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Stelios Haji-Ioannou

Stelios Haji-Ioannou

The son of a Greek shipping tycoon has been making waves all of his own with his “easy” branded businesses. Now he’s in Dubai, with the region’s first easyHotel.

May 26, 2010 4:13 by

When the first easyHotel property broke ground in Dubai in 2007, the press marked the occasion of Stelios’ arrival, saying the magnate brings a “splash of orange to Dubai.” The six planned easyHotels for the emirate are being developed by Istithmar, the investment arm of Dubai World.

Istithmar’s Hotels division made waves the year earlier, with an acquisition of an entirely different sort, when they bought the Times Square New York landmark, the Knickerbocker Hotel.  Istihmar’s then CEO, Muneef Tarmoom, called the Broadway landmark a “a premier property in one of the world’s most recognized locations.”

The easyHotel deal was sealed under Tarmoom’s watch. He hails from the UAE, but boasts a pocketful of educational accolades from the UK. An acclaimed tri-athlete and climber, he now advises governments and corporations. When he’s not climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, that is – which he’s done, by the way.

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