On the Move

116968 07 Jan 2020

ME Dubai Announces James Knight-Pacheco as Executive Chef

Bringing more than 16 years’ experience to the role

Dubai, UAE (07 January 2020) – ME Dubai, the new 5-star property of Spanish personality-led hotel brand ME by Meliá scheduled to open in early 2020, has confirmed the appointment of James Knight-Pacheco as Executive Chef. The multi-award-winning British professional brings more than 16 years’ experience to the role, as well as exceptional talent and expertise gained in the hospitality industry in a number of countries around the world.

The formative years of James’ career included positions as associate chef lecturer at an esteemed culinary college in South England, and as both General Manager and Head Chef in a variety of top establishments.  He went on to work in Michelin-starred restaurants alongside world-renowned chefs, including Raymond Blanc, Gordon Ramsay, Michael Caines, Jason Atherton, Peter Gorton and Andre Garrett, honing his talents as a passionate, inventive and driven chef and team leader.

In 2012 James arrived in the Middle East, beginning his regional career at the luxury resort Zighy Bay Six Senses, Oman as Chef de Cuisine. A move to the UAE in 2015 saw him assume the Executive Chef position for a number of properties within the Emaar Hospitality Group, including Dubai Marina Yacht Club and Vida Downtown Dubai. By 2018, he returned to Zighy Bay Six Senses as Executive Chef, a role that extended to assisting and recommending with regards to designing and operational flow during the renovation of the award-winning resort’s kitchen.

James was recently named the Executive Chef of the Year at the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2019. Other notable accolades include being in the top five of Hotelier Middle East’s Power 50, shortlisted for Best Chef at the Middle East Hotel Awards 2017, awarded Taste New Zealand Pro Chef of the Year 2017, shortlisted for ‘Best Chef Middle East’ by Caterer Middle East 2015 and awarded 2 x AA Rosettes Awards from The AA Guide UK.

In his latest role as the Executive Chef of ME Dubai, James will oversee culinary operation across all owned F&B outlets including the all-day-dining concept Central, the pool bar, R&R Bar and The Opus Studio – developing innovative menus that reflect the contemporary hotel and its position as the new epicentre of Dubai’s dynamic cultural scene.

Commenting on his role for ME Dubai, James said: “I’m excited to begin the next chapter of my career with ME Dubai – the first ME by Meliá hotel in the Middle East. This is a brand that is bold, stylish and articulates perfectly today’s concept of contemporary luxury, and my role will be to express that in our menus. It’s an opportunity for creativity, innovation and attention to delicious detail and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

ME Dubai features 74 luxury guestrooms and 19 suites, as well as 96 serviced apartments, and will offer guests a choice of 15 diverse F&B outlets.



About ME Dubai

Set to launch in 2020, ME Dubai will see ME by Meliá expand into the Middle East. The portfolio currently boasts six hotels across Europe and The Americas. Designed by the late and renowned architect Zaha Hadid, ME Dubai will take residence in the breath-taking Opus building. It is the only hotel project where she has personally designed all of the interiors and exteriors. ME Dubai is situated in the heart of the Burj Khalifa district, which is one of the city’s most vibrant areas. The Opus building is developed by leading Middle East real estate developer, Omniyat. The property will consist of 93 rooms and suites, as well as 96 serviced apartments, across 6 floors. ME Dubai’s facilities and Aura service will also be extended to the owners of the exclusive serviced apartments located on the upper floors, with four penthouses and private roof terraces. The legacy hotel will feature 15 restaurants, including ROKA, the contemporary Japanese robatayaki restaurant, as well as The Maine Oyster Bar and Grill.

About ME by Meliá

ME by Meliá is a personality-led lifestyle brand that seeks to fuse innovative style with local tastes, to captivate clientele with a love for contemporary art and design, music and fashion. Inspired by European lifestyle, each hotel has a unique connection with its location. ME by Meliá offers stylish design hotels that deliver personal, meaningful and aspirational experiences. By capturing these elements in urban and resort destinations, the ME philosophy adds a more personal touch to the guest experience.

There are currently six hotels in the portfolio, across Europe, and The Americas, including ME Milan Il Duca, ME London, ME Ibiza, ME Madrid, ME Sitges and ME Cabo. The brand is set to expand into the Middle East in January 2020 and ME Barcelona set to open in 2020.

Follow ME by Meliá on Instagram @me_by_melia and Facebook mebymelia. www.mebymelia.com.