Man on a mission: Mohamed Hedi Mardassi, founder and managing partner of Holdmar

Man on a mission: Mohamed Hedi Mardassi, founder and managing partner of Holdmar

Mohamed Hedi Mardassi Founder & Managing Partner of Holdmar & Co

Mohamed Medi Mardassi has worked hard to reach where he is today. He recently launched the fine-dining Moroccan restaurant Salama in Doha — the brand already has two  ventures in Cannes and Saint Tropez. We learn more about his journey from Marseille to the Middle East and the concepts that he’s bringing to the region’s F&B scene.

How has your Tunisian-French heritage influenced your journey in the F&B industry?

The warmth of Tunisian hospitality and the sunny etiquette of the South of France’s F&B landscape have definitely shaped me as a person and a professional. Moreover, as much as attention to detail and protocol are important, both on the floor and in the kitchen, these are nothing without genuine care for the work and our guests. Additionally, I feel this multicultural background blends the best of both worlds, so that every restaurant we create feels truly welcoming, with a savvy approach to service and food, yet a feeling of belonging, which creates long-lasting memories.

What inspired you to establish Holdmar and what are your aspirations for the company’s future in F&B brand development?

This dream to embark on a journey of my own was inspired by two mentors: Mohammed Jawa (MJS) and Rizwan Kassim (Rikas Group). MJS is an extraordinary visionary, who brought renowned concepts to Saudi and shaped its culinary scene, while Rizwan is a master at creating homegrown concepts. Holdmar exists to realize the acquisition and creation of outstanding brands, ensuring their development and sustainability in the long run and offering out-of-the-ordinary experiences to food enthusiasts around the world.

What can you tell us about the concept behind Salama Doha and how it reflects your personal journey and aspirations?

Salama Doha offers a unique blend of traditional Moroccan dishes and contemporary culinary innovations, curated by executive chef Ramdane Djebarri. Moreover, the restaurant’s ambience is a testament to the elegance of the French Riviera, featuring intricate decor, a warm and inviting atmosphere, and stunning views of the island’s serene surroundings. Additionally, on a more personal note, Salama mirrors my life, from the early days working at iconic Momo’s in London to my upbringing in the South of France.

With Holdmar owning four F&B brands and developments in various regions, do you have any expansion plans?

Without solid grounds, there can be no space for expansion. Therefore, our first ambition is to consolidate Salama as a recognized brand in Doha before expanding to Dubai and Western Europe. Moreover, we have also created an Asian concept that’s set to launch in Q2 2025 in three different locations. We look forward to sharing more information about that very soon.


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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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