Opening its doors to the public this spring, Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has shed light on its executive team, which will expertly lead its opening.
The team has been carefully chosen by the property’s seasoned general manager, Victor Chalfoun, who will lead the team using his 18 years of industry experience. He has impressive domestic and international experience in hospitality and assumed his first general manager role at Conrad Pezula in South Africa. Following this stint, he worked as the general manager of Hilton Cape Town City Centre, before joining Waldorf Astoria DIFC.
Meanwhile, commercial director, Claire Sirrieh, has valuable experience and expertise in launching high-end properties. She commenced her hospitality journey in 2000 at Hilton Al Ain, and since then has worked for a number of Luxury Collection hotels. A Greek national, Sirrieh assumed the role of communications and revenue manager for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, earning a promotion to complex director of revenue management. In 2012 she rejoined Hilton as commercial director in Cyprus, before joining Waldorf Astoria DIFC in 2018.
Moving on, Madhur Sachdeva joins the team with 15 years of experience as director of finance. He is an expert in budgeting, negotiating and costing, with international experience collected from India, Lebanon and the UAE. He has held various roles within Oberoi Group, Hilton Hotels, Habtoor Hotels and Conrad Dubai. At Waldorf Astoria DIFC, he will manage the smooth financial running of the 247 room and suite and 28 residential apartment property.
Leading the HR department will be Yasmine Farouk, who joins with over 17 years of experience. She has worked for some of the world’s leading multinational companies, such as Schneider Electric. She first joined the hospitality industry in 2012 as director of human resources at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and has flourished with Hilton since 2017 in a cluster role across the properties of Hilton in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
German native, Gerald Reichstein, has been announced as Waldorf Astoria DIFC’s executive chef. He began his culinary career in 1987 in Germany, working for Michelin star restaurants. In 1997, he went on to work in Russia and a further eight countries across nine luxury hospitality brands. His most recent role was that of executive chef at Doubletree Hilton Minsk, where he scooped numerous accolades.
Gonzalo Martínez Bueno from Mexico joins the team as the general manager of the hotel’s restaurants and bars. After attending Les Roches International Hotel Management School in Switzerland, Bueno held various F&B roles, enjoying coveted positions across the St Regis Doha, W Hotel Mexico City and Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi.
Finally, the new director of rooms, Ayman AlMohamad, joins with more than 15 years of experience. He has previously worked for various five-star properties, including Grand Hyatt Dubai, Raffles Dubai, Conrad Dubai and Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates.