Mastercard announces country manager for Saudi Arabia

Updated 17 September 2017

Mastercard announces country manager for Saudi Arabia

Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, has announced the appointment of J. K. Khalil as the company’s country manager for the Kingdom, effective Sept. 1.
“With his extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the local market, Khalil will be in charge of promoting strategic growth, enhancing Mastercard’s operations in the Kingdom and maximizing value to its local customers in the market, one of the company’s largest markets in the Middle East and Africa region,” a press release said.
Basel El-Tell, general manager, Saudi Arabia and Levant, Mastercard, said: “The Saudi market is one of the most important pillars of our strategic growth plans for Middle East and Africa. Khalil’s appointment comes at a time when we are actively working toward expanding the reach of our products and services in this booming market, in line with the goals of the National Transformation Program 2020 and Saudi Vision 2030. In view of the Kingdom’s strong push for digital transformation and heavy investments in advanced technologies, we are looking ahead to contributing toward the Kingdom’s overarching economic goals, and playing a bigger role in shaping the future of its payments ecosystem.”
Khalil joined Mastercard in 2016 armed with 13 years of experience spanning financial services, technology and payment solutions. Prior to joining Mastercard, Khalil served as senior manager at Booz & Company and has also worked with a number of international banking groups such as BNP Paribas and Barclays.
Khalil holds an MBA from the University of Chicago in the US as well as a bachelor’s degree in computer systems and software from the Faculty of Engineering at the St. Joseph University of Beirut.


Burj Al-Arab named No. 1 city hotel in MENA

Updated 13 July 2020

Burj Al-Arab named No. 1 city hotel in MENA

Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah, the crown jewel in hospitality leader Jumeirah Group’s portfolio and global icon of luxury, has been named the No. 1 city hotel in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by Travel + Leisure at its World’s Best Awards.

Every year, Travel + Leisure — one of the largest travel media brands in the US — provides its 6 million plus readers the chance to have their say in choosing the most outstanding destinations, hotels, resorts, spas, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators and rental car agencies around the world as part of its annual survey. This year marks 25 years of celebrating the best in travel, with Burj Al-Arab recognized on the “World’s Best” list for its hospitality excellence, intuitive luxury service and iconic appeal.

Currently celebrating two decades of operations, the hotel is renowned across the globe for its boundary-pushing architecture and innovative design, with the team going above and beyond to create bespoke experiences for guests. It is also known for culinary excellence with a collection of restaurants led by renowned chefs and overseen by Michael Ellis, chief culinary officer and former managing director of the Michelin Guide.

José Silva, chief executive officer of Jumeirah Group, said: “Burj Al-Arab represents the very pinnacle of luxury, known world-over for its elevated design, service beyond expectations and unmatched physical spaces. International recognition such as this not only reaffirms the hotel’s iconic standing on the world map but also serves as a thank you to all those who go above and beyond, every day, to make our guests’ stay truly remarkable.”

Jumeirah Group, a member of Dubai Holding and a global luxury hotel company, operates a 6,500+-key portfolio of 26 properties across the Middle East (including the flagship Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah) Europe and Asia, with more properties currently under construction around the globe.

Prioritizing the health and safety of its guests and colleagues, Jumeirah Group has implemented a series of protective measures across all of its hotels, while strictly adhering to each market’s respective government directives. Four of its hotels in Dubai were recently awarded the Bureau Veritas SafeGuard label, with Jumeirah Al-Naseem being the first hotel in the world to receive the prestigious certification. The group is working closely with Bureau Veritas to certify its wider portfolio.

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results, therefore, reflect Travel + Leisure’s readers’ experiences before the pandemic.