Luke James boasts a 15-year tenure in senior leadership roles within the Middle East, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Oman, primarily within the realm of hotels, resorts, and beach clubs. His expertise extends to pre-opening, where he has played a pivotal role in launching prominent establishments under the banners of One&Only, Jumeirah, SBM Monte Carlo (Prince Albert’s company), and Ennismore.
Luke is credited with pioneering the now widely embraced “community/neighbourhood” hotel philosophy. He achieved this by conducting focus groups during the openings of Ennismore and Jumeirah properties in Dubai and Oman. His strategic approach ensured that F&B revenues accounted for up to 50% of the total revenue by cultivating a strong presence of local patrons and residents, thus fostering the properties’ success within the local community.
Additionally, Luke has been a trailblazer in promoting inclusivity within the UAE’s hospitality industry. He introduced the concept of full-time employment for People of Determination in hotels, a significant departure from the previous practice of offering only temporarywork experiences. This initiative was implemented during his last three General Manager roles.
Currently, Luke serves as the Area General Manager where he oversees operations for Ghassan Aboud, a self-made Syrian billionaire based in the UAE, as he builds his hotel and resort venture, Crystalbrook Collection.