MEET THE TEAM
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
One of the most awarded hospitality heavyweights in the Middle East, Paul has earned his reputation as a trusted and dynamic leader. Under his leadership, Solutions Group has experienced exponential growth, expanding its portfolio across the UAE to become the UAE’s most recognised independent hospitality and entertainment company.
Through his strategic planning and innovative initiatives, Paul has ensured that Solutions Group has solidified its position as a market leader in the industry. With a keen eye for identifying trends and capitalising onopportunities, Paul continues to drive the group’s success by combining his entrepreneurial spirit with a deep understanding of the industry. Away from work, Paul finds balance as a proud father, shark lover and ocean activist. The book of his life story “When I Woke Up” hit the Amazon best sellers list in December 2019 and continues to sell around the world.
Co-Founder & Managing Partner
The multi-award-winning Co-Founder of the group, Freek’s decades of experience as a sound engineer and consultant, as well as in concept development and hospitality operations, globally, today, leads the conceptualisation, design and build of the group’s portfolio of award-winning venues alongside a talented team of designers and architects.
With an impeccable eye for detail and a passion for creating unique and breathtaking spaces. Freek has established himself as a visionary in his field, blending artistic expression with functional design. His signature style seamlessly combines modern and traditional elements, resulting in spaces that are visually stunning yet highly functional. With each project, Freek continues to push the boundaries of design, making him a creative force in the industry.
Partner and Chief Operating Officer
One of the most recognised and respected restaurateurs and hospitality operators in the Middle East, Solutions Group Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Sacha, has led an impressive global career, working alongside some of the biggest names in the business, including Planet Hollywood, Gaucho, Buddah Bar and Oliver Peyton’s Gruppo. A founding member of the Solutions Group, today, he leads the operations, training, service standards and hospitality direction for the portfolio, responsible for the enjoyment of over 140,000 guests each month across the venues as the team works to drive the group global as a pioneer of the eatertainment sector.
Partner and Group HR, Talent and Development Director
Leading the HR and talent across the group, and author of the international Amazon best-seller, “When I Woke UP”, Partner and Group HR, Talent and Development Director, Carolyn Coe, is passionate about personal and professional development.
With an extensive career in the hospitality and elite event management sectors, her notable career includes leadership roles across Formula One Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit, Emirates Leisure Retail Group (a subsidiary of The Emirates Group) and Compass Group at the HQ of RBS.
With almost three decades of experience, Carolyn is a certified Master NLP Practitioner and Leadership Coach with regular segments and articles featured on Dubai TV, radio and media publications. Driving her coaching model of success from the top down, her ability to unlock the potential in everyone she works with is unparalleled, and she has been transformational in the evolution of service standards across the region.
Partner and Group Operations Director
The force behind the seamless operation of Solutions Group’s extensive portfolio, Karolina leads the operational strategy and processes Group-wide. She is undoubtably one of the most respected operators in her field, globally.
Her international career spans from UK, across Europe to the UAE with extensive experience leading high-volume venues, including the evolution of global phenomenon, Pacha, in London, brand expansion into the 1600 sq ft The Qube Project, and the elite King’s Cross establishment, The Driver. Awarded Catering News F&B Leader, and Rising Star at the Leaders in Hospitality Awards, her innovative style, unparalleled organisation and service standards have set benchmarks across the industry.
Partner and Group Creative Director & Founder Blended Wellness
The group creative lead, Dominique Laird oversees the group’s visual branding and concept development, including visual design of new concepts, interiors, visual branding development and event decoration for Solutions Group, as well as her secondary business and passion-built destination, Blended Wellness. Having started her career with the group in Egypt as Entertainment Manager, her wealth of international experience in entertainment, fashion, dance, design and more makes her a powerhouse of knowledge, and a driver in the experiential and eatertainment design sector of the Middle East and beyond.
Group Marketing Director
Leading the marketing division for the group, Nick Purvis’ contribution to the success of its growth and positioning has fast-seen him become a much-loved member of the team, and well respected industry leader following his departure as the decade-long marketing pioneer of the globally-successful Candypants Events brand. A self-confessed marketing nerd with extensive studies in the field, his impact has lead the brand’s marketing strategy and tactics into new, innovative and creative heights, over-tripling the group’s size in under three years, and developing a team of passionate, inspired and empowered professionals across social, digital, creative and marketing sectors, who continue to grow from strength to strength through his unique ability to motivate and lead.
Group Culinary Director
With two decades of global culinary experience, Chef Robert Rathbone is the tastemaker of the portfolio, overseeing over 20 award-winning kitchens across three emirates. Having worked under some of the most recognised and respected chefs in the world, including those of Michelin stance and at such award-winning UK restaurants as Sat Bains, located in Rob’s home town of Nottingham, Adam Byatt’s Trinity and the Greenhouse, he has pushed the boundaries of the expected, developing his own skill set to branch into a diverse portfolio of cuisines and dining-styles whilst leading his team to be some of the most recognised culinary professionals in their field.
Group Operations Manager & Atlantis Resorts Liaison Officer
Martins’ journey with the Solutions Group began back in the day as a bartender of the original Lock, Stock & Barrel in 2016 where he quickly made his mark through his dedication and commitment to excellence. Martins rose through the ranks, gaining invaluable experience in a variety of leadership roles within the business, leading the day to day operations of the Bars Division with venues including Q43, Lock Stock & Barrel, Wavehouse, Green Room, Central and En Fuego, Martins’ hard work and dedication to his role has lead his team to be some of the most awarded in their field with some of the most-loved, well-run operations in the UAE market.
Group Head of PR & Comms
Leading the PR, brand and communication for the group, Lucy Gow first joined Solutions Group in 2017, bringing over a decade of award-winning international experience across both agency and on client-side environments. Acting as brand guardian, she oversees the creative strategy, PR, storytelling and positioning of the brands and corporate entity, working to develop and nurture concepts and drive the growth of Solutions Group as a whole. Having worked with global giants from Sephora, The Kardashians, Nando’s and McDonald’s, to Jaguar Landrover, Jumeirah, Waldorf and more, she is excited by the integration of brand strategy, public relations, partnerships and creative communications to develop purposeful brands that inspire and lead, truly, creating the moments people live for.
Group Head of Sales
Passionate, results-driven, and dedicated, Owen successfully leads the sales team to surpass sales targets and deliver outstanding results year upon year. Every day, Owen goes above and beyond to exceed guest expectations and drive success. An experienced event and sales specialist, his expertise lies in developing and implementing innovative sales strategies, forging strong relationships with clients, and driving revenue growth. Owen’s broad circle and global connections have seen him develop one of the most integrated and productive networks in the Middle East, he and his team are able to meet any requirement and budget to make the moments people live for.
Joining the team as Operations Manager in 2021, Sapita Diaz oversees the operational and team management for venues including Ula Dubai, KOYO and STK. Bringing her extensive international experience to Solutions Group’s rapid growth and productivity, her passion and dedication brings over two decades in the industry, proven in leadership roles across such brands as COYA and The One Group’s STK and Asellina. Ambitious, innovative and with a sound understanding of sectors across hospitality, guest experience, marketing and finance, her dynamic approach to team training, operations and experience creation has made her a valued member of the leadership team, from conceptualisation to day to day venue management, and beyond.