2019 has been marked as the year of change for JA Resorts & Hotels, with transformation including a forward-thinking brand refresh, an all-new food and beverage portfolio and significant international expansion across the Indian Ocean and Asia. The individual appointed to lead this charge is Australian hospitality veteran, Anthony Ross.
Growing up in buzzing, multicultural Melbourne, Ross fostered a love of hospitality, travelling and farm-to-table food. He fondly remembers his Grandfather’s motel in Victoria, where as a child he would sneak into the walk-in fridge and mischievously play with the switchboard when he got the chance. At age 18, he embarked upon a Bachelor for Business in Catering & Hotel Management from Victoria University and simultaneously completed practical training in both Melbourne and Washington DC.
His illustrious career spans more than 30 years to date and began with the title of Director of Operations at the Pan Pacific Hotel on the Gold Coast of Australia, where he spent 5 years before transferring to Kuala Lumpur as Resident Manager for the same brand. Ross then moved to Singapore with Pan Pacific as Assistant Director of Operations for a 7-year stint. In 1996, he took on another role in Kuala Lumpur before moving back to Melbourne and on to Hong Kong in 1999, where he became Group Operations Manager for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. In 2004, Ross made the decision to buy his own property, and developed a luxury lodge named Azur in Queenstown, New Zealand. From 2007 until 2013 he worked with Swire Hotels and opened the award-winning Opposite House in Beijing, subsequently becoming Area General Manager, China for the group.
In 2014, he was appointed as Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa for Preferred Hotel & Resorts based in Hong Kong, overseeing a portfolio of 120 hotels, before heading to Jakarta as CEO of Aryaduta Hotel Group for a further 2 years.
Joining JA Resorts & Hotels in January 2018 as the group’s new CEO, Ross leads a team of more than 2000 associates across Dubai, Seychelles and the Maldives. A legacy UAE brand, JA Resorts & Hotels was born in 1981 and has a widely recognised reputation for excellence, in the management and operation of award-winning resorts and hotels. Taking its name from the original Jebel Ali (JA) Beach hotel, JA Resorts & Hotels portfolio now features 8 distinct properties across the UAE and Indian Ocean, each dedicated to curating unique experiences and creating unforgettable memories.
Tropical escapes include JA Manafaru, the idyllic luxury island resort in pristine, lagoon-ringed Haa Alifu Atoll, at the northern tip of the Maldives and JA Enchanted Island Resort, an ultra-luxurious hideaway of 10 exquisite villas on a private island, in the middle of the protected Saint Anne Marine Park.
Within the UAE, the portfolio offers five-star JA Ocean View Hotel, as well as the deluxe hotel apartments of JA Oasis Beach Tower, both located along ‘The Walk’ in Jumeirah Beach Residence. Other attractive options include the acclaimed JA The Resort - Dubai’s largest experience resort, with 1 million square metres of thrilling activities and 3 unique hotels offering 795 suites and rooms between them– JA Beach Hotel, the all-suite JA Palm Tree Court and JA Lakeview Hotel, a stunning new Golf Course adjacent property due to open on September 1st, 2019. The recently renovated JA Hatta Fort Hotel completes the portfolio as Dubai’s only mountain resort, a secluded getaway amidst the stunning Hajar Mountains landscape.
Ross’ vision for JA Resorts & Hotels includes a focus on driving global expansion, highlighting corporate social responsibility and maintaining a brand promise of unique experiences and unforgettable memories. A big fan of Australian Rules football and cricket, Ross spends his free time as an avid sports spectator, cyclist, and golf enthusiast, in addition to spending time with his wife Jo and 2 sons, Sam and Nick.