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Meet the ‘G8’ GM at The Ajman Palace Hotel

October 14, 2014 Appointments No Comments Email Email

Few general managers in the world can claim to have the experience that Ferghal Purcell brings to The Ajman Palace Hotel.

He is the man who hosted the world’s most powerful leaders in 2013 at the G8 Summit at Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland – the first ever in the region’s history, and the ‘best ever’ in the words of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

G8 leaders family photo

G8 leaders family photo


Ferghal  took over as the General Manager of The Ajman Palace Hotel less than six months ago and has since infused the 5-star property, managed by HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings, with an incredible passion. His warmth and enthusiasm is etched on every face that comes forward to greet guests at the hotel. Once again he has taken up an extraordinary challenge: this time to be a market leader in a destination that is just emerging on the tourism map and is witnessing an unprecedented development of hotels that is putting an enormous pressure on the supply and demand chain.  Yet despite the growing number of luxury hotels in the emirate, he is determined to establish The Ajman Palace Hotel as the first choice among travellers.

Confident of achieving it, Ferghal stated, “The Ajman Palace Hotel is one of the top properties in Ajman and certainly the UAE. With my diverse global experience and my ability to get the best of those who work with me, I am confident of taking The Ajman Palace Hotel to where it deserves to be. The fact that so many of the world’s leading brands are present in Ajman will only strengthen it as a destination. We all need to lend our support and experience to drive visitor numbers into the emirate, and work more closely with Ajman Tourism Development Department to promote it. Plans for the international airport combined with new properties, infrastructure and attractions such as the golf course in Al Zohra will boost tourism in Ajman positioning it as a sought-after destination in the years ahead. There is sufficient business out there across the different segments to sustain existing and upcoming hotels but we would have to work very hard for it as we are competing with top destinations. As a feeder market GCC holds strong potential for us that we still haven’t fully tapped but would definitely be targeting in the coming months.”

Ferghal Purcell

Ferghal Purcell

Ferghal further added, “I see The Ajman Palace Hotel as a unique brand where our absolute signature is the warmth of our welcome and the level of friendliness and service. It is part of every experience at the property in a family-friendly, alcohol-free, safe environment. I am an Irish hotelier and that is what I do best.”

Ferghal Purcell with US President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama arrives aboard Marine One at the Lough Erne Landing Zone in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This photograph is provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not otherwise be reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the White House Photo Office. This photograph may not be used in any commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.


And it is no surprise to see this mammoth ‘will to succeed’ knowing where he is coming from. No event of the magnitude of the G8 Summit had ever been held in Northern Ireland before 2013 and leading the team who made it a true success was none other than Ferghal Purcell. In attendance were US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta as well as the likes of IMF leader Christine Lagarde.

What is unbelievable is six months prior to hosting G8 Summit, a major fire at Lough Erne Resort gutted its 25 best rooms, spa, library and gym. And the fire took place merely a day before British Prime Minister David Cameron was due to arrive to inspect the property to decide if it could play host to the summit.

Ferghal recalled, “We were stunned to receive him on such short notice at such a time for such a critical decision and there is nothing we could do to change it. We had absolutely no hope of making it. Prime Minister Cameron saw the very worst of the damage when I showed him around the hotel that day. And at that moment he said to me, ‘Ferghal don’t worry. I can see beyond the fire.’ Later as the British Prime Minister set down in a private room to discuss the matter with his people, he said, ‘It is just like Camp David, only better.’ And with it the G8 was confirmed for Lough Erne Resort. Will I ever do an event like it again? I doubt it, but what I learnt from the experience, enriched me both as a person and a hotelier. And that is the kind of passion I bring to The Ajman Palace Hotel.”

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