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Rutger Smits

The Red Sea Development Company

Executive Director Hospitality

As Executive Director, Hospitality for The Red Sea Development Company, Rutger Smits is responsible for the development of the overall hospitality program of one of the world’s most ambitious tourism projects.

In addition to supporting the master-planning and development teams with concept development, marketing strategy and operational efficiency across the hospitality components, he is also responsible for the engagement program with hotel operators and investors. He also leads the administration, negotiation and closure of hotel management agreements.

Before joining The Red Sea Development Company, Rutger was COO and acting CEO of Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH), overseeing the performance and development of substantial hotel portfolios. Prior to that he spent over 20 years as a hospitality consultant in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia Pacific, including leading roles with Andersen, HVS and Cushman & Wakefield.

Rutger holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from the Hotelschool The Hague, in the Netherlands. He is a member of the Middle East chapter of the Hotel Asset Managers Association (HAMA). Rutger has lived and worked on four continents and speaks English, Dutch and German.