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Christian Kiefer moves from Starwood to private equity firm

by Helen Andrews | 26 Jan 2015

Christian Kiefer, director of spa and leisure for Starwood’s Middle Eastern St Regis brand, is leaving five-star hospitality to work for a private equity firm, focusing on business expansion and operations at 17 wellness centres in Dubai.

Following three years of working for Starwood, and more than 10 years in the spa and leisure industry, Kiefer will be appointed general manager for Cedar Bridge – a private equity group that focuses on healthcare, education, plus retail and consumer sectors.

Speaking exclusively to Spa Opportunities, Kiefer said: “I was aiming for an area or corporate role next, but unfortunately it is hard to find similar roles in the hotel sector, especially in the Middle East. So I will be working for Dreamworks Spas and Zen Yoga Studios (which Cedar Bridge partners with) to take their vision to another level.”

He will expand the business plans of these companies, comprising a current total of 17 locations, in the GCC.

Dreamworks Spas was established in 2007 and is now the largest chain of wellness centres in Dubai, operating 14 centres as standalone locations inside hotels and in shopping centres.

“I am planning to maintain its leadership in the wellness sector with the aim of expanding its footprint outside Dubai, focusing predominantly on three- and four-star hotels in the region, where demand is not yet satisfied. We will add new profitable services and develop Dreamworks’ own unique retail line,” said Kiefer.

Zen Yoga, founded in 2006, offers 140 classes of yoga and pilates per week across its three studios in Dubai – one of which received 34,000 paid visits in the past 12 months, according to Kiefer.

“In the next months we will be expanding our yoga offerings on a corporate level and furthering the growth of an already strong level of client loyalty,” added Kiefer. “Current client retention is close to 75 per cent. We will also be working towards providing outsourced yoga classes at individual clubs and selected hotels.”

To read more about Dreamworks Spa click here.

To read more about Zen Yoga Studios click here.

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Christian Kiefer, director of spa and leisure for Starwood’s Middle Eastern St Regis brand, is leaving five-star hospitality to work for a private equity firm, focusing on business expansion and operations at 17 wellness centres in Dubai. Following three years of working for Starwood, and more than 10 years in the spa and leisure industry, Kiefer will be appointed general manager for Cedar Bridge – a private equity group that
SAB,CPW,HHR,HOT,TOU,TVL,PHR,SWC
Kiefer will be will be working with Dreamworks Spas and Zen Yoga Studios to help grow the businesses
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