AFRICA – Kerten Hospitality has appointed  Wafik Youssef, whose last role was as a vice president of operations for Kempinski Hotels in the Middle East and Africa region, its Chief Operating Officer.

In this key role, Wafik Youssef will oversee the rollout of new hotel openings and grow the hospitality group’s footprint.

Youssef’s career spans two decades and three continents and the new COO will now contribute to the company’s expansion, with openings planned for 2021 onwards.

Marloes Knippenberg, CEO of Kerten Hospitality, said: “Wafik brings a breadth of knowledge from global organizations, 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.”

“He most recently served as a vice president of operations for Kempinski Hotels in the Middle East and Africa region, managing almost 20 properties after having led the group’s MEA region operations function”

Based in the group’s corporate office in Dubai, Youssef will take responsibility for all of its operational properties as well as forthcoming mixed-use projects across the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and Georgia.

On his part, Youssef 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.”

Before joining Kerten Hospitality, Youssef held roles within Emirates Palace, Kempinski Hotels and Rotana.

He most recently served as a vice president of operations for Kempinski Hotels in the Middle East and Africa region, managing almost 20 properties after having led the group’s MEA region operations function.

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