Appointed Chief Operating Officer for the Middle East
At Marriott International in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Walia will step into the role on July 1, 2021, following the retirement of current COO, Guido De Wilde, announced last month. Briet will take on the role from Carlton Ervin, who was recently appointed as Marriott's Global Development Officer, International.
Walia, will be responsible for Marriott International's 146 operating hotels across the Middle East, as well as Egypt and Turkey, representing 21 hotel brands across ten countries, while Briet will be responsible for driving Marriott's growth trajectory and market position across EMEA, while supporting the company's global-wide development vision.
In his new position, Walia will work to drive the company's recovery across the Middle East and grow its presence across the region, while supporting the company's vision to become EMEA's favourite travel company.
Prior to this role, Walia was Area Vice President for the United Arab Emirates and played a critical role in support the company's hotels, guests and associates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Walia started in hospitality in 1996 before joining Marriott in 2005 as EAM Food & Beverage at The Ritz-Carlton, Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt before taking up his first General Manager role at The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow. During his tenure in Egypt, he travelled to several hotels in Asia, Europe and the Middle East as a pre-opening hotel trainer for The Ritz-Carlton, driving brand awareness and service culture. In 2012, Sandeep was appointed as Area Vice President Europe for The Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari and EDITION hotels. In 2017, he took on the role of Area Vice President for Luxury Brands in Western Europe, overseeing 32 operational hotels before moving to UAE in April 2019 as the Area Vice President, Luxury Hotels.
Sandeep completed his studies in hospitality at the Indian Institute of Hotel Management and the Oberoi School of Hotel Management. A lifelong student, he obtained his Executive MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management in 2017.