Meet The Judges: Leaders in Hospitality Awards 2019

by Mahak Mannan | Published 2 years ago

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The Leaders in Hospitality Awards, BNC Publishing’s annual award ceremony for the hospitality industry is back for its fifth year running and promises to be a night to remember with a total of 29 categories to be awarded on the night.

This year’s winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at Sofitel, The Palm on 23 April 2019.

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.

Katharine Le Quesne

Managing Director, HoCoSo

2018 - Katharine Le Quesne - HoCoSo - V2

Le Quesne is MDat HoCoSo, a company that works with clients to create the next generation of unique hospitality concepts and experiences. Her energies are focused on developing new products, optimising assets and portfolios, and helping hospitality businesses position for future growth. Le Quesne has spent 25 years as a hotel advisor, working with owners, operators, and governments in emerging and developed markets all over the world. She has a particular specialisation in luxury, boutique, and resort products. She is also Head of Resorts at Glion Institute of Higher Education and a regular speaker at industry conferences.

Sidharth Mehta

Partner and head of building, construction, and real estate, KPMG Lower Gulf Limited

Sidharth Mehta - portrait

Mehta joined KPMG UAE in 1999 and is currently an audit partner within KPMG’s infrastructure, government and healthcare department. Over the years, he has gained significant experience in leading the audits of real estate, construction, and engineering industry and is currently responsible for managing audits of several large local business groups and multinationals.

Martin Kubler

CEO, SPS Affinity


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.

Talal Yousif

Director, HVS

Talal Yousif - HVS

Talal is the director at HVS Dubai where he delivers on its consultancy services and heads up its business development activities through developers, owners, operators, investment institutions, and government entities.

Over the last 15 years, Talal has built extensive hotel operations management experience with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts across in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, consulting experience with HVS London and Dubai, and hotel development with Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in charge of its growth strategy across the Middle East region

Talal has worked on various kinds of assets conducting valuations and feasibility studies, as well as operational assessments and return on investment analyses in the Middle East and in North Africa. He is actively involved in large-scale mixed-use developments projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Jennifer Houchaime

Senior hospitality consultant

Jennifer 5

After graduating from The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Houchaime began her career in a mass media conglomerate, where she gained experience in project management and thereafter proceeded to receive a Masters of Sciences from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Lille.

During her post-graduate university work, Houchaime developed strong skills in report and proposal scripting as well as translation.  After graduation, she returned to Dubai and hospitality consulting. Experienced in market research backed with an in-depth, strong knowledge of the MENA hospitality market and its fast-moving trends, Houchaime is a skilled specialist in hospitality advisory and research consulting.


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