Passed away in Dubai: Atlantis COO Serge Zaalof dead after terminal illness

Serge Zaalof was heading operations for all Atlantis Resorts & Residences worldwide, including Atlantis, The Palm and Atlantis, Sanya Hainan in China as well as The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai and Atlantis, Ko Olina in Hawaii, which are both in development. He passed away this weekend.

Passed away in Dubai: Atlantis COO Serge Zaalof dead after terminal illness

Serge Zaalof was heading operations for all Atlantis Resorts & Residences worldwide, including Atlantis, The Palm, and Atlantis, Sanya Hainan in China as well as The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai and Atlantis, Ko Olina in Hawaii, which are both in development. He died on Friday, July 20 after a fatal illness, according to a spokesperson in Berlin.

The Atlantis brand has truly defined integrated entertainment destination resorts.

He joined Atlantis, The Palm as president & managing director in September 2009, and took his most recent position in September 2016.

Serge Zaalof, Chief Operating Officer for Atlantis Resorts & Residences has had an established and noteworthy career in the hospitality industry. In his current role, he is heading Operations for all Atlantis Resorts & Residences worldwide namely Atlantis, The Palm and Atlantis, Sanya Hainan in China as well as The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai and Atlantis, Ko Olina in Hawaii, which are both in development.  which is the first Atlantis resort in the United States. Zaalof joined Atlantis, The Palm as President & Managing Director in September 2009 and has actively been involved as a key member of the executive management team, contributing greatly to the development and strategic growth of the company.

Each Atlantis resort rises majestically out of the sea, the flagship, Atlantis, The Palm and The Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences atop the apex of Palm Island in Dubai, and in Sanya, People’s Republic of China, rising from the South China Sea. Atlantis, Ko Olina will also be inspired by Hawaii’s legacy of ocean exploration. A vibrant tribute to an aquatic world of wonder, Atlantis resorts are unique, ocean-themed destinations offering a wide variety of entertainment experiences with restaurants by world-renowned chefs; a vibrant range of bars and lounges; extensive slides and rides at Aquaventure Waterpark; fresh and salt-water pools, lagoons and marine exhibits, including an open air marine habitat. Guests from around the world will also discover superb accommodation, an indulgent spa, luxury boutiques, magnificent event spaces and endless stretches of beach, as Atlantis showcases a dazzling, imaginative world of fun for all ages.

Zaalof joined Atlantis, The Palm as President & Managing Director in September 2009 and has actively been involved as a key member of the executive management team, contributing greatly to the development and strategic growth of the company. He has been instrumental in strengthening the position of the resort as an entertainment destination and led the resort to win numerous, prestigious awards including; World’s Leading Landmark Resort and Middle East’s Leading Resort at the World Travel Awards 2017, Favourite Hotel in Africa & the Middle East at the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards 2017 and Best 5 Star Family Hotel at the Arabian Travel Awards. In September 2016, he took over the current position as Chief Operating Officer for Atlantis Resorts & Residences.


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Zaalof previously spent 10 years with the Jumeirah Group, where he worked as General Manager at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Madinat Jumeirah and as well as Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific. Before, Zaalof spent a year as General Manager for resorts in the Caribbean and Tunisia with Allegro International. He began his career in hospitality with the Ritz Carlton in Paris in 1978 with various positions throughout the United Kingdom and the United States. He then spent seven years with Hyatt International, gaining experience in food and beverage in Mexico, Morocco and the United Kingdom. Zaalof was made General Manager of the Hyatt Regency in Casablanca in 1995. He has also worked across Belgium, Spain, Canada and China.

Kerzner International chief executive officer Michael P. Wale said in a message to all the company’s colleagues that “there are many examples of distinguished hoteliers around the world whose careers have been positively impacted by Serge”.

Author: Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.

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