Michelin Guides Head Quits to Join Jumeirah Hotel Group

An opportunity for Michelin to re-assess how they rank restaurants globally?

The head of Michelin’s travel and restaurant guides plans to step down to join luxury hotel chain Jumeirah Group to help the Dubai-based company develop new dining offerings.

Michael Ellis, international director of the guides since 2011, will leave the company Sept. 14, Michelin said in a statement on Monday. He will join Jumeirah as chief culinary officer, a newly created position, the hotel operator said in a separate statement.

“His appointment is the cornerstone of the vision to put dining at the center of Jumeirah’s luxury experience,” Chief Executive Officer Jose Silva said in the statement.

Ellis, an American, oversaw an international expansion in which the tire company added six new titles in the past three years. Michelin publishes 31 editions of its guides in 30 countries and will add one this year covering Guangzhou, China. Ellis’s replacement will be appointed soon, the Clermont-Ferrand, France-based company said.

Michelin’s so-called red guide was created in 1900 by Andre and Edouard Michelin. At a time when cars weren’t popular yet, it became a tool to encourage people to drive for longer distances and to stop at restaurants and hotels. The company’s reviewers award stars based on creativity, quality and service, and the ratings can make or break a restaurant.

Jumeirah, part of Dubai Holding LLC, operates 15 properties in the Middle East including the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. It also has five hotels in Europe and two in Asia, with 18 projects under construction worldwide.

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