Hilton names Gulf chief


Luxury hotel group Hilton International has announced the creation of a new position with the appointment of Rudi Jagersbacher as vice president of operations for the Arabian Gulf.

Hilton International's operations for the Middle East, which were previously managed by Jean-Paul Herzog in Cairo, have now been divided into two separate sectors, Arabian Gulf and North Africa, due to rapid expansion over the past few years.

"With three new hotel openings in 2001 and the launch of the Hilton Kuwait to come in the next few months, the Hilton portfolio in the Gulf has risen by an impressive 40 per cent in the past two years - to a total of 14 properties across the region," said Jagersbacher.

"We consider this region as a major growth area for Hilton and our aim is to manage a property in every capital city in the region. As a result, it is very important for us to have a strong local presence to oversee existing operations and evaluate potential expansion plans."

Jagersbacher will be based in Dubai at the Hilton Regional Sales and Marketing office, which also houses the Hilton Worldwide Reservations Centre, Hilton HHonors management office, and the international and regional sales and marketing team.

Born in Austria, Jagersbacher has worked with Hilton since 1973 when he joined as a management trainee in Dusseldorf. His most recent position was as vice president for operations in London, where he was responsible for more than 2,000 staff and the overall management of 14 key four and five-star properties in London, including Hilton's flagship hotels, the London Hilton and the Langham Hilton.

His work has been recognised by the Austrian President, when he was awarded the Austrian Gold Cross in 1993 in recognition of his services to the global hotel industry.

Following this, in 1997 he received the prestigious title of "Kommerzialrat", the highest honour in commerce and industry in Austria.

He is a founder patron of the Hilton in the Community Foundation, a member of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and a Freeman of the City of London.

Hilton International currently operates eight hotels in the UAE, three in Saudi Arabia and one each in Bahrain and Oman.