Kerten Hospitality, a mixed-use and lifestyle operator, announces the strategic appointment of hospitality industry expert Wafik Youssef as its Chief Operating Officer. Wafik, a seasoned leader with a proven track record of growth with global hotel players, and a career spanning across 3 continents over two decades will further contribute to Kerten Hospitality’s footprint expansion and multiple project openings rolling out 2021 onwards.
Wafik will be responsible for all operational properties and upcoming mixed-use project openings across the Middle East, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia driving the Group’s global vision for growth and expansion. He will be based in the Group’s corporate office in Dubai.
Marloes Knippenberg, CEO of Kerten Hospitality, said: ”Wafik brings a breadth of knowledge from global organisations, regional expertise and the knack to nurture teams that deliver success and innovation and further aspire to become the industry disrupters and out-of-the-box thinkers. We are glad to have a commercially-savvy leader who believes that our employee-centric culture can create sustainable global operations, unique guest journeys, and ultimately deliver value to our owners and industry stakeholders.”
Wafik Youssef, COO of Kerten Hospitality, said: “The Kerten Hospitality philosophy aligns perfectly with my personal approach: to take pride in evolving and proactively elevating hospitality norms, to lay emphasis on community build rather than just operation of properties – hotels, Residences, Offices, Food and Beverage and everything else that Hospitality touches. This is what has inspired me to join this entrepreneurial team and contribute to the evolution of our industry through the prism of flexibility and lifestyle. The pioneering vision of the Group combined with the efforts of a driven team, I trully believe will help us create home-like guest experiences and further ride and conquer the emergent industry trends.”
During his career, Wafik has played important roles in various hotel groups including Emirates Palace, Kempinski Hotels and Rotana in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. His last role was as a Vice President of Operations for Kempinski Hotels in the Middle East and Africa region where he was managing almost 20 properties after having led the MEA Region operations function for the Group. He is well versed in hotel management, capacity building, pre-opening of hotels, value creation and capacity build across many functions in MENA.
Notably, Kerten hospitality is going to open several projects in Georgia soon.