Samir Tabbah / Group CEO



Mohammad Sawalha / Group CFO

With over 30 years of experience in the world of finance and as the Chief Finance Officer of Desert Gate, Mohammad and his team provide a stable foundation for running the company, giving the rest of us the comfort of knowing that the organisation’s finances are in good hands. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his family.

Meriem Khelifi / Chief Operating Officer COO – UAE

As the COO of Desert Gate, Meriem has over 15 years of experience in the tourism industry and an excellent ability to translate guests’ requirements into superlative in-destination experiences, given her creative bent of mind. In her free time, she loves to travel, read, and learn about new cultures/languages and has developed a keen interest in the field of international relations and humanitarianism. She is also passionate about sustainable business practices and constantly working to ensure Desert Gate’s operational model fits within this vision.


Jawad Bhala / Director Of Contracting

Jawad began his professional journey from Saudi Arabia in 1994 before moving to Dubai in 1999 to work for some of the biggest names in the tourism industry. He was heading the contracting department in a well reputed organisation for 11 years before joining Desert Gate. In his free time, he loves watching sports.

Evgenya Sakharovskaya / Director of Business Development – CIS

As the Director of Business Development, Evgeniya leads the CIS Sales and Reservations Teams. She has 18 years experience in UAE, in both hotels as well as DMCs, with roles ranging from reservations to revenue, sales and operations. She became a part of the Desert Gate Family in 2017. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities.


Hayley Wall / Director of Sales

As Director of Sales for Rest of the World, Hayley has over 20 years’ experience in the tourism industry. Starting as a UK Tour Operator she eventually moved to the UAE in 2013 to continue her career in contracting, finally joining Desert Gate in 2018. In her free time, she loves to travel and experience new destinations, and enjoys time with friends.

Abdul Ghori / Head of MICE & Leisure Groups

Abdul comes with an extensive knowledge in Leisure groups, Meetings, Incentives and Conferences, having worked with respected brands in the industry. His passion for organizing events is what kept him going for over 16 years. In his free time, he loves to network with multi cultural groups or just watch his favorite team play.


Muhsin Sainudin / Business Development Director OTS Middle East and Indian Ocean


Andrea Faldella / Director – Golf Department

Andrea comes with an extensive knowledge in the golf and hospitality industry, having previously been Club Manager at some of the best facilities in Europe and the UAE. He is able to quickly understand clients’ expectations and provide them with exceptional in-destination experiences while paying unmatched attention to detail throughout their stay. In his free time he enjoys to spend time with his family, but he also likes to play golf, work out at the gym, and ride his bike through the desert.


Akram Hajjar / Head of IT & Digital Product

Akram comes with an extensive knowledge & experience in Information Technology, Systems automation and Infrastructure. His passion in following and learning the newest technology trends is what kept him going for over 10 years. In his free time, he loves to workout, run and try all different kind of sports.

Jamal Refaat / General Manager Qatar – Oman

who has been an integral part of the DG family for many years. He brings over 20 years of work experience in the management and played an instrumental role in uplifting Desert Gate image in Oman to prominence. We hope with his re-joining,  we can make our new venture in Qatar a great success while maintaining and leading the team in Oman.