Discussing Saudi Arabia with Mohamad Haj Hassan, country director of Wyndham Hotels

Discussing Saudi Arabia with Mohamad Haj Hassan, country director of Wyndham Hotels

Mohamad Haj Hassan Wyndham Hotels & Resorts 1

Recently appointed country director of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Saudi Arabia, Mohamad Haj Hassan outlines Wyndham’s commitment to the kingdom’s Vision 2030.

What can you tell us about your career journey?

My career in hospitality spans over 25 years. It has been a dynamic one, in which I have gained a wealth of expertise across various brands. I have even experienced first-hand the substantial growth and development of the industry. Having worked with Marriott, IHG, Accor and Rotana, I have enhanced my skills and gained diverse experience.
Overseeing the successful launch of 20 hotels across the MENA region has been memorable. This allowed me to manage intricate projects while underscoring my adaptability to different cultures and business landscapes.
Consequently, through my journey, I’ve gained a deep understanding of startup operations, strategic planning and effective team management.

What are your plans for the brand in KSA?

 As Saudi Arabia continues to cultivate its growing tourism ecosystem, ensuring Wyndham remains aligned with the country’s ambitious development vision remains a high priority.  Additionally, I intend to build upon the strong relationships that have been forged in the region. Moreover, I continue to nurture future collaboration with leaders in tourism, local governments and business partnerships to ensure growth. In the high-quality midscale offering, we have built an accessible and inclusive brand.
In line with our commitment to sustainability, we’ll continue to evaluate the strategies to reduce Wyndham’s environmental impact as well as exploring ways in which we can further reduce our footprint. Moreover, we plan to implement new initiatives.
After taking stock of the current hospitality industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we aim to focus on new trends.

In your opinion, what are the main challenges and opportunities in the Saudi hotel market?

The kingdom’s hospitality market welcomes a wealth of opportunities. Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 goals are paving the way for impressive growth across diverse sectors. Paired with the government’s dedication to infrastructure and upcoming giga projects and events, the kingdom’s allure is undeniable. The government’s PPP recognition fuels foreign investment, fostering industry growth and promising prospects for economic diversification and foreign companies.
Navigating recruitment and talent retention could be seen as a challenge in the burgeoning hospitality market in Saudi Arabia. However, implementing robust training and development programs, enhancing education-industry partnerships and focusing on skill enhancement can ensure a positive outcome. We create an inclusive, adaptable workplace for Saudi Arabia’s expanding hospitality market through talent and cultural integration.


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About author

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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