Apr. 20, 2016

Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla


Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla

CEO, Katara Hospitality


Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla was appointed CEO of Katara Hospitality in February 2011. Hamad joined the team at the head office of Katara Hospitality in December 2009 as Chief Human Resources and Administration Officer. While Katara Hospitality has been shaping the hospitality landscape in the country for more than 40 years, Hamad has been part of the company’s journey for more than half of its history, bringing in a vast experience acquired in top management positions in various Katara Hospitality properties in Qatar.

How do you balance international expansion with domestic expansion?

We are very focused on international expansion. Simultaneously, however, we intend to maintain our position as a market leader in Qatar, while encouraging private investors to participate in building a solid hospitality network within the country. We are always looking to invest in a collection of unique properties in key sought-after international locations while partnering with some of the world's finest hotel brands, ensuring they are aligned with our ethos and brand values. We acquire and further invest in properties that have set the standards in the industry, as we work to create an enviable portfolio of iconic hotels around the globe.

How would you describe the overall strategy of Katara Hospitality?

With 45 years of experience as an international hotel owner, developer, and operator, Katara Hospitality has always been at the forefront of the industry. Our goal is to leave an outstanding legacy for the future generations and to use our resources and expertise to invest in heritage properties around the world, each of which represents both a legacy and a future. Following the success we have achieved in 2014 and throughout 2015, we are now focusing on our next strategic target of expanding our portfolio of iconic hotels to 60 properties by 2026. We take immense pride and pleasure in rejuvenating historically iconic hotels, restoring them to their former glory, and ensuring their hospitality heritage is secured. One of our foremost priorities is ensuring maximum possible returns for a wide range of stakeholders; investors, operating partners, employees, and the guests at our hotels. This strategy has positioned us as an international forerunner in the hospitality sector, and earned us recognition as an organization that is pushing the boundaries of industry excellence.

What regions are of major focus for expansion for Katara Hospitality and how does this reflect the macroeconomic conditions affecting these international regions?

Europe remains a key part of our focused international expansion. Our European presence continues to be strong and next year will see the opening of several iconic hotels. With properties in UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, we expect to invest in other markets in the Mediterranean countries. North America is also a possibility and we intend to further expand in Asia. The year 2015, we added The Westin Excelsior Rome, The Peninsula Paris and Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Milan to our global portfolio, which brings us to a total of 35 properties in operation or under development.

What is the significance of the recent opening of Katara Hospitality's Peninsula Hotel Paris to the overall growth of the company?

The Peninsula Paris is an iconic property, not just in Paris but globally and is an asset to our growing portfolio. The opening is hugely significant for us as the property offers the quintessence of the French culture with state-of-the art services in iconic locations. Our guests visiting us from Middle East are very interested in cultural as well as historical heritage and look today for a holistic experience with tailored services in the most exclusive locations. France is renowned for its cultural heritage and has given the world fabulous cuisine, amazing artists, unique fashion trends, and memorable monuments. Middle East travelers appreciate this subtle mix of history, “Art de Vivre,” and luxury sophistication, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Europe on the whole has strong appeal as an aspirational holiday destination for travelers owing to the diverse and high quality of its tourism offering with the added appeal of cross-country travel. This is why Europe is a key focus for our international growth and The Peninsular Paris is a key property in our expansion journey.