In the post – Covid19 world what is the new normal? How have owners and operators reacted to the new landscape and what impact is this having on existing and future agreements? What can you expect to see in the marketplace in the future?
Tara Marlow Partner, Head of Real Estate, Hotels & Leisure – Al Tamimi & Company
Partner, Head of Real Estate, Hotels & Leisure – Al Tamimi & Company
Tara Marlow heads the Real Estate and Hotels & Leisure practices at Al Tamimi & Company, the largest law firm in the Middle East. With over 20 years’ experience (including 15 years in the Middle East region), she is recognised for her specialism in all aspects of hospitality, real estate and development related matters. Tara is regularly published in hotel industry and legal journals and is a speaker at hotel industry and real estate development seminars and conferences throughout the Middle East region.
Bringing her combined hotel industry and real estate development skills and experience, she provides solution orientated advice to owners, operators, property developers, financial institutions and investors on all areas of commercial real estate and development. She has worked on some of the region’s highest profile transactions, mixed-used and resort developments and joint ventures, as well as advising and representing her clients on numerous hotel and serviced apartment management agreements, including rental pool structuring. Tara is well respected by her peers and clients for her ability to negotiate her way through complex management contracts whilst maintaining a grasp of the bigger picture and commercial parameters.
Tara qualified as a Solicitor in England and Wales in 2000, working with a well-known international law firm before moving to the Middle East in 2004 to join Al Tamimi & Company. In the Middle East, she also had the opportunity to gain valuable hotel industry experience in her role as Vice President, Legal within the hotel development and asset management arm of a large Dubai based development company, advising on the acquisition, development, operation and asset management of a hotel portfolio spread across the MENA region comprising approximately 3,500 operational rooms, together with a number of hotel projects at various stages of development.
In conversation with
Hala Matar Choufany President-Middle East, Africa and South Asia – HVS
Hala Matar Choufany
President-Middle East, Africa and South Asia – HVS
Hala Matar Choufany is the President for HVS Middle East, Africa & South Asia and Managing Partner of HVS Dubai.
Hala is an experienced Managing Partner and Hospitality Advisor with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry. Skilled in Contract Negotiation, Feasibility Studies, Development Recommendation, Valuation, Asset Management, and Strategic Advisory; she has advised on more than 2,500 hospitality and mixed-use projects in the last 15 years across Europe, MEA and Asia. Hala has in-depth expertise in regional hotel markets and a broad exposure to international markets and maintains excellent contacts with developers, owners, operators, investment institutions and government entities. Hala speaks frequently at investment coneferences on a range of topics including asset valuation, management issues and women leadership.
Hala completed Executive Education at Harvard Business School. She also holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from IMHI (Essec- Cornell) University, Paris, France and a BA in Hospitality Management from Notre Dame University, Lebanon. Hala is fluent in English, French and Arabic.
Hala is a board member of Harvard Business School club of the GCC and is a mum of three. Born in Beirut, Hala lived and worked in a number of cities across Europe, Asia and Middle East.
James Donald Vice President and Deputy General Counsel – Accor
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel – Accor
James Donald is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Accor based in Dubai. He has over 10 years’ experience in the hospitality sector and is a regular speaker at international conferences on hotel management.
In addition to Dubai, James has also lived in London and Shanghai where he has advised on all manner of hotel-related agreements throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He has also acted as an adviser to various tech start-ups. In his last role prior to Accor, he led the legal and risk function throughout India, the Middle East and Africa for another global hospitality operator.
James earned his first degree in economics and finance in 2003, before qualifying as a solicitor of England and Wales in 2008 with a global law firm in London. He is a dad to twin boys.
Giuliano Gasparini Senior Vice President – Asset Management, Hospitality & Leisure – Aldar Properties PSJC
Senior Vice President – Asset Management, Hospitality & Leisure – Aldar Properties PSJC
Giuliano Gasparini is Senior Vice-President at Aldar Properties PSJC being directly involved in the asset management of the entire hotel and leisure portfolio of the firm. Prior to that he covered several executive positions in hospitality-specialized consulting firms having been Head of Consulting at PKF in Dubai, Senior Vice-President of JLL Hotels in Madrid and Senior Associate at HVS in Madrid amongst others. Giuliano Gasparini is one of the Chairmans of HAMA MEA (Hotel Asset Management Association) and a full-time professor at both Paris Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI) and IE Business School in Madrid. He holds affiliation at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS), Counsellor of Real Estate (CRE) and Institute of Hospitality (FIH).
Giuliano has spoken at many regional and local conference on hotel investment and asset management topics and published articles both on line and on Hotelier Middle East regarding hospitality markets in Europe and Middle East as well as Asset Management best practices.
Giuliano graduated in Economics at Bocconi University in Italy and hold two master degrees in Urban Economics and in Tourism Economics by Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Nederland’s and Bocconi University in Italy respectively; as well as a post-graduate certificate on Hotel Asset Management from Cornell University (USA).