What (if anything!) is keeping development teams busy? What options are owners looking at?
Neil George – Independent advisor
– Independent advisor
With more than 25 years’ experience in hospitality management, Neil George is an independent advisor, strategic advisor to the Rosewood Hotel Group and a partner at Aleph Hospitality.
A distinguished hospitality professional, Neil is the ex head of development, MEA at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, overseeing the growth of all 10 Starwood brands across the Middle East and Africa. During his 10-year tenure with Starwood, he was also a member of the Global Development Leadership team and the Starwood EAME Portfolio Management Committee, responsible for more than 250 hotels. Prior to this, Neil was an advisor to major investors, financial institutions and other global hospitality players during his time with Deloitte and Arthur Andersen in London. He also has five years of hands-on hotel and restaurant operations experience.
Neil holds a Masters’ degree in hospitality from Cornell University, New York and has lived and worked on four continents and with well over 130 hotel markets worldwide.
In conversation with
Louis Abi Abboud Vice President, Development Middle-East & Lifestyle Lead Middle East & Africa – Accor
Louis Abi Abboud
Vice President, Development Middle-East & Lifestyle Lead Middle East & Africa – Accor
Louis is in charge of the growth of Accor’s portfolio in the Middle East covering UAE, KSA and Lebanon. Louis is also in charge of all lifestyle projects in the Middle East & Africa introducing newly acquired brands to the region.
Louis has diverse experience within the hospitality industry having served on the property owner side as well as the hotel operator side. He began his career in operations with Starwood Hotel and Resorts in California before moving back to the region to work in asset management for both Saudi Bin Ladin Group in Jeddah and Majid Al Futtaim in Dubai. Louis was also engaged with consultancy firm HVS as part of their Consulting and Valuations practice in Dubai.
Since November 2014, Louis joined the development team of Accor Middle East, where he contributed along with the team to record signing years.
Louis graduated from Sagesse University’s Faculty of Hospitality Management with an academic certification of École hôtelière de Lausanne with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. He also holds a certification in Real Estate Investment and Asset Management from Cornell University.
Matthew Tripolone Vice President Development – Middle East & Africa – InterContinental Hotels Group
Vice President Development – Middle East & Africa – InterContinental Hotels Group
Matthew has successfully led IHG's strategic growth and development across the Middle East & Africa region over the past three years, resulting in a period of unparalleled growth for the Group and the largest development pipeline in a decade, including the signings of the largest Crowne Plaza and voco hotels in world.
Prior to moving to the Middle East Matthew headed development for IHG in Australasia & Japan, which again saw a sharp upturn in IHG signings and openings and the renewal of several strategic portfolio’s for the group including the Mulpha portfolio, a collection of 3 iconic InterContinental hotels. Prior to his time with IHG Matthew held the role of General Manager, Development Pacific for Accor Hotels. Prior to this Matthew has worked for several leading companies specializing in development, planning, and acquisition.
Matthew holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Urban Planning and Development from the University of Sydney.