General Manager & Senior Vice President, Operations, Atlantis Dubai
Having amassed more than 25 years of international experience in senior leadership roles in North America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Indian Ocean and Europe, Tom Roelens has joined Atlantis Dubaias General Manager and Senior Vice President, Operations, Atlantis Dubai.
The appointment places Roelens, a seasoned hotelier, at the helm of one of Dubai’s most bold and innovative resort projects to date, where he will oversee both the existing Atlantis, The Palm, and also the development, recruitment and opening of the new 795-room Atlantis, The Royal Resort. The UAE’s most hotly anctipated opening will be home to no less than
28 world-class restaurants and bars including Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Jaleo by José Andrés and a couture cake atelier by baker to the stars and royalty, Mich Turner. Prior to joining Atlantis Dubai, Roelens held the General Manager position in the pre-opening team of the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, establishing and launching the property as the rate leader in the city in year one, defining target markets for each component of the business, while developing and fulfilling the stipulated business plan for the hotel.
Subsequent to this, Roelens served in a variety of leadership positions within the Four Seasons group at the acclaimed Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, Four Seasons Hotel Newport Beach in California, as well as leading the extensive transformation of Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Hawaii, a ten-year project that included a 209-room hotel, 242 private residences and 27 serviced apartments.
Roelens began his hotelier training with an A1 Degree with Honours in Hotel Management from the Hoger Technisch Instituut in Belgium, before obtaining his Postgraduate Degree in Public Relations and Media Management as well as Financial and Strategic Management, Asset Management and Hotel Real Estate Investments at New York’s Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration.
Described as inclusive and hands-on, the skills and knowledge gained throughout his extensive career in hotels make Roelens the perfect choice to lead Atlantis, Dubai’s formidable teams. His goal is to position Atlantis, The Palm, Atlantis, The Royal and Aquaventure World as the most iconic destination on the world stage.
Outside of work, Tom has picked up a wide range of hobbies including hiking, running, canoeing and scuba diving – some of his favourite dives being in the Maldives, Bora Bora and French Polynesia. To date, he has visited 60 countries around the world and lived in seven. He is joined in Dubai by his wife, Sara, with whom he has been travelling around the world since 1995.
One of Tom’s favourite sayings is: "We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day. Life is 10 per cent what happens to us and 90 per cent how we react to it. Our attitude is everything."