Qatari hospitality, entertainment and retail company Aura Lifestyle Group has promoted Charbel Mhanna from general manager to CEO, responsible for its internal divisions Aura Hospitality Food & Services and Aura Entertainment.
The move is aimed at further accelerating the Aura Group’s rapid expansion and growth in the region.
“Aura Lifestyle is going through an exciting period of growth and development and my immediate priority going forward will be to consolidate the company’s presence in the domestic market by further expanding our hospitality and entertainment portfolio,” Mhanna said.
A senior executive with over 25 years of experience across diverse industries including hospitality, leisure and entertainment, Mhanna has been instrumental in conceptualising and creating multiple fine dining brands, leisure and entertainment destinations and hospitality ventures for the company. As CEO, he will oversee all operational aspects of the business and will be responsible for the formulation and execution of the corporate strategic plan. A driving force behind Aura Group’s success and growth over the five years since its inception, Mhanna’s leadership and strategic vision, coupled with his understanding of the hospitality and entertainment market, have helped the group identify and capitalise on emerging trends, expand its portfolio and market presence.
Established in 2012 with the aim of bringing top regional and international food and beverage and entertainment brands to Doha, Aura Lifestyle currently manages some of Qatar’s most popular dining and entertainment concepts; these include the Orient Pearl, Doha’s largest standalone dining venue; the coffee bar Mokarabia, which counts three outlets in Doha, Debs W Remman, a Lebanese concept with two branches in Doha and Megapolis, the biggest indoor entertainment centre in Qatar, which opened its doors in March 2016.
The company opened 42 new outlets in Qatar in 2016 alone, in various locations, such as the Mall of Qatar, The Pearl and Ezdan Towers, West Bay. The list includes La Casa Twenty Eight, a casual dining Mediterranean restaurant, Build It Burger, a new burger concept in Megapolis and the Mall of Qatar food court; Diner Station, a retro diner with American fusion food; Crepe & More, a new all-day creperie, as well as a new Arabic restaurant – Basta 23, alongside Gelarto Rosa, an artisan ice cream parlour, located in Porto Arabia, The Pearl. Opened recently at Katara is also the new Al Bisana restaurant, serving Palestinian cuisine.
Continuing the momentum in 2017, Aura’s Hospitality and Entertainment divisions are set to open five new outlets in Qatar in the coming two months. The new openings include Jwala, an Indian street food concept; Life with Cacao, a gourmet chocolate and dessert shop and Ghawetna, a Qatari coffee shop.