Latest News
HomeHotels & LodgingThe Ritz-Carlton hotels in the Middle East focus on Saudi Arabia
Mohamed Halawani appointed to handle all travel sales in the Kingdom

The Ritz-Carlton hotels in the Middle East focus on Saudi Arabia

The Ritz-Carlton hotels in the Middle East are stepping up efforts to engage travel agents and major corporations in Saudi Arabia starting this year. To that end, they have collectively appointed Mohamed Halawani as the associate director of sales to be solely responsible for this important source market.  As the Kingdom represents the largest GCC market for The Ritz-Carlton hotels in Bahrain, Doha, Dubai and Sharm El Sheikh, Mr. Halawani’s appointment comes at an opportune time to reach out to Saudi-based leisure and corporate travelers.

“We see tremendously high potential in the Saudi Arabia market for the coming years and our goal is to increase our customer base by at least 15 per cent in 2010,” says Pascal Duchauffour, area vice president, Middle East. “With such an aggressive objective to achieve, the general managers have agreed to engage an experienced sales person such as Mohamed Halawani to be exclusively dedicated to this country on behalf of their hotels’ revenue targets.”

“I am delighted to be representing this group of luxury hotels in the Saudi market,” says Mr. Halawani. “My long term ambition is two-fold: I have to accomplish my revenue goals for the years ahead, and at the same time, I need to raise the awareness of The Ritz-Carlton brand among the top travel partners and companies in the Kingdom ahead of our competition.”

To achieve these goals, Mr. Halawani is already planning starting this month a full calendar consisting of multiple sales calls and road shows, some of which he will be inviting senior leaders from The Ritz-Carlton hotels in the region to accompany him. These events are expected to provide a financial boost to the hotels’ sales targets for the traditionally slower summer months.

Mr. Halawani is no stranger to the Arabic-speaking markets, having been in a senior sales position last year at The Nile Hotel, Cairo which was a Ritz-Carlton-managed property.  Prior to that, Mr. Halawani was responsible for all aspects of corporate, MICE and government segments at the Hilton and Conrad hotels in Egypt for more than a decade.  He oversaw regional sales teams and was involved in the planning and implementation of key marketing strategies for the 19 hotels for those two brands.  An Egyptian national, Mr. Halawani began his hospitality career in the rooms division as a front office clerk at Cairo Sheraton in 1990.