opening the Emirates Palace. She joins the team from the recently renovated Sheraton Doha Resort  & Convention Hotel.
  • Vises Kith, Director of Information Technology – Complex, has been involved with eight pre-openings in his 11 years with Starwood, including the conversion and opening of Sheraton Dubai, Mall of the Emirates.
  • Tyrone Sinnamon, Director of Engineering – Complex, chanced upon the hospitality industry in Dubai after 15 years of military service. He was previously part of the opening teams at the Meydan and Madinat Jumeirah.
  • Rounding off the team is Craig Clark-Darby, Director of Security – Complex, who started his security career in Scotland Yard. Most recently he moved to Dubai to open Pacha Ibiza and Frioul post his role as Director of Security at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi.

This core team will be joined by over 2,000 associates, representing over 60 nationalities, once all three hotels are operational.

Oberoi concluded, “We are creating a destination that will become top of mind for both regional and global travellers thanks to the right mix of leisure and business offerings, a strong team and a prime location in the heart of Sheikh Zayed road that presents easy accessibility to old and new Dubai. The team feels privileged to be part of this project and we look forward to taking leisure and tourism in Dubai to new heights.”

Set to transform Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Habtoor City is one of the most prestigious hospitality, entertainment and residential developments in the region. Located on the banks of the soon-to-be-completed Dubai Water Canal, the multi-million dollar development will also provide a one-of-its kind entertainment theatre by Dragone, offering the only permanent water-based theatrical production between Las Vegas and Macau.

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