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About Us


The Silk Road courses through our being. Shaza is a celebration of our past - and our future. We proudly embrace all the wonders and generosities of the Silk cultures that have shaped our luxurious Shaza world.

Shaza means fragrance. Notes of Arabia, Ottoman and Middle Eastern are blended into a subtle bouquet that captures the spirit of generosity, luxury and refinement of the people of the Silk territories. Rich with history and discovery, Shaza hotels is a reinvention of all we love, celebrate and hold dear above all else. Ours is a story of the old through new eyes.



We are our culture. Without our nuances, our traditions and allegiances, who will we be? We may certainly be a hotel, but we won’t be Shaza. Our culture, our way of being, resides within the very heart and soul of our people. it is here where we begin and end as a brand. With our people.

  • generosity

    Giving is one of the greatest ambitions of our brand. To give memorable experiences. To give the best of who we are. To approach, every interaction with our guests – and each other - with grace and generosity.

  • Respect

    Sincerity, integrity and fairness are the immutable cornerstones of our existence. We value all individuals in all their diversity and difference.

  • Creativity

    We embrace the new, explore and push boundaries to develop fresh ideas and experiences in the service of improvement – but always, with considered thought and attention.

  • Pride

    Our heritage and spirit is our pride and joy. It defines the ambition and entrepreneurial character of our brand which we believe will distinguish us in the region and beyond.

  • Engagement

    We are committed to meaningful connections. We are unfaltering in our commitment to work with passion and sincerity and to truly connect and engage with our guests, owners and colleagues.

  • Awareness

    As a brand and people, we are unreservedly invested in the environment and neighbourhood in which we reside. Our actions are without reserve always measured and mindful.



Shaza is a new interpretation of what it means to be of the East. Bright, effervescent and joyful, it is a modern retelling of an old world.

While our past, ornate with the treasures and memories of the Silk empire, is indeed illustrious, our dreams are of our present and the future. Shaza is a five star breath of fresh air in a modern retelling of the East. We are focused on the creation of a 21st century East that respects the past, but does not get lost in its nostalgia. Ours is a brand new Eastern world filled with the promise of even more glories and reasons to be proud of who we are.

The Team

The Team

Shaza Hotels is an independent five star hotel operator, supported by an affiliation with a number of prestigious partners. These include Kempinski, our financial partner Shaza Hotel Investment Company as well as our membership of Global Hotel Alliance.

board members

Barwa Real Estate Group announce the appointment of Mr. Salman Mohamad Ahmed Al Hasan Al Muhannadi, Group CEO of Barwa Real Estate as of 1st of March 2015. Mr. Salman Al Muhannadi has 24 years of experience in finance, administration, asset management and strategic planning. Mr. Al Muhannadi elevated through a number of positions in different national organizations, last of which was the CEO of QNB Capital, the investment arm of Qatar National Bank. Mr. Salman previously handled financial and strategic restructuring of many organizations and real estate portfolios; in addition to his experience as a consultant for mergers and acquisitions in financial, real estate and transportation fields. He is also a member of the board of directors and committees in local and international companies. Mr. Al Muhannadi was as well part of a number of deals between Barwa Real Estate and Qatari Diar.

Semer has served on the Management Board since 2008, and after serving as Deputy CEO since 2014, was appointed Chairman of the Management Board and CEO in 2016. He is responsible for company strategy as well as the group’s major growth areas of portfolio and associated business growth. He also oversees Corporate Affairs, including Brand Management, Corporate Communications, Human Resources and Legal Services.

Semer studied Economics at the University of Würzburg in Germany. He holds an MBA from the prestigious HEC/ Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland. A classical music enthusiast, Semer is a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees of Beethoven-Haus Bonn.

Tamer El Sayed Mohamed, an Egyptian National, holds a Bachelor (BS) in Commerce, Accounting from Cairo University, Egypt. Tamer has many professional qualifications; CPA, CMA, MBA and preparing for level III CFA.

He currently heads the Group Finance Department at Barwa Real Estate, a leading real estate company listed on the Qatar Exchange. Tamer has joined Barwa Group back in 2008 and has spearheaded a number of high profile initiatives undertaken by the group since then. He has served in various roles and positions within the Group and it's Subsidiaries. In addition, he holds numerous senior positions such as BOD member for many of the Group’s subsidaries and member of all executive committees.

Since assuming the current role as Director of Group Finance at Barwa, he has overseen the extensive restructuring of group’s debts, assets and investments’ portfolio both locally and internationally.

As a Shaza Board Member, Tamer's over 15 years of extensive, in-depth finance,investment, audit and administration experience with various employers, he brings a wealth of experience in real estate investments, unique market insight, , and operations which will extensively support the company's ambitious growth plans.

Responsible for Kempinski's Corporate and Hotel Finance Department, Lubbe is also responsible for Information Technology for the group. His role is to drive performance by enabling business, supporting decision-making and resources planning in the hotels Kempinski operates. He is pioneering taking financial services entirely into the cloud to allow for accurate decisions around the clock from anywhere in the world.

Before joining Kempinski, Lubbe was the Vice President Financial Shared Services for Hyatt Corporation in Chicago. During his 27 years of experience in international hospitality, he has lived and worked in Germany, Switzerland, the United States as well as South Africa, and has opened 26 hotels in his career so far.

Ali Mohammed Al Derbasti, a Qatari National, holds a postgraduate (MS) in Engineering Management and Bachelors (BS) in Electrical Engineering both from George Washington University, USA. He has also undertaken extensive training from Harvard, INSEAD and other prestigious institutions worldwide.

He currently heads the Group Real Estate Development at Barwa Real Estate, a leading real estate company listed on the Doha Stock Exchange Market in Qatar. Ali has spearheaded a number of high profile initiatives undertaken by the group since 2006 and has served in various roles and positions within the Group and it's Subsidiaries. In addition, he holds numerous senior positions such as Vice Chairman of Qatar Project Management (QPM), Board Member of SMEET.

In his previous role as the CEO and Board Member of Barwa Al Doha, Ali and his team brought to Barwa the inaugural City Scape Best Design Award for its high profile mixed use development comprising of a super regional shopping mall and five star luxury hotel.

Since assuming the current role as Group Director of Real Estate Development at Barwa, he has overseen the extensive restructuring of group portfolio both locally and internationally.

As a Shaza Board Member, Ali's over 25 years of extensive, in-depth commercial and operational experience in various management positions from diverse sectors, he brings a wealth of experience in real estate investment, unique market insight, project development, and operations which will extensively support the company's ambitious growth plans.

Van der Wal is a highly regarded international hotelier with nearly thirty years' operational experience. He is responsible for translating Kempisnski's group strategy into operational initiatives and performance, in order to deliver on Kempinski's brand promise.

Van der Wal studied French at the University of Nice, has a Hotel Management Diploma from Glion Hotel School in Switzerland, as well as an MBA from Reims Management School in France.

At Kempinski, van der Wal began his career in Munich and over the years has overseen several of the group's key properties, including Beijing, Budapest and Munich, assuming regional responsibilities. Most recently, van der Wal was SVP Europe overseeing 22 properties. Prior to joining the group, he worked in management positions at Radisson, Sheraton and Intercontinental in Austria, Brazil and Venezuela.


Simon Coombs brings an invaluable depth of knowledge and regional expertise to the Shaza enterprise. A highly motivated and determined individual, he brings a very particular and distinguished skill to Shaza - that of establishing and growing businesses from the ground up. Simon is the man who has genuinely done it all before. His position before joining Shaza as President and CEO was as Executive Vice President and CFO at Kempinski.

Prior to his appointment at Kempinski, Simon spent 16 years with Hyatt International in various positions linked to development, tax planning, corporate, and hotel finance. Most recently, he held the Hong Kong based position of Vice President of Finance for the Asia Pacific region.

Using this wealth of experience, and his fluency in the business language of the region, Simon is instrumental in the development and expansion of the Shaza brand. Since taking the helm of Shaza Hotels in 2010, Simon had dedicated his efforts to creating the Shaza’s brand from the ground up, with the objective of bringing a completely unique luxury brand to the market. His vision is to establish a distinct and sincere organisational culture that will be reflected in every hotel under operation, in terms of both service style and design concept.

Simon holds Honours Degrees in both Economics and Strategic Planning from Leeds University in England.

As Executive Vice President, Sanjiv Malhotra is nurturing the concept and development of the brand as well as making it an operational reality.

Graduating with honours in Commerce and Business Management, he specialized with a Post Graduation in Hotel Management. Sanjiv also read at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland and Cornell University, Ithaca for courses in Food & Beverage, General Management and Leadership.

With more than 27 years in the luxury Hotel industry, Sanjiv’s previous role was Regional Vice President for East Africa with Kempinski and before then with Oberoi Hotels India, Australia and Egypt. A seasoned hotelier he is motivated to guide Shaza Hotels to its next stage, understanding that a brand is only as strong as its distinctiveness and the resolve of its people. He is focused to create memorable guest experiences, enhanced by design and delivered by caring, empowered, motivated team members.

Chris Nader has seen the birth of the company and was involved in setting up the brand’s identity and positioning, establishing its values and philosophy, as well as creating signature products ranging from dining concepts to Spas and Kids’ Clubs. With such in depth understanding of the brand, he naturally developed into a key player of the company’s growth strategy, boosting its development activities across the globe. Based in Dubai, Chris’ role is to double Shaza’s portfolio in the next few years. He also holds the position of Vice President – Development Middle East and Africa for Kempinski, the renowned European luxury operator and shareholder of Shaza Hotels.

Prior to joining Shaza, Chris held several positions in food and beverage where he assisted in the creation of some of the trendiest resorts and restaurant concepts in Lebanon.  He holds an MBA from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, and a Bachelor in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut.



It is our ambition to always create deeper, richer experiences that linger long after the stay is over. We are determined to always communicate and present ourselves authentically with charm and warmth.

  • Philosophy

    Curated in association with some of the region's leading anthropologists, professors, and historians Shaza is the first contemporary celebration of the cultures of the Silk Route. This heritage is the source of all we are. How we walk, how we talk, how we live as a brand.

  • Expansion Strategy

    By design, we are an intimate family of hotels. We believe this intimacy augments the operational and financial performance of each of our properties. Shaza hotels are carefully evaluated in major markets where we are sure we can add value to the benefit of the owner.