United Arab Emirates
Asiri Wickramasuriya has been appointed as Country Manager of SriLankan Airlines for United Arab Emirates. Representing the national carrier of Sri Lanka, Wickramasuriya brings over 18 years’ experience in the airline industry. Having joined SriLankan Airlines in 1999, he received comprehensive training on the airline business. His primary responsibility is to enhance the airlines’ position in the region as the preferred choice of travel, through systematic sales and marketing initiatives, thereby serving as a vital link between the airline and the market.
IBTM, part of leading global exhibition organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions, appointed Shane Hannam as Portfolio Director. Hannam began his career with Reed Exhibitions and has over 16 years’ experience in the international events industry. His most recent role as Sales Director—Key Accounts for Reed Travel Exhibitions, saw him managing a team looking after the division’s top 15 clients as well as assuming responsibility for Commercial Projects across the division in a senior leadership capacity.
Dusit International has appointed Marc Hediger as Senior Vice President—Development, responsible for overseeing the development team’s global operations except China. Hediger brings to his role more than 30 years of development and operational experience. Prior to joining Dusit, he was CEO of Lanson Place Hospitality Management, Hong Kong, where he successfully doubled its number of luxury hotels from six to 12 properties. During his career, he has worked as General Manager for Hyatt Hotels and spent eight years as Senior Vice President and Director of Development Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Hong Kong.
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
Maria Lamarche, former Hotel Manager at Mövenpick Resort & Residences Aqaba, Jordan, has been promoted to the designation of General Manager of Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai. She will be responsible for leading the pre-opening teams of the property scheduled to open this year. Lamarche’s hospitality career spans more than three decades and several continents having worked for international hospitality names including Starwood, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Millennium & Copthorne, Hilton and Rotana.
Alfio Bernardino comes on board as General Manager (GM) of Mövenpick’s upcoming hotel in Dubai Media City, moving from his previous role as General Manager of Radisson Blu Dubai Media City. He will be responsible for leading the pre-opening teams of the property due to open this year. Bernardino is an Italian national with more than 20 years of industry experience in Europe, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean. A graduate of Cornell University, his move to Mövenpick marks his fourth GM position. He will oversee the successful opening of a property located in Dubai Media City.
Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa
Mehdi Hanayen has been appointed as General Manager of Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa. In this role, Hanayen will bring his strong attention to detail and his years of experience of leading teams to drive hotel performance. He first joined AccorHotels in 2008, working for Sofitel El Gezirah in Cairo, Egypt as Food & Beverage Manager till 2011. He then moved to the United Arab Emirates, and became Assistant Director of Food & Beverage at Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche.
Mercure Gold Hotel Al Mina Road Dubai
Manuel Garcia has been appointed as General Manager at Mercure Gold Hotel Al Mina Road Dubai, part of the AccorHotels’ portfolio. Garcia has 16 years’ experience within the region working with brands such as Starwood, AccorHotels and Marriott International. With a background in Sales & Marketing, Garcia is looking forward to driving forward the strategic and financial success of Mercure Gold in this new and exciting challenge.
Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel
Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel designated Mahmoud Saffarini as Director—Sales and Marketing. In his new role, Saffarini will be responsible for the continuous development of the hotel’s sales and marketing strategies to establish the property as the most coveted destination in the Northern Emirates. Saffarini joined Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel in October 2016 as the Director of Sales. In this role, he enabled the hotel to compete with international brands by accomplishing volume business for the hotel. Saffarini brings a wealth of experience to the position with a career spanning over 17 years in the hospitality industry.