Editor's Choice

5799 24 Nov 2022

MEAHEA 2022: Hospitality Leader of the Year

Known to be highly charismatic, Sandeep is a people person with an incredibly patient approach.

Sandeep Walia was recognized as the Hospitality Leader of the Year and received a gold award at the 8th Middle East Hospitality Excellence Awards held at the Arabian Ranches on November 16, 2022. 

From the start of his career, Sandeep feels he has been fortunate to be empowered by brilliant leaders and inspirational mentors. Today, he feels it is his responsibility to do the same for his associates & leaders – to support their growth and make a difference in their work. Through his journey, he hopes to instill an optimistic and people-first approach in associates. 

The glass is always half full in Sandeep's eyes. Every situation is addressed with a different point of view, strategy, reaction, or idea. His utmost exuberance and conviction are that positivity and optimism bring out the best in any circumstance and help attain higher results. 

One of Mr. Marriott's rules of success which states, “Every obstacle reveals an opportunity for growth,” still resonates with Sandeep. After encountering uncertainties in his profession, he has successfully implemented this principle for adversity to propel him further. Growth is never a linear journey and approaching challenges with tenacity would be the defining factor in ensuring one's success. 

In the Middle East, Sandeep Walia serves as Marriott International's chief operating officer. Walia is currently leading the operations of Marriott's properties in the Middle East (including Egypt and Turkey), which include more than 200 operational properties and more than 100 properties in the pipeline. Sandeep has more than 25 years of experience working abroad in the hotel industry. 

Sandeep is a seasoned member of the hospitality industry with strategic business acumen who is driven to provide operational and financial excellence in order to generate market-leading returns and build relationships and collaborations with stakeholders. He is a dynamic and results-driven leader who excels at developing high-performance teams and inspiring them to establish and attain visionary goals by successfully coordinating corporate values with essential business projects and brand experiences. 

2005 saw Sandeep join Marriott International. Prior to his present position, Sandeep oversaw operations in the company's most prominent Middle Eastern market as the Area Vice President for the United Arab Emirates. He managed the company's luxury portfolio across Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, the UK, and all BVLGARI hotels in Europe as the Area Vice President – Luxury Brands for Western Europe before accepting his position in the UAE. 

Professional with extensive expertise, Sandeep has worked for businesses in Asia (India), the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. He also has a heightened awareness of consumers' landscape and evolving expectations and preferences. 

Sandeep's additional notable qualifications include an Executive MBA from North-Western University's Kellogg School of Management, a Leadership degree from Harvard Business School, and a post-graduate degree from the Oberoi Center of Learning & Development. Sandeep, who is of Indian descent and presently calls Dubai home, is a part of the Young Presidents Organization. Sandeep is well known for being a people person with an amazingly patient demeanour.