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Olivier Harnisch (Emaar Hospitality Group): We make sure that each guest has a wonderful experience in our hotels

We had the opportunity and to meet with the CEO of the Emaar Hospitality Group, Mr Olivier Harnisch at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, who spoke to TravelDailyNews about the structure of Emaar Properties, the plans for the expansion of the Group in UAE and globally and the new technologies that the Group plans to introduce in the near future.

In the video interview below Mr Olivier Harnisch, CEO of the Emaar Hospitality Group, replies to the following questions:

  • Mr. Harnisch, Emaar Hospitality Group is part of the Emaar Properties. Please describe for our readers the structure of the Emaar Properties and the portfolio of the Emaar Hospitality Group.
  • You bring to Emaar Hospitality Group a great experience from international hospitality brands with hundreds of hotels. What is your plan for the expansion of the Emaar Hospitality Group in UAE and globally?
  • Which are the innovations and new concepts you bring to your hospitality brands?
  • How do you use the digital channels for your marketing and distribution and what kind of new technologies you plan to introduce for your customer experience?




End of 2016 Mr. Olivier Harnisch appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Emaar Hospitality Group. Mr. Harnisch brings to Emaar over 30 years of international experience in the hotel and tourism industry. He joins Emaar from Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in Brussels, where he was Chief Operating Officer, responsible for a portfolio of over 350 leased, managed and franchised hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

Olivier has acquired in-depth expertise in all aspects of the hospitality business through multiple leadership roles across four continents. His experience will be a significant asset for Emaar in delivering ambitious growth plans for its hospitality business. Emaar has over 35 new hotels and serviced residences in the development pipeline in the UAE and international markets. 

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “Emaar Hospitality Group has created exceptional experiences for guests through its portfolio of hotels. We are now taking the operations of our hospitality group to the next level, to meet the aspirations of the next generation of travellers, and to drive Dubai’s growth as a global tourism hub. Olivier Harnisch’s significant regional and international experience in both hotel and restaurant operations will be an asset in driving our onward growth, with a focus on bringing innovative and value-added guest experiences, and managing our growing number of hotels that serve distinct market niches.”

Olivier Harnisch said: “Emaar Hospitality Group has set a high standard with its portfolio of innovative hotel brands. The brand identity of Emaar and its commitment towards offering memorable guest experiences are strong foundations to take the hospitality business to a new era of growth. Going forward, we will focus on further enhancing guest experiences, implementing new strategies that create long-term value for all stakeholders, and expanding our footprint within and outside the UAE.”

Olivier started his career in 1986, and was initially associated with individual hotels, food & beverage operations and airlines for over 13 years. This enabled him to gain strong insights in classic hospitality and in developing compelling guest experiences. He then worked at Hilton Worldwide for over 14 years where he held the position of Vice President for Northern and Central Europe, before joining Carlson Rezidor Group in 2012. Having worked across the globe, Olivier is fluent in six languages.

He holds an MSc in Organisational Labour from the University of London, an MBA in International Finance from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and a Degree in Hospitality Management from Berlin School of Hotel Administration.

Emaar Hospitality Group has defined its credentials in the hotel industry with the launch of three brands, each with a distinct niche – The Address Hotels + Resorts, a premium luxury hotel and residences brand, Vida Hotels and Resorts, an upscale boutique lifestyle hotel and residences brand and Rove Hotels, a contemporary new midscale hotel and residences brand. The leisure assets of Emaar Hospitality Group include Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club and Dubai Marina Yacht Club.