Emirates Palace appoints GM

Willy R. Optekamp is the man chosen to run the hotel that promises to be the most luxurious in the world.

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By  David Ingham Published  August 17, 2004

Willy R. Optekamp has been confirmed as general manager of the eagerly awaited Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. The 394 room hotel, which will be managed by Kempinski Hotels & Resorts, is due to open in December and is expected to be one of the world’s most luxurious properties. Optekamp, a native of Germany, has worked and resided in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and the Middle East during his 40 years in the industry. 10 of those years have been spent in the Middle East. Optekamp’s CV includes the positions of vice president of Kempinski’s North and West Africa Region, general manager of Conrad International Continental Singapore and vice president & area manager, Sheraton Indonesia. Of his new posting, he says: “My primary goal is to ensure that when guests walk through the Palace gates, they feel as though they have been whisked away to old Arabia with our staff catering to their every whim. Every guest will be treated like royalty. After all, they are at the Palace.” Built in the style of an Arabian Castle rising from the sand, the colours of Emirates Palace's façade are designed to represent the different sands found in the Arabian desert. The hotel's conference centre boasts state of the art meeting facilities, with total space exceeding 7000 sqm. Emirates Palace will also offer two pool landscapes and two luxurious spas.

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