Garfield JonesChief Executive Officer
Hailing from South Wales, Garfield Jones has more than 35 years’ experience in the hotel industry, working in top hotels in the UK, Africa and the Middle East. He joined the company in 1995 and held various management roles in the Gulf Hotel before transferring to the corporate office initially as Director of Operations, then moving up to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer role before being appointed as Chief Executive Officer in 2017, upon the retirement of Aqeel Raees. Mr. Jones has overseen much of the Group’s expansion projects over the past twenty years which have included the addition of 5 hotels and residences, a commercial laundry (Gulf Hotel Laundry Services) and numerous additions to the Gulf Hotel’s portfolio including the Gulf Convention Centre, Gulf Spa and the opening of 6 restaurants.
Mr Jones has also been appointed to the board of directors of associated company Bahrain Family Leisure Company as Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, and as a director of Paradise Reality Holding Company, owners of Ocean Paradise Resort. He is also a board member of youth development organization INJAZ Bahrain and Skal International 370 Bahrain.
Charbel SarkisChief Financial Officer
Charbel holds an MBA in International Business from the University of Melbourne Australia, MCIPS Diploma from the UK, MFC from the USA, he is a Licensed Arbitrator from the GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre; coupled with professional studies and conglomerate experience, in Projects' Management, Information Technology, and Property Development.
He was previously assigned as Advisor to EWA, General Manager for RFM of Reef Island, Deputy Chairman for a large Kuwaiti family group and others in UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait. Before moving in 2006 to the GCC, he sharpened his skills and strengths in M&A, DD and Business Engineering in the MENA and Central African regions.
He brings along thirty years of international nine digits’ business value exposure, within a variety of industries, mostly in Hospitality, Real Estate & Facility Management, ERPs & Online Collaboration Systems, and Logistics & Supply Chain; his roles ranged from leading Mergers & Acquisitions, General Management, Financial Management, Advisory, Strategy Development, Business Modelling, and Shared Services Centers.
On the other hand, Charbel constantly dedicates time and effort to the Lebanese Diaspora activities in the GCC and North America.
Shaheed ElaiwiDirector of Finance & Board Secretary
Shaheed Elaiwi has a Masters in Commerce from Bhopal University and B.com from Delhi University. Shaheed started his career in the hospitality industry in 1992 with the Hilton International as management trainee and made his way to assistant FC then promoted to the role of Financial Controller in 1996.
When Hilton moved from Bahrain end of 2005, Shaheed led the team in the final closing of the books and successfully handing over the hotel to the new operator then proceed for the pre-opening of a new Hilton hotel in Beirut/Lebanon. In mid-2006 moved to work in the main office of Hilton International in Dubai in the role of Area Internal Auditor. In July 16th 2007 joined The Gulf Hotel as Financial Controller and currently hold Director of Finance and Board Secretary in Gulf Hotels Group.
Roshan TennakoonTechnical Services Director
Over 30 years of experience in hospitality industry, having worked in Sri Lanka and Middle East held various key positions in international hotel chains such as Ramada, Le Meridien, IHG and Accor Hotels.
Mr. Tennakoon has vast knowledge and experience in Facility Engineering, Renovations and MEP Projectsincluding Fire Life Safety, Sustainable Development and Waste Management.
He is a pioneer member of pre-opening five-starhotels in Sri Lanka, UAE, Doha and Bahrain.
Rochelle CastillejosDirector of Revenue, Distribution & Optimization
In April 2015, Gulf Hotels Group appointed Rochelle Castillejos to the newly created role of Director of Revenue, Distribution & Optimization, based in Bahrain. She brings with her a total of 17 years experience in the combined fields of revenue management, sales & marketing, and optimizing hotel systems, having overseen around 55 hotels across the American, European, Mediterranean, Asia Pacific and Middle East regions throughout her career.
Shuvendu BakshiDirector of Projects
Mr. Shuvendu Bakshi PMP, is an architect and a Project Management Professional who brings with him 25 years of experience in serving the building industry. His architectural education is from Bengal Engineering College under the University of Calcutta, India; and PMP from PMI, Pennsylvania. He had initially worked in the design offices of well-known consultants – designing hotels, palaces, religious buildings, luxury villas and apartments. Later he moved into Project Management and Construction Management and has successfully managed the design and construction of numerous hotels and other commercial and residential buildings. He had been working in different countries of the Middle Eastern region for the past 23 years.
Mr. Bakshi started working with the Gulf Hotels Group in June 2015 in the position of Director of Projects. He is entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing all construction related activities including Architecture, Interior Design and Civil projects that are undertaken by the Gulf Hotels Group. Mr. Bakshi manages his own team and also looks after all procurements relating to construction and refurbishment works. His involvement and responsibility ranges from creating the initial project charter to handing over of the completed building.
Amit PuriDirector of Human Resources & Development
Amit Puri has been appointed Director of Human Resources & Development for Gulf Hotels Group. Prior to joining GHG, Amit has worked with Marriott International since 2014 and brings with him over 17 years of experience in core facets of Human Resources and Talent Management.
Amit hails from India but since young age, he periodically spent years residing overseas with his family in Europe and Asia that developed his interest in hospitality and holding part time jobs during his school years gave him a wider perspective of people and culture. He saw the opportunity to combine his zeal for travel and hospitality that led him to his university studies in Hotel Management. Amit commenced his career in 2001 with Food & Beverage, Hyatt International, before discovering his passion in Learning, Development & Human Resources Management. He has worked across India & Middle East, facilitating various training and HR roles for hotels and contract services establishments. Amit moved from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain in 2013 with Kempinski Group as the Director of People Services soon after the opening of their hotels Grand & Ixir, Bahrain City Centre. Amit played a pivotal role in driving organisational change when these hotels were converted to Westin & Le Meridien brands in 2014.
Besides his love for travel, Amit is an avid technology enthusiast and is a keen student of Middle Eastern culture.
Darvi VargheseDirector of Procurement
An Indian national with Bachelor of Science, over 30 years of hospitality experience including 20 years of Senior and Managerial level. Darvi first earned a diploma in procurement from AHL&A, followed by many procurement certifications including the PMP® from Project Management Institute USA. In his role, Darvi is responsible for providing overall procurement leadership ensuring that the best procurement practices are withheld across GHG group. The key focus is to assist and support existing hotels procurement operation, new build projects, formulate global/regional procurement synergies, contracting, supplier management and providing leadership for procurement teams. Furthermore works closely with executive leaders and division heads, contractors, corporate departments and suppliers.
Darvi started his hospitality journey back in 1991 and worked with many local and international hotel brands like ACCOR, FAIRMONT & RAFFLES HOTELS INTERNATIONAL, NCT&H, ISHRAQ, IHG, ROTANA, SHERATON, SOUTHERN SUN HOTELS & RESORTS, EMAAR, HAMRA HOTELS MANAGEMENT, HYATT, KUWAIT HOTELS COMPANY and TAJ group of hotels. Darvi was also an integral part of hotels openings and rebranding with FAIRMONT & RAFFLES HOTELS INTERNATIONAL across Europe, Middle East, Africa and India region.
Fares YactineArea General Manager
A Lebanese Canadian, Graduate from the Swiss Hotel Management School Les Roches with over 22 years of experience in the hotel industry. He gained his experience working with multinational hotel chains as Melia and IHG in Spain, FRHI in Canada, Habtoor Hospitality in Lebanon been a member of the pre-opening team of Metropolitan Palace, Habtoor Grand and Habtoor land Before joining the Gulf Hotel Bahrain from 2007 till 2011. He perused his career with ACCOR hotels and resorts been a member of the opening team of Sofitel Bahrain until 2013 than was assigned to lead the team of Sofitel Al Khobar until 2018. He re-joined the Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & SPA in 2018 as the General Manager and was promoted in November 2019 to the position of Area General Manager overlooking the Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & SPA, Gulf Executive Residence Juffair, The K Hotel and the Gulf Court Hotel Business Bay Dubai in addition to the air side hotel due to open in June 2020.
Abdulla Al-AwadiGeneral Manager – Bahrain Tourism Co. (BTC)
Mr. Abdulla Al-Awadi holds the position of General Manager of Bahrain Tourism Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gulf Hotels Group which owns the Crowne Plaza Bahrain Hotel, the BTC Office Building in the Diplomatic Area and also owns a 1/3 stake in African & Eastern Bahrain.
A Bahraini National with over 33 years of experience in the tourism industry, Abdulla joined the Gulf Hotel 1986 and has held a wide range of managerial roles in Banqueting, Purchasing and Human Resources, before taking up senior positions in both Gulf Brands International and the Gulf Hotel. In 2016, Abdulla became the General Manager of the Bahrain Tourism Company after its acquisition by Gulf Hotels Group.
In January 2017, Abdulla was elected as a member of the Board of Tourism Services Company W.L.L and in April 2017, he has been appointed as Member of Board and Chairman Audit Committee of African & Eastern Bahrain
Abdulla is a graduate of Durham Nixon Clay Business College of Austin Texas (USA), Diploma, Major in Computer Programming and Minor Business Studies (with honors);
Brighton College of Technology (UK), Diploma in Catering (with credit);
Cranfield School of Management (UK), Human Resources Management;
Cornell University (New York, USA) General Managers Program.