Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, the world's leading real estate investment and hospitality advisory firm, has today announced the appointment of Gabriel Matar as its new Head of Hotels for the Middle East and Africa. Gabriel brings over 17 years of international real estate and hospitality expertise to his new role having previously advised clients in Europe as well as the Middle East such as Accor, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Capital, Morgan Stanley, Colony Capital, Goldman Sachs and the World Tourism Organisation. Before accepting his new role Gabriel was leading Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels team in Paris since 2006. Previously Gabriel was managing the Hospitality and Tourism division at KPMG for France. Prior to that Gabriel was working across the EMEA region for Arthur Andersen’s real estate and hospitality team.
Gabriel has bespoke experience with landmark properties such as palace hotels and SPA hotels, having worked on several large and high profile renovation projects and valuations including the Ritz Paris, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Hotel de Crillon, Hotel Le Meurice, The Peninsula and the Shangri-La Hotels Paris.
Gabriel takes over from Jalil Mekouar, who has been leading Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels Middle East & Africa for the last five years. Jalil will relocate to Chicago, USA with Jones Lang LaSalle as Chief Operating Officer - Americas and Managing Director - Strategic Advisory and Asset Management.
Commenting on Gabriel’s appointment, Mark Wynne-Smith, Global CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels said: “Gabriel brings a wealth of international experience to the Middle East and Africa market and we are delighted to welcome him as our new Head of Hotels for the Middle East & Africa region. He will be responsible for developing and expanding our operations in the region which have grown significantly in recent years under Jalil’s leadership. Despite the global financial crisis, problems in the Eurozone and the Arab Spring, the travel and tourism industry continues to be a beacon of relative growth and stability for this region as it continues to expand as a major global leisure and business destination. Gabriel’s expertise will be invaluable as both domestic and international hospitality brands continue to grow their operations”
Gabriel Matar, Head of Hotels, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels MEA  added: “The travel and tourism industry has continued to grow significantly over the longer term in the past few decades. The Middle East and Africa has very much been at the forefront in defining the ultimate luxury and corporate experience and continues to attract ever increasing numbers of regional and international travellers. However, as the sector has matured, so we are also seeing growth in some of the other hospitality brands to cater for an increasingly diverse range of tastes, budgets and other requirements. It’s an exciting time for the sector in this part of the world.”
Gabriel holds a Master’s degree in Real Estate and two post graduate degrees in Tourism Economics and Sales and Marketing from France. He is also a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and a Registered Real Estate Valuer.
Mark Wynne-Smith, Global CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels concluded: “Over the past five years Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels MEA has built an extremely strong business and thanks to Jalil Mekouar and his team, is the leader of hospitality advisory and investment services in the MEA region. We thank Jalil for his leadership and valuable contributions and we extend our best wishes to both Jalil and Gabriel in their new positions.”