Nasser Abdul Hadi has dedicated most of his investments and work over the past three decades to promoting tourism and the hospitality industry, with a special focus on the preservation and utilization of Palestinian cultural and architectural heritage and authentic local cuisine. Nasser started his endeavors by establishing Al Qasr Hotel in Nablus in the 1990s, one of the first business hotels built in the northern West Bank during that period. As local and international tourism was growing at the time, he then founded the Arab Hotels Company that established the Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah (now the Millennium Hotel).
But Nasser’s passion and dedication didn’t stop there. He started to work on promoting the old city of Nablus and worked with the municipality and the regional council on policies to protect the area from the intrusion of high-rise buildings. Identifying a 600-year-old historic building that required special and complex renovations, he embarked on one of the first steel-structure projects in Palestine that engaged local and international specialists in the renovation process, designing and establishing the beautiful Al Yasmeen Hotel and Souq. It has become one of the landmarks in the old city of Nablus, receiving visitors from around the world. As Nasser wanted to give the city’s residents and visitors a full Palestinian experience, he began to focus on authentic Palestinian food and established the first branch of Zeit ou Zaater, a restaurant that serves healthy Palestinian dishes and pastries that are baked in an oven fired with olive wood. Today, branches of Zeit ou Zaater operate in Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Jericho.
Nasser does not consider his work as a usual business venture. His full dedication to the cause of protecting, revitalizing, and utilizing historic architectural heritage spans his entire life. He assisted in surrendering his family’s old palaces in the village of Arabeh so that they could be renovated and utilized as a community center for women and children. He has always been a supporter of Riwaq Center for Architectural Conservation’s highly recognized work and recently joined their General Assembly to be more engaged in the sphere. Presently, he is planning another project at the Abdul Qader Saleh palace in the village of Talfeet. Nasser ensures that this vision is promoted through the multiple tourism forums in which he is engaged. Thus, he is a member of the Arab Hotels Association and has headed the Tourism Advisory Committee of Ramallah Municipality, amongst others.
Over the years, Nasser has continued to focus on preserving and promoting Palestinian cultural heritage and historic architecture as well as special cuisine, using them as great foundations for developing the Palestinian tourism sector, locally and internationally, with all the richness that it can offer. Lately, his company TDC Tourism Development was selected by Ramallah Municipality to establish and operate Farah Locanda, an old renovated building in the city, as a boutique hotel. It opened in September 2022, offering beautifully furnished rooms and a restaurant. Nasser’s vision to integrate and link such places with the community by offering spaces where Palestinian women from surrounding villages can promote their local produce, artists can showcase their work, and young talented chefs can present their food creations to customers is warmly welcomed by the municipality, the community, and visitors. His young-adult daughter Yasmeen manages the project, carrying his vision forward.