Meet the team: Hotel Indigo Downtown Dubai

Published: 22 September 2020 - 12:45 p.m.

Ahead of its opening next month, InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown has revealed its leadership team behind the lifestyle and design hotel.

IHG’s first Hotel Indigo-brand hotel in the GCC, the 269-key property will tap into the emirate’s growing lifestyle and leisure hotel market. Once open, the property will comprise 269 rooms across 17 floors. Facilities include a ladies salon and a barber shop, two spa treatment rooms, a yoga studio and a gym with the option to book a personal trainer.

The rooms, shared spaces and F&B venues have all been uniquely designed. Its interiors are heavily influenced by UAE culture and the Alserkal Cultural Foundation, Tashkeel and XVA Gallery have helped supply the hotel with 200 pieces of art and local design.

Here's who's heading up the property, which is due to open in October.

General manager
Leading a team of 102, Laura Eggleton has been made general manager of the property. After a stint in Slough, UK as general manager of the Holiday Inn Express, she became IHG’s first female general manager in the Middle East in 2015 in Oman.

She graduated from the University of Brighton with an honours degree in International Tourism Management, working various roles in a neighbourhood hotel throughout her studies.

Director of finance and business support
Heading up finance and business will be Dubai-born Neetu Sajnani as director of finance and business support. She has been with IHG since 2014 in Dubai Festival City as a finance and business support manager.

Director of restaurants & bars
Overseeing the property’s four F&B venues and overall culinary experience will be Van Qian. Qian has worked across the hotel F&B industry, working as a mixology manager, to assistant director of beverage and food at W Hotel in China. Now in Downtown Dubai he will be expected to apply his knowledge of various different cuisines and cultures.

Chief engineer
Enis Pekmezi has been appointed chief engineer, working to ensure the property keeps waste down and quality up. He will be expected to drive sustainability and recyclability at the property, while also overseeing the day-to-day technical needs of the hotel.

With almost two decades of hospitality experience under his belt, Mohamed Elsayed has been chosen for the post of executive assistant manager. He has been climbing IHG’s career ladder for close to eight years, starting out as a front office manager at Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi before moving up to director operations, task force EAM and EAM across the region.

HR & training manager
With 15 years of experience, Omar Wasfy has been made the human resources & training manager. Wasfy will be tasked with creating a team, and maintaining a talent pool, that reflects the hotel’s brand.

Previously holding various titles such as director of marketing the Starwood community, Hilton Hotels, Sheraton Group and IHG, Kevin Cavaco has been ushered in as director of sales & marketing. Indigo explains that he will be an integral part of the opening phase and spreading brand awareness.

Technology manager
Finally is Amila Karunaratne as technology manager. His MBA in Business Administration and Management offered him the skills and experience to progress from project engineer through to technology manager at the Holiday Inn in Abu Dhabi before he ventured to Dubai to become Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown’s technology manager.

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