Editorial Board

Mr. Opar

John Opar

Partner Real Estate Practice, Shearman & Stirling LLP

John Opar is a partner in the Real Estate practice. He has extensive experience in all areas of commercial real estate law, including foreign investment in U.S. real estate. He has worked frequently on Shari’ah compliant investments and has been involved in development projects in the U.S., the Middle East, China, England, Germany and the Philippines. Some of his most recent representation includes advising Qatar Investment Authority on its investment in Manhattan West, a development site valued upon completion at up to US$8.6 billion, advising Wafra Investment Advisory Group, Inc. in the acquisition of numerous multi-family and office properties including in New York; Washington, D.C.; Miami, Florida advising Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait with respect to an investment in a joint venture to acquire a US$1 billion+ portfolio of regional shopping centers and advising a sovereign wealth fund in connection with investments with an operating partner in Manhattan office properties at 230 Park Avenue and 350 Madison Avenue. Mr. Opar received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.A. from Swarthmore College. Mr. Opar is a member of the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Arab Bankers Association of North America and the Real Estate Board of New York . Mr. Opar has authored several publications and participated in a number of speaking engagements at seminars and conferences on various real estate subjects. He has also been recognized in Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Real Estate Lawyers, New York Super Lawyers and The International Who’s Who of Real Estate Lawyers. Please visit http://www.shearman.com for more information.

Mr. Opar can be contacted at 212-848-7697 or jopar@shearman.com

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.