Arabian Hotel Investment Conference

April 2020 | United Arab Emirates

Speaker profile

Rutger Smits

Executive Director, Hospitality
The Red Sea Development Company

Rutger Smits is the Executive Director, Hospitality, for The Red Sea Development Company. In this role, he is responsible for the development of the overall hospitality program.

In addition to supporting the master-planning and development teams with concept development, marketing strategy and operational efficiency across the hospitality components, he is also responsible for the engagement program with hotel operators and investors. Furthermore, he leads the administration, negotiation and closure of hotel management agreements.

Before joining The Red Sea Development Company, Rutger was COO and acting CEO of Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH), overseeing the performance and development of substantial hotel portfolios. Prior to that he spent over 20 years as a hospitality consultant in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia Pacific, including leading roles with Andersen, HVS and Cushman & Wakefield.

Rutger holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from the Hotelschool The Hague, in the Netherlands. He is a member of the Middle East chapter of the Hotel Asset Managers Association (HAMA). Rutger has lived and worked on four continents and speaks English, Dutch and German.