60 seconds with Sandeep Walia, Chief Operating Officer ME, Marriott International

60 seconds with Sandeep Walia, Chief Operating Officer ME, Marriott International

Sandeep Walia
Chief Operating Officer, Middle East
Marriott International

If you were to summarize your career in one sentence, what would you say?
From the start of my career, I have been fortunate to be empowered by brilliant leaders and inspirational mentors. Today, it is my responsibility to do the same for my associates – to support their growth and together make a difference in the work we do.

What is your most eagerly anticipated project?
There are a lot of exciting projects to look forward to. We recently opened The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm and have many other anticipated properties in the pipeline for this year including the debut of JW Marriott in Saudi Arabia and the opening of The St. Regis Downtown Dubai.

How would you describe your leadership style?
I strongly believe in a people-first culture, with a belief that when associates feel personally and professionally fulfilled, they consistently deliver more. This also leads to trust and transparency, which are two very important words for me. I also consider that each situation or challenge demands a different lens, so I like to be a situational leader while focusing on the goal ahead and being a coach for my team.

What is your motto?
The glass is half full. Every situation receives a different view, opinion, answer or thought. I am the ultimate optimist. I personally think that optimism and positivity bring out the best in every situation and helps to achieve better results.

Where does the company stand in terms of its growth trajectory and its strategy for the MENA region?
Today, we have over 170 properties and more than 49,000 rooms in operation across 11 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey. In the past seven months, we signed 20 new deals, and we expect to open more than 20 properties by the end of 2021.


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