Deirdre Renniers

Abdellah Essonni


Professional Biography:

Abdellah Essonni is a seasoned hospitality and real estate expert with over 35 years of international experience spanning four continents and encompassing the industry’s various facets from development to operations and asset management.

Abdellah is now based in Casablanca, Morocco after a two-year tenure with the Public Investment Fund in Riyadh where he kick-started one of the fund’s hospitality subsidiaries as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to that, he was Chief Hospitality Officer at Maad International, a Jeddah-based real estate developer, for close to six years during which he delivered, among other assets, Makkah’s single largest upper scale complex with 4,500 rooms and suites under IHG’s newly introduced brand, voco.

Prior to that, Abdellah spent over five years as CEO of Abjar Hotels International, a subsidiary of Almulla Group, which owns and operates a dozen managed and franchised hotels in Dubai under renowned global brands such as Ritz Carlton, Crowne Plaza and Sheraton. Before Abjar, he was Managing Director at Actif Invest, a Casablanca-based hospitality investment fund with development and asset management mandates across Morocco including the very successful mixed-use complex in Marrakech, Carre Eden. Before that, he was head of hospitality at Sama Dubai, a government owned master developer.

During the first two decades of his career, Abdellah has held several executive positions of increasing responsibility with major operators such as Hyatt, Four Seasons, Jumeirah and Kempinski.

Abdellah graduated in tourism and hospitality management from Institut Supérieur de Tourisme in Tangier, Morocco and completed an executive management program at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Abdellah is a regular key speaker at leading hotel investment conferences and a member of several advisory boards.