In his role, Raed Al Nuaimi is mandated to provide the strategic vision, planning, and operational leadership to ensure the development and execution of the company’s flagship leisure and entertainment destination – Dubai Parks & Resorts that is taking shape in Jebel Ali, Dubai.
Earlier, Al Nuaimi was the Chief Leisure and Entertainment Officer at Meraas Holding. During this tenure, he helped develop new strategies and identify innovative opportunities for the company in the key growth area of leisure and entertainment.
Prior to joining Meraas Holding, Raed Al Nuaimi held senior management roles with Tatweer, Dubailand, and Dubai Properties Group. His decade long experience with the three industry majors helped him gain extensive market intelligence on the global theme park industry. Leveraging this know-how as well as his expertise in project and people management, Raed Al Nuaimi has successfully brought innovative concepts to the region that have dynamically redefined Dubai’s leisure and entertainment landscape.
A former member of the UAE Naval Forces, Raed Al Nuaimi holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Ashford University, UK. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD – CPP).
In this role, Paul La France is responsible for developing the design and construction plans of the company’s million dollar theme parks.
Paul La France has a successful track record with more than 37 years of experience in worldwide entertainment and hospitality developments; he has led the development of numerous high profile greenfield projects, as well as major expansions and capital improvements to existing and operational facilities globally. His specialties include turnkey project delivery from early concept design to completion and turnover to operational management.
Prior to joining Dubai Parks and Resorts, Paul La France was Vice President of Program Management at SAMSUNG C&T Corporation, Engineering & Construction Group, where he led a multi-disciplinary team responsible for the delivery of major hospitality, retail and entertainment projects in the UAE including theme parks, hotels and shopping malls. His responsibilities also included the installation of roads, bridges and utilities attendant to the projects that he managed.
Earlier, Paul La France worked as Vice President of Project Management for Walt Disney Imagineering on international and US destinations such as Euro Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney Studios Paris, Animal Kingdom in Florida and the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Paul La France also was the Vice President of Development for Universal Creative and led the addition of major attractions at Universal Studios’ Hollywood and CityWalk in California and the development of Universal Studios Japan. Paul La France was also the head of the development for Royal Island Resort in the Bahamas.
Paul La France holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.
A key member of the management team, Matthew Priddy is responsible for the design, engineering and production of shows and rides at the company’s multibillion dollar theme parks.
With more than 35 years of experience in prototype, project development and real estate, his expertise includes the creative development of entertainment destination projects with special focus on owners representation, technical integration, design management and organizational leadership.
Prior to joining Dubai Parks & Resorts, Matthew Priddy held Senior Executive positions as Vice President for Hill International’s worldwide Theme Parks and Resorts sector as well as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Production for Walt Disney Imagineering. In this role, he was responsible for design, engineering, manufacturing and overall project management for over US$4 billion in theme parks, resorts and technical development. During his 20-year tenure with Walt Disney, the company experienced a renaissance in the design and delivery of themed entertainment and guest experiences. From ride systems to the use of exotic methods and materials in show production and construction, Priddy led their successful delivery in the United States as well as Asia and Europe.
Earlier, as an entrepreneur, Matthew Priddy delivered numerous high end retail projects as well as products for sale through Wal-Mart and Pet’s Mart. He has also developed patented technologies for the production of single and multi-family homes that significantly reduce cost and build time.
Matthew Priddy holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatrical Technology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
A key member of the management team, Sandesh Pandhare contributes to achieving the overall strategic objective of the company. As part of this mandate, he is responsible for strategic planning, new project investment and development, investor relations, internal and external reporting, and other financial administrative matters.
Sandesh Pandhare adds more than 23 years of experience in the private equity and investment industry. An expert in deal brokering, business analysis, investment valuation, capital structuring, financing and asset monitoring, Mr. Pandhare has managed a global portfolio of over US$2 billion across diverse industry verticals.
Prior to joining Meraas, Sandesh Pandhare was the Managing Director and Head of Private Equity at Istithmar World, the investment arm of Dubai World. A founding member of the company in 2003, he provided the overall investment strategy to enhance the value of portfolio companies and realize divestment opportunities.
Sandesh Pandhare earlier worked with Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, where he was in charge of driving the firm’s financial performance and evaluating investments in international free zones including Morocco, Djibouti and Malaysia. During his tenure, he made significant contributions in securing the Dubai Quality Award for the company.
Early in his career, Sandesh Pandhare worked as a fund manager and financial analyst across India and Oman.
A former board member and observer of various international companies such as Barneys New York in the US, Cirque du Soleil in Canada and Gulf African Bank in Kenya, Sandesh ranked among the ‘100 Most Powerful Indians in the Middle East’ (Arabian Business, 2011) and ‘Top 65 Influential Indians in the UAE’ (Gulf News, 2012).
Sandesh Pandhare is a CFA charter holder. He holds a Master’s in Management Studies from Mumbai University and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Pune University, India.
As part of his mandate, he is responsible for overseeing the business performance and operations of the company’s multi-million dollar theme park business.
Since the inception of Meraas’s entertainment business, Stanford Pinto has been part of the core management team working closely with unit heads and the Group Chairman to formalise and implement the company’s strategic expansion plans.
With over 20 years of professional experience, Stanford Pinto’s expertise lies in the areas of risk management, corporate governance, internal auditing, as well as process control and design management.
Prior to joining Meraas, Stanford Pinto held senior executive positions in premier accounting firms including Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young within the business consulting and risk management verticals.
Earlier in his career, Stanford Pinto has also worked with Citibank’s corporate banking division in India, managing the country’s top 20 business houses and multinationals.
Stanford Pinto holds a MBA from Pune University and a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Mumbai. He is also a Certified Internal Auditor.
In this role, Vinit Shah is mandated to drive destination sales and marketing for the company’s mega entertainment theme parks. He is also responsible for strategic planning and management of activities including structuring and processes, third party contracting, supplier relationships, reservations and customer fulfillment.
With more than 15 years of experience in the leisure and hospitality industry, Vinit Shah specializes in the strategic development of entertainment destination projects. His expertise includes leading strategic projects and negotiations, driving commercial decisions, planning the strategic and operational process, business modelling, intellectual property acquisition and feasibility studies amongst others.
Prior to joining Dubai Parks & Resorts Limited, Vinit Shah was Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development at Dubai Properties Group, a member of Dubai Holding. In this capacity, he developed new business plans for the company’s hospitality, retail and residential projects, and contributed to high net-worth land and asset transactions with Emaar, Damac Holdings, and Wasl. As a core member of the Dubai Holding management team, he led negotiation strategies and feasibility studies for the acquisition of various theme park related intellectual properties.
Vinit Shah began his professional career in the US where he worked for over five years in various strategic finance roles with some of the Fortune 500 companies.
Vinit Shah holds an MBA from the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines, a Strategic Finance certificatefrom the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and a Master’s in Commerce and Business Management from the University of Mumbai, India.
A key member of the management team, Aida Hamza is responsible for leading the delivery of the company’s projects to agreed performance indicators.
Aida Hamza brings to her role more than 27 years of experience in management, corporate affairs, marketing and communications. Her core areas of expertise include designing the overall corporate support strategy and direction, building a high performance work culture through robust performance management and compensation processes, and supporting the delivery of the organization’s business plan.
Prior to joining Dubai Parks and Resorts, Aida Hamza was Director Supply Chain Management at Ejadah Asset Management Group. In this multi-dimensional role, she was responsible for managing the support service functions for Ejadah and its entities, developing and implementing strategy, policies and processes with a focus on cost efficiencies, process improvement and optimum process cycle time. Aida Hamza was also mandated with developing and rolling out the brand strategy for Ejadah and its entities.
Earlier, as Executive Director of Corporate Services at Istithmar World, Aida Hamza designed the overall corporate support strategy and direction in line with the overall goals and objectives of the company. Aida Hamza has also worked with leading companies in the UAE like Dubai World, Standard Chartered Bank, ENOC, Citibank and Emirates Broadcasting Corporation
Aida Hamza holds a bachelor’s degree in Management and Marketing from the Davis & Elkins College, West Virginia, United States.
Klaus Assmann is responsible for the company’s entire hospitality portfolio and common area retail. He is also mandated to oversee the construction and coordination of plans and programs relating to retail operations within Riverland and provide strategic input to the development of the Lapita Hotel.
Bringing to his role more than 27 years of experience in the hospitality industry across the UAE, Thailand and the United States, Klaus Assmann has led the opening/renovation of more than seven hotel properties. He has also driven company strategies and achieved strong profit generation through monitoring profit channels and cost management while maintaining the highest quality standards.
Prior to joining Dubai Parks and Resorts, Klaus Assmann was General Manager of Sofitel Dubai Downtown. In this role, he was a founding member of the operations team and managed the five-star luxury flagship hotel, as well as the office tower, eight food and beverage outlets, retail space and meeting venues. Klaus Assmann has also completed tenures at the Jumeirah Group in the UAE, Thailand and the United States, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in the Philippines, Park Hyatt in Germany and the United States, as well as Nikko Hotel in the United States and the United Kingdom and Holiday Inn in Germany.
Klaus Assmann holds a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management from the Hotel School, Aachen, Germany.