Aradhana Khowala, NEOM’s managing director of tourism, is an expert on tourism, hospitality and travel.
On Thursday, NEOM’s CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr revealed Khowala’s appointment as managing director in a tweet, saying they would work together “to make NEOM an exceptional global tourism destination looking ahead to the future.”
NEOM is a megacity planned to be constructed on a 26,500-square-kilometer area area in northern Saudi, and the tourism expert is joining the team behind it to push it forward.
Khowala holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel management, hospitality administration/management from the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition in Mumbai. She pursued an advanced program in hotel real estate investment at Cornell University before gaining a masters of business administration, international hospitality, with a dean’s medal for academic excellence, from Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Sweden.
In 1999, Khowala’s career began in hotel operations at Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, where she remained for three years before moving to Shining to be a senior consultant. After that she spent two years in one of the largest hotel and real estate consultancy and management firms, Jones Lang LaSalle’s Group, before she joined Bridge.Over Group in 2008, a consulting firm for which she continues to act as managing partner.
Khowala is a board member for ETC Education, a charity founded in 2008 with a mission to empower women in Africa. She also sits on the board of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne in Switzerland. She is the CEO and founder of Aptamind Partners, a private advisory firm in travel investment, tourism and hospitality, which she started in 2016.