Issa Ataya has been Managing Director of Alef Group since 2014.
An experienced business professional with a proven ability in strategic planning and business development, Issa has a strong and successful background in retail, hospitality and luxury real estate development, having managed large-scale enterprises with over 1,200 employees in both dedicated and mixed-used environments, across multiple markets.
As Managing Director, Issa is responsible for setting and leading Alef Group’s overall strategy and revenue growth initiatives. Along with a deep understanding of all aspects of business operations including budgeting, forecasting, sales and marketing, and customer relationship management, Issa brings robust organizational, analytical and interpersonal skills that have proved invaluable in dealing with the Group’s suppliers, customers and staff members.
Over the last decade and half, Issa has built a reputation for growing successful businesses and achieving sustained financial performance even when market conditions are adverse. As Country Manager of Premier Leisure, between 2006 and 2011, Issa increased the company’s Gross Operating Profit by 16 percent by implementing a series of bold strategic decisions and business-boosting measures. These included a move to diversify the company’s revenue sources which helped Premier Leisure maintain an overall growth rate of 3 percent between 2008 and 2011 – when the region was reeling from the impact of the global economic downturn – and the introduction of a new Inventory Management System which led to improved productivity and reduced operating costs.
Prior to joining Alef Group, Issa was General Manager of Dubai-based Dynamic Hospitality where he was responsible for developing and launching three new brands in prime tourist locations in the UAE. During his years with the company, Issa oversaw the opening of 45 outlets in the UAE and the region and successfully concluded 10 franchising and licensing agreements which significantly enhanced Dynamic Hospitality’s regional footprint.
Issa has an MBA from the University of Chicago.