IHG Hotels & Resorts has appointed Haitham Mattar as managing director of India, Middle East & Africa (IMEA), replacing the outgoing Pascal Gauvin who left the post at the end of 2020. Mattar will take up the position from April 18. With more than 25 years of experience, he will be responsible for driving IHG’s business in the Middle East, Africa and the South West Asia region, covering both development and operations responsibilities across a portfolio of 165 operational hotels and a pipeline of over 100 properties.
Mattar joins IHG from the Saudi Ministry of Tourism where, as senior advisor and a member of the Executive Leadership Committee, he contributed to the development and implementation of Saudi’s sustainable tourism strategy to become one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Previously, he spent four years as CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, reporting to HH Sheikh Saud Bin SaqrAl Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of RasAl Khaimah.
It is not the first time Mattar has worked at IHG, having previously spent 11 years at the group from 2000 to 2011 in various operations, commercial and sales and marketing positions based in the region. In his new role, he will be based in IHG’s Dubai office and will report to Kenneth Macpherson, chief executive officer, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA).
Macpherson said, “I am very pleased to welcome Haitham back to IHG and lead our business in IMEA at such a crucial time for the travel and tourism industry. Haitham has a wealth of experience within the sector and has been at the forefront of several important strategic initiatives in the region over the last decade. I am confident that his knowledge, diverse experience, along with cross-continent and local expertise will be invaluable, as we look to continue driving our recovery”
Mattar added, “I am delighted to join the IHG family once again and have an opportunity to lead such a diverse region with enormous potential. The tourism and hospitality landscape in IMEA has transformed significantly in recent years, providing us with a tremendous opportunity to offer world-class hospitality options to both domestic and international travellers. Building on IHG’s strong performance track record and growth plans, I look forward to working with the team, as well as our partners, as we look ahead to the next chapter of travel in the region.”