Looking at the opportunities in the market.
Ali Manzoor Partner, Hospitality and Leisure – Knight Frank
Partner, Hospitality and Leisure – Knight Frank
Ali has been in the Middle East since 2011 and has been primarily working on hospitality development projects throughout the MENA region. In this time he has worked with developers, investors and governmental institutions on feasibility studies, concept definition, pricing strategies and optimum site use for both large-scale multi-use projects and stand-alone assets. Ali has worked with major hotel operators to develop market entry strategies for new markets, and has also helped developers successfully select operators for hospitality assets across the region.
Ahmed Bin Madhi Director of Asset Management – Rua Al Madinah Holding Company
Ahmed Bin Madhi
Director of Asset Management – Rua Al Madinah Holding Company
Ahmed Bin Madhi is the Director of Asset Management for Rua Al Madinah Holding Company, a closed joint stock company fully owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF). The Company is owner and master developer of mega-scale real estate development projects in the holy city of Al Madinah, including Rua Al Madinah Project & Dar Al Hijra Project. Ahmed’s leadership role within Rua Al Madinah involves strategic decision-making on matters related to investment, deal structuring, business development, real estate development and asset management.
Prior to that, Ahmed held senior positions in the Investment and the Asset Management divisions of Alrajhi Investment, the real estate arm of Awqaf Sulaiman Bin Abdulaziz Alrajhi Holding Company. As Director of Asset Management, he built the asset management team, and was responsible to oversee a development pipeline and portfolio of mixed-use and hotel assets comprising more than 7,500 hotel rooms in several locations across the Kingdom, including the mega Al Naseem Complex in Makkah.
Ahmed’s earlier career included several positions within the Investment Banking Group of Global Investment House Saudi Arabia, where he worked across multiple sectors on research, deal sourcing and execution of transactions advising high profile clients on M&A, corporate valuations, private placements, and structuring of real estate funds.
Stephen Cheesebrough Executive Director, Business Development – Amaala
Executive Director, Business Development – Amaala
Stephen Cheesebrough is the Executive Director of Business Development at the Public Investment Fund (PIF) – AMAALA.
AMAALA is an ultra-luxury tourism development on the Red Sea which represents a unique and transformational luxury experience. Stephen is responsible for leading the business planning and securing partners across all asset classes within AMAALA. The development is set to redefine global luxury tourism standards with particular emphasis on wellness, well-being and the art of healthy living.
Over the past 15 years Stephen has held senior Asset Management and Development Management positions for real estate in Europe, Middle East and Asia. Before joining AMAALA, Stephen was in charge of Business Development and Hospitality Asset Management for Al Ghurair Investment which boasts one of the largest private real estate portfolios in Dubai with in excess of 250 land plots and 100+ buildings (comprising of hotel, residential, mall, industrial and commercial assets). Prior to this he was responsible for managing and developing some of the world’s most exclusive residential assets in Monaco, France, Dubai and Thailand.
Gerard Byrne Managing Director – Archipelago Overseas
Managing Director – Archipelago Overseas
Gerard Byrne is Managing Director of Archipelago Overseas, the overseas contracting arm of Archipelago International, Indonesia’s largest operator of hotels, resorts and residences. An atypical hotel executive, Byrne hails from a background in international corporate banking and commercial real estate.
He began his banking career in 1990 following his return to his native Dublin, Ireland from a scholarship at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, USA. He spent eight years at First Active plc, followed by four years at Anglo Irish Bankcorp plc. where he led a corporate banking team on big ticket international transactions. During this time, he advised on and funded M&A’s, MBO’s and international real estate development/investment projects including many landmark hotel projects such as the Four Seasons Dublin (now the Intercontinental) and the Bewley’s Hotel Group in Ireland and the UK. Byrne left banking in 2001 to work for former clients and became an Executive Director of Moneycorp Holdings, the real estate investment arm of a leading Irish financial services company. In 2005 he established his own private client consultancy and advisory firm, Atreon Property, which advised clients on and managed international hospitality, leisure and real estate projects.
In 2013 Byrne joined Archipelago International and reunited with long-time friend and associate John Flood, Archipelago’s President & CEO, who also hails from Dublin. He joined the business during a period of prolific expansion and worked in strategic, project and advisory roles before being appointed Director – MENA in 2015, a role which involved him leading the expansion of Archipelago’s business into the Middle East.
In early 2016, Byrne was invited to Cuba to discuss how Archipelago International could play a role in the development of Cuba’s hotel and tourism development strategy and subsequently wrote his MBA thesis on that subject. Following this, he was appointed to his current position and now leads Archipelago’s expansion outside of Southeast Asia, principally in the Middle East and Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and the Caribbean.
Byrne is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute in the UK and received his MBA from the University College of Estate Management, Reading, England.
Shady Hassan Senior Director, Lodging Development – Marriott International, Middle East & Africa
Senior Director, Lodging Development – Marriott International, Middle East & Africa