The countdown to the opening of the Ritz-Carlton, Amman, Hotel & Residences has begun with the confirmation of the new leadership team for the property.
With the hotel set to open in May, the management team is led by general manager Tareq Derbas.
The experienced hotelier is continuing the legacy of the late chairman of Al Eqbal Real Estate Development & Hotels, Tawfiq Fakhouri, whose vision brought the Ritz-Carlton to Amman.
Marking a new pinnacle in Jordanian hospitality, Derbas said: “The Ritz-Carlton Amman is eager to begin providing guests with a refined and sumptuous stay in the capital, all the while bringing the ancient cultural riches and natural beauty Jordan has to offer within alluring reach.
“To realise this, I have assembled a best-in-class management team whose combined experience is unrivalled.”
Derbas brings with him more than 27 years of luxury hotel management experience, and a personal philosophy that is characterised by an insistence on perfecting the finer details and a commitment to doing absolutely everything possible to guarantee an extraordinary experience for guests.
He first joined Marriott International more than a decade ago, launching the St. Regis Doha, Qatar, and later becoming area general manager.
Before joining the Ritz-Carlton Amman team, Derbas served as general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Residences DIFC, Dubai.
Over this impressive career, he has also led the development of several other award-winning, iconic properties, including Burj Al Arab Dubai, Four Seasons Amman and Four Seasons Riyadh.
Director of residences, Behiye Salk, arrives to Amman from Dubai, where she served as hotel manager during the successful opening of Caesars Palace, demonstrating diligent attention to guest experience and feedback.
Having launched her 30-year hospitality career with the Swissôtel chain, she has served as director of housekeeping at several properties, including at the iconic Watergate, Washington, DC.
Salk and Derbas also joined forces in 2002 as part of the Four Seasons Amman opening team.
She previously held several managerial roles at Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts and was the general manager of both the House Hotel Collection Istanbul and Wellborn Luxury Hotel, Kocaeli, in Turkey.
Meanwhile, with over 20 years of experience in fine dining, German executive chef Joergen Sodemann is guided by a culinary philosophy that emphasizes seasonality and sustainability, with the goal of creating profound experiences and lifelong memories for guests.
His arrival at the Ritz-Carlton Amman marks an illustrious return to the Ritz-Carlton brand.
It was at the Ritz-Carlton, in Berlin, Germany, that he was first promoted to executive chef before broadening his horizons to help open the new Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, in Muscat, Oman.
Thus began a stellar global career with Marriott International, which most recently took him to the Tokyo Edition, where he oversaw a range of acclaimed restaurants, including the renowned Jade Room and Garden Terrace, which he ran alongside two-Michelin-star chef consultant Tom Aikens.
The new director of food and beverage, Emmanuel Nelo, has accrued 15 years of dedicated service to the Ritz-Carlton brand.
An expert sommelier and bartender, he has managed the dining and banquet experiences of some of the most exotic and far-flung destinations, including Bali, Jakarta, Aruba, Santiago, Cancun, and even Muscat, where he worked with Sodemann at Al Bustan Palace.
The dynamic director of sales and marketing, Antoine Hobeika, arrives from Paris, France, where he previously served as Marriott International’s cluster director of sales, overseeing sales and marketing across three luxury hotels in the French capital.
Before that, he was at the legendary Dorchester Collection property, Le Richemond, in Geneva, and also played a key role in the opening of the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa.
Over the course of his impressive career, Hobeika has also managed business development and sales for several Hilton hotels in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and France.
His adept move into sales and marketing first took place during his tenure at Disneyland Resort Paris.
Abdelaziz Salhab, director of finance, has been loyal to Marriott International for two decades, serving as the Levant area director of finances and overseeing finances for the hotels in Jordan and across the Levant region, with particularly rich experience at the Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel.
He has been an active member of the property committee in charge of CSR and in the regional task force program.
The most recent recruit, director of revenue, Rajvi Damur, is a tech-savvy strategist who is making his way to Amman from his current position at the Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain.
Majd Haddad, director of human resources, comes from W Amman, where she served as human resources manager during the pre-opening and launch phase, and later as assistant director of human resources.
She began her career in the hospitality sector at Le Meridien Amman, where she was eventually promoted to Assistant Human Resources Manager.
Finally, director of engineering, Hazem Albedawi will be keeping everything running smoothly at the property.
His industry experience includes key positions at the Boulevard Arjaan by Rotana, Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea and the Grand Hyatt Amman Hotel.
With such a rich expanse of local, regional, and global expertise, the Ritz-Carlton, Amman, Hotel & Residences is expected to deliver an extraordinary experience for guests and residents across all facets of its operations when it opens in May 1st.