Accor announces the appointment of Ammar Hilal as Managing Director of Raffles Dubai & Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk. Joining from Fairmont Dubai, within the Accor portfolio, Ammar will oversee the daily operations of the new flagship property as well as lead the strategic direction of the iconic Raffles Dubai, pioneering the luxury hospitality scene in the city.
Born and raised in Germany, Ammar brings 30 years of international hospitality experience where he contributed to the success of renowned hotels within Hilton, Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood, One&Only and Jumeirah Group across key cities such as Hamburg, Bangkok, Cairo, New York, Hawaii, London, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Antalya and Dubai.
Ammar’s hospitality career started as a Management Trainee at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok and within ten years he moved up the ladder to Director of Food & Beverage at The Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong & The Lanesborough in London, gathering a vast experience in luxury hospitality. He then progressed to Executive Assistant Manager roles at notable properties such as One & Only Le Touessrok in Mauritius in 2002 and Burj Al Arab in 2005. He relocated to Turkey to be part of the pre-opening team of the Mardan Palace in Antalya, joining as Hotel Manager and getting promoted later to General Manager. In 2009, Ammar returned once again to Dubai as Hotel Manager of the Burj Al Arab, a position he held for almost six years.
Ammar joined Accor in 2015 as General Manager of Sofitel Dubai Downtown where he successfully achieved the highest Employee Engagement score amongst all Sofitel hotels in the region, the highest Leading Quality Assurance score amongst all participating hotels in Dubai as well as several accolades by Forbes and Condé Nast Traveller. Ammar then joined the Fairmont Dubai team in 2017, leading the 19-year-old flagship Fairmont in the region and successfully initiated the hotel’s long-anticipated refurbishment.
Ammar brings unmatched enthusiasm and a forward-thinking approach to his Managing Director role at Raffles Dubai & Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk. Overseeing the operations of 498 rooms and suites, 97 serviced apartments, five signature dining venues including two celebrity chefs as well as Sofitel Spa with L’Occitane; he aims to position the recently awarded Leading New Hotel in Dubai as a front-runner in the global hospitality realm and solidifying its reign as the second-largest Sofitel property in the world. He also looks forward to leading the Raffles Dubai legacy, known for its unparalleled guest experience reflected in the hotel’s number one position out of 761 hotels in Dubai for the past six years and being amongst the top 10 hotels worldwide on TripAdvisor in 2020.
Ammar graduated from culinary and Food & Beverage apprenticeships under the German Chamber of Commerce, as well as the General Management programs at Cranfield University in Bedford, England and Cornell University in New York, USA.