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HMH Strengthens Team with Addition Of Three Top Professionals

February 11, 2014 Appointments No Comments Email Email

HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings announced today the appointment of three new executives. These include Abdullah Melhem as Director of Operations, Cristina Polo as Director of Business Development and Akber Bana as Manager – Revenue & Distribution.

Abdullah MelhemMaking the announcement, Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO, HMH, said: “I am truly delighted to welcome our new team members. We have got five new properties opening this year that will boost our existing portfolio of hotels by 25 per cent. It is therefore imperative to strengthen the management team who will play an instrumental in success of HMH while executing our strategic vision. All three executives have exceptional expertise and experience having worked with leading international brands. Their strong background in hospitality, e-commerce and business development skills, and outstanding operating experience will provide us with the right blend of expertise needed to navigate through the challenges and opportunities ahead. Our goal remains to continually achieve operational excellence and deliver superior service and results to both our owners and customers”.

Akber BanaSince Laurent took the helm at HMH in October last year, he has set a new tone for the company’s future that is evident from his dynamic strategy for the group. He stressed, “We wish to grow the path according to our strategic plan that is sustainable in a physical sense. We are confident that the direction we have chosen is the best way forward for the desired progress and growth. We are redirecting resources to areas where we have identified opportunities to create value with greater local relevance.”

He further added, “My philosophy is to start by understanding what our capabilities are and then finding the best opportunities. HMH is a fantastic organization to do business with and has tremendous potential for growth. We have diverse brands, presence in some of the most promising destinations in the MENA region, highly experienced and talented people and exceptional products and service – all of which differentiate us in a unique way in the market place. The group has come a long way from its modest beginning in 2003.  It is now time to consolidate and accelerate. I look forward to building on to the great work done so far and steering HMH toward greater success”.

Cristina PoloAbdullah Melhem has been appointed Director of Operations. He is a veteran and brings valuable experience in the industry having spent 14 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and 15 years with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. Abdullah has spent much of his career in the region and has demonstrated his incredible expertise in various senior positions. During his last posting at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, he served as the Area Manager for Makkah and Madina as well as the General Manager of Sheraton Dammam Hotel & Towers. Abdullah has excellent qualifications being an Associate in Arts – Civil Engineering, BS in Management and Master of Business Administration. In his new role Abdullah will be responsible for all operational issues of HMH portfolio and will also be in charge of all pre-openings.

Laurent with Cristina, Abdullah and AkberCristina Polo takes over as Director of Business Development. Having worked with leading international brands like Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Le Meridien Hotels, Forte Grand, The Rezidor Hotel Group, Radisson Hotels, Country Inn & Suites, Cristina has over 15 years of strong experience in the field. Her last position was with The Rezidor Hotel Group in Dubai as Director of Revenue Optimization Middle East (Arabic Peninsula, Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia). She was in charge of maximizing revenue growth of 30 multi-brand hotels in the region. Cristina has a Post Graduate Degree from Dess International Trade, Masters Degree in International Economics, Bi Deug in Economic Science & Spanish, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. In her new role Cristina will be responsible for all sales and revenue generation. She will also oversee marketing.

Akber Bana joins HMH as Manager – Revenue & Distribution having exceptional expertise in managing revenue, e-commerce and loyalty programs. He holds more than 10 years of experience working with Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa – Dubai, Sheraton Karachi, Marriott Karachi. Prior to joining HMH, he served as Manager Revenue, Marketing and Loyalty Programs with Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa – Dubai. Bana has a Masters Degree in Computer Sciences, B.SC Hon in Software Development, Specialization in Relational Database Management System and Diploma in Computer Science. In his new role Bana will be responsible for all revenue and distribution including e-commerce, social media and loyalty programs.

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