Title and Organization:
Walid is founder & president of Blue Ocean Capital, which lives at the intersection of hospitality, real estate & urban development. The firm partners with investors to develop innovative & eco-responsible type of projects around the world. Walid leads a team developing the strategy, global positioning and masterplan for 20 islands in the Caribbean Sea. Over the coming years; the destination aims to create 20'000 jobs and generate $1.1 billion in annual revenues. Walid had previously led hospitality at CDCI, a family office where he worked on a large PPP waterfront development project in Montenegro. He was the General Manager and a board member at the Hospitality Development Company; a subsidiary of the UDC, master developers of The Pearl–Qatar where he developed luxury hotels and restaurants . Walid co-founded and was the Managing Partner of Synergy Hospitality; a hospitality concept creator, operator and advisory firm which grew from 3 partners to around 800 associates in 7 years. Synergy provided financial, restructuring and concept creation advice to restaurant and hotel owners/operators such as Hilton International. Synergy also pioneered the lifestyle resorts in Lebanon effectively enhancing land values for investors by over tenfold. Walid worked as a Senior Consultant within the Arthur Andersen Hospitality & Real Estate Practice, based in London. As such, he worked on assignments such as a strategic overview of the global hospitality industry for Bass PLC after its purchase of the Inter Continental Hotel Group. While with Arthur D. Little in Riyadh, he worked on assignments such as assessing large-scale tourism investments for Kingdom Holding. Walid graduated with a Diploma of Superior Studies in Hotel Management from the Lausanne Hotel Management School, in Switzerland. He is a fellow of the inaugural class of the Aspen Institute's Middle East Leadership Initiative (MELI), and of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network. Walid’s MELI venture, the Lebanese Food Bank (LFB) , has been at the forefront of the emergency response to communities impacted by COVID 19 & then the Beirut blast. The LFB supports 115 NGOs throughout the country & has acted swiftly, distributing in 3 months over 35’000 food relief boxes, effectively helping around 140’000 of the most vulnerable citizens.