Our Team
 

Our Team

Whether acquiring a luxury resort in the Maldives, finding an operator for a three-star hotel in London, developing an eco-resort in the Seychelles or selling a real estate property in Germany, we have the contacts, experience and know-how to make it happen.

Our team has proven regional and international hands-on hospitality experience and direct access to the industry's leading consultants.  We have close working relationships with some of the world's finest architects, engineers, contractors, international hotel operators and hospitality consultants.

Ahmed

Ahmed Ramdan

Founder | Group Chief Executive Officer Contact Ahmed

Ahmed Ramdan, the founder of Ròya International.  Now the most recognized hospitality advisory firm in the GCC, Ròya is directly responsible for over a hundred completed assignments. 

Before branching into his own ventures, and driven by a passion for the hospitality industry, Ahmed had a highly successful, 30 year long career journey across all the various fields in hotel management, including the running of multiple properties on behalf of global hotel brands such as InterContinental Hotels and Le Meridien Hotels.

Ahmed’s dynamic vision and deep experience led him to identify the need for transferring his valuable knowledge and independent industry guidance to investors developing their own hospitality portfolio

His involvement was an instant success in all key areas.  Shaping investor visions, transforming them into highly regarded, often iconic hotels and mixed-use developments, Ahmed is an industry champion of efficient hospitality designs.  He and the Roya team are committed to delivering significant cost-savings, ultimately leading to enhance long term return on investments.

As a result of Roya’s achievements, Ahmed and the Roya team have served as key advisors to prominent government institutions on some of the region’s most iconic master plans, such as Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai Media City, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Reem Island and Saadiyat Island.

Ahmed is a strong and passionate advocate for the development of young Emirati and GCC talent to join the field.

Kees

Kees Hartzuiker

Chief Executive Officer Contact Kees

Overseeing all aspects of Ròya International, Kees leads an interdisciplinary team of 60 consultants and specialists, and is charged with key areas such as development advisory, asset management and hospitality services. A recognized leading hotelier, Kees brings with him global expertise and experience, having assumed senior roles in three continents, initially in Europe, followed by the Middle East North Africa regions and then Asia. Prior to taking up the role in Ròya, he served as CEO of Rixos Hotels, orchestrating the transition of the chain from regional to international, shaping its strategy, structure and management tools.

A significant chapter in Kees’s career was his tenure with Hilton International, where, amongst many responsibilities, he drove all Food & Beverage development across the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. Most recently, as Vice President Asia, he led the company’s operations during its fast paced, multi-brand growth in Asia and the Asian subcontinent, including key markets such as India and China.

Thanks to Kees’s diverse and comprehensive broad insight at both unit and corporate level, he adds invaluable knowledge and direction to Ròya's services.

Gerhard

Gerhard Hardick

Chief Operating Officer Contact Gerhard

Gerhard is a diverse hotelier with more than 30 years of regional and international experience in the hospitality industry. Through his work with renowned international hotel chains, including a-22 year tenure with Hilton Hotels, Gerhard has acquired a broad and diverse skill set from a hands-on perspective in operations, to management and corporate responsibilities. Although predominantly based in the Middle East, he has held a number of senior positions in North America, Europe and Africa, gaining perspective from a range of work environments, operations and markets.

Gerhard's key strengths and capabilities include:

  • Hotel Management Oversight Services (Asset Management)
  • Management of Hotel Operations
  • Sales & Marketing Strategy Development and oversight
  • Development of Finance Structure and Implementation for new hotel operations
  • Hospitality Advisory during hotel development
  • Hotel Management Agreement Contract Negotiations
Walid

Walid Harouni

Senior Director|Asset Management Contact Walid

Walid is a multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary international hospitality professional who earned his BA in Hospitality in 1984 from L'Ecole Hoteliere de Strasbourg. He commenced his career as a management trainee at the InterContinental Hotel in Riyadh. Followed by a two year Master’s Degree program in Hotel & Restaurant Administration from the Institut de Management Hôtelier International (Cornell University/ESSEC Business School Joint Programme, Paris Campus) where he graduated in the class of 1989.  Walid went on to work for Le Meridien Hotels in their F&B Department in Paris, before joining the InterContinental Hotel group steadily rising to become a General Manager. Throughout the course of his career Walid has gained extensive knowledge of the MEA market, namely Oman, Cote d’Ivoire, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. After a fourteen year career in operations, Walid took on a different challenge joining the Abu Dhabi based National Corporation for Tourism and Hotels in 2007. In his new role, Walid oversaw all aspects of the group's hotel division and managed the rapid growth and evolution of the Danat Hotels and Resorts chain all the while asset managing various signature properties in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Walid's key strengths and responsibilities:

  • Strategically managing change
  • Delivering positive ROI through efficient operational platforms
  • Using impact and influence to develop talent
  • Accepting every challenge as an opportunity
Charbel

Charbel Boutros

Senior Director | Hospitality Advisory & Strategy Contact Charbel

With a combination of specialist capabilities in Investment Strategy, Financial Management and Architecture, Charbel provides significant value and contributions to a number of Roya’s projects both regionally and internationally.

Having gained his primary experience in Canada and Lebanon prior to moving to the UAE in 2004, Charbel has since acquired diverse exposure in markets including the UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Oman, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles and the United Kingdom.

At Roya, Charbel is responsible for the management of a portfolio of new and existing hospitality projects, all of which have deepened his understanding of hotel development and operations. Charbel currently manages a complex team of specialist consultants while taking on the role of Client Representative and remaining at the forefront of current market trends.

Charbel's key strengths and capabilities include:

  • Hotel Management Oversight Services (Asset Management)
  • Market Study Management
  • Strategic Advisory
  • Financial and Investment Analysis
  • Acquisition advice (for purchase | sale of hotel assets)
  • Project Management
  • Architectural Concept and Design

Charbel’s diverse range of capabilities and versatile expertise are behind his successful hospitality and strategic advisory management and execution skills.

Tony

Tony Allen

Director | Design Development Contact Tony

With a foundation in Architecture and more than 30 years of experience, Tony has a proven track record in developing and building successful operating hotels. Tony’s career included working with private practices as well as leading hotel groups such as InterContinental Hotels in locations including Africa, Europe, Australia and Asia.

In his role as Design Development Director, Tony has provided invaluable contributions to a number of hotel projects in the region overseeing their evolution from concept to development through to operational handover.

Tony's key strengths and capabilities include:

  • Positioning and Branding
  • Master Plan Advisory
  • Design Advisory (concept, schematic and detailed design)
  • Configuration and facility offering planning (best use guidelines)
  • Brand Standard Guidance (pre-operator appointment)

With Tony’s extensive design and development knowledge, clients are provided with the confidence that they will achieve maximum efficiency and design functionality in their hotel project.

Andrew

Andrew Morrow

General Manager - F&B Development and Operations Contact Andrew

Andrew has a remarkable career spanning 22 years. A chef by trade, Andrew started his career with Hyatt Hotels and rose to head chef working in some of the world’s most iconic hotel properties and independent restaurants including stints at Bather Pavilion, Mission Hill Family Estate and Hayman Island to name a few.

After more than ten years leading kitchen teams to success on three continents, Andrew turned his sights in 2008 to the UAE and more of an operations role. A tenure at Emirates Palace was instrumental in setting Andrew up to help launch a new food group and the development of three new brands for the UAE market. Having gained an in-depth understanding of operational food and beverage requirements, Andrew brings to Roya an exceptional portfolio of specialist knowledge and experience in all aspects of the hospitality food and beverage industry whether from menu planning, creation and engineering to an ability to comprehensively review back of house operations and services.

Andrew’s key strengths and core capabilities include:

•    F&B master planning for mixed use developments
•    Concept development including front of house and back of house design reviews
•    Pre and post opening advisory services including operator search and selection
•    Asset and project management of new F&B developments
•    Financial and operational performance analysis and audits of existing venues
•    Operating Equipment and Supplies (OS&E) advisory, providing guidance on quantities and process versus industry norms

Asif

Asif Bhatti

Director | Special Projects Contact Asif

As Director of Special Projects, Asif brings more than 40 years of financial and hospitality experience through his tenure with InterContinental Hotels. With a major in Business Finance and a solid understanding of a number of different markets including the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Europe, the Caribbean, Pakistan, Asia and Africa, Asif brings a wealth of market exposure and capability for the successful oversight of hotel financial systems.

Asif's key strengths and capabilities include:

  • Hotel Management Oversight Services (Asset Management)
  • Pre-opening oversight for the Implementation of financial systems
  • Annual Budget Development and monitoring oversight
  • Capital Expenditure Plan allocation and monitoring
  • System Control and Measures Oversight
  • Financial Operational Performance Analysis

Asif provides significant contributions to Roya’s hospitality projects and plays a key role in Hotel Management Oversight Services, both as a project leader as well as a team support member.

Madhu

Madhu Azad

Director | Asset Management Contact Madhu

Madhu is a chartered accountant by profession and hotelier by choice. With more than 30 years of experience working with reputable hotel chains including InterContinental Hotels, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts and Imperial Hotels Group, Madhu has expanded her financial skill-set and gained wide hospitality market expertise. Madhu’s primary role is on the search, selection and negotiation with hotel operators. Having played a strategic role in signing some of the most iconic hotel projects in the region, Madhu continues to lead this discipline within Ròya.

Madhu's key strengths and core capabilities include:

  • Contract Negotiation
  • Financial Evaluation and Analysis
  • Hotel Operator Market Knowledge
  • Operator Selection Criteria
Rabih

Rabih Feghali

Director | Business Development Contact Rabih

Responsible for Ròya's business development activities, Rabih spent the early part of his career working in New York City at iconic properties such as The New York Palace, The Plaza and the Westin before moving back to Abu Dhabi to run a boutique hotel. Prior to joining Ròya, he held the position of Director of Hospitality Development at FFA Real Estate in Beirut where he oversaw several hospitality development projects. Rabih is a regular panelist and moderator at hospitality investment conferences across the Middle East and Africa. A graduate of Les Roches Hotel School in Switzerland and the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, he has also received graduate certification from Cornell University, New York.

Rabih's key strengths and core capabilities include:

  • Hotel operations and Management
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Real Estate Acquisition
  • Opportunity Analysis and Business Development
  • Public Speaking

Rabih’s hotel background and business focus match his strengths in communications, negotiation and passion for every aspect of the hospitality industry.

Kate

Kate Harrison

Engagement Manager Contact Kate

In her capacity as Engagement Manager, Kate brings more than 15 years of international experience, fourteen of which have been in the region, working for leading organizations in the UK and the Middle East. As a qualified Lead Auditor with a comprehensive understanding of hotels, Kate’s experience has been in managing the quality and efficiency of hotel operations, in line with hotel brand standards, mandatory requirements such as health and safety, hygiene, HACCP, and international and/or applicable tourism standards.

Kate's key strengths and capabilities include:

  • Oversight/Coordination of Special Hospitality Projects
  • Management of Policy/Procedure Development for new hotel operations
  • Operational Assessments to monitor hotel process efficiency
  • Service Quality Audits

Kate provides considerable contributions to the Asset Management and Hospitality Services division, whilst supporting the overall quality control of Roya’s administrative structure.

Jennifer

Jennifer Houchaime

Sr. Hospitality Consultant Contact Jennifer

After graduating from The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Jennifer gained experience in project management working in a mass media conglomerate. She thereafter proceeded to receive a Masters of Sciences from école des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Lille before returning back into hospitality consulting. She has experience in research consulting, as well as a strong knowledge of the MENA hospitality market and trends.

Jennifer's key strengths and core capabilities include:

  • Market Research
  • Report and Proposal Scripting and Translation
  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Project and People Management
  • Hospitality Advisory

Dynamic and creative, Jennifer brings a rich mix of communication skills and public relations strengths as well as insightful analysis and advisory to each project.

Nima

Nima Sarjahani

Business Analyst Consultant Contact Nima

Specializing in Finance at York University in Toronto, Nima graduated with a B.A.S degree (Honours).
His career in consulting began with his first summer internship with the Cedar Management Consulting International Dubai office. That internship with a leading global consulting, research and analytics firm began what would become the direction for his future career. 

He originally joined Ròya International as an intern in the Asset Management department where he was responsible for the detailed analysis of property financials for Ròya’s extensive Asset Management portfolio.

After graduation, Nima joined the company as a full-time employee supporting both the Hospitality and Asset Management divisions as a strategic business analyst and researcher.

Nima’s Key Strengths and Core Capabilities include:

  • Preparing Strategy Documents
  • Conducting Financial Simulations and Projections
  • Analyzing Hospitality Financials & Accounting systems
  • Collating strategic data and market research
Bhavika

Bhavika Vanjani

Business Analyst Consultant Contact Bhavika

A long term resident of Dubai, Bhavika chose her career in hospitality at a very early stage. After obtaining a BSc (Honors) in International Hospitality Management from the well-respected Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Bhavika worked at the Jumeirah Group in Finance as a Finance Executive for four years. Involved in the different sections of the Finance department, Bhavika gained a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of core financial operations and completed HOSPA Finance studies along this journey as well.
 
Bhavika’s intensive, hands on experience gained by working at the Group level across the highly diverse property types managed by Jumeirah Group facilitated her broad knowledge and understanding of the finance and business models required to effectively drive the hospitality Industry, 

Bhavika’s key Strengths and Core Capabilities include:

  • Hospitality Financial & Accounting Analysis
  • Performance Study of Hotel Operations
  • Comprehensive Reporting for Hotel Asset Management
  • Data Collation Analysis from Market Research
  • Hotel Asset Management Report Writing