Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gharbie

Rani Gharbie

Head of Acquisitions & Development, The Pod Hotels

Rani Gharbie is currently the Head of Acquisitions & Development for The Pod Hotels where he is responsible for identifying investment opportunities and working closely with capital partners and strategic investors to fund future projects for the brand. Formerly, he oversaw development and acquisitions for North America at Virgin Hotels.

Prior to Virgin Hotels, Mr. Gharbie was the Managing Director and Founder at Cedar Funds, a New York City based development and investment firm with a focus on progressive hotel and real estate assets, as well as regional Director of Development with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), where he was responsible for actively expanding InterContinental Hotels Group's premier hotel brands including InterContinental, Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn.

In his career, Mr. Gharbie has overseen and contributed to the growth of 20 hotels worth over $1.8B in real estate value. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia's Master in Real Estate Development program, where he teaches the spring course Private Equity Development, Hotel Focus. He also holds a Master Degree from the program, an M.B.A. from the HEC Business School in Montreal, a Bachelor degree in Hotel Management from the Glion Hotel School in Switzerland, and a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University in New York.

Mr. Gharbie is a regular guest speaker at many key industry conferences and is an avid traveler, runner, cyclist, golfer and Vinyasa Yogi. He speaks three different languages and currently resides in New York City with his wife Alisha and their son Reece.

Please visit http://www.thepodhotel.com/ for more information.

Mr. Gharbie can be contacted at +1 646-973-4849 or rani@thepodhotel.com

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.