Hana Abou Merhi, Chief Operations Officer Abou Merhi Cruises – Beirut

Following a strong presence of 15 years in the Ro-Ro sector under Abou Merhi Lines, family-owned Abou Merhi Group expanded their shipping portfolio through the establishment of Abou Merhi Cruises, the Arab region’s first cruise line back in 2005.

Hana commenced her career in the cruise industry as an Assistant Hotel Director onboard MV Orient Queen, later sold to Louis Cruise Lines and renamed MV Louis Aura. The company’s second acquisition of MS Vistamar in 2012, renamed MV Orient Queen II, came with Hana’s promotion to head the company’s operations as COO. Hana oversees all on-board and on-shore functions of the company, in addition to supervising the sales & marketing team with the challenge of offering a differentiated product to the region to compete with the cruise tycoons redeploying vessels in the Arab Gulf.

In the interim between vessels, Hana was appointed Head of Operations at Orient Queen Homes, a Beirut-based hotel accommodation belonging to the Group.

Given the recent unfortunate events in Beirut, Lebanon which saw the company lose MV Orient Queen to the Port of Beirut explosion, Hana is currently active in the S&P market as the company structures an agenda to evaluate various new entry points into the industry in the current unforeseen market conditions.

Hana is trilingual, with fluent Arabic, English, and German, and has completed a BBA in Business Administration at the American University of Beirut. Evolving with the company, she recently completed her Executive MBA at ESCP Europe with further emphasis on Complex Management.