promoted through compassion, efficiency, attentiveness and endearment
Our focus is not only on the delivery of unique and successful hotel experiences, it is also on promoting our value-engineered service delivery model to safeguard project investments and deliver superior returns.
Smartotels is a hospitality and asset management firm headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, providing comprehensive management services with a focus on developing and operating hotels under its unique proprietary lodging brands.
Smartotels’ leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience in hotel operations, asset management, real estate finance and transactions, development and advisory across four continents, and has proven strategies and achieved results with managing branded and independent limited-, select-, and full-service hotels and resorts.
Smartotels’ shareholders have global balance sheets that cover a wide range of industries including real estate, healthcare, fresh produce, construction, technology, aviation, renewable energy, insurance and manufacturing.
The Firm has established strategic relationships with leading real estate development, architecture, branding, technology, and digital firms worldwide. The executive team at Smartotels has established networks with global leaders of prominent investment banks, institutional private equity firms, and transaction advisors throughout the Middle East, Africa, East Asia, Europe and North America.
SMART is at the core of our
(H)OTELS management approach:
Specific Measurable Assignable
Realistic Time-related-- Dr. George T. Doran (1981)
promoted through compassion, efficiency, attentiveness and endearment
a focus on fostering creativity, dedication, teamwork and passion
a fundamental business practice that is integrated in all aspects of the Firm
the foundation of the Firm’s professional bearing
Our people are our most important resource. We continuously strive to cultivate and sustain a diverse work environment and workforce, while focusing on attracting accomplished, passionate and dedicated individuals to drive creative solutions.
An avid traveller and hotel aficionado, Tarek M. Daouk enjoys exploring and discovering hidden gems of hospitality around the world. His career took him from hotel operations to Wall Street, yet his appreciation and passion for the lodging industry remains unaltered. Turning his passion into practice, he founded Smartotels Hospitality International LLC, a UAE-based world-class hotel real estate investment and full-service hospitality and asset management firm that provides a broad range of management services with a focus on developing and operating hotels under its unique proprietary hotel brands.
Tarek is Founder and Managing Partner at Smartotels Hospitality and is responsible for overseeing the corporate direction and strategy of the Firm, focusing on growth, innovation, customers, and leadership.
Prior to founding Smartotels, Tarek was Head of Hospitality for Goldman Sachs's Realty Management Division in Europe. Tarek was based in Paris and was responsible for hotel acquisition, asset management (over $2 billion USD all-in-cost), and divestment activities with the group across Europe. During his tenure with Goldman Sachs, he developed a hospitality servicing platform for over 90 hotels across five countries aimed at centralizing hotel real estate functions. Further, Tarek restructured the asset management platform from a reactive, solely real estate-focused organisation, to a synergistic, market-driven and strategically-oriented practice. Prior to his time in Europe, Tarek was involved in hotel acquisitions for the Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds in the U.S.
Before joining Goldman Sachs, Tarek worked for InterContinental Hotels Group in the Development & Investment Analysis Division of the Americas’ regional office. At IHG, he worked closely with the Executive Committee and Board of Directors to assess balance sheet equity deals, in addition to identifying buyout opportunities of strategic franchise operating systems of high-profile U.S. lodging brands. Before his role at InterContinental Hotels Group, he was a management consultant in the Hospitality & Leisure Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P.
Tarek is currently President of the Cornell Hotel Society MENA Chapter, serves on the Board of the Columbia Alumni Association UAE, and is the Event Chair of the Dubai Lodging Outlook Seminar, an annual seminar co-hosted with STR. He earned his MSc in Real Estate Development from Columbia University after receiving his BSc in Hotel Administration with distinction from Cornell University. He is fluent in English, French and Arabic.
Siegfried grew up in a family of hoteliers on the Italian Riviera, which ultimately drove his passion and commitment to the lodging industry. Having lived in seven countries, Siegfried embodies a cross-cultural sensitivity that supports his ultimate passion for providing remarkable customer service.
Siegfried is Chief Operating Officer at Smartotels in charge of operations for the Firm’s managed and owned hotels.
Prior to joining Smartotels, Siegfried held numerous executive roles with Marriott International for over 20 years. More recently, Siegfried was General Manager of several hotels for Marriott in Europe including full- and limited-service properties. Prior to that, Siegfried worked at Marriott’s European headquarters as Franchise Operations Manager, leading owner relationships for over 10 hotels in Italy and Spain for a diverse portfolio of Marriott-branded properties including JW Marriott, Renaissance and Courtyard. Further, Siegfried has a background in finance, leading the finance departments in various hotels throughout Europe for over 10 years.
Siegfried has a Bachelor in Hotel Management from Hotelfachschule in Bad Harzburg, Germany, and is fluent in English, German, Italian, French and Dutch.
Mr. Tarek M. Daouk is Chairman and Managing Partner at Smartotels and is responsible for overseeing the corporate direction and strategy of the Firm, focusing on growth, innovation, customers, and leadership.
Prior to founding Smartotels, Mr. Daouk was Head of Hospitality at Goldman Sachs's Realty Management Division in Europe responsible for hotel acquisition, asset management and disposition activities. Prior to his time in Europe, Mr. Daouk was involved in hotel acquisitions for the Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds in the U.S.
Before joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. Daouk worked at InterContinental Hotels Group in the Development Division of the Americas regional office. Prior to InterContinental, Mr. Daouk was a management consultant in the Hospitality & Leisure Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P.
Mr. Daouk received a BSc in Hotel Administration with distinction from Cornell University and a MSc in Real Estate Development from Columbia University.
Mr. Mohammed Abu Ghazaleh is Managing Director at AG Investments (AGI), a family-owned investment company, founded and based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with a diversified global portfolio across numerous industries including fresh produce, sport, healthcare, technology, aviation, insurance, real estate, manufacturing and hospitality.
Mr. Abu Ghazaleh joined AGI in 2002 and is responsible for developing the vision, direction and diversity of the company’s growing portfolio. Mr. Abu Ghazaleh also takes the lead role in defining and executing the company’s strategies for its expanding real estate investments.
Mr. Abu Ghazaleh was born and raised in the United Arab Emirates (holder of an Emirati passport) and holds a BA in Economics from Boston University.
Ms. Haya Al Bitar is a Business Development Manager at Lama Holding Company (LHC), a prominent family office, founded and based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with a diversified global portfolio of investments across numerous industries.
Ms. Al Bitar joined LHC in 2008 and leads business development activities for the holding’s portfolio companies. Further, Ms. Al Bitar is Founder and CEO of The Sandwich Company, a highly-regarded food and beverage operation with 23 outlets throughout Saudi Arabia. Ms. Al Bitar is also a member of the executive committee of several portfolio companies and handles core real estate investments for LHC.
Prior to joining LHC, Ms. Al Bitar worked at the headquarters of Nestlé Waters MT in Paris where she was Marketing Specialist.
Ms. Al Bitar received a BSc in Marketing from Bentley College and her MBA from Instituto de Empresa Business School.
Mr. Nikesh Daryani is a Partner and Managing Director at Daryani General Trading LLC (DGT), a prominent Dubai-based family office, where he manages his family’s investment portfolio.
Prior to DGT, Mr. Daryani was Senior Equity Trader at Franklin Templeton Investments (FTI), one of the largest global fund managers invested in the MENA and Frontier stock markets, where he was heading FTI’s Dubai Trading Desk and traded for all of the company’s funds invested in the MENA and Africa regions. Prior to FTI, Mr. Daryani was Senior Trader and Strategist at Algebra Capital Limited (ACL), a specialist emerging markets asset management company, which was acquired by FTI in 2011. Prior to ACL, Mr. Daryani was a Portfolio Manager at a globally-vested family office handling all asset classes.
Mr. Daryani received his BSc in Economics from Duke University and a MSc in Finance from London Business School.
Ms. Lama Kanazeh is a Managing Director in the Investor Relations & Business Development Group at The Blackstone Group L.P. and is based in London.
Since joining Blackstone in 2008, Ms. Kanazeh has focused her efforts on raising capital for Blackstone's private investment funds, with a primary focus on Blackstone's real estate efforts.
Prior to joining Blackstone, Ms. Kanazeh worked at Credit Suisse in London where she was an Associate in the Real Estate Finance Group focusing on distribution of CMBS and high yield commercial real estate debt products. Prior to joining the Real Estate Finance Group, Ms. Kanazeh was an analyst in the Consumer Products Group, where she was involved in the analysis and execution of merger transactions and equity financings.
Ms. Kanazeh received a BA in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University.
Mr. Samer Sarraf is a Founding Partner and Fund Manager at Amwal Capital Partners (ACP), a MENA-focused hedge fund based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, overseeing the firm’s administrative and compliance activities and focused on the management of the assets of the fund.
Prior to joining ACP, Mr. Sarraf was a Partner and the UAE Country Head at Amwal AlKhaleej (AAK), a MENA-based private equity firm, where he managed over $150 million USD of equity investments ranging from construction to retail investments, and was responsible for sourcing, executing and managing portfolio investments. Prior to AAK, Mr. Sarraf was a Senior Associate at Lehman Brothers in the CMBS team responsible for structuring and originating CMBS transactions before joining the Natural Resources Group, where he was involved in advising and executing M&A transactions. Mr. Sarraf started his career as a Site Engineer with Bouygues Batiment in France and its territories.
Mr. Sarraf received his BEng in Civil Engineering from McGill University and his MBA with a focus on Finance and Real Estate from Columbia Business School.
Mr. Hasan Yabroudi is a Projects Director at Dubai Contracting Company LLC (DCC), a leading family-run contractor and developer, headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with a portfolio of significant residential, commercial, mixed-use, office, and hotel and resort projects throughout the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Mr. Yabroudi joined DCC in 2002 and manages the firm’s partnering companies’ projects, in addition to proprietary in-house developments. Further, Mr. Yabroudi leads the company’s relationships with world-class architecture and design firms, and for turn-key projects, oversees the sourcing of quality craftsmanship and materials worldwide.
Mr. Yabroudi was raised in the United Arab Emirates (holder of an Emirati passport) and received a BSc in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston.