AMMAN, JORDAN – With the start of 2022, the Guidance Team of The Ritz-Carlton, Amman, Hotel & Residences begins the countdown to the opening of its stunning new venue in May 2022, with the announcement of its powerhouse of a management team led by General Manager Tareq Derbas.
Derbas is continuing the legacy of the late Chairman of Al Eqbal Real Estate Development and Hotels, Tawfiq Fakhouri, whose vision brought The Ritz-Carlton to Amman. Marking a new pinnacle in Jordan’s continuous elevation as a luxury destination, 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 realize this, I have assembled a best-in-class management team whose combined experience is unrivalled.”
General Manager Tareq Derbas brings with him more than 27 years of luxury hotel management experience, and a personal philosophy that is characterized by an insistence on perfecting the finer details and a commitment to doing absolutely everything possible to guarantee an extraordinary experience for guests.
Derbas 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, he served as GM of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Residences DIFC, Dubai, UAE. Over this impressive career, Derbas 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, Caesars Resort, and Caesars Residences, demonstrating diligent attention to guest experience and feedback.
Having launched her 30-year hospitality career with the Swissôtel chain, where she served as Director of Housekeeping at several properties, including at the iconic Watergate, Washington, DC. And she and GM Derbas have a proven track record of exceptional teamwork: Salk and Derbas 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 GM 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. Sodemann’s arrival at The Ritz-Carlton Amman marks the chef’s 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, with whom Sodemann previously worked during the launch of The Abu Dhabi EDITION.
Sodemann’s career has garnered him a wealth of international recognition and accolades: in 2012 and 2014, he won The Ritz-Carlton’s Award of Culinary Excellence (ACE) Chef of the Year for the Middle East & Africa, and he was also named The Ritz-Carlton’s ACE Global Chef of the Year in 2014. The hotel’s new Director of Food & 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 chain’s 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 property’s dynamic Director of Sales & 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 hotel, 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 and Waldorf Astoria 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 group’s 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. Damur earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in International Hotel Management from Vatel while working for Marriott International properties in Mauritius.
Among the other talents taking up leading roles at the hotel are the following local additions to The Ritz-Carlton, Amman, management team: 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.
As 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. Opening May 1 st , 2022, the lion will roar soon in Amman.