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Philip Barnes appointed as Rotana's new CEO

An industry veteran with extensive global success, Barnes re-enters the Middle East hospitality market, bringing 40 years of hospitality expertise

In a recent announcement, Rotana introduced Philip Barnes as the esteemed addition to the team, assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in March 2024.

A seasoned industry leader known for his success in the Middle East and North America, Barnes returns to the region with his recent appointment. With more than 40 years of global hospitality expertise, Barnes specialises in new openings, turnarounds and asset repositioning.

Barnes has held various senior leadership positions across the globe, spanning Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, with nearly 25 years of dedicated service at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Most recently, he served as the Regional Vice President of Southern California from 2020 to 2022. Previously, he also worked with brands such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Shangri La Hotels & Resorts among others.

During his tenure in the Middle East, Barnes played a pivotal role as Fairmont Hotels & Resorts' Regional Vice President of the United Arab Emirates from 2009 to 2011. In this capacity, he managed operations for Fairmont The Palm Dubai, Fairmont Bab Al Bar Abu Dhabi, Fairmont Ajman and Fairmont Fujairah and also oversaw the pre-opening phase of Fairmont Abu Dhabi. Earlier, as the Vice President of the Middle East from 2007 to 2009, he spearheaded developments and planned openings across South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Oman within the group.

Commenting on the announcement, Selim El Zyr, Vice Chairman of Rotana, said: “We are proud to welcome Philip Barnes as the new CEO of Rotana. With a rich history of leadership and a deep understanding of the global hospitality landscape, Barnes is poised to elevate our brand delivery and levels of excellence. We eagerly anticipate his innovative direction and vision that will shape Rotana’s next chapter and build on our growing pipeline across key markets.”

Barnes added: “I am privileged to join Rotana — a homegrown brand synonymous with providing guests with the highest service levels across the region. I look forward to working closely with the wider team to grow Rotana’s legacy and firmly position it as one of the leading hospitality players in the region. Together, we will embark on a journey to redefine hospitality, creating Treasured Time for our guests and setting new benchmarks for the industry.”


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