This rise up the ranking reflects BWI’s expansion in the Middle East, and Mr. de Souza’s key role in driving it. The company has opened six hotels in the region over the last 12 months, and signed a further seven. This takes BWI’s total Middle Eastern portfolio to eight hotels across six countries – Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. But with a further 12 hotels in the pipeline, the regional profiles of both BWI and Mr. de Souza are expected to grow considerably in the coming years.
“It is a great honor to be named in the Hotelier Middle East’s ‘Power 50′ list once again,” said Mr. de Souza. “We have made great strides in the Middle East in recent years, launching the Best Western brand in new markets, developing wonderful new partnership and welcoming a new generation of loyal guests. “But of course, our company’s success is a team effort. Our growth in the Middle East is the result of countless hours of hard work and dedication from our entire team. From our hotel staff on the ground, to our team at the regional office, every person in our organization has played their part.
“I look forward to being able to continue our company’s rapid Middle Eastern expansion in the years to come,” Mr. de Souza added. A Singaporean national, Mr. de Souza has a lifetime of experience in the hotel industry, and was instrumental in setting up BWI’s Asia and Middle East head office in Bangkok in 2002. One of his next big projects in the Middle East will be to introduce the Best Western brand to Iraq, with the company’s first two properties set to launch in the north of the country next year.