Meet Our Team

Marloes Knippenberg
CEO

A trailblazer in the realm of modern mixed-use developments, Marloes has shaped the industry by emphasizing ESG as a central aspect of operations, business processes, and the entire value chain. Her approach has transformed a single brand in one country into a global lifestyle group encompassing over 45 projects. Unwavering in her commitment, Marloes seeks to expand the lifestyle footprint in carefully selected destinations where collaboration and shared purpose unite all stakeholders. Her career began at Hilton, where she held prominent operational and commercial management roles. Today, she serves on multiple industry boards and actively supports the next generation of professionals.

Christian H. Muhr
COO

Christian is a strategic and goal-oriented hospitality leader with over 30 years of experience. His distinguished career includes roles such as Vice President of Operations for Hilton in Central Europe, where he led the integration of a large number of new hotels and implemented regional strategies, as well as Vice President Egypt and Levant area, after a long standing career in numerous operational functions. During the last years, Christian leveraged his vast experience to provide consultancy services, focusing on change management and profitability optimization for various hotels and businesses. A record of success in challenging market conditions and a commitment to customers, investors, and team members defines his leadership style. With honors like the Hilton Worldwide Long Service Award and recognition in the Annual Hotelier Middle East Power 50 list, Christian continues to be an influential figure in the hospitality industry, fostering growth and innovation.

Aman Malhotra
CFO

Aman is an astute finance leader having an established track record with various global hotel players for the last 15 years. Aman oversees the Finance vertical of the Group including all operational and upcoming properties, playing a key role in delivering returns to the Owners on their assets. Prior to this, he has played key roles in various hotel groups in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. His strength lies in the implementation of controls and effective finance strategies leading to enhanced returns on the Owners’ investments.

Tara Marlow
Group General Counsel

Tara is a seasoned lawyer both in Real Estate and the Hotels & Leisure industries. She has been consistently ranked by international legal directories Chambers Global and Legal 500 as a leading individual and was recognised by Who’s Who Legal as a ‘Global Elite Thought Leader in Hospitality – EMEA’ 2020. Previously as a Partner and Regional Head of Real Estate and Hotels & Leisure, with the MENA region’s largest law firm, Al Tamimi & Co, she created the firm’s Hotels Practice. As VP Legal for MAF Hospitality, she worked with professionals of international brands, and established the legal function.  She is an active member of the Advisory Committee of AHIC and a regular speaker at industry forums in the Middle East.

Antony Doucet
CxO

Antony is a seasoned hotelier with passion for creating memorable guest experiences since the beginning of his career. Ever since the birth of the hospitality group, he has been fully involved and led the development of all 100% owned brands of the Kerten Hospitality Portfolio. He started his hospitality journey as part of the opening team of Park Hyatt Paris and Park Hyatt Istanbul.

Prior to that, he was the editor of the Louis Vuitton City guide; community build has always been his commitment and responsibility.

Building communities is one of the many focus points within the guest journey at Kerten Hospitality, which is essential to deliver successful mixed-use products and to connect people.

Renato W. Chizzola
SVP Luxury

Renato is a respected and multilingual hospitality leader, globally experienced with a travel record of more than 180 destinations contributing to the success of the most exclusive enterprises within the luxury hospitality industry. Renato started his career on the seven seas on the world-famous Queen Elizabeth II. This allowed him to be part of prestigious companies such as Celebrity, Seabourn, Crystal Cruises and ultimately The World by Residensea. The latter provided him the opportunity to assist Residents on board this private residential vessel to enjoy an exclusive lifestyle with an understated form of luxury. Previously, he was part of ultra-luxury resort Cheval Blanc Randheli by LVMH (Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton) as VP Operations and GM acting; Currently, as SVP at Kerten Hospitality, he is leading a team of over 350 members from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds, offering guests tailor-made experiences.

John Brennan
Senior Advisor

John is a seasoned hospitality leader with a global track record of successes in hotel investment and operations. He has held leadership roles across big organizations and has been an advisor to multiple Private Equity groups on some of Europe’s flagship industry transactions. After spending over two decades with Four Seasons, he joined Quinlan Private as Director of Hospitality, marking the start of his career with Private Equity sponsors. Other reputable companies he excelled at are Jurys Inn Group and Amaris Hospitality. John is non-Executive Chairman of a leading hotel investment and management group, Klarent Hospitality, and is also Founder and MD of Cloudbrook Partners, a boutique investment and advisory firm.

Mishary Alhajery
Country Director KSA

Mishary is a prominent Riyadh-based real estate owner who has developed multiple hospitality projects in the past and who is an avid advocate for value-driven partnerships with organisations such as Monshaat, the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, SAGIA (Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority), and other innovative drivers of the Smart City infrastructure. He is not only steering the continuous growth of Kerten Hospitality’s projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but he has been proactively building communities around mixed-use projects. With his extensive experience and passion for the industry, he heads all the activities in KSA, one of the fastest emerging countries of the region.

Maria Bou Eid
Director of Operations, KSA

Maria, an industry veteran with 15+ years under her belt, has worked closely with owners, clients, teams and different stakeholders throughout her years of experience allowing her to create ecosystems that work, not just on paper. Maria currently leads all of Kerten Hospitality’s lifestyle projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Prior to this, Maria worked with small family businesses, as well as big hospitality chains and part of hotel groups in Lebanon, Qatar and the GCC. One of her greatest strengths, besides her dedication and attention to detail, is her ability to connect with people and bring communities together. All by genuinely working with others and curating young talents to create loyalty and engagement. As a firm believer in innovation from various sources and individuals, she understands that empowerment and trust are crucial for achieving success and growth.  

 

 

Tulay Bourne
Head of People Services

With over 15 years of experience in the People Services and Operations Tulay is result-focus leader with dedication to creating cultures that promote continuous business growth and cultivate guest loyalty by empowering and motivating employees to realize their full potential and their best to do the job. Having started her career at Hilton, Tulay brings many years of experience in talent management and community work especially, inclusivity of Gen Z and creating opportunities for the people with disadvantages. She has received awards and recognition for her work, she has been invited and  presented her work ” Integrating people with down syndrome into the workforce” at the United Nations Head Quarters in 2018.

Tulay holds a Human Resources Management Degree, she lives in Istanbul and enjoys spending time with her two children.

Jaume Puigdengolas
Corporate Executive Chef

Jaume is a Michelin Star Chef and he is the man behind the creation and development of the company’s growing portfolio of current and future food and beverage concepts. The menus of several successfully opened outlets within the mixed-use projects across the global footprint have been curated under his guidance, carefully applying a blend of local and international flavours, yet always with a twist and his signature touch. Prior to joining the hospitality group, he has gained extensive experience in the Middle East through various encounters within the industry; also, he has been the Head Chef of numerous restaurants throughout various regions of Spain, practicing his culinary passion.

Joseph Choueiri
Group F&B Director

Joseph Choueiri, a seasoned Food & Beverage professional with over 20 years of industry experience. His career is defined by an unwavering commitment to excellence and expertise in operations, franchise growth, and guest satisfaction. With a keen eye for pre-opening ventures and a creative touch in menu design, Joseph has taken numerous establishments to success. His ability to execute transformative initiatives, whether through rebranding or pioneering cloud kitchens, sets him apart as an industry trendsetter. Joseph is all about operational excellence and culinary innovation, shaping the future of Food & Beverage. With passion and experience, he redefines quality and service standards, leaving a lasting legacy of exceptional dining experiences and operational success.

Mina Anziani
Group Special Projects

Mina is a hospitality professional with over 15 years of experience, in charge of Kerten Hospitality’s Group Special Projects, supporting the overall company strategy and new operational projects. Her previous role was as part of the Hospitality and Tourism team of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Zurich where she worked across different regions for independent and major hotel operators, supporting a footprint of multiple projects and brands. Prior to that at Shaza Hotels, a venture of Kempinski Hotels, she contributed to the development and growth of the brand in the Middle East. Her last position with the Group was as Director of Pre-Openings. Her passion for curated guest experiences is her key asset.

Rozanne Hanekom
Creative Director

Rozanne is a South African born graphic designer and a creative director in Amsterdam working locally and globally on various visual communication projects for the past 12 years. With a strong emphasis on storytelling, her focus lies in crafting exceptional designs that authentically convey the unique atmosphere and purpose of brands. Through meticulous brand ownership, she has ensured a consistent and strong brand presence in various industries. Her experience encompasses branding and concept development, style guide development and management, content creation, animation and video editing, data visualization and visual story telling, art direction and UX design. Her experience spans across the real estate, tech and and hospitality industries. She holds a master’s degree in Visual Communication from TUT in South Africa.

Karolina Krol
Group Revenue Director

Karolina is a well experienced revenue professional, with a demonstrated footprint of 15 years in the hospitality sector. Her capability of connecting the dots and an in depth understanding of the multiple sides of hotel operations, have always been her focus points. She started her journey at one of the Hilton hotels in London in the Housekeeping department. Through her dedication for understanding the entire cycle of guest experience, she filled different roles in the Front Office and Reservations departments, eventually finding herself in what she calls “a favourite field” – Revenue Management. She successfully implemented the various revenue and reservations systems and platforms throughout the portfolio.

Giacomo Nicolodi
Group Marketing Communications Director

Giacomo is a marketing and communication expert with over 30 years in the field, notably spending 25 years at OTB Group in Europe as the Global Marketing, Communication, and Events Manager. There, he led influential fashion brands through comprehensive 360-degree strategies. Transitioning into the art world, Giacomo served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Cardi Gallery in Milan and London, blending his marketing expertise with a passion for contemporary art. Currently, as the Group Marketing Communications Director at Kerten Hospitality, he guides a diverse team, driving the company’s global growth and reinforcing his status as a visionary in the hospitality industry.

Claartje Bakker
Operations & Experience Manager

Claartje has accumulated an impressive 15 years of experience across various sectors within the hospitality realm. She has successfully navigated the intricacies of events management, food and beverage operations, and the unique demands of luxury lifestyle hotels. Her journey began in the picturesque South of France, which instilled in her a genuine appreciation for refined hospitality. Subsequently, her time in India further enhanced her ability to adapt and thrive in diverse cultural settings. Claartje is a proud alumna of the Hotelschool The Hague, where she honed her skills and expanded her knowledge of the industry. Driven by a desire to give back to the community, she joined the Sumba Hospitality Foundation, an NGO dedicated to empowering the local community in Sumba, Indonesia. Here, she served as an F&B manager, utilizing her expertise to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Claartje has contributed her talents to renowned establishments such as DoubleTree by Hilton, Hotel Jansen, and The Bellhop Hotel with a unique blend of hands-on experience, academic foundation, and a commitment to community engagement.

Wissam Karaky
Director of Operations, Pre-Opening

Wissam is a highly skilled professional with extensive experience in the hospitality industry across the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. He has demonstrated a strong track record in pre-opening phases, successfully launching eight hotels, including Dar Tantora The House Hotel. Additionally, Wissam is a master trainer and certified in Micros-Fidelio for Property Management System installation. His career encompasses various leadership roles in notable hotel groups, where he has been adept at leading multinational teams, managing operations, and implementing quality objectives in diverse hospitality environments.

Yasser Arafa
Area Director of Finance

Yasser is an accomplished hospitality professional with 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry with renowned global chains in the Middle East. He has a vast senior level experience in managing luxury hotels and achieving the highest standards in operational excellence, financial performance, and guest satisfaction. He is seasoned professional with a proven track record in multiple pre-opening and operating projects, setting up all processes, systems, policies, procedures, and controls for smooth, compliant, and efficient operations. Previously, he was the Country Director of Finance for Shaza Hotels KSA, as well as part of renowned organizations like Emaar Properties and Kempinski Hotels.

Sandra Anido
Project Manager

Sandra is an experienced hotelier with a background in opening and managing luxury boutique hotels and resorts in London and Turkey in over a career spanning for almost 20 years. Her key strengths are planning, project management, general management, operations and brand implementation. She joined Kerten Hospitality to support the current hospitality projects of the Group globally. Her vision is to support the properties by building successful  and dynamic teams, implementing a guest focused and genuine hospitality service culture, with great attention to detail offering warm, personalized and heartfelt service.

Harsha Ramamurthy
Regional Director of Engineering

Rooted in a technical and varied engineering background, Harsha has excelled for over 20 years in the construction and development industry.

Beginning his career in the exhilarating and challenging profession of commercial diving in South California, Harsha progressed to the Petrochemical industries of Northern California. 

Technical, practical, and managerial experience opened a pathway into senior level construction and development, delivering major projects for clients such as Accor S.A., Hyatt (HHC), and Marriot International, in the U.A.E.

Fostering strong relationships with notable corporate and private clients across the hospitality sector, commercial and luxury development projects, his network extends from the United States of America to the United Arab Emirates, and beyond.  

Figen Caglar
GM Cloud 7 Residence Ayla Aqaba

Figen has over 30 years of diverse experience in the hospitality industry, including 12 years as a Commercial Leader in leadership roles and multinational expertise with global chains such as Shangri-La, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Jumeirah, and Moevenpick, functioning in multiple locations around the globe, including Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Istanbul. Figen is a motivational leader, specialised in structuring, restructuring, and positioning hotels with the passion for excellency. Developing talent and creating energetic working environments are fundamental elements of her dedication to build greater achievements every single day.

Abbas Rahal
GM The House Hotel Al Khiran

Abbas is a hospitality industry veteran with a broad experience in operations, project management, F&B as well as leading high-performance teams and of successfully increasing efficiency within hospitality projects in Kuwait and Lebanon. In his current role, he is contributing to the establishment of The House Hotel Al Khiran on the hospitality map in the GCC through various community-driven activations and an innovative approach to the culinary space. Abbas has over 22 years of experience as a Director of Food and Beverage leading a team of 200+ across multiple outlets and a convention centre.

Viktorija Paplauskiené
GM Dar Tantora The House Hotel

Viktorija is an accomplishe hospitality professional with over ten years of experience in London’s elite kitchens, working with notable chefs like Pascal Aussignac and at Gordon Ramsay. In 2011, she relocated to Dubai to oversee the relaunch of a Gordon Ramsay restaurant and later managed Table 9 by Nick and Scott, garnering several awards. As the operations manager for Taste Kitchen, she successfully expanded the brand to three outlets. In 2016, Viktorija played a pivotal role in launching the acclaimed Folly as a Partner, Head Sommelier, and General Manager. Progressing to Chief of Staff for a UHNWI, Viktorija managed a significant estate, which led to her 2022 venture. She launched a consultancy offering specialized venue and F&B management. Her passion for hospitality now extends to her role at the prestigious Dar Tantora The House Hotel.

Mariam Vakhania
GM The House Hotel Old Tbilisi

Mariam is a seasoned professional with an impressive career in the hospitality and tourism industry. With seven years of dedicated expertise in the hotel business and an additional five years in the dynamic field of tourism, she has successfully managed various aspects of hotel operations. These include optimizing guest services and overseeing staff training and development. As a hotel general manager in an industry where adaptability is crucial, Mariam stays at the forefront of hospitality trends and innovations, ensuring the hotel remains a beacon of sophistication and modernity.

Yahya Maghrebi
Project Specialist

Yahya joined Kerten Hospitality to support the project management team with pre-opening of new projects and the operations on the ground for currently operational projects. In his last role, he was a Franchise Operations Manager for a French Food and beverage Franchise Company in France. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in Hospitality and F&B Management from CY University Paris. As an avid sports aficionado, Yahya was one of the finalists in the French National University Trail Championship and a finalist in the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge in Dubai –  pioneered by Hotelschool the Hague.

Salma Beiruti
Business Development Manager

Salma is a Business Development Manager who graduated with honors from the Hotel Institute Montreux in Switzerland. During her studies, she completed a remote internship in the marketing department at Kerten Hospitality. Now, Salma has returned to the group as part of the business development team. Her current role focuses on supporting pipeline expansion in the Middle East and Africa, working closely with various teams to use her knowledge and negotiation skills to convert leads into signed projects. Salma is a Jordanian national with a passion for hospitality, analytical thinking, and traveling.

Rashma Rajan
Accountant

Rashma is well versed in numbers, a hobby, and a passion she has developed from a very young age. With 6+ years of experience as an Accountant with a leading retail group of Companies in UAE, she joined the Kerten Hospitality corporate team. Her previous role was with Welcome Group of Companies, in Dubai, where she worked at the Head Office, with a team managing 25 retail outlets in UAE. Her aspiration is to become a Chartered Accountant and she is planning to pursue her higher studies along with her job. Rashma is an MBA graduate with a focus on Finance & Human Resource Management from the Mahatma Gandhi University in India where she previously gained a bachelor’s in Commerce and Accounting.

Aydanur Akkurt
Community & Marketing Executive

Aydanur boasts a decade of experience in marketing, specializing in events and corporate communications. Her work spans various fields, including energy, media, and advertising, especially in the EMEA region. She has produced different types of events and investment reports worldwide while also managing stakeholder relations with creative agencies, press, and leading diplomacy and trade professionals. Currently, as the Community and Marketing Executive, Aydanur is dedicated to creating authentic and nurturing communities for each Kerten Hospitality brand.

Pamela Nohra
Legal Counsel

Pamela is an experienced legal professional whose dual expertise is in corporate contract drafting and compliance related to data privacy in addition to other compliance related topics. Previously she was part of the Legal and Compliance department at Arabia Insurance Company, a multi-national insurance company that exists and operates across the Middle East. She has earlier worked at Allianz Lebanon where as part of the Legal and Compliance department she was part of the global Allianz SE group established in Germany. She has a Law Degree and a Masters in Law degree in International Comparative law. Currently, she is undergoing her second Maters in Law degree in International Business Law with the University of London.

Irish Jacobe
Senior Executive Assistant to the Board

With 16 years of dedicated service in the hospitality industry, Irish is a seasoned administrative professional known for her expertise in office management. Her career has been marked by a commitment to efficiency, organization, and seamless coordination. Whether overseeing daily operations, managing schedules, or facilitating communication, Irish’s strength lies in creating a well-oiled administrative framework that supports the smooth functioning of any team or organization.

Carole Amine
Design Consultant

Carole Amine is an accomplished architect and designer with a rich and diverse career that spans over five years. Her passion lies in conceptual design, where she excels at creating sustainable and innovative designs that intricately connect with the local culture. With her expertise, Carole has successfully managed architectural projects from inception to completion in various regions, including the MENA region and Africa. She focuses on designs that naturally integrate with their surroundings, and her unwavering commitment to continuous improvement underscores her journey in the field of architecture and design.

Shahnaz Amro
Junior Graphic Designer

Shahnaz possesses a solid academic background from the Lebanese University, holding a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and visual communications. She further refined her skills through a specialized 2D animation program, contributing to an award-winning animated short film that showcased her proficiency in storytelling and visual expression, earning her third place in the 28th European Film Festival 2023.


Shahnaz’s diverse portfolio includes work in branding, illustrations, packaging, and animation. Committed to continuous learning and growth, she actively advances her career in graphic design with Kerten Hospitality.

Lisa Knobel
ESG Executive

Lisa has Italian and Swiss roots and has traveled around the world, living in nine countries. Kicking off her career with a degree in hotel management, her trajectory shifted towards sustainability, social impact, and innovation through a master’s program. She is passionate about change and replacing outdated practices with dynamic, sustainable ideas and products. She loves creating impactful social projects and immersing herself in new cultures, all driven by a simple mission: to make a positive impact both locally and globally.