Home Hotel management Lebanese businessman Amine Moukarzel is taking the Syrian hotel market by storm

Lebanese businessman Amine Moukarzel is taking the Syrian hotel market by storm


Enab Baladi – Jana al-Issa

Syrian regime Prime Minister Hussein Arnous opened the five-star Golden Mazzeh hotel on the Mazzeh highway in Damascus on Oct. 11 under the management of Flamingo Hospitality, which owns a chain of hotels in several countries.

The opening of the hotel, which was set up as a hotel investment for the benefit of the Teachers’ Union in the Mazzeh Villas area to the east, included the raising of the curtain, behind which was written that the opening of the hotel was under the patronage of regime leader Bashar al-Assad, without revealing the identity of the investor.

According to the statement of the Minister of Tourism, Mohammad Rami Martini, to the government newspaper, al-Thawrahthe investment cost of the hotel amounted to 36 billion Syrian pounds, explaining that it had been agreed that the Central Teachers’ Syndicate (Teachers Pension Fund) would receive 10.5% of its income, with a minimum of SYP 1,050,000,000 paid annually to the union, whichever is greater.

The new hotel consists of 111 rooms and suites, spread over two levels, “Deluxe” and “Businessmen”, ten restaurants and bars with various specialties, in addition to a swimming pool, a gym, a banquet hall and three meeting rooms. and various events, including a theatre.

The opening of the Golden Mazzeh hotel in Damascus – October 11, 2022 (Nabel Khaddour)

Who is the hotel investor?

The official site of the Golden Mazzeh hotel shows that the name of the hotel is linked to the Flamingo Hospitality Management Company, while media close to the regime claim that the company only manages the hotel, without mentioning that it is the investor.

In March 2019, the Syrian Ministry of Tourism Posted a modified tourist employment license for the hotel itself, which is owned by the teachers’ union social solidarity fund, but with a four-star standard.

The ministry announcement stated that the company that will invest in the hotel is Mawiyah Tourism Investments Limited Liability Company and managed by Golden Tulip Company, and its investment cost at the time was 1 trillion and 600 pounds. Syrians.

The Ministry of Internal Trade approved in June 2015, the creation of the Mawiyah company for tourism investments with limited liability in Damascus, with a starting capital of SYP 4 million.

According to the decision of incorporation, the purpose of the company is to establish, invest and operate tourist facilities and import, export and distribute all permitted materials except construction housing, sale or trade.

According to the ruling, the company’s founders are Munther Rami Nuzha, Majid Rami Nuzha, Murhaf Rami Nuzha and Mona Rami Nuzha, each with a 25% stake.

Enab Baladi searched for Golden Tulip and Flamingo Hospitality Management Company, and it turned out that their owner is Amine Elias Moukarzela 68-year-old Lebanese businessman based in the UAE.

Flamingo Hospitality Vice President Paul Diab said in a press release at the opening of the Golden Mazzeh Hotel on October 11: “We are proud to open the first Flamingo Hotel in the heart of the Syrian capital. , noting that the company is working to open more hotels in Damascus and other Syrian cities, he said.

Diab said the company chose Syria because of its “confidence with hotel owners that tourism and life will return there in the near future.”

The opening of the Golden Mazzeh hotel in Damascus - October 11, 2022 (Nabel Khaddour)

The opening of the Golden Mazzeh hotel in Damascus – October 11, 2022 (Nabel Khaddour)

In an interview with the pro-regime al Watan newspaper, the Minister of Tourism said that the trial opening of the Semiramis Hotel will take place early next year, adding that the hotel, which is currently under renovation, is owned by the Hijaz Railway Corporation , with annual revenues amounting to one billion Syrian Pounds .

Martini explained that the investor in the Semiramis hotel is the same as the company investing in the Golden Mazzeh hotel, with the same investment mechanism.

The minister added that the management of the Golden Mazzeh hotel will be an “international company, with a French general manager”, without naming him.

Who is Amine Moukarzel

Amine Elias Moukarzel is Lebanese businessman, born in 1954 and residing between the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. He is the founder and chairman of Flamingo Hospitality Management Company since 1998 in the UAE.

Moukarzel has 43 years of experience in hotel and restaurant management. He holds a doctorate in hotel management in 1998 from Kennedy University in the United States and completed postgraduate studies in hotel management in 1982 at Cornell University in the United States.

According to Arab Hotel Investment ConferenceMukarzel is a recognized pillar of the hospitality industry in the Middle East. He has been the driving force behind the launch of some of the region’s most successful hotels, including the Crowne Plaza hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Amine Moukarzel decided it was time to create his own regionally inspired hospitality projects and create a company called Flamingo Hospitality Management Company which was born in 1998 with three employees, and today the company operates throughout the Middle East and North Africa region, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan with more than 60 hotels.

Amine has received numerous awards and accolades, including Hotelier Middle East (Top 9 ranked) and Hotelier Express Middle East, Top 6 ranked in 2017. He is a seasoned lecturer, speaker at major universities, trade shows, conferences and symposia, the latest speaker at the Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Mediterranean (ASCAME) in Barcelona, ​​as well as a speaker in Georgia at the Hotel Management Conference.

Amine is a member of the advisory board of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference and the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. He is Vice President of the Mediterranean Hotel and Restaurant Association (MHRA) and Vice President – Middle East of the International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHRA) which is affiliated to UNWTO. He is also a board member of the Al Hokair tourism and development group, in addition to his position as chairman of Louvre Hotels Group/Golden Tulip MENA and Flamingo Hospitality Management. He is also a board member of the Lebanese American University (LAU).