IHG Hotels & Resorts has announced the appointment of Haitham Mattar as managing director for India, Middle East and Africa (IMEA).
The industry veteran - recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to the Travel & Tourism Industry title at the World Travel Awards - will take up the role on April 18th.
Mattar is a well-known industry leader in the IMEA region, with over 25 years of experience in hospitality and tourism and an outstanding network across the industry.
Haitham Mattar said: “I am delighted to join the IHG family once again and have an opportunity to lead such a diverse region with enormous potential.
“The tourism and hospitality landscape in IMEA has transformed significantly in recent years, providing us with a tremendous opportunity to offer world-class hospitality options to both domestic and international travellers.
“Building on IHG’s strong performance track record and growth plans, I look forward to working with the team, as well as our partners, as we look ahead to the next chapter of travel in the region.”
In his new role with IHG, he will take on a broad leadership agenda to drive the business in the Middle East, Africa and the south-west Asia region.
He will be covering both development and operations responsibilities across a portfolio of 165 hotels and a strong pipeline of over 100 properties, representing brands across luxury and lifestyle, premium, essentials and suites collections.
Haitham Mattar joins IHG Hotels & Resorts from the Saudi ministry of tourism where, as senior advisor and a member of the executive leadership committee, he contributed to the development and implementation of a sustainable tourism strategy.
Before then, he spent four years as chief executive of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, reporting to His sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, member of the supreme council and ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
Guided by this vision, Mattar was responsible for developing and implementing the first ever tourism strategy to position Ras Al Khaimah as a global adventure tourism destination, connecting the world to the emirates’ natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage.
Under his leadership, Ras al Khaimah was recognised as the Middle East’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination for three consecutive years by the World Travel Awards.
He previously spent 11 years at IHG Hotels & Resorts from 2000 to 2011 in various operations, commercial and sales and marketing positions based in IMEA.
In his new role, Mattar will be based in IHG’s Dubai office and will report to Kenneth Macpherson, chief executive, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA).
Macpherson said: “I am very pleased to welcome Haitham back to IHG and lead our business in IMEA at such a crucial time for the travel and tourism industry.
“Haitham has a wealth of experience within the sector and has been at the forefront of several important strategic initiatives in the region over the last decade.
“I am confident that his knowledge, diverse experience, along with cross-continent and local expertise will be invaluable, as we look to continue driving our recovery.”
IHG currently operates 165 hotels across eight brands in India, Middle East and Africa including: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, voco and Six Senses.
There are a further 102 properties in the development pipeline due to open within the next three to five years.