Chief Operating Officer
Emaar Hospitality Group LLC
Spearheading the success of Emaar Hospitality Group, Mark Kirby has been a source of transformation across all levels of the organization. From elevating the guest experiences across every touchpoint to employing innovative solutions to maximize results and anticipating internal and external needs, Mark values the highest levels of quality and strives to maintain a consistent benchmark of excellence across all hotels.
Mark holds a BA (Hons) in Hospitality Management from the University of Central England in Birmingham, UK, and subsequent to his degree, he was handpicked for several professional development programmes to further his growth.
His breadth and depth of experience across all aspects of hospitality industry in unrivaled. Mark worked at some of London’s most prestigious hotels over 15 years where his understanding of the industry evolved in strides, before his eventual transition to the UAE in 2007, adopting key positions at the respected Grosvenor House and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa in Dubai. While he began his career at a foundational level, his steady ascent was punctuated by large and logical steps upward, a journey that helped him appreciate the intricacies and various dimensions of the hospitality industry, operationally and otherwise.
Mark joined Emaar Hospitality Group in 2014 as Hotel Manager of Armani Hotel Dubai, and subsequently rose to the position of General Manager. The hotel achieved widespread global recognition under his leadership, including 27 service-related accolades in 2018. Moving forward with an appointment as Area General Manager, he managed the Group’s iconic flagship hotel, Address Downtown, as well as other Downtown Hotels in the Group’s portfolio, such as Address Fountain Views, Address Sky View, Palace Downtown and Vida Downtown Residences, before assuming his current role as the Head of Emaar Hospitality Group. While being a resilient force behind the success of Emaar Hospitality Group, he has been successfully expanding the group’s portfolio to key gateway cities and tourist markets internationally. With successful openings in the last year including Address Istanbul and Vida Beach Resort Marassi Al Bahrain and many others to follow in 2022, Mark indeed is spearheading the growth of Emaar Hospitality Group.
Driven by the belief that “the greatest achievement lies in our guest experiences”, he aligns the strategy to create luxury experiences for all guests. Mark welcomes new ideas and solutions to constantly improve services and this allows him to leave a significant impact on the hospitality industry through his work at Emaar Hospitality Group. Mark’s contribution underlines the unparalleled standards set by Emaar Hospitality for the various stakeholders, where he ensures exceptional value through services catered to consumer expectations. While Mark is particularly concerned with brand values, he is also deeply attuned to fostering sustainable practices in all facets of the group, in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He has implemented a ‘Sustainable Strategy’ that strives to incorporate sustainable solutions into operational strategy.
He leads his team with true passion to allow growth and evolution within the industry. Popular for his approachability and willingness to help staff at all levels with the little details as well as critical matters, he has mentored many protégés over the years, from junior levels to those in middle management positions. Additionally, he supports internship programmes and education, and he works closely with Les Roches to provide aspiring professionals with an overview of Dubai and takes them through the workings of the hospitality industry, and Emaar Hospitality Group. He encourages constant trainings for the staff including Forbes Travel Guide to reinforce focus on consistency in delivering international standards.
He is known for his everlasting enthusiasm for sports and fitness, and charitable endeavours. Besides diving, running, swimming, water sports and a fitness regime, he is also President of the Dubai Lankans Sports Club, where he sources sponsorship and provides rugby coaching to its Sri Lankan team. Mark supports ChildFund International in Sri Lanka with immunisation, schooling and preparing students for employment post-education. He also extends his efforts to children’s welfare initiatives in Africa and beyond.