Our Other Events
Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference
19-20 May 2015
Dusit Thani, Bangkok, Thailand
Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Real Estate Forum
29th – 30th September, 2015
NH Collection Eurobuilding, Madrid
Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference
26 - 28 October 2015
Azimut Moscow Olympic Hotel, Russia
North America Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference
4 -5 November 2015
Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach Florida
Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference
31 May - 1 June 2016
Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Centre
Chief Executive Officer
Latitude Hotels Group
Born in Zimbabwe Nick graduated in Law from Oxford before moving into the Asian financial markets. Nick ‘returned' to Africa 10 years ago recognising the future trend of investing in the hospitality sector. Initially investing in Kaya Mawa, Safari by Ulendo (Malawi’s leading tour operator) and subsequently founded the Latitude Hotels Group. Nick has been and remains responsible for leading the drive for investment for the Latitude Hotels Group, liaising with investors and potential partners and leading the business strategy forward for the company.
President and Founder
Room Mate Hotels and BeMate.com
VP Development Sub-Saharan Africa & Indian Ocean
Zahra PEERA: She started her career with Accor in 1998 in Tanzania as Financial Director before she took over the operations as delegate for the hotels and lodges. After various experiences in Africa, she came back in 2005 to Paris as Development Manager for Africa. From 2008 to June 2012, Zahra was in charge as CEO for "Hotel Formula One", joint venture Accor/Southern Sun, in South Africa. She is now the Vice President Development ACCORHOTELS for Sub-Saharan Africa, directly in charge of East & Central Africa and Indian Ocean.
Chief Executive Officer
Kalyan Hospitality Development Togo SAU
Regional Manager – East Africa
Africa Export-Import Bank
Kudakwashe Matereke is the Regional Manager – East Africa for Africa Export-Import Bank (the “Bank”). Afreximbank is an African multi-lateral trade and development bank headquartered in Cairo, Egypt. Kudakwashe’s responsibilities are, among others, business development, deal structuring, risk mitigation, transaction appraisal including negotiations with customers and counterparts and deal implementation, representing the Bank in the various African countries, with specific responsibilities for East Africa region. He joined the Bank in January 2011 from Nedbank Africa offices in Johannesburg, where he worked in a similar role for Nedbank’s African subsidiaries. Prior to that Kudakwashe also worked for a trade and development bank specializing in structured trade finance for at least four years, covering the Southern and Eastern Africa regions.
Kudakwashe is Africa-optimist who firmly believes that the continent is much ready for business today and that the future is brighter.
Heliopark Hotels & Resorts
NAO Krasnaya Polyana
Rwanda Development Board (RDB)
Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers
Sergey Kolesnikov has been in hospitality industry since 2001. Vice-president of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers, Head of unit "Hospitality Industry Revenue Management.", Deputy Head of Chair «Management in hospitality industry», RANEPA, associate professor.
From 2001 to 2002, he was Director of the Japanese restaurant (Trubnaya 26). Then he occupied several positions at Heliopark until 2005 ("Heliopark Hotel Management" - Deputy General Director of "Heliopark Country", "Thalasso" – CEO, "Country" -CEO, General director of the Managing Company). In 2005 he became the Head of "Heliopark Development". From 2005 to 2006, he was appointed General director of "Orange Ring Hotel Management." After that, he worked for "Arthurs Hotel Management." as CEO and co-owner of the company for 2 years. In 2008, he became the General Director of "GOST Hotel Management" until 2014.
From November 28th, 2011 he is the vice-president of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers.
DEG Regional Office Southern Africa
Group Managing Director & CEO
PanAfrican Capital (Nigeria).
Chief Executive Officer
Quinta do Lago
Riverside Grove Apartments Ltd
Tourism Promotion Association INNOVATION RUSSIA
Karen Goncharov has been working in tourism business for 25 years.
In 1991 he set up a tour operator company «DSBW-TOURS».
In March 2015 Karen Goncharov founded Tourism Promotion Association INNOVATION RUSSIA and became its President.
Karen Goncharov is a member of expert team on tourism in Presidential Putin Executive Office and has straight contacts with Russian decision-makers. This year he was a speaker at the Parliamentary hearings on the "Development of inbound and domestic tourism as the most important segments of Russian Federation tourism industry" which were held in the State Duma of Russian Federation.
Elodie Casola Dunkin
Director of Marketing & Communication
Chief Executive Officer
Samara Tourism Committee
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Add One Touch
Anastassia Beliakova is an acknowledged expert in hospitality industry and is highly regarded for her expertise in excellent customer service and customer focused approach.
Founder of Add One Touch, The Experience Building Company, Anastassia and her team support their customers in creating extraordinary customer experience delivered through in depth analysis of customers’ feedback and consistent training and development programs.
Professional business trainer, certified business coach, holder of MBA degree, Anastassia brings over 18 years of experience which includes the role of Regional Director for Russia and CIS with The Leading Hotels of the World and RSO for Kempinski Hotels and Resorts, Kerzner International, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Anastassia contributed to a number of launches and has been privileged to be part of pre- or reopening teams of Le Mirador Kempinski, Vevey-Montreux, La Mamounia, Marrakech, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, MaMaison Pokrovka Suite Hotel, Moscow, Barvikha Hotel & Spa and other projects worldwide.
Condé Nast Traveller
Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers
Igor Bukharov is the President of Federation of Restaurateurs & Hoteliers of Russia. He started his career in 1981 as cook at «Budapest» restaurant. In 1994 he opened his first restaurant “Nostalgie” followed by the opening of his second restaurant “Reporter” in 1996. In 1997 Igor Bukharov became the first and the only President of Federation of Restaurateurs & Hoteliers of Russia which lobbies and advocates the interests of its members and the hospitality industry of Russia in general.
Igor Bukharov has almost 35 years of experience in hospitality industry including 3 years of managing the catering of Presidential Administration of Russia in 2008-2011. He is also a dean at the faculty of hotel and restaurant business at The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) (since 2014).
Chief Executive Officer
Cronwell Hotels & Resorts
Human Resources Director, L'Oreal Luxe, Russia
Area Vice President Sub Saharan Africa
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Africa is our most important growth region, and we are fully committed to further extending our network on the continent. We have therefore decided to establish sub-Saharan Africa as a separate operational area, which will include product and service quality, revenue and guest satisfaction. He also acts as the interface between the hotel owners and the organisation.
Marc has had a distinguished career in hospitality beginning with the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong and moving onwards and upwards to Hilton Hotels & Resorts before finally joining the Rezidor Hotel Group in 2012.
Marc’s education includes a Hotel and Restaurant Management qualification from Lausanne and an MBA in Hospitality Management from Cornell-Essec. He is also the Honorary President of the IMHI Alumni Association and a member of the board.
Business Development, Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
A South African National, Simone is based at Carlson Rezidor’s Africa Development office in Cape Town, South Africa. Simone is part of the team responsible for growing the company’s dynamic portfolio of hotels and brands in across sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. Carlson Rezidor currently has 65 hotels in operation and under development in 27 countries in Africa – under either their upper upscale Radisson Blu brand, upscale lifestyle select Radisson Red brand or their upper midscale Park Inn by Radisson brand.
Simone was literally born into the hotel industry through her father who was a General Manager for Sun International Hotels & Casinos for many years under Sol Kerzner. Her own career in the hotel industry started in 2000 after being enrolled in an in-house training programme at the Savoy Hotel in London. Thereafter, Simone held management positions within hotel operations in South Africa and the United Kingdom with Relais & Châteaux and Starwood. In December 2008, Simone decided to see the world and took up the challenge of an on-board F&B Manager position for Etihad Airlines based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In May 2011 Simone joined the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and now forms part of the fasting growing hotel group in Africa
Senior Director, Technical Development Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
A Swiss National, Ivo is based at Carlson Rezidor’s Development office in Dubai, U.A.E. Ivo is responsible for the technical development of all new build and conversions projects under the Rezidor brand portfolio. Ivo’s career in the hotel industry started in 1980 after being enrolled as an in-house Food & Beverage Trainee with Hilton International in various cities in Europe. Thereafter, Ivo held many management positions within hotel operations with the Hyatt Group and in 2005 was promoted to Project Manager for the Hyatt Regency in London. He commenced with the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in 2006 as the Senior Director for Technical Development. Ivo is married with one child.
Development Director - Sub Saharan Africa
Hyatt International South West Asia Ltd
A Chartered Accountant by profession, Tejas is a thirteen-year Hyatt veteran, currently based in Nairobi for over a year and focusing Hyatt’s expansion efforts across the Sub-Saharan African region.
He began his career as an Accounts Executive in the Shared Service Centre in Mumbai in 2002. In April 2004, he was selected as Operations Analyst based in the corporate office in Mumbai.
He is part of the Hyatt’s Development team since 2007. Prior to being selected as Development Director for Africa, Tejas served as Development Director in Gurgaon, India and handled varied markets in South Asia.
Director Development, Sub-Saharan Africa
Upon her return to South Africa in 2013, Geri gained valuable experience by conducting market studies in Africa as a hospitality analyst. She joined Hilton Worldwide a few months later as part of the sub-Saharan Africa Development team to assist in realizing the growing number of opportunities on the continent. Prior to this, she spent 5 years in the United Arab Emirates focusing on the Middle East and North Africa hotel markets. She holds a Bachelor degree in Finance and an Honours degree in Marketing from Stellenbosch University. Geri is passionate about photography and experiencing new cultures and enjoys exploring destinations which are off the beaten track.
Associate Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions
Kingdom Hotel Investments
Othmane Jabri joined Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) in July 2011 and is currently Associate Vice President within the Mergers & Acquisition division. In this capacity, Mr. Jabri helps execute KHI’s value realization strategy by leading the marketing and due diligence process and supporting the negotiation and closing of asset sales in Africa, Asia and the Middle East regions. Mr. Jabri is also in charge of business development, underwriting and analysis of acquisition and development opportunities across the globe working closely with the development teams at KHI’s portfolio brands (Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, FRHI and Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts).
Prior to joining KHI, Mr. Jabri worked for Colliers International in Casablanca (formerly Lance) and for JLL Hotels & Hospitality in Dubai covering the Middle East and Africa region. He has focused primarily on market and feasibility studies, operator selection and contracts negotiation, valuation, transaction and strategic advisory services within the hospitality industry.
Othmane holds a BA in International Hospitality Management from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland and speaks Arabic, French, English, and Spanish.
Business Development Manager
Samantha has ten years of hospitality investment advisory focusing on feasibility and market studies, facility planning and design, and hotel asset management, having practiced first in Boston, MA then in Nairobi, Kenya. In May 2013, she joined HVS as the Business Development Manager focused on the East and Central African Market based in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2010, she co-founded Trianum Hospitality Limited, a consulting and management company focuses on the extended stay and serviced apartment market in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to that, she worked for ten years in hotel operations in food and beverage, conference and banquets, front office, housekeeping and sales and marketing. She holds a Masters degree in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA and a Bachelors degree in International Hospitality Management from Hotel School Les Roches, Switzerland. She is an associate member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and a member of the Cornell Hotel Society, Kenya Chapter.
Vice President, Regional Director Africa & Indian Ocean Operations
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Hassan Ahdab is the Vice-President and Regional Director for Africa & Indian Ocean Operations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts since January 2006. In his current position Hassan oversees close to 40 operating hotels in 17 countries within Africa and Indian Ocean and is responsible for the operations, overall vision and growth of the company in the region. He provides the strategic direction for the company and spearheads all major initiatives that will help Starwood Hotels achieve its ambitious growth plans in the region. Hassan is based in the Africa and Indian Ocean Office in Dubai and reports directly to the President of Starwood Hotels Europe, Africa and Middle East Division.
With over thirty years of rich hospitality experience, Hassan Ahdab is recognized as one of the most progressive and energetic leaders in the industry, known for his stringent quality standards and financial innovations. He began his career in 1977 with Le Méridien when it was a subsidiary of Air France and held a variety of senior level positions in finance and operations in many regions throughout the world including Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and the Caribbean.
In 1987, Hassan Ahdab left Le Méridien to assume his first Managing Director assignment located in the Seychelles where he was charged with the responsibility of restructuring the holding company and owners of all 12 Government Hotels and Restaurants – “Compagnie Seychelloise de Promotion Hôtelière”. During his six-year leadership tenure here, he achieved a complete turnaround with strong positioning and international visibility for the compaany. He was elected the President of Seychelles Hotels Association (SHA) and served as an active Member of the Tourism Coordinating Committee chaired by none other than his Excellency the President of Seychelles himself.
Hassan Ahdab rejoined Le Méridien in 1992 as General Manager for Le Meridien Libreville, Gabon where he successfully repositioned the hotel as a premier destination in the city. He founded the Gabon Professional Hotels & Tourism Association called “Destination Gabon” and served as Secretary General. He moved in 1995 to take over as General Manager of Le Méridien Saint-Martin Beach Resort & Marina, and was quickly promoted to be the Area General Manager of Le Méridien Hotels in the Caribbean & French West Indies, with overall responsibility for all 5 hotels in the Area. He was elected the President of St. Martin Hotels Association (AHSM) and was recognized for his efforts to rebuild and reposition Island tourism so critical to the economy.
In 1998 Hassan assumed the role of Regional Managing Director, Africa & Indian Ocean Region, where he led Le Méridien’s significant growth and expansion in the region and positioned it as the largest international hotel operator in Africa. Following Starwood Hotels and Resorts acquisition of Le Méridien in November 2005, Hassan Ahdab was asked to assume charge as Vice President and Regional Director of Operations for Starwood Hotels and Resorts - Africa & Indian Ocean Region covering all Starwood brands operating in the region.
A French citizen, born in Syria, Hassan Ahdab studied in Damascus. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics, Commerce & Accounts Management. He went on to hone his skills in many facets of Hotel operations and Management by pursuing further studies and attending professional seminars in Advanced Finance, Resorts Marketing and Human Resources from INSEAD, Cornell University in Ithaca N.Y. and Essec – Cornell in Paris. In the year 2000, received the CEHMI (Geneva) honorary title – Executive Doctor for International Relations.
With his wealth of experience, strategic vision, in depth local knowledge and the right credentials, Hassan today leads, drives and supports Starwood’s aggressive expansion plans in the region.
Hassan enjoys a scuba diving and ocean exploration and is a voracious reader
Vice President Technical Services & Projects – Africa
Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts
Worked in the Hospitality industry sine 1987 predominately in Engineering & Development however Brian had an 8 year spell as a General Manager in South Africa with Sun International both at Sun City and Swaziland which gives him a unique perspective of hotel operations.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1960, Brian relocated to South Africa in 1984, he entered the hospitality industry with Sun International at the Sun City Resort in 1987 where he worked until 2002 when he moved with Sun International to Swaziland as General Manager of 2 Hotels at the Royal Swazi Spa Resort. Brian then moved to Dubai with the Jumeirah group in 2006 as Director of Engineering at the Madinat Jumeirah Resort, by the time he left Jumeirah at the end of 2013 Brian had reached the level of Vice President of Engineering & Projects, he currently holds the position of Vice President of Technical Services & Project at Movenpick Hotels & Resorts responsible for the properties in Africa.
Brian has extensive knowledge in the refurbishment of hotels having lead project teams in the refurbishment of numerous luxury hotels, he also has a passion for energy management.
Bridget Baker Consulting
Bridget Baker has spent more than 30 years in the hospitality business. She worked in the operations side of the industry in the UK and France for more than a decade before joining the hotel & leisure consultancy team at PKF London in 1990. Bridget worked at the City firm for 13 years and was the in-house specialist on the MICE market. She then spent, two years at a chartered surveying firm before setting up her own consultancy – Bridget Baker Consulting Ltd - in January 2006.
Bridget has undertaken hundreds of consultancy projects throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa for a range of clients including hotel chains, conference centre operators, governmental/public sector organisations and funding institutions. Significant engagements in the MICE market in recent years include projects in Nigeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Turkey and leading UK cities.
Vice President Africa
International Air Transport Association (IATA),
Raphael Kuuchi is the IATA Vice President for Africa. He has many years’ experience in air transport management, operations and consulting. After working with an airline in various senior management positions for over a decade, he moved to the Nairobi-based African Airlines Association (AFRAA) in 2005, as Commercial Director and later as Director Commercial, Corporate and Industry Affairs.
In February 2014, he joined IATA as Vice President for Africa. In this role Mr. Kuuchi is leading the IATA Africa team in providing support to the growth and development of aviation and working with governments and stakeholders to ensure safe, reliable, competitive and environmentally sustainable aviation business in Africa. Top on his priority list are issues of safety and security, liberalization, reducing the high cost of operations, regulatory harmonization, capacity building and the environment.
Mr. Kuuchi holds an MBA from Henley Management College, UK and a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT) UK.
Real Estate Professional Association
Chairman of the Board
Cronwell Hotels & Resorts
Human Resources Business Partner
Business Development and External Relations Director
Marina is a business leader with 20+ years working experience mostly in Human Resources Management in the local and international companies.
Marina has delivered a series of landmark transformation programs, most notably, mobilizing the Russia's largest peace-time workforce of 70 000+, including the university -acclaimed 25 000 volunteers, taking Workforce Vice President position for Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
As Organizational Design, transformation and change management are Marina’s particular areas of expertise. She provides coaching, consulting and training in these areas combining it with a Business development position in Kidzania. Marina is a professor of Executive MBA in different business schools.
Marina have several Government awards, including Medal of Honor.
Head of Afrotech Project
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Jonathan LEDGARD is a leading thinker on advanced technology, risk, and nature in emerging economies. Since 2013, he has been director of the future Africa initiative at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne). He leads a consortium of leading roboticists, architects, and logisticians who seek to build the first droneport in the world in Africa in 2016. This droneport will service the first of many low altitude cargo drone routes on the continent. Jonathan spent two decades as an award-winning frontline foreign correspondent for The Economist reporting lead stories from over 50 countries and several wars - for the last decade was Africa correspondent. His second novel Submergence was a New York Times Book of 2013. It is being adapted by Hollywood.
Senior Vice President, Head of Hotels & Hospitality Group, Sub-Saharan Africa
Xander is Head of JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group in Sub-Saharan Africa and leads assignments and projects in the region. Xander focuses on delivering Strategic Advisory, Investment Sales, Financing and Asset Management services to local, regional and global clients across the region.
Xander has over 11 years of experience in hotel advisory, investment and operations in 20+ countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean region. His broad range of hotel experience includes corporate finance, capital markets, asset management, strategy and development and he has wide experience across all market segments from budget to luxury hotels.
Xander joined the team at JLL in January 2015, prior to which he was managing director of a third party hotel operator with various global brands under management in South Africa. Previous appointments include Asset Manager and Chief Analyst at Africa’s first real estate investment trust specialised in hotels and Consultant at Horwath HTL. He is a graduate of Hotel School The Hague and has further education in real estate, company law and finance.
Founder and President
Alexander Orlov, founder and President of Bulldozer group restaurant holding, opened his first restaurant Old Tokio in 1998 in Moscow, Russia. As of today Mr. Orlov`s holding owns over 70 restaurants in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates featuring cuisines from around the globe.
In the plans for 2015 year is the opening of two restaurants in Dubai including «Novikov restaurant, bar and lounge», «Eshak» restaurant in Moscow, “Seafood Room” premium class seafood restaurant in Hong Kong, as well as a night club and Chinese restaurant in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Alexander Orlov was born in 1971. He got his degree in economics from Moscow State Plekhanov University and his second higher education in psychology from Moscow State University.
In addition to restaurant business Alexander Orlov is a film producer and founder of Bulldozer-films studio that presented to the world the BEDOUIN drama (premiered at 2012 Karlovy Vary Film Festival) as well as Moscow Russia Express motion picture featuring Michael Madsen, Ingeborge Dapkunaite and Sergey Svetlakov.
Human Resources Director
Александр Самодуров работал топ-менеджером в крупных зарубежных компаниях, имеет богатый практический опыт в таких сферах, как проектирование, финансирование, строительство и девелопмент объектов недвижимости различного назначения. Также Александр специализируется в управлении крупными командами специалистов и организации внутренних бизнес-процессов компании, маркетинге.
В сфере гостиничного бизнеса г-н Самодуров успешно развивает гостиничную сеть апарт-отелей VERTICAL, концепция которой предполагает большие инвестиционные возможности.
Владеет английским, испанским, итальянским, немецким и французским языками.
Mr. Samodurov worked worldwide as a top manager in large international development companies, has wide experience in real estate development and management. Now he develops buy-to-let aparthotels VERTICAL.
He speaks English, Spanish, Italian, German and French.
Marina Tarnopolskaya — managing partner of headhunting company "Agency Contact", existing on the market since 1990 and has been providing Executive Search and Management Selection in various industries. Marina works in the Agency for over 20 years and almost pioneered recruitment. Her experience in working with financial institutions and knowledge of banking practices have always had the necessary impact on the promotion of the services of the agency. In 2002 she has independently developed a new direction for the Agency - outstaffing. Agency Contact — the exclusive representative of the international network of Executive Search agencies InterSearch. The main direction of business development Marina sees further improvement of services to Executive Search industry markets and the expansion of cooperation within the international network InterSearch.
Марина Тарнопольская — управляющий партнер хедхантинговой компании «Агентство Контакт», которая существует на рынке с 1990 года и занимается предоставлением услуг Executive Search и Management Selection в различных отраслях экономики. Марина работает в Агентстве более 20 лет и практически стояла у истоков рекрутмента. Ее опыт работы с финансовыми институтами и знание банковской практики всегда оказывали необходимое влияние на продвижение услуг агентства. В 2002 году она самостоятельно разработала и занялась развитием нового тогда для Агентства направления — аутстаффингом. Агентство Контакт является эксклюзивным представителем международной сети Executive Search агентств InterSearch. Основным направлением развития бизнеса Марина видит дальнейшее усовершенствование услуги Executive Search на отраслевых рынках и расширение сотрудничества в рамках международной сети InterSearch.
Regional Association of Gaming Business SFD
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Arkadiy Amelin is a tireless evangelist for shared ownership industry in Russia. He is a graduate of the faculty of law at Moscow State University by M.I. Lomonosov and also holds an MBA degree in strategic management from Russian Economic Academy by G.V. Plekhanov.
Arkadiy was a recognized expert in the Russian real estate industry, with almost 20 years of extensive hands-on leadership experience in various segments of the market, with a focus on Residential Real Estate and Suburban Real Estate (including luxury villas and land sales), when he recognized the tangible advantages of fractional ownership over whole ownership.
Arkadiy has established a strategic alliance with a prominent expert and visionary Mr. David Disick, President of The Fractional Consultant, who is widely acknowledged as the founder of the development of elite fractional property in a form of Private Residence Club (PRC) in the United States and all over the world.
The two arranged and realized in 2012-2014 a number of promotional tours throughout Russia which included meetings with state officials, speeches to a professional audience, presentations to major forums such as Sochi International Investment Forum, St. Petersburg National Real Estate Congress and others.
All these events have revealed both a major interest of the Russian business community to fractional concept and a number of complications in the implementation of it. However the undoubted prospects of the shared ownership model are there. The partners have signed a number of contracts to advise and develop resorts with a fractional component in Russia and other countries as well.
Vice President Business Development Europe & Middle East
Interval International Ltd
Associate - Capital Markets & Transactions
Originally from Cape Town, Daniel completed his Business Science degree at the University of Cape Town in 2004, and then went on to complete his Masters in Economics in 2006, which he completed whilst concurrently working as a junior lecturer for the economics undergraduate department . In 2007 Daniel joined JPMorgan in London, after two months training in NY, and was an analyst in their Real Estate Structured Finance team for a year. After this team collapsed in the credit crunch in 2008, Daniel joined LaSalle Investment Management in London for three years as an analyst working across various Investment Funds, focusing on all types of commercial property investments throughout the UK. In his final year at LaSalle Investment Management Daniel helped create the Special Situations Fund with the primary focus of providing mezzanine loans to buyers of commercial real estate in the UK and Europe. In 2012, Daniel moved back to South Africa and joined Jones Lang LaSalle in JHB, where he worked in the Capital Markets team, focusing on brokering Hotel transactions in the SA and Mauritian markets. Daniel joined HTI consulting, based in CT, as an Associate in April 2014 where he heads up the Transactions & Finance Raising division for hotel projects in Africa
Brett Archibald Foundation
Martin Jansen van Vuuren
Martin has extensive consulting experience and is responsible for feasibility studies, economic impact studies, financial evaluations, business valuations, market research and strategic management consulting including transaction advice.
Private Equity Hotel Investments
Joram is a member of CDC’s Private Equity Team, and focuses on Real Estate investment opportunities. CDC's equity investments team focuses on private equity and infrastructure deals in Sub-Saharan Africa & South Asia with a priority for deals that have the maximum impact on sustainable job creation in addition to high commercial returns. Joram currently sits on the Board of Directors of Garden City Nairobi, which is set to be East Africa’s largest mixed-use real estate development, holding the largest shopping mall ever built in the region.
Senior Vice President Development
Kempinski Hotels SA
Having gathered broad operational experience in hotels and restaurants around the world, complemented by a BSc in Hospitality Management from the Haaga Institute in Helsinki and later an MBA in Hospitality Management from IMHI (Cornell/ESSEC), Mike joined Kempinski as Development Manager in 2000. Throughout his time with the company, Mike has been instrumental in helping Kempinski achieve its ambitious growth objectives and creating a collection of truly individual hotels. In 2008, Mike was appointed as Senior Vice President Development, his mission being to spearhead the group’s continued aggressive expansion, in line with Kempinski’s strategy to position each hotel as the market leader in its destination.
Vice President of Operations Luxury & Upscale brands Africa and Indian Ocean
Hamid Bentahar joined the AccorHotels group in 1989. He has over 25 years of experience in luxury international hotel industry working across the globe - in seven countries: Cuba, Greece, Turkey, Tunisia, France...).
His passion for tourism made him holding a variety of senior operational positions. Previously he was Vice-President Operations Sofitel southern Europe and Africa. Actually Hamid Bentahar is the Vice-President of Operations Luxury and Upscale Brands for Africa and Indian Ocean covering the following countries : Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Ivory coast, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Congo, Angola, Nigeria, Indian Ocean and any further development on continental Africa and Indian Ocean.
Olivier Jager is the Co-founder and CEO of ForwardKeys, a tactical intelligence company analysing 14 million daily booking transactions to predict future travel patterns for businesses worldwide and help them monitor and anticipate traveller arrivals and trends.
Before launching ForwardKeys in 2010, Olivier had already accumulated cutting-edge experience in IT and travel with companies including AOL, Amadeus, PhoCusWright, Market Metrix and TravelCLICK.
A strategic thinker with a zest for innovating and solving problems, Olivier’s expertise has focused on marketing and distribution, management and business development.
- Opened up the EMEA market for Market Metrix, establishing the brand and securing major deals with leading companies.
- Led TravelCLICK’s commercial efforts in Southern Europe, doubling sales and establishing its reservation system as the market leader in Spain.
- Internationalised PhoCusWright content as senior analyst, producing influential reports that enabled the company to penetrate the European market.
- Directed the product management efforts to create Amadeus’ first online booking system – a leading technology now used by airlines and travel agencies around the world.
- Helped establish and further develop AOL’s business in Europe through a major deal with Bertelsman.
French-born, Olivier graduated in marketing from the University of West London. He speaks 3 languages and has lived in seven countries. True to his technophile and entrepreneurial roots, he lists his interests as new technology and alternative business models.
Vice President Business Development EMEA
Dimitris Manikis is a Shared Ownership industry veteran, having 25 years’ experience in the business.
Dimitris joined RCI straight from University. After his initial training in RCI’s UK office, he went on to spend two and a half years in the Middle East, two years in Turkey and a year in India. During his tenure with RCI, Dimitris has held many positions throughout the EMEA region including Managing Director for RCI’s South Eastern region and also Managing Director of RCI Africa. Today Dimitris oversees an extensive Business Development team spanning three business regions and spends most of his time in the air and on the road, visiting RCI clients and his team in local markets.
A Greek national, Dimitris was born in Athens and holds a Bachelor degree in Tourism and Administration from the University of Patras in Greece, and an MSc Postgraduate degree in Tourism Marketing from the University of Surrey. His passion for people and work ethic comes from his 84-year-old father, whom he cites as his role model and inspiration. His father built up a grocery retail business in Athens where, helping out as a boy, Dimitris says he learned the value of high customer service levels, a positive outlook and hard work as being the foundations of success in both business and life.
When he’s not travelling, he heads home to Athens to spend time with his wife and two teenage daughters and enjoys spending time at his own timeshare on the Greek island of Paros.
The Avant-Guide Institute
Daniel Levine (DanielLevine.com) is one of the world's best-known trends experts. He is regularly featured in newspapers and magazines around the world and is often on television and radio, including CNN, NBC and others. Today, Daniel is the director of the Avant-Guide Institute trends consultancy, the Global Editor of the popular social trends website WikiTrend.org, and the leader of a large international team of trend spotters – over 9000 researchers who chronicle the latest ideas, products and experiences from around the globe. As a corporate consultant Mr. Levine helps companies and destinations be more innovative and profitable.
Jan-Willem den Ridder
Vice President Development
Wyndham Hotel Group
A career professional in the International hotel business. Operational experience with Hilton International in London and Intercontinental Hotels Amstel Hotel in the Netherlands. Senior Hotel development assignments with IHG based in Brussels, Dolce Hotels and Resorts and more than 15 years as Vice President development for Marriott International based in London. A Cornell School of Hotel Administration Bachelors and an Amsterdam School of Real Estate Master degree graduate.
Alejandro Hernández- Puértolas
Chief Executive Officer
Alejandro Hernández- Puértolas is currently CEO at HI Partners, a company set up by Banc Sabadell that manages
hotels and debt linked to hotels. (€1,2b AuM).
He had previously worked for Reig Capital Group (2007-2011), first as Hotel & Real Estate Managing Director
(€1b AuM) and after that he became CEO of the Company (€2,6b AuM).
Between the period 2003 and 2007 he worked as Hospitality Managing Director for Soros & Perry Capital Spanish
Real Estate Investment Platform. (€400m hotels under management).
His professional career started at Iberostar Group, first as General Manager for Viajes Iberia and as Deputy
General Manager later.
Additionally he is member of the Investment Committee at Miura Private Equity and Advisor for Reig Capital
Group. He was also Director in Société Fonçière Lyonnaise (SFL) and Loris Azzaro.
Within his professional career, he has led hotel development projects worth €550m (Mandarin Oriental de
Barcelona, W Vieques Retreat & Spa, among others). He has been responsible for developing Asset Management
for world leading brands such as Mandarin, Starwood, Hyatt, Dolce and IHG. He has also led investment
transactions worth €450m.
Alejandro Hernández-Puértolas holds a Degree in Business Administration and Management, a Master Degree in
Marketing Management (ESADE) as well as a MBA from the University of Jacksonville. He has also recently
completed the Stanford Executive Program (SEP) at Stanford GSB.
Alejandro is Founding Partner of MH Apartments and WE Barcelona www.webarcelona.com.
Vice President and Regional Director Southern Europe
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Robert Koren, a passionate leader with a 30+ year career in worldwide Luxury hospitality, holds a Degree in Economics with a major in Finance. He has lived in 8 countries & started in Accounting then moving into Operations to transfer to the USA as VP of Operations for W Hotels and then the Luxury Collection brands in Starwood Headquarters.
He is now VP Regional Director of Operations, Southern Europe, for a Region comprising over 50 hotels in Italy, Malta, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus and the Balkans with a number of high profile resorts such as Costa Smeralda, Mykonos & Santorini. An engaged leader focused on driving performance while building strong teams and very innovative. Also highly involved in community service, he also recently received the Excellence Award for his contribution to strengthening and positioning Starwood brands in Italy.
EZIO POINELLI, Director at HVS in Milan. More than 17 years experience in Hospitality, Real Estate, and Leisure Real Estate markets in Europe, Caribbean, Latin America, and South Africa. Before joining HVS, Ezio was Head of Southern Europe at Northcourse Advisory Services, the hospitality and real estate consulting arm of Wyndham Worldwide. He was also Head of Expansion & International Development at Compañia de Las Islas Occidentales and Director - Head of Real Estate and Hospitality at Ernst & Young Financial Business Advisors in Milan. Native of Italy, graduate in Economics and Business Administration, Master in Tourism Economics, fluent in Italian, Spanish, and English. Ezio specialized in advising on mixed use resort developments, hotel operator research and sales & marketing advisory for luxury residences and condohotels, appraisals, due diligence support for acquisition of hotels, resorts and portfolios, project feasibility, positioning and product design, M&A, fund raising.
Chief Executive Officer
PGA Catalunya Resort
CEO and Asset Manager of PGA Catalunya Resort, near Barcelona. Luxury Real Estate and Resort Development, Hotel, two top Golf Courses (ranking 1st golf course in Spain and 3rd in Europe) among other facilities. Best Golf Resort Development in Europe in 2013 and 2014, by the International Property Awards by Virgin Atlantic. Best Resort in Europe 2014 by the International Golf Tour Operators.
Luxury real Estate development (villas up to 3, 5 million €). Sales and Marketing Plan. Operational Plan and development of the infrastructure and services of the Resort. Conceptualization of the Real estate model/product.
Hotel supervision from the Management Company, with the goal of taking over from them, upgrading and repositioning the hotel product. Purchasing agreement with the local shareholder, coordination of the upgrade and refurbishment of the hotel (from 4 to 5 star standards). Negotiations with the international Hotel companies.
Two of the finest Golf facilities in Europe, with the largest Practice facilities in the industry. Best Golf Course of Spain 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Development of the strategic Plan for the Resort, ensuring the optimization of the value of the business and asset. Development and implementation of a new management model, and Marketing and Sales structure.
Development of the Master Plan of the northern area of the resort. Conceptualization, feasibility and development of new facilities such as new 5 star Boutique hotel, racket centre, football centre, horse riding centre and new real estate development.
Leading the resort to face the process for achieving major golf events such as Ryder Cup 2022 and Spanish Open 2014 and Qualifying School from European Tour, among others.
Chief Executive Officer - HotelServices Northern Europe, Russia & CIS
Aged 46, Steven is of both British and French nationalities. He is a graduate of the University of Geneva and holds an MBA in Hospitality Management from ESSEC.
Steven started his career with Accor in 1994. He joined the Group via Compagnie des Wagons-lits where he held various operational positions in France and internationally between 1994 and 2005. He then switched to Accor's Hotel Operations and in 2008 he was appointed Managing Director for Accor’s economic brands in Latin America, based in Sao Paulo. Since 2012, he was Managing Director Ibis Budget and HotelF1 France.
On April 29th 2014, he was appointed CEO Accor HotelServices for Northern Europe, Russia and CIS, and member of the Accor Executive Committee.
Isador Martinez de la Escalera
Chief Marketing Officer
NH Hotel Group
Isidoro Martinez de la Escalera (Barcelona, 1965) studied Engineering at the E.T.S.I.I. of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and has a PDD (Management Development Program) from the IESE Business School.
He has held leading responsibilities in the areas of General Management and Marketing in multinational companies operating in the fast moving consumer goods sector. He has also developed a career as digital entrepreneur in the role of founding partner of the PR agency QMS and in the digital marketing agency, MultiPlatform Content.
In November 2014 he joined NH Hotel Group as Chief Marketing Officer where he is currently responsible for leading the Company’s global marketing and online sales channels strategy.
Walter C. Neumann
Chief Executive Officer
Walter C. Neumann has almost 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry in Russia and Europe. He joins AZIMUT Hotels from Rocco Forte Hotels where he was General Director for the Rocco Forte Hotel Astoria and Angleterre Hotel in St. Petersburg. Prior to that, he worked in Germany in senior management positions with Lindner Hotels, the Arabella Sheraton Group, and as Managing Director of the Travel Charme Hotels & Resorts chain. His experience in Russia also includes work at the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg. Mr. Neumann holds an MBA in tourist management.
Walter Neumann, CEO of AZIMUT Hotels: “For the moment the most important tasks for me are consolidation of current assets , increasing property’s assets profitability and, of course, implementation of new brand standards, which will make AZIMUT Hotels more attractive for Guests”.
Chief Executive Officer
NAU Hotels & Resorts
Julian is commercial director with iO Management, an investment vehicle established in June 2006 for the acquisition, development and long term operation of luxury resorts in Croatia.
The company acquired Sun Gardens, Dubrovnik, Croatia's premier 5 Star Luxury Resort in 2008 and has positioned the resort to compete with other leading luxury resorts in Europe. The company have also achieved one of the most successful resort real estate sales and rental management programmes in south-eastern Europe today.
Prior to joining iO Adria in 2007, Julian was with Cendant Corporation, (now Wyndham Worldwide) where he held the roles of Managing Director, business development for NorthCourse Leisure Real Estate Solutions - an advisory business supporting resort developers and investors on mixed use hotel and shared ownership real estate developments; Vice President sales, RCI Europe - the world's largest vacation exchange and membership business, and Managing Director, Hotel Dynamics, a membership business designed to create and operate bespoke food and beverage loyalty platforms for some of the leading hotel/hospitality brands in Europe and the Middle East.
Prior to joining Cendant, Julian held several senior sales and marketing roles within the luxury hotel and tourism industry with The Rezidor Hotel Group, Abercrombie & Kent, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Trusthouse Forte Hotels.
General Manager Spain & Portugal
Since April 2015 Arnaldo Muñoz is general manager for Spain and Portugal of Airbnb. Before Airbnb, Arnaldo was CEO of Budgetplaces.com. Previously, he held the positions of Senior Vice President and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of Vistaprint Europe, Vice President for Europe of Lastminute.com and CEO for Southern Europe of the airline Easyjet. His extensive experience also includes other positions of responsibility in local and international sales and marketing at companies such as Procter & Gamble, Nike and Puig.
Arnaldo Muñoz has a degree in Economics from the University of Barcelona, and also has an MBA from the University of Houston. Arnaldo is also a member of the Academic Committee and director of the Barcelona Digital Accelerator Center Institute for the Development of Internet (ISDI). In addition to Spanish, he speaks Catalan, English and French.
National Director, Head of Research
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Adria Hotel Forum
Marina Franolic is the founder of Proficiscor Ltd, a tourism Development Company that includes the following projects: Adria Hotel Forum and Adria Luxury. The Adria Hotel Forum is an international hotel investment conference for the southeastern Europe region while the Adria Luxury is a brand for Exclusive concierge services within the Adriatic.
Ms. Franolic began her career in tourism at the Glion Institute of Higher Education and the Hotel Savoy, Rocco Forte group, in Florence. Prior to establishing her own projects, she has been working for several years in real estate development and a leading architectural company in the capacity of General Manager.
This Is Joelles bio
Horacio founded Alsotel, a specialist hotel real estate investment and operating firm, in early 2015, after 20 years of international hotel experience in various countries. Alsotel is investing in hotel assets across Spain & Portugal, including development, and operating them through third party franchises. He is an experienced and creative senior professional in the international hotel and real estate trade, having been involved in all sides of the business (investor, operator, consultant, developer, etc.). He could be defined as an entrepreneurial hotelier experienced in site finding, funding, development, pre-opening and operations, hence being able to add experience in all sides of the hotel life-cycle. Past experiences include Travelodge, Metrovacesa, Med Group and TRI Hospitality Consulting.
Eng. Hani Ali Abdulla Khamis
Eng. Hani Ali Abdulla Khamis a modern-day visionary who navigated his company into the vital force that it is today. From his vision of change which has shrewdly transformed idle lands into successful developments, he has evolved into a connoisseur in other industries. Thus, wielding his influence on local business in one way or another, and opening doors to new lifestyles that are worth experiencing. Mr. Hani Khamis, received his Engineering Degree from South Bank University, London and developed a strong sense of passion and devotion for design, development and construction which gradually evolved into luxury lifestyle developments.
Sultan Al Otaibi
Head of Real Estate development
Mr. Sultan Al Otaibi is the youngest most powerful hotelier in Saudi Arabia at the helm of a hotel operation commanding 10 properties varied between 5 and 4 star hotels, resorts and high end residential compound. He started as an accountant for Dur Hospitality, Formally known for Sharaco, the Saudi hotels and Resorts Company, which he lived up in several management positions to become a Head of Real estate development. This journey earned him the recognition to be # 25 of the Hotelier Middle East power 50. Additionally, he is member of the board of directors, Hotel Services Company, member of the hospitality committee of Riyadh chamber of commerce and member of the consultant committee for hotels of Saudi commission for tourism and antiquities (SCTA).
Asset Manager (MENA Region)
In Colliers, Damien is working primarily with four and five stars hotels, currently looking after a portfolio of hotels in UAE, Algeria, Qatar, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. He has worked in the hotel industry for the past 16 years, starting his career in operational roles with Starwood and Marriott in Europe. As a project manager in Mexico, Damien developed an independent 4 star hotel into a 5 star condominium. He then moved to France, where he managed an ultra-luxury 20 rooms’ castle, developing and improving the Castle Services. The property was purchased and Damien moved to the buyer’s main property in Montana where he was F&B manager, overlooking three restaurants and private events. Later on, Damien moved to Dubai as hospitality consultant with an edge in F&B. As project manager, he helped investors and owners in concept development, F&B operational audit, due diligence and project management. He then worked for Meraas in F&B projects, helping them to create their F&B portfolio and bringing brands from Turkey and UK to Dubai. Damien brings with him a unique skill set combining analytical thinking with operational exposure.
Mohammed Al Rais
Regional President Middle East
Mohammed Al Rais has 35 years of experience in the management of construction
projects throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Presently, Mr. Al Rais is heading the Middle East operations of Hill International in
the capacity of Regional President Middle East, where he is responsible for the
strategic direction of the company’s operations in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar,
Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Oman and Yemen. Under Mr. Al Rais’s
leadership, Hill International has been successful in identifying new marketplaces
across the Middle East; diversifying its client base and extending its operations in
Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi in particular. Mr. Al Rais also oversees the operational
delivery of Hill’s expanding portfolio of real estate, hospitality and infrastructure
projects, including monitoring KPIs and ensuring client satisfaction. He directs the
executive management and technical teams in all aspect of these projects. He has
supervised the delivery of a range of large-scale, highly-complex, multi-stakeholder
developments such as the program management of Dubai International Airport
Expansion. Mr. Al Rais earned a B.Sc. in City & Regional Planning and a M.Sc. in
Project Management from the University of Reading, UK
Hon. Minister Navin Dissanayake
Minister Tourism and Sports
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Navin is a highly motivated individual with a wide range of experience as a professional Lawyer, Policy Maker, Entrepreneur and a Cabinet Minister. He is currently the Cabinet Minister in charge of Tourism and Sports which involves the changing of attitudes, structures and motivating key public servants towards achieving policy objectives of the Government. He has given leadership to many government policy initiatives. Therefore he is able to look at issues critically and bring about institutional processes that will create a better environment to achieve optimum results from public and private institutions. Navin considers it critical to bring effective teams that will deliver results and has been able to create and obtain such results from bringing such teams together.
Director, Business Development, Real Estate
Dubai World Central
Eric Perino is the Director of Business Development for Real Estate at Dubai World Central. In this role he is responsible for devising and implementing strategies and products to promote real estate development within DWC. In his current role, he has successfully negotiated development agreements for four hotel plots near the new Al Maktoum International Airport passenger terminal and led the re-launch of plot sales at the Residential District.
With eleven years of experience in real estate investment, development and consulting, Eric has served as Head of Market Research and Business Development at DWC, where he also promoted real estate development within DWC. Before that, he was a Manager in Real Estate Transaction Advisory Services for Ernst & Young, where he advised developers and governments on real estate projects across 25 countries.
Eric holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from the University of California – Berkeley and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York.
Al Tareq Al Ameri
Chief Executive Officer
Yas Marina Circuit
Mr Al Tareq Al Ameri is the Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management (ADMM). A specialist in corporate revitalisation, Mr Al Ameri is responsible for leading and implementing the strategic vision of the company and for developing and nurturing its sustained growth. As well as oversight of ADMM’s sustainable motorsports and community engagement agenda in the UAE, Mr Al Ameri is also responsible for successfully building its international profile.
He joined ADMM in 2012 as Commercial Director and was charged with implementing an updated commercial framework and the redevelopment of its financial policy. His portfolio included Yas Marina Circuit’s business development activity and its market positioning agenda.
Mr Al Ameri’s career has also included senior roles within Abu Dhabi Aviation, where he spent nine years. Prior to joining ADMM, he was a member of the board of directors at Abu Dhabi Aviation, where his remit included oversight of commercial operations, and providing strategic guidance and support on a senior level.
An Emirati, Mr Al Ameri was educated in his home city of Abu Dhabi, and holds both a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science in Engineering Management, as well as and an Executive MBA from Higher Colleges of Technology.
Deputy Managing Director
Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)
Mohamed Aseel is the Chairman of Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and Deputy Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), both corporations are wholly owned by the Government of the Maldives. Aseel holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Business from the UK, Early in his career he has worked in Ministry of Trade & Economic development and in Bank of Maldives PLC.
As the Deputy Managing Director; he is responsible for identifying and attracting potential tourism investments into Maldives. He is also responsible for planning, managing and implementation of integrated resort project in Maldives; Integrated Resort Projects will responsibly diversity the tourism product of Maldives to the mid-market segment with social and economic development for the region.
Additionally, Aseel is the Chairman of Housing Development Corporation. HDC is mandated with the development of Hulhumale’ Island; the most ambitious land reclaimed development project in the Maldives.
Chief Officer Asset Management
Harry Johnson brings over three decades of experience in the hotel industry with a focus in asset management, financial management and development. His previous assignments include Senior Director, Asset Management for Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), Senior Asset Manager for Longwing (Dubai Holdings) as well as a clear track record in Hotel JV Development in Asia. He has been intimately involved in opening hotels and luxury hospitality focused mixed-use projects in Asia, America and the Middle East. He has also been involved in and led the asset management of significant hotel portfolios. As Chief Asset Management Officer, Harry will bring to the business his experience in the region which goes back over twenty years in all hotel market segments with a solid background in asset management, JV structuring and co-development agreements, hotel sale transactions, development and redevelopment of iconic properties, operator selection, management agreement negotiation and litigation, strategic planning and risk management.
In Dubai, his responsibilities included rebranding of existing properties, asset re-structuring, and development underwriting and termination agreements for Hotels, Restaurants and Mixed Use Developments. Mall and Retail integration and various models of mixed use development has been a focus together with performance maximization. Mr. Johnson has worked for worldwide hotel chains such as Hilton Hotels International, Holiday Inns Inc., Peninsula Hotels, Langham Hotels and Dubai Holding which owns the majority of Jumeirah Hotel’s portfolio including iconic properties such as Bur Al Arab, Emirates Towers, and the Essex House Hotel in New York City.
His credentials include a major in Hospitality Management and Finance from Manchester University Hollings Faculty after which he was awarded full membership of the Institute of Hospitality. He is a past president of the HCIMA Hong Kong Chapter, past Member of the Advisory Board of Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hotel School, and Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality. He is also a Founding Fellow member of the HK Hotel Controllers Association For the Middle East & Africa Johnson is Board member of the most reputable & international non-profit organization HAMA MEA – Hospitality Asset Managers Association
Chief Financial Officer
ABJAR Hotels International
Andrew Lindley began his career at the Forte Hotel Group in the UK and subsequently MacDonald Hotels with various roles culminating as a Regional Financial Controller whilst also a key member of the ERP implementation team for the 52 hotel estate. Andrew then joined 20:20 Mobile in April 2002 as Financial Controller of 20:20 Logistics. He was subsequently appointed Finance Director Middle East in April 2010 after 8 years with 2020 Mobile based in the UK including positions of; Associate Director of Finance, Commercial Manager and Treasury Manager and was on the team who assisted the sale of the business in 2013. Andrew is now the CFO of Abjar Hotels International, a hotel management subsidiary of the Almulla family business which owns 9 hotels in Dubai. He is qualified ACMA and CGMA and holds a BA (Hons) degree in Accounting and Economics from Reading University. He established relationships with external institutions, banks, credit agencies, and auditors and supports the CEO and Group Director of Operations on all contract and commercial negotiations. Andrew enjoys skiing, music and spending time with his family and is also on the Steering Committee of the MECA CFO Alliance in the UAE
Director of Commercial Events
Micaela Giacobbe is director of commercial events for Travel Weekly Group, spearheading the launch of the next generation of events called Connections. Connections Luxury is an international, senior, invitation-only, all-inclusive experiential event providing the top luxury travel buyers and suppliers with memorable meetings and experiences that lead to long lasting business relationships. Prior to joining Travel Weekly Group Micaela developed and successfully launched Decision Makers TV and spent 14 years with Reed Exhibitions where she was head of marketing & communications for World Travel Market. She is a specialist in branding, identity and strategic corporate restructuring and development of new product ranges.
President and Group MD
Kenny Picken is the president and Traveltek Group Managing Director, founding the company in 2002, having previously worked in the global telecommunications and computer networks industries. A keen pioneer of travel innovation, Kenny has steered Traveltek through a series of first to market initiatives which have seen Traveltek become an award winning global player in travel automation.
Travel Weekly Group
Ian Taylor is executive editor of Travel Weekly Group, reporting online and in print for Travel Weekly and Travel Weekly Business:am and producing Travel Weekly Insight. He is a career journalist who has worked in travel for most of the last 15 years. Ian helped to devise the scenarios for the UK industry’s Tourism 2023 project. He has extensive freelance experience on newspapers and magazines.
Director - International Partnerships
Daniela Wagner is Director of International Partnerships of Connecting Travel, the new global business community for the travel & tourism industry launched this year by the Travel Weekly Group. She has a demonstrable track record of outstanding achievement within the travel industry and has had great success growing businesses due to her commercial creativity and has applied her entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills very effectively in large corporate and start-up environments. Fluent in both German and French, she has an extensive network of top-level industry contacts around the globe .
Senior Legal Consultant
Helen is an experienced real estate lawyer having trained with a 'magic circle' firm in their London office and worked post qualification with them both in London and Dubai. Helen joined DLA Piper in April 2007.
Helen specialises in commercial real estate matters and has particular experience in the hotel sector including hotel management arrangements, mixed use development projects, sales and acquisitions and landlord and tenant matters. Helen spent part of 2011 and 2013 on secondment to the legal team at Marriott International Inc in their Dubai office.
Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Melia Hotels International
Graduated in Finance and Business Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and post-graduated from ESADE, Gabriel Escarrer Jaume joined Meliá Hotels International-founded by his father in 1956- after working for three years in Salomon Brothers investment Bank in New York.
After participating in the successful IPO of the company in 1996, he led a strong International expansion and also a cultural and technological transformation, providing Meliá with greater financial strength to compete in the increasingly complex environment of the International tourism sector.
After being appointed as the Group’s Vice Chairman & CEO, he has approved and led several Strategic Plans that are successfully taking the Company to a more International and Competitive stage.
Abdullah Al Jehani
Special Advisor to the President
Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities
Abdullah has had a long and distinguished career associated with the Kingdom’s travel and tourism sectors. He spent 27 years in increasingly senior roles with Saudi Arabian Airlines finally heading the airline’s marketing and programs activities as a Vice President . In 2005 he moved to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquates(SCTA) and established the Makkah regional branch. In 2006, he was appointed to the position of SCTA Vice President for marketing and programs, a role he held until being appointed to set up the newly-formed Saudi Conference and Exhibitions Bureau.(SECB) in may 2013 .Abdullah also Is a Special advisor to the President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquates(SCTA).
Abdullah holds a degree in business administration from Arizona State University, majoring in Finance and Marketing .
Alfredo Maria De Falco
Head of CIB Italy Network, Corporate & Investment Banking
Alfredo has 18 years of experience in Corporate & Investment Banking.
He started his career at Banca IMI in 1986 and joined UniCredit in 2007 as Co-Head of Financial Sponsors & Leveraged Finance Italy.
In 2009 he was appointed Head of Corporate Structured Finance Italy and afterwards Head of Financing & Advisory Italy with responsibility on Corporate Structured Finance, Acquisition Finance, Corporate Lending, Capital Structure Advisory, Real Estate Finance and Advisory.
Starting from February 2014, he has been appointed Head of CIB Italy Network.
Alfredo did undergraduate studies at Warwick University and Federico II University of Naples and graduated with honours in Economics in January 1994.
He got a Doctorate degree in Business Administration and Corporate Governance jointly from Universities of Rome, Naples and Verona, and is Professor of Acquisition & Leveraged Finance at Bocconi University in Milan (Master in Corporate Finance).
Regional Sales & Marketing Director
Golden Tulip MENA
Graduated from UNIVERSITY OF SAINT ESPRIT KASLIK- LEBANON in Sales & Marketing, working in the hospitality industry since 2005 with various local chains, joined Golden Tulip in 2008 as Sales Manager for Golden Tulip Hotels in the UAE, to move after and join Golden Tulip MENA region head office as the Regional Director of Marketing in 2010, working closely with the S&M teams of the each Golden Tulip property Providing the planning and leadership to the Marketing Department by ensuring that the appropriate structures, systems, competencies and values are developed in order to meet and exceed the goals of the Marketing plan .
Since 2010 Viviane has assisted in many hotels openings across the MENA region and in re-branding many Golden Tulip, Tulip Inn & Royal Tulip Hotels.
Associate Hotels & Hospitality Group
As part of JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group based in Dubai, Ramine leads advisory assignments across the Middle East and Africa regions. His role entails the management of Feasibility Studies, Asset Reviews and Strategic Consulting mandates supported by a team of experienced Analysts. He ultimately delivers in-depth knowledge of the regions and industry to guide the decision-making process of Hospitality Investors, Developers and Operators.
Ramine has eight years of experience working on landmark projects and developing business across the GCC, North African countries and Sub-Saharan Africa, including leisure resorts, city centre/corporate hospitality, mixed-use developments, office buildings, shopping centres and residential master-plans.
Having previously worked for the M.A. Kharafi Group of Kuwait, Ramine was part of the Development and Asset Management team covering thirty properties across the Middle East and Africa in partnership with major Hotel Operators. Prior to this, he was based in London working for Marriott International through its Management Programme.
Ramine holds Bachelors degrees in International Tourism Development as well as Hospitality Management from the Vatel Institute in Paris, France. He is fluent in English and French and has good Arabic and Spanish working knowledge.
Display Sales Manager - Middle East & Africa
Chris is TripAdvisor’s Middle East & Africa Sales Manager and has been with the business since December 2013, Chris is responsible for driving TripAdvisor’s continued growth in the region and is tasked with ensuring TripAdvisor remains a key partner for MEA based travel and hospitality clients. He is also responsible for expanding the regional office here in Dubai which now stands at 3 people already in 2015.
Prior to TripAdvisor, Chris had been working for Abu Dhabi Media Company having moved across from London in 2012 where he spent 5 years working for BSKYB after joining as a graduate. Chris brings with him over 9 years of experience working with both media agencies and clients direct to leverage digital and traditional advertising mediums such as sponsorship, video on demand and mobile.
Head of Debt & Capital Advisory Service (MENA region)
Jawad has 15 years of experience in raising; refinancing; and restructuring debt for clients in Europe and Middle East. He currently leads the PwC Debt & Capital Advisory team in the MENA region, advising and raising funds for clients through a multitude of means including debt and capital markets
In the last 12 months, he has successfully raised multi billion Dirham financing across various industries and debt forms
Jawad’s experience has been accumulated both in an advisory capacity with PwC and executory capacity (where he headed up the Finance Function of a large Middle Eastern corporate), which allows for a unique insight into how excellence can be achieved whilst being pragmatic
Jawad has experience of working with mid to large corporates (distressed or otherwise) allowing him to tailor "best practice" for a given situation. He has undertaken numerous independent financial and strategic reviews for a variety of businesses and well versed in contingency planning.
Jawad has advised a range of banks and corporate clients on stakeholder and situational management, allowing him to understand key motivating factors
Recognised as a strong negotiator, Jawad has an extensive network of financiers, which allows him to achieve the desired outcome for clients
His recent experience includes raising finance for corporates in the Real Estate, education, retail and manufacturing sectors. He has also helped clients in developing long term strategy and corporate governance modules.
Deputy Senior Vice President Global Sales and Distribution
With more than 20 years of hotel experience in various operational roles from front line through senior management and corporate positions in five countries, Markus is currently Deputy Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Distribution based in Paris.
Markus joined Accor in 2004 in Sydney before moving to Shanghai as Director of Distribution, Greater China in 2006. He was responsible for deploying and training Accor distribution systems, pricing and revenue management strategy, developing cooperation with online travel agencies and developing Accor’s e-commerce strategy. In 2008, he took over regional sales offices in China and Hong Kong, opened a new sales office in Taipei, building intra- and extra-regional business flows from the Greater China market.
Markus moved to Singapore in 2011 to take up a newly created role as the Regional Director Sales & Distribution Asia Pacific, working across 18-countries and the Accor worldwide organization to meet the business needs into and out of the region. Markus was promoted Vice President Sales & Distribution Asia Pacific in January 2013, before moving to his current position in January 2015.
Markus is 40 years old and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia.
Head of Discipline - Interior Design
Sebaa joined SSH in 2010 as an Interior Designer and led a team of Architects and Interior Designers on a wide range of projects from cultural, commercial, residential, educational, hospitality and retail. Sebaa is now Head of Discipline - Interior Design currently leading on all SSH’s interior design work.
Sebaa has 10 years of experience in Interior Architecture, designing interior spaces and producing FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment) Manuals from early concept design to tender stages.
Sebaa obtained a Master’s degree (Hons) in Architectural Management and Design and was selected as the number one student in a rigorous program that bridges Design and Management from I.E. University in Spain with the collaboration of The Royal College of Art in London.
Executive Director, Real Estate Banking, Middle East & Africa
Standard Chartered Bank
Shane has 11 years experience in Banking and Corporate Finance throughout North America, Europe and The Middle-East. Shane joined Standard Chartered Bank in his current role in 2012 to develop the Bank’s Real Estate offering. Shane was previously with Deloitte, in their Corporate Finance team, where he helped expand their Debt & Capital Advisory platform in Ireland, advising on a variety of cross-border transactions including capital raisings, restructurings and FIG M&A transactions throughout Ireland, the UK and continental Europe across the Real Estate, Hotel & Leisure, Manufacturing and Financial Services industries. Shane holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LL.B) from University College Galway, a Bachelor of Business & Legal Studies Degree (BBLS) from University College Dublin, a Certificate in International Treasury Management from the Association of Corporate Treasurers and a Certificate in Islamic Finance from CIMA.
Managing Director - Consultancy
Jerad has over 11 years of destination marketing experience and 13 years of hotel and convention center experience. He has worked in the GCC for the past seven years including five years as the Director of Business Tourism at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. He is currently serving as a strategic advisor to government organizations within the GCC to develop their business events sector.
The Thayer Group
Mr. Zhang is the Managing Director of Thayer Lodging Group where his responsibilities including overseeing over $ 4 billion hotel real estate asset. He was the asset manager for the Ritz-Calrton Hotel Group after Thayer and Marriott joint acquired the company. Mr. Zhang also held various executives position with Accor, Marriott, Hilton in the US.
In 2001, Mr. Zhang was ranked the “Top Financial Executives in the US” by US <<CFO & Controller>>. In 2008, he was selected as the one of the most influential CEOs in the travel distribution industry in China. He was also featured as one of the “60 years, 60 People, 60 stories” by China Daily 60th anniversary special Edition in commemorating the establishment of People’s Repbulic of China. Mr. Zhang also spearheaded China’s first SOE public company privatization of NYSE list Co, Interstate Hotels and Resorts, the largest 3rd party independent hotel management company in the world. In 2010, Mr. Zhang was ranked as the one of the Top 10 CEOs in China by China CEO Forum.
Mr. Zhang is the visiting professor of Cornell Hotel School. He is also the special advisor the Dean of the Cornell Hotel School. Mr. Zhang was the first mainland Chinese graduated from Cornell Hotel School undergrad program and holds an MBA from the Wharton School.