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Aiana Hotels & Resorts strengthens presence in Middle East

Murlidhar Rao appointed Senior Vice President, Operations; to be based in Doha

In line with its commitment to strengthen presence across key markets in the Middle East region, Aiana Hotels & Resorts, a global hotel management company has announced the appointment of Murlidhar Rao as Senior Vice President, Operations.

The new appointment demonstrates Aiana’s commitment to create a globally respected hospitality brand that embodies the best of Indian hospitality by innovating fresh service, design and operating concepts.

A seasoned hospitality professional with three decades of industry experience, Murli will be based at Aiana Hotel & Resorts’ regional headquarter in Qatar Financial Centre, Doha.

In this new leadership role, Murli will be utilizing his extensive global expertise in strategic planning, luxury project development, design, management and operations for bringing to life Aiana’s unique ‘Hospitality 2.0’ promise that is aimed at offering innovative service in a smart, stimulating environment and delivering an intuitive hotel management model that resonates with the next generation of travelers.

Amruda Nair, Joint Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Aiana Hotels & Resorts said, “It is with great excitement that we welcome Murli to Aiana. Murli’s earnest passion for hospitality, keen eye for detail and extensive experience offers the ideal platform to build upon Aiana’s launch in the Middle East. As cross border investments continue to accelerate across the region investors will continue to seek qualified hotel operators to improve the performance of newly acquired assets. The Aiana brand promise seeks to fulfill a gap in the market for experience driven, non-traditional accommodation and service offerings that are locally relevant and flexible. I am confident that Murli is the right fit to lead the charge to help Aiana grow as an industry leader for innovation, guest satisfaction and performance.”

Murli’s skills and expertise in the luxury spectrum complement the Aiana brand’s niche positioning, and offer a vision for quality that lends itself to creating a premium lifestyle experience. Murli’s experience includes pre-opening luxury resorts in the Maldives and Caribbean, leading operations across South East Asia, and setting brand standards for a repositioning from mid-market to the premier segment across leading luxury hotel brands including Four Seasons, Kempinski, Mandarin Oriental and Alila.

Prior to joining Aiana, Murli’s last project was The Sanchaya in Bintan, Indonesia where he was instrumental in positioning the property as one of the best new luxury resorts in the world, garnering a host of industry accolades.

Murlidhar Rao, Senior Vice-President, Operations of Aiana Hotels & Resorts states, “It is a privilege to be a part of a brand with a strong sense of being, honesty and above all innovation. I look forward to working closely with the team to position Aiana as the brand of choice for the conscious traveller across all destinations.”

Murli holds a 1st class Honours diploma in Hotel Management from Bombay’s Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition and an Honours Certification for Intermediate Level of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points).

Aiana Hotels & Resorts’ flagship project will be based in Doha. The project, ‘Aiana Suites and Residences, Doha’, will be located in the prestigious central business district of West Bay in Doha. Currently under construction, the project will consist of 180 keys with sea-facing and city views, and will measure between 73 sq. m to 250 sq. m.