J/Brice Design International names new SVP

Al Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Khalid Latif has been named senior vice president for the Middle East operations and new business development of J/Brice Design International, Inc., the hospitality-industry design powerhouse that has played a key role in branding the Arabian Peninsula as a luxury destination.

Latif now manages the firm’s marketing among hotel developers and operators and the commercial real estate community in the Middle East. J/Brice Design is currently under contract with several resort and hotel projects now being completed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as upcoming signature real estate developments in Bahrain, Ethiopia, Jordan, Libya, Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Before joining J/Brice Design International as VP, Latif originated several projects for the firm as a consultant with Bivings Group, a Washington, DC-headquartered lobbying and public affairs firm with access to the legislative and executive branches of the US government. Latif has developed international business relationships and strategic communication campaigns aimed at fostering relationships between international clients from Western and Middle Eastern nations.

In announcing the appointment, Jeffrey Ornstein, CEO and founder of the two-decade-old design firm, stated: “Khalid possess a versatile professional background in marketing management, coupled with an international cosmopolitan education that culminated with degrees in International Relations and Economics from the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.”

Latif graduated from private and public schools in the UK, Switzerland and Algeria. In addition to his native Urdu, he is fluent in English, French and Arabic. Latif's work includes a wealth of research and position papers such as, Enhancing US-Saudi Relations, Public Diplomacy in Saudi Arabia: Suggestions for New Strategies, US-Saudi Relations: Rebuilding the Strategic Consensus and Investor Perceptions and Establishment of Image-Building Objectives.  While at Tufts University, he held numerous leadership positions including the International Affairs and Economics Club, where he helped foster the intellectual life of the university community by arranging seminars on the most pressing conflicts of the world.

Following his appointment, Latif said: “There is a new global perspective developing throughout the Arab world and I am proud to be associated with a cutting-edge firm that is participating in Arabia’s emergence as an international architectural and design innovator. I hope to reinforce the firm’s reputation for cross-cultural understanding and contribute to redefining the luxury architectural landscape in the Middle East.”

“The Middle East’s influence on the hospitality industry worldwide, will become even more powerful in the 2010 decade, and Khalid will have a big influence on developing region’s image as a luxury destination. What is more, Khalid shares our vision and passion for the hospitality industry. His depth of understanding of Middle Eastern culture will contribute immeasurably to helping us achieve our goals in the region,” added Ornstein. “Arabian prominence in the hospitality world started with the Burj al Arab -- the hotel that branded Dubai in much the same way as the Eiffel Tower branded Paris and the Golden Gate Bridge branded San Francisco. Notably, the Burj al Arab’s distinctive sail shape marks the first time a hotel, rather than a public structure, has become the defining icon of a city. Khalid will play a big role in seeing to it that the trend continues."

Latif will oversee current J/Brice projects that include The Khalifa Hotel in Doha, Qatar, and Al-Khobar Hotel and Towers in The Kingdom Saudi Arabia, adds, “The region’s emergence as leader, rather than follower of European and American neo-modernist architecture, is coupled with a new ultra-high-end guest with a global perspective and heightened expectations. This guest expects to be awed.”

J/Brice Design International, Inc. is a global hospitality industry design leader, Certified Interior Design and Architectural Giant whose recent engagements include the Khalifa Hotel in Doha, Qatar, destined to be landmark in this burgeoning new Arabian destination, and the fabled HMS Queen Mary, the 1934 luxury ocean liner that has been transformed into one of North America's the most popular travel destinations and event venues. The firm ranks among the three largest independent hospitality design firms throughout the New York City - New England region and has been cited twice as being among the ten fastest-growing design firms in the North America in 2000 and 2008.

J/Brice Design is under contract with several resort and hotel projects now underway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In addition, other international credentials include TAJ Hotels, several boutique properties in Dubai, and upcoming signature real estate development engagements in Bahrain, Ethiopia, Jordan, Libya, and Tanzania.

In the US, J/Brice is a preferred design group for Marriott International / Renaissance, Hotels Hilton Hotels –(including all Full Service, Corporate & Franchise properties, Doubletree Hotels and Hampton Inn brands) Hyatt Hotels, , Starwood - including Sheraton, Westin, and 4-Points, Intercontinental Hotel Group (All brands) and Trump International Beach Resorts. New York City credits include icons such as The Helmsley, The Waldorf-Astoria and The Muse.

New York native Ornstein, an Allied Member of the American Society of Interior Designers, and Visiting Critic at Boston Architectural Center and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), founded the firm in 1989. He lectures frequently throughout the Arabian Peninsula, Europe and North America, most recently addressing the 2009 Kingdom Hotel Expansion and Investment World Summit in Riyadh, KSA. He coined the phrase Cultural Spy in 2006 while lecturing at Heimtextil, the world’s largest textile trade show held in Frankfurt, to define the J/Brice approach to hospitality design in the 21st Century. Simply put, J/Brice redefines hotel design as hotel fashion, emphasizing a focus on guest-experience rather than property. Hotel Executive, Boutique Design, Lodging Hospitality, Young Hotelier, Scene Magazine and The Improper Bostonian have all featured J/Brice’s transformative award winning design work --especially in the luxury sector.

J/Brice Design Studios and offices are located in Boston, MA and Al Khobar, The Kingdom Saudi Arabia.


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