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Rani Gharbie

Rani Gharbie is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP’s Master of Science in Real Estate Development program, where he teaches Private Equity Development, Hotel Focus. He holds a MSRED degree from the program; an MBA from the HEC Business School, Canada; a Bachelor degree in Hotel Management from Glion Hotel School, Switzerland; and a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University, New York.

Professor Gharbie is Senior Vice President of Acquisitions at Life House where he spearheads the growth of their Kayak Hotels’ partnership. Life House is a tech enabled hotel operator, and Kayak Hotels is part of Booking Holdings, the largest travel company by market cap (BKNG: $100b). Rani is also a Partner and Head of Hotel Investing at GEI, a NYC-based special situations real estate investment platform.

Throughout his career, Rani oversaw and contributed to the growth of 20 hotels worth over $1.8B in real estate value.

Formerly, Rani oversaw development and acquisitions for Pod Hotels and Virgin Hotels in North America. Prior to that, he launched Cedar Funds, a New York City based development and investment firm with a focus on progressive hotel & real estate assets.

Prior to launching Cedar Funds, Rani worked in key positions in the hotel and real estate industries. He was regional Director of Development with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), where he was responsible for actively expanding IHG’s premier hotel brands, including InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, and Holiday Inn. Prior to IHG, Rani worked for Jones Lang LaSalle where he advised key clients on real estate investment and development projects valued at $4.2B.

Rani is also a regular guest speaker at key industry conferences. He has lived on three continents and speaks three languages. He is an avid traveler, runner, cyclist, golfer, and vinyasa yogi. He lives in New York City with his wife Alisha and their son, Reece.


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
Pla6583‑1 Spring 2023
Private Equity Development: Hotels
Rani Gharbie Syllabus
W 4 PM - 6 PM
1.5 Points