Meet Our Team
CEO Kerten Hospitality
Marloes is known as a pioneer of the modern mixed-use developments philosophy that lies at the heart of lifestyle destinations. Her visionary leadership has helped carve an industry niche where ESG rests at the core of operations, business processes, as well as the whole value chain. Amplifying the brand from one brand in one country, to a global lifestyle group with over 45 projects, she has always remained loyal to her mission – to expand the lifestyle footprint across curated destinations where collaborations and a common Purpose drive all stakeholders. Her industry journey started with Hilton where she held senior operational and commercial management positions. She sits on a number of industry boards and supports the young generation.
COO Kerten Hospitality
Wafik is a seasoned leader with a proven track record of growth with global hotel players, and a career spanning across 3 continents over two decades. Wafik is responsible for all operational properties and upcoming mixed-use project openings further driving the Group’s global vision for expansion. Prior to this, he has played important roles in various hotel groups including Atlantis the Palm in Dubai, Kempinski Hotels and Rotana in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) and Europe. His last role was as a VP Operations for Kempinski Hotels in the MEA region where he had led the MEA region operations. He is well versed in hotel management, pre-opening of hotels, value creation, strategy implementation and organisational capacity build across many functions.
Senior Advisor Kerten Hospitality
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.
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.
Chief Experience Officer
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.
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.
Head of Communications
Velina is a communications, public relations, and marketing professional with over 15 years of experience across the Middle East, Canada, and Eastern Europe. She has held various positions as part of global agencies, international media outlets and in-house marketing and communications teams. She is a synergies creator, an offline networker, and a corporate storyteller. Her passion spans over all aspects of hospitality, community building, aviation, and travel. She successfully maintains the group’s presence in the media through multiple communication channels and partnerships. If she is not reading a book by the sea, she could be seen watching documentaries or setting personal and industry benchmarks.
Daniele is a designer and a creative director in the MENA region, working locally and globally on various visual communication projects for the past 18 years. Her experience encompasses large scale identities and branding, promotional materials, illustrations, packaging, publication designs for festivals, products, institutions, publishing houses and a long list of clients. Her practice is accompanied by a career in academia, teaching and heading art and design programs for the Lebanese American University, the Académie Libanaise des Beaux arts, and the Lebanese University. She holds two master’s degrees in Advertising & Art Direction from ALBA in Beirut and in History of Art & Design from Kingston University in London.
Director of B2B Commercialization and Projects
Sumir Ganguly is an award-winning advertising executive with over 15 years of experience building and managing globally renowned and iconic brands. He is an alumni of Saatchi & Saatchi and Young & Rubicam and has worked extensively across the Middle East and Europe. He believes in creating authentic strategies that add value to society and culture. Sumir has also led new business initiatives winning new clients while growing markets and audience bases for multiple companies.
Sumir holds an MBA and MA, with a focus on customer experience and innovation from IE Business School in Spain, where he currently resides. He is also a published photographer and has won awards from the United Nations and Panasonic.
Group Marketing Manager
Margherita Peritore (Margot) has been an art and culture aficionado from a very young age. After her family transformed the first Balenciaga atelier in Barcelona into a concept of fashion, art experiences and hospitality, she grew up at fashion shows, art collections and tailor-made events. After graduating with a Master’s degree in Law at the LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome and at the University of Strasbourg in France and following a stint at the United Nations in New York City in the Economic and Social Committee, Margherita felt that the communication and interpretations of messages and identity in adaptation to the needs of nations and multifaceted requests has become her calling. She decided to pursue a Masters in Fashion & Luxury Management and has picked a career in the fashion sector within the Communication and Marketing Departments of international luxury brands in Milan, Paris, London, and Seoul. After being nominated among the top 20 young Italian excellences by The Post International, Margot has landed in Dubai for an innovation Marketing experience in the luxury landscape of the Gulf. Today, as part of Kerten Hospitality’s team, she aims to treat each Brand as a persona with all its facets and harmonies. Her belief: “Ultimately, Branding is what people say when we leave the room.”
Director of Food & Beverage
Simone has acquired an extensive background in the food and beverage industry, where he has successfully led quick service, casual dining, and fine dining projects across Europe and the Middle East. In his last role, Simone spent three years in Spain, where he was in charge of the operations and expansion of an international brand within the country. Throughout his career, Italian-born Simone has built and obtained a large scale of skills in developing brands, assessing opportunities, and growing profits by working for reputable international brands. His role with Kerten Hospitality entails supporting the growth of the food and beverage portfolio across the Group’s international footprint.
Maria Bou Eid
The House Mixed-Use General Manager
Maria is a hospitality professional who joined the industry over 15 years ago in different capacities, having worked with small family businesses, as well as big hospitality chains and part of hotel groups in Lebanon, Qatar and the GCC. In her current role with Kerten Hospitality as a General Manager, Maria oversees the organisation’s lifestyle destination in Jeddah, leads the teams on the ground and contributes to the innovative hospitality initiatives that brings the community together. In her previous roles, Maria has brought to life three pre-opening projects, and admits to always seeking to leave a special print in every place she has worked in and with every person she was on a team with.
GM The House Hotel Al Khiran
Abbas is a hospitality industry veteran with a broad experience in operations, project management, food and beverage 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.
Culinary Director – Nakhati
Eman is a Saudi foodpreneur and the heart and soul of Kerten Hospitality’s Nakhati brand, a premium gelato concept with a Purpose. With a decade of culinary experience across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chef Eman has supported the launch and growth of multiple businesses and projects led by the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Higher Education, Almarai and the Dirriya Gate’s Biennale. Next is her passion for the young generation of chefs that she mentors. She has developed multiple restaurant concepts across KSA. Previously, she has been a food stylist, supporting local and international brands enter the market. A life in the day for her ranges from building concepts to developing young talent, just to name a few.
General Manager Cloud7 Residence Ayla Aqaba
Figen has over 25 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.
General Manager The House Hotel Old Tbilisi
Nikoloz started his career in hospitality at the age of 18, an engagement that has become his career choice, continuing this journey ever since. Having worked over a decade in the industry, he gained extensive experience with local boutique hotels, as well as reputable international chains like Intercontinental Hotel Group, Accor Hotels and Louvre Hotels Group. Spearheading three hotel openings during the past years, he has worked hand in hand with very passionate teams, contributing to the success of each opening. As the general manager of the portfolio’s luxury boutique brand in his home country, Georgia, he strives to provide excellence to the guests, as well as the neighbourhood and the community.
Younis Al Dawoodi
Younis is an experienced hospitality professional from the UAE, who has successfully established impactful commercial relationships with private-public entities, the Government, and the local Ministries throughout his 15 years in the local market. He approaches his portfolio with a laser-focus and a strong business and commercial approach, that ultimately delivers to the bottom line of the organisation. He has a passion for community build, sustainability implementation across the creation of unique projects. He has been instrumental in the Emiratisation strategy introduction and implementation as part of the team in local and international hospitality brands like Hyatt, Rotana, and Hilton.
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.
Business Development Manager
Theo is heading the development in Europe and overlooking the Global Development Team. He spearheaded projects in Europe that help support distressed properties and the larger avenue of hospitality. His recent achievement is the signing of the first project in Europe – a boutique lifestyle hotel located in the centre of Rome. Jointly with the owner, he is realising a vision to turn the property into a destination where Romans and travellers connect and build a community based on shared interests whilst delivering ROI. Theo has been recognised in the most promising 30Under30 Young leaders in the industry and has been leading the team of young interns as part of the company’s award-winning remoteship program.
Head of ESG
Tiana has been immersed in the hospitality business since young, with strong connections and values rooted in the community, integrating local culture, and uplifting locality within the hospitality industry. With an academic and professional background in Hospitality Management, she completed her Masters Degree and Thesis, focused on accelerating ESG in the hospitality industry; highlighting the locality aspect and social sustainability. Tiana has curated the UBBU Strategy from the ground up in identifying standards, proposing guidelines, and initiatives, to drive sustainability from within building procedures, through to operations, community activation, team motivation and guest inclusion.
Technical & Engineering Project Director
Ramamurthy is an Engineer with diverse experience, well versed with Hotels, Hospitals, Schools and other engineering industries where he corelates with human living spaces and advises on all Technical and Engineering areas for all projects in Kerten Hospitality’s portfolio. His extensive knowledge with a wealth of experience is key, specifically on hotels in designs verifications, operations and maintenance. He is a certified 6 Sigma coach black belt, having practiced it at Starwood Hotels and Resorts worldwide, where the “Pursuit for Perfection” has been mastered. With Starwood, he acted as Regional Director of Engineering for the Middle East, Africa, CIS countries, and KSA-based hotels.
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.
Business Development Executive
Salma is a Business Development Executive who recently graduated with honors from Hotel Institute Montreux in Switzerland. After a remoteship stint in the marketing department at Kerten Hospitality during her studies, Salma has returned to join the Group on the business development team. Her current role is mainly focused on supporting the pipeline expansion in the Middle East & Africa region, working closely with all teams to utilise her knowledge and negotiation skills in converting leads into signed project, in the effort of continuously expanding the portfolio. Salma is a Jordanian national who shares passion for hospitality, analytical thinking and travelling, just to name a few.
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.
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. Prior to joining Kerten Hospitality, Yahya had worked in many different industries and experienced diverse positions. In his last role, he was a Franchise Operations Manager for a French Food and beverage Franchise Company in France where he managed restaurant operations during pre-opening and was responsible for developing the current assets for two years.
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 who has been playing basketball for 12 years, Yahya was one of the finalists in the French National University Trail Championship in Reunion Island and a finalist in the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge in Dubai – a global university challenge pioneered by Hotelschool the Hague.
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.
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.
Group Revenue Manager
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.