Omar Chérif: Secret Agent
Those who want to venture off the beaten path call on this jetsetter
When Omar Chérif tells you that he grew up traveling a lot, he doesn’t mean that he climbed the Eiffel Tower. By the age of 7, he’d already flown on the Concorde from Paris to Rio for New Year’s Eve and walked the beaches of Phuket, Thailand. “Even today, I meet people in hotels who knew me when I was a kid,” says Chérif, 33, who was raised in Casablanca, where his father ran a fine-food exporting business and his mother launched La Pomme Verte, Morocco’s first luxury retail store. Now, as the owner of the bespoke travel firm OC Special + Travel, Chérif sees to it that designers, royals, and billionaires have the time of their lives in the world’s most amazing places—however impossible the assignment. A case in point is the party he helped Naomi Campbell (who happens to be one of his business partners) throw last October in Jodhpur, India, for her then boyfriend Vladimir Doronin’s 50th birthday. “It’s the most challenging city in Rajasthan because it’s closest to the Pakistani border,” he says. The airport is adjacent to a military base, and Chérif had to coordinate 217 guests arriving on 23 private jets. He planned events at four locations over three days, relying on a staff of 800. “There’s a very fine line between incredible and too much,” he says. For those seeking the former, Chérif lets us in on a few of his don’t-miss destinations.