Becoming the vice president of operations – Middle East, Africa and South West Asia at a relatively young age has pushed Straub to move faster towards his goals.Currently, the group operates approximately 7,000 rooms in the region. In the last year, the group has re-introduced the Hyatt Regency brand, after nearly 40 years, in Kuwait with the Hyatt Regency Al Kout Mall.
Other introductions include the Hyatt Place brand and the first Andaz branded hotels in the region, Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi and Andaz Dubai, which is set to open in the last quarter of this year. In addition, the group’s acquisition of Two Roads Hospitality, means that it now oversees Oman’s Alila Jabal Akhdar.Hyatt Hotels Corporation has a pipeline of 16 hotels, 4,200 rooms and has plans to maximise its core business and continue to introduce new brands and properties “to the right places at the right time.”
Hyatt Hotels recognises that it is not the largest hospitality group, and Straub insists that isn’t a goal they are working towards. “Instead, we aim to grow with intent, introducing to markets brands that are best suited to their requirements and preferences at the time, leading to a prioritisation of quality rather than quantity,” Straub said.“Our overarching goal is to maximise our core business and continue to introduce new and innovative brands and properties to the right places at the right time. Last year we announced that we are planning on doubling our portfolio in the Middle East by 2022 and we are on the right track to execute our plans,” he added.
Sustainability is one of the many goals Straub has set for himself and is keen on taking that further with the brand. “Sustainability and protecting our planet is a goal that I hold close to my heart. I’m proud to say that our regional office in Dubai has been plastic free for more than a year now.“Since launching our 2020 Environmental Sustainability Vision in 2014, we have made, and continue to make significant strides towards sustainable goals, including the elimination of single-use plastics at Hyatt hotels worldwide,” he added.
In addition to heading Hyatt, Straub is also on the advisory board of one of Switzerland’s prestigious hospitality management schools — Hotel School Belvoirpark Zürich.