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2022, The Year That Was: Antonio Gonzalez, Founding Partner And CEO, Sunset Hospitality Group This year has seen SHG secure US$35 million in funding from global asset management firm Goldman Sachs, which is the latter's first investment within the hospitality space in the Middle East.

By Aby Sam Thomas

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Sunset Hospitality Group
Antonio Gonzalez, Founding Partner And CEO, Sunset Hospitality Group

2022 has been a landmark year for Sunset Hospitality Group (SHG).

For starters, it marks the tenth anniversary of the Dubai-based diversified hospitality group that came into being with a Spanish gourmet kitchen called Tapeo, and is today the enterprise behind a multitude of acclaimed concepts and brands like METT Hotels and Resorts, AURA, Ammos, SUSHISAMBA, Black Tap, Goldfish, Azure Beach, and more. "We could never have imagined all those years ago when we first launched Tapeo in Dubai that our vision for the hospitality industry within the Emirates would come to life, and develop into what it is today," says SHG Founding Partner and CEO Antonio Gonzalez. "We have now expanded into an astonishing nine markets with over 40 outlets."

DREAM, a dinner and show concept by Sunset Hospitality Group. Source: Sunset Hospitality Group

But that's not the only reason Gonzalez considers 2023 as being especially momentous for his company- this year has also seen SHG get set to further its growth by securing US$35 million in funding from global asset management firm Goldman Sachs, which is the latter's first investment within the hospitality space in the Middle East. "We're extremely grateful for this exciting opportunity, and we believe it will only further improve the SHG brand as a whole," Gonzalez says. "The investment will sustain our ambitious yet impressive international expansion plans, inclusive of the opening of flagship property, METT Hotel and Beach Resort, in 2023 in Marbella. Not only this, but we're actively seeking additional opportunities within the Mediterranean, UK, USA, and Asia. 2022 has been great for Sunset Hospitality Group, I envision 2023 will be even better- we are aiming to expand our existing portfolio with a further 60 venues across both the local and international landscapes."

Related: 2022, The Year That Was: Izu Ani, Chef And Founder, YSeventy7

Now, those may seem like rather ambitious goals for SHG, but Gonzalez believes he has already cracked the code to realizing them in the years he has spent at his company's helm. According to him, it all starts with dreaming big, and then working hard- and this formula always pays off, Gonzalez says. "Our initial vision when we first launched SHG was to create unique hospitality experiences around the world, and well, we've certainly done that," he says. "And I think 2023 is all about improving this positioning even more so through a strategic growth strategy. We want to become a global company– we believe we've got the recipe for success, we've got the expertise, we've got the determination, and we've got the financial backing."

Antonio Gonzalez, Founding Partner And CEO, Sunset Hospitality Group. Source: Sunset Hospitality Group

And while SHG may be operating in what is a rather crowded industry, Gonzalez believes that his company has the upper hand when compared to its counterparts. "SHG really sets itself apart from competitors due to the diversification of our portfolio- we're aware of different target markets and varied demographics, which is why we aim to provide amazing experiences, and we do it well," Gonzalez declares. "It's all part of the plan."

Reflections 2022: Antonio Gonzalez, Founding Partner And CEO, Sunset Hospitality Group

Always stay tuned to what's happening around you "Continue diversifying your offerings as trends change and industries grow. It'll help you stay one step ahead."

Never forget that your success is dependent on the team you have around you "The people you surround yourself within your business are integral to your success. In the hospitality field, these include, marketing, finance, operations, front-of-house staff within venues, and more."

Move forward in business by taking calculated risks "Continue to take risks; they can reap great rewards. Risk-taking in business is essential, but you must ensure you have great people around you for support, as well as a contingency plan."

Related: 2022, The Year That Was: Rami Shaar, Co-Founder And CEO, Washmen

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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