Comprising some of the region’s key experts, Hotel & Catering News ME has rounded up the most knowledgeable names in the industry to make up the judging panel.
The individuals have extensive knowledge of the key trends, opportunities, and challenges associated with the business and a wealth of experience spanning operations, investment, development, education, marketing, and consumer trends.
Abdul Kader Saadi, managing director, Glee Hospitality Solutions
Having graduated from Les Roches Hotel Management School in Switzerland, Abdul Kader joined the Sogeres company as part of a leading catering group where he spent over six years with the company in Paris. He started on the operational side of the business and later moved to the head office working in the commercial, internal auditing, and purchase departments eventually being appointed as manager of international developments. Moving back to the UK in 2001 Abdul Kader joined the MARC restaurant group as project manager and after four successful years, three restaurants were opened under his leadership, tWo of which were granted the Michelin Star recognition. In 2008 Abdul Kader moved to the UAE and set up Glee Hospitality Solutions. Now in it is ninth year of operations, Glee Hospitality Solutions has successfully launched over 50 concepts, opened over 60 outlets across the region, and by end of 2018 will be managing a team of nearly 500 employees.
Anurag Bajpai, partner and head of retail, KPMG in the Lower Gulf
A qualified chartered accountant, Anurag joined KPMG UAE in 1999 and is an audit partner for the consumer and industrial markets. Anurag specialises in the retail industry and leads the sector team in the UAE. His role includes working as the lead partner on audits of clients mainly in the retail and consumer markets, including F&B, in addition to real estate and construction, manufacturing, and transportation. His experience includes the audit of large family-owned businesses and multinational groups based in the UAE along with international franchisers and principals.
Christopher Lund, head of hotels, Middle East & North Africa, Colliers International
Christopher Lund oversees the hotels consultancy division of Colliers International in the Middle East and North Africa. Over the past seven years, the hotels team has worked on more than 700 projects in the region, providing advisory services to developers, investors, operators, governments, law firms, and banks. Christopher specialises in development consultancy and strategic asset management, ranging from stand-alone projects to large-scale destinations, as well as hotel company strategies, condo-hotel investment models, and negotiating complex hotel management agreements. Christopher holds an MSc in Real Estate Investment and Finance from Henley Business School, in addition to degrees and certificates from the New York University, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, and The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.
Daniel During, principal and managing director, Thomas Klein International.
During was born in Argentina and moved to Europe as a teenager, he then went on to obtain his Hotel Bachelors degree in France in 1986. During has spent most of his life living and working across the globe and spent 10 years with Hyatt International Hotels in executive positions in luxury, urban, and resort properties in the Middle East, Serbia, Spain and Kazakhstan. Daniel has two decades of experience in the F&B and hospitality industry, covering all aspects from product and brand creation to operations management.
Martin Kubler, CEO, SPS Affinity
Martin Kubler is a hotel general manager turned hospitality and service industries consultant with over 20 years of executive-level management experience in three, four and five star hotels in Europe and the Middle East. In May 2011, Martin founded Iconsulthotels, a boutique hospitality, leisure, and tourism consulting firm based in Dubai which quickly gathered local and regional acclaim. In 2016 Iconsulthotels acquired SPS – Strategic Partnership Solutions and rebranded as sps:hotels, part of sps:affinity. Martin holds an MBA in International Hospitality and Service Industries Management, Marketing, and Innovation, from Glion Institute of Higher Education.