Abu Dhabi headquartered hotel management company Rotana has announced the appointment of Philip Barnes as its new chief executive officer effective 1 March 2024.

The appointment comes a few months after Rotana announced that Guy Hutchinson would be stepping down as the company’s president and CEO. Hutchinson has since then taken over as president of Hilton for the the Middle East and Africa.

Barnes has completed almost 25 years as part of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and has held several senior leadership positions worldwide including in Canada, the UK, and the US. Most recently, he was the regional vice president of Southern California (2020-2022) at Fairmont. Previously, he also worked with hospitality brands such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Shangri La Hotels and Resorts, among others.

In the Middle East, Barnes was Fairmont Hotels and Resorts’ regional vice president of the UAE from 2009-2011. In that role, he oversaw the operations for Fairmont Palm Dubai, Fairmont Bab al Bar Abu Dhabi, Fairmont Ajman, Fairmont Fujairah, and the pre-opening of Fairmont Abu Dhabi. Prior to that, he also held the position of vice president of the Middle East(2007-2009) for the Fairmont group, overseeing the developments and planned openings in South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Oman.

“I am privileged to join Rotana – a homegrown brand synonymous with providing guests with the highest service levels across the region. I look forward to working closely with the wider team to grow Rotana’s legacy and firmly position it as one of the leading hospitality players in the region,” said Barnes.

Selim El Zyr, vice chairman of Rotana, added, “We are proud to welcome Philip Barnes as the new CEO of Rotana. With a rich history of leadership and a deep understanding of the global hospitality landscape, Barnes is poised to elevate our brand delivery and levels of excellence. We eagerly anticipate his innovative direction and vision that will shape Rotana’s next chapter and build on our growing pipeline across key markets.”

Rotana’s portfolio currently includes 19,602 keys and six brands, including 10,159 keys across 36 hotels in the UAE and 2,183 keys spanning eight hotels in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, it was recently announced that Rotana will open eight new properties in the kingdom over the next four years. These openings will take its total key count within Saudi to 4,400 across 16 properties.