Our Other Events
Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference
Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference
29-30 May 2013
Marmara Taksim Hotel, Istanbul
Brazil Hospitality Investment Conference
13-14 June 2013
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Asia Pacific Tourism Destination Investment Conference
Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference
22-23 October 2013
Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, Sochi, Russia
North America Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference
Chief Executive Officer
Inaugure Hospitality Group
Political Futures Consultancy
Bjorn de Kock
Head of Hotel Openings - Asia, Middle East & Africa
Chairman - Konza Technopolis Development Authority
Director of Investment – CFC Stanbic Bank (Kenya)
Mr. Ngumi joined Standard Bank in Nairobi in 2004, and heads Standard Bank’s Investment Banking Coverage business in East Africa. Before taking up this role in 2009, he had established and headed the Bank’s overall Investment Banking offering in East Africa, and oversaw its rapid emergence as the leading investment banking franchise in East Africa, principally in debt issuance and increasingly in the equity capital markets and M&A spaces. Prior to joining Standard Bank, John worked variously for Citibank, Barclays, Citibank, Grindlays and National Westminster Bank. He was also a founder of one of East Africa’s first independent investment banking groups, Loita Capital Partners
Over the last 25 years Mr Ngumi has played a leading role in the development of Kenya’s and East Africa’s debt and equity capital markets, in the emergence of corporate finance and asset management as major market activities, and in the establishment of regulatory institutions to support these markets: for instance the Capital Markets Authority and the Retirement Benefits Authority. He is also a founder member of the Central Bank of Kenya’s Market Leaders Forum, a consultative body responsible for the development of Kenya’s Treasury bond programme, a pace setter in Africa.
Mr Ngumi is also the first Chairman of Konza Technocity Development Authority, the Kenya Government’s agency set up in 2012 to develop Africa’s first high tech city
Mr Ngumi has a BA 1st Class Honours in Philosophy, Politics & Economics from St Peter’s College, Oxford University
Dr. George Abungu
Director General - National Museums of Kenya (1999 – 2002)
Archaeologist, Consultant on Cultural and Natural Heritage
George H.O. Abungu is a Cambridge-trained archaeologist and former Director-General of the National Museums of Kenya. He is the founding Chairman of Africa 2009, ISCOTIA (the International Standing Committee on the Traffic in Illicit Antiquities), and CHDA, the Centre for Heritage Development in Africa (ex-PMDA), among others.
Prof. Abungu has been a guest scholar at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, Chairman of the Kenya Cultural Centre, and is currently C.E.O. of Okello Abungu Heritage Consultants. He has been a visiting lecturer at a number of universities, including Gothenburg University, in Sweden, and the University of Western Cape in South Africa.
He is a recipient of the “Ife Prize in Museology” in 2007 at the 6th Festival of Pan-African Music (FESPAM) in Brazaville and also the recipient of the distinction of “Passeur du Patrimone by EPA, Ecole du Patrimoine Africain in 2009 in recognition of his over 20 years of dedicated service to African Heritage. In 2011he was one of the three persons honored by the National Museums of Kenya during its centenary for contribution to research and development of Coastal Archaeology in Kenya. In 2012, he was, honored by the Association for Research into Crime against Art (ARCA) for Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art. The same year 2012 he was awarded the Knight of the order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by the Government of the Republic of France.
Prof. Abungu has over 60 publications in the disciplines of archaeology, heritage management, and museology, culture and development and has championed the role of communities in development in many of his publications, public forums and in his works as a museum professional, scholar and administrator
He has been an advisor to the Aluka project of the Mellon Foundation, the Global Heritage Fund, and is Vice President of International Council of Museums (ICOM), a Member of the International Jury of the UNESCO Melina Mecouri International Prize for Safeguard and Management of Cultural Landscapes and Board member for TARA, the Trust for African Rock Art, among others. He has sat on the World Monuments Watch panel of judges of the World Monument Fund, New York and was Kenya’s Representative to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, and Vice-President of its Bureau (2004-2009).
Prof. Abungu is a fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Stellenbosch South Africa and the 2013 Spring Semester Elizabeth Eddy Professor of Applied Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA.
President of Europe, Africa and the Middle East
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Dr Martyn Davies
Chief Executive Officer
Frontier Advisory (Pty) Ltd
Dr Martyn Davies is the Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Advisory - a leading research, strategy and capital advisory firm that specialises in emerging markets.
Martyn was selected in 2010 as a Young Global Leader, an honour bestowed by the World Economic Forum each year to recognise the most distinguished young leaders nominated below the age of 40 from around the world.
Martyn has chaired both public and private sessions at the World Economic Forum including chairing a session at the Forum’s annual meeting in Davos. He is a member of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on China, the world’s foremost intellectual network that helps inform the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos as well as set the direction for global, regional and industry agendas. Martyn is also an Advisor to the WEF’s “Emerging Best Practices of Chinese Globalizers” initiative as well as serving as an industry expert to the WEF’s Mining & Metals Industry Group – an advisory body providing strategic advice to leading global mining and extractive industry companies. Martyn is a recipient of a Dangote Fellowship awarded by the WEF for young Africans selected each year for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society.
Martyn has lectured by invitation at Harvard University, MIT, London School of Economics, Oxford University, IE Business School, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the African Development Bank, the OECD, the European Commission, the British Parliament and the World Bank. He is widely published in academia and has written for the Financial Times and the Washington Post and is a regular media commentator for the BBC, CNBC, CCTV, Al Jazeera, Reuters and AFP.
Martyn was previously the (founding) Director of the Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS) that was established under the South Africa – China Bi-national Commission at Vice Presidential level, a position he vacated in December 2009. During this time, he established the first Confucius Institute in Africa on behalf of the PRC Government in June 2004. He has also served as an Adjunct Faculty member at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria. He is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Tshwane University of Technology Business School, Pretoria, South Africa.
Martyn has been ranked the # 1 analyst in South Africa in the “Other African Economies &Markets” category as awarded by the prestigious Financial Mail in its Annual Analysts of the Year awards. He was previously appointed as an advisor to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) for its Global Development Outlook project . He is a member of MasterCard‘s Global Knowledge Panel – a group comprising leading international economists and is also a member of MasterCard’s Africa Knowledge Panel providing strategic advice to the Board of MasterCard.
Martyn holds a BA degree in Law, an Honours Degree in International Relations (cum laude), a Master's Degree in International Relations (cum laude) (University of the Witwatersrand), a Diploma in Asian Studies (Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea), and a PhD in International Relations (University of the Witwatersrand) – all completed by the age of twenty five. He also has a certificate from Harvard Business School & GIBS for its “Making Markets Work” course.
In 2010, Destiny Man magazine named Martyn in its “Power 40” of leading South African businessmen under the age of 40. Martyn divides his time between South Africa and international travel. His is an avid reader and is an active sports fan and participant. He has been awarded Protea Colours for cycling for South African Universities, played soccer for his alma mater Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea and participated in athletics and cross country at provincial level during high school.
He is married to Suheima and he is the proud Dad of Mikha and Zarah.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Property and Tourism Team
Peter Greenberg is the Travel Editor for CBS News, appearing on CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, and CBS Sunday Morning, among other broadcast platforms.
A New York Times best-selling author and multiple Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist and producer, Greenberg is also host of a nationally syndicated radio show, broadcast each week from a different remote location around the world.
He produces and co-hosts a history-making series of one-hour television specials called “The Royal Tour,” which feature personal, one-on-one journeys through various countries with their heads of state, including the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, the President of Mexico, the King of Jordan, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, and the President of Peru.
Travel Weekly named him one of the most influential people in travel, along with Al Gore, Bill Marriott and Richard Branson. He was recently inducted into the U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Hall of Leaders for his contributions to the travel industry
Visit him on the Web at www.PeterGreenberg.com.
HVS Consulting & Valuation
Alexey Korobkin is the Associate Director of HVS Consulting & Valuation in Moscow, Russia. Originally with a degree in Economics and Finance, Alexey has also obtained an MBA in Hotel and Tourism Management from of Switzerland's top hotel universities. Alexey has held positions in various hotels across Europe, US and Russia prior to joining HVS in 2010. Alexey specializes in strategic consulting, valuations and investment advisory and completed numerous assignments across Russia, the CIS, Georgia and the Baltic region. Alexey is a regular speaker at major hospitality events in the region as well as an author of multiple hospitality publications.
HVS Consulting & Valuation
Алексей Коробкин является Заместителем Директора Московского офиса HVS Consulting & Valuation. Алексей получил высшее образование в сфере Экономики и Финансов в Санкт-Петербурге, а также в Гостиничном Бизнесе в Швейцарии. Алексей работал в различных международных отелях Европы, США и России, после чего продолжил свою карьеру, присоединившись к компании HVS в 2010г. Алексей специализируется на финансовой оценке, стратегическом и инвестиционном консалтинге, и выполнил множество проектов на территории России, СНГ, Грузии и стран Прибалтики. Алексей регулярно выступает на крупных гостиничных конференциях в регионе, а также является автором множества аналитических публикаций и отраслевых обзоров.
Top Project ( Renova Stoygroup)
Mayor of Sochi
Deputy General Director
Vice President of Market Management EMEA
Ariane Gorin is the Vice President of Market Management for Expedia in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). In this role she and her team are responsible for managing relationships with a growing, vibrant and profitable ecosystem of lodging partners across the region.
Ariane joined Expedia in March 2013, prior to which she spent 10 years as a sales and marketing executive with Microsoft in EMEA and in France. Before joining Microsoft in 2003 Ariane worked for the Boston Consulting Group, both in San Francisco and in Paris. At BCG Ariane advised clients in the technology, financial services and retail sectors.
Ariane received an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 2000, and a BA in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995. In 2001, Ariane moved to Paris, where she currently lives with her spouse and two children. She holds both French and American nationalities.
Chief Revenue Officer
CEO and Founder of The Extreme Sports Company
Extreme Hotels and Extreme TV
Al Gosling, CEO of The Extreme Sports Company, has spent the last 15 years building Extreme. In 1998 Al realized that mainstream media was neglecting a huge part of youth culture, and so launched The Extreme Sports Channel in over 60 countries and millions of homes. In 2008 Al acquired the EXTREME brand outright and transformed the company into a pioneering licensor that works with licensees to deliver Extreme branded products, services and experiences including Extreme Hotels and resorts. Currently 7 Extreme hotels are in the pipeline including 3 under construction, with Sochi’s 209-bedroom hotel coming soon.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Born on May 18th 1967 in Moscow. Graduated Moscow State University, geographical faculty, the speciality «Economic geography» (1991), University of Oregon (USA) specialisation «Geography» (1993). Worked as the scientific employee in scientific research institute of Labor of the State committee of labor and social problems. Studied sociology in Russia and USA. The author of scientific works and publications on ethnic systems. After returning from the USA was appointed as the head of «MIR» corporation, worked in a number of the companies in sphere of management as the finance executive. Since 2003 invests in Hotel business. The founder of noncommercial Fund of support of social researches «Hamovniki».
TUROB (Touristic Hotels & Investors Association)
Date/place of birth: Apr 11, 1963/Istanbul, Turkey
Languages: German , English, Turkish, Armenian
Marital Status/Children: Married with two children (born 1998 and 2001)
Hilton Worldwide Jan 2011- to date
Country General Manager, Full Service Hotels Turkey
Regional Manager, in charge of 8 operating hotels & 1 opening, with a total operating inventory of 2607 rooms, generating $ 155 M turnover p.a.
Hilton Istanbul, Conrad Istanbul, ParkSA Hilton Istanbul Aug 2007 – Jan 2011
General Manager, Istanbul Cluster
Division Manager, in charge of 3 hotels, complex multibrand operation with a total inventory of 1207 rooms, generating $ 120 M turnover p.a.
Hilton Prague Feb 2003 – July 2007
Largest Hilton hotel in Continental Europe with 788 rooms including adjacent Congress Center for 1200 persons. $ 50 M turnover p.a.. Progressive market share gain between 2003 - 2007 in a very competitive environment.
Hilton Sofia Aug 2000 – Feb 2003
Opening General Manager of the first Hilton in Bulgaria. The 245 room hotel became market leader within its first full year despite of an increasingly challenging competitive environment and difficult trading conditions.
Hilton Fujairah, UAE Jul. 1999 - Aug 2000
Resort type boutique hotel with 92 rooms, beach front, and extensive gardens. Completed master plan renovation of all public areas, maintaining market share leadership during increasingly challenging trading conditions.
Dresden Hilton, Germany Mar.1997 - Jun.1999
Executive Assistant Manager
Hilton’s most complex food and beverage operation in Europe with 13 outlets, Congress Center and River Boat catering operation.
Ceylan Inter-Continental Istanbul, Turkey Nov.1996 - Feb.1997
Istanbul Hilton, Turkey Jul.1993 - Nov.1996
Rooms Division Manager
Izmir Hilton, Turkey Dec.1991 - Jul.1993
Front Office Manager
ParkSA Hilton Istanbul, Turkey Mar.1990 - Nov.1991
Front Office Manager
Düsseldorf Hilton, Germany Jan.1989 - Feb.1990
Assistant Front Office Manager
Düsseldorf Hilton, Germany Jan.1988 - Dec.1988
Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage, AK USA May 1987 - Dec. 1987
Accounts Receivable Asst. Supervisor
Istanbul Hilton, Turkey Apr.1983 - Dec.1986
Front Office Clerk
Istanbul Hilton, Turkey Oct.1982 - Mar.1983
Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, AK USA Jan.1987 - Dec.1987
Bachelor of Arts - (second B.A. degree)
Department of Hotel/Restaurant/Tourism Administration
Marmara University, Istanbul Turkey Oct .1982 - Sep. 1986
Diploma of Graduation (equivalent of B.A.)
Faculty of Business Administration
Specialization in International Marketing
Vocational Highschool of Tourism and Hotel Sep. 1979 - Jun. 1982
Management, Istanbul, Turkey
Seminars and Courses
CCL Brussels, Belgium Jun. 2008
Leadership Development Programme
IMD Lausanne, Switzerland May 2003
Hilton Career Development Center
Ashridge Business School, UK Aug. 2000
Hilton Career Development Center
Hilton Development Center, Cairo, Egypt Apr. 2000
London School of Economics, UK Sep. 1998
Hilton International Developmet Center
Hilton Career Development Institute, Wembley, UK Sep. 1993
Hilton Pro Active Leadership Course, Mersin, Turkey May 1992
Boardmember of the Turkish Hotel Association Feb. 2008 – to date
Member of Istanbul Rotary Club Jan. 2008 – to date
Boardmember and Founding Member of MPI Nov. 2009 – Aug. 2012
(Meeting Professionals International) in Turkey
Boardmember of the American Chamber of Commerce Apr. 2008 – Jan. 2011
Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants May 2006 – Jul. 2007
Head of Prague Chapter
American Chamber of Commerce Dec. 2004 – Jul. 2007
in the Czech Republic
Head of the Tourism Committee
Boardmember of the American Chamber of Commerce Jan. 2002 – Feb. 2003
Chief Executive Officer
The Baltic Travel Company
W Hospitality Group
Trevor Ward is a specialist consultant in the hospitality and leisure industries. He is the Principal of the W Hospitality Group with offices in the UK, Kenya, Nigeria and Angola.
For nearly three decades Trevor has specialised in the provision of advisory services to clients in developing countries, and since 2003 has been based in Nigeria advising clients there and throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Trevor has extensive international experience, advising clients on hotel and tourism development in more than 30 countries in Africa, and more than 80 countries worldwide. He is regarded as one of the foremost experts on the hotel industry in sub-Saharan Africa, and is engaged primarily in development consultancy ranging from investment appraisals to operator selection, owner’s representation and asset management.
Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK)
Aykut Eken is the chairman of Turkish–Argentinean Business Council and member of Board of Directors of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK).
Aykut Eken holds a Degree and License in Architecture from the İstanbul Devlet Mühendislik ve Mimarlık Akademisi and a Master Degree in Town Planning from at L’ Université Libre de Bruxelles. Since founding Beta International S.A, a leading trading company, in 1979 in Belgium, Mr. Eken has opened several sister companies in various parts of the world. Furthermore, Mr. Eken acquired a reputable travel agency, Kontuar Turizm operating since 1956, and he opened the General Sales Agencies for Turkish Airlines in Argentina and in the Balkan countries. He received Gussi Prize and the Brevet of Officier de l’Ordre de la Couronne given to him by His Majesty King Albert II of Belgium.
Deputy General Manager
TSKB Real Estate Appraisal Company
Since April 2005, he has been working within the TSKB Gayrimenkul Değerleme A.Ş. organization. At TSKB Gayrimenkul Değerleme A.Ş., which performs development, location selection, appraisal and feasibility studies for numerous large scale projects in the real property sector, he has worked as an appraisal expert for 1 year.
During this one year period, he has prepared various real property and project appraisal reports. In value assessments aimed for the market value, he has worked on plots-lands, homes, villas, buildings, hotels, touristic facilities, shopping centers, factories and production facilities, fuel sales stations and filling facilities. These reports he has prepared are detailed reports including the analyses of the area where the real property is located, market details, encumbrance data, zoning, license and occupancy permit investigation.
During 2006-2009, he has served as branch manager at the TSKB Gayrimenkul Değerleme A.Ş. Ankara Branch. He has assumed an active role in the structuring of the branch. Moreover, he has been involved in retail, housing and office market appraisal reports in Ankara.
As of the beginning of 2010, he has started to work at the Istanbul headquarters of TSKB Gayrimenkul Değerleme A.Ş., as the Coordinator of the Securities Assessment Department, and as of the beginning of 2012, he continues the same duty with the title of Vice General Manager. He ensures coordination within the company that primarily serves financial organizations, in 6 branches and organizations in over 60 provinces. At the same time, he is a member of the Board of Directors responsible of operations at the TSKB Mortgage Company.
He is a graduate of the Yıldız Technical University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Surveying and Cadaster Engineering (1994-1999), and holds a Post-Graduate Degree from the Gebze Advanced Technology Institute Urban and Regional Planning Engineering (2000-2004). During his education, he has carried out studies on Remote Detection, Mass Transport Systems, Continued and Sustainable Development, Regional Plans for Zoning Plan Works, Land and Plot Regulation.
While he is an appraisal expert who has been licensed by the CMB as of 2008, he also is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, based in England, since 2008.
In addition, by the BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) certificate received in 2011, he has also earned the right to perform the rating of environmental friendly buildings according to various standards.
Meanwhile, Fatih Tosun has also served as member of the board of directors and member of the discipline board at the Appraisal Experts’ Association, and the Licensed Appraisal Companies Association.
Graduated from St. Petersburg State University as a lawyer, has EMBA degree
In MICE business since 2001.
Governor’s reception in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg International Film Festival, Russian reception at Cannes Film Festival, Auto rallies Moscow – Vladivostok, incentive programs for Russian and International clients in Russia and abroad are among the projects Natalia with her team planned and executed.
In 2008 founded RUSMICE Destination Management Company which specializes on organizing meetings, incentives, conferences and events in Russia and around the world.
Director, UK Market
Paul Simmons is UK Director at easyJet. In this role he is responsible for the UK commercial programme and revenue delivery of the airline across their 11 bases and 110 aircraft in the country. He also has commercial responsibility for a number of “non-base” easyJet countries including Israel, Egypt and Russia. Finally he also has responsibility for easyJet Holidays across the network.
The airline’s biggest individual operation is now at London Gatwick, with 54 aircraft based there this year serving 102 routes. Overall easyJet is now comfortably the UK’s largest airline, carrying over 60 million passengers a year. The airline joined the prestigious FTSE 100 in March 2013.
Paul originally joined easyJet in June 2006 as Head of Brand Marketing, Product & Distribution. In this role he led the initiative that saw the airline join the GDS for the first time. He also led the launch of Speedy Boarding, and the commercial integration of GB Airways.
Prior to easyJet Paul was in the Hospitality industry as EVP Sales & Marketin at Oberoi Hotels, based in New Delhi. Before that he was VP Global Brand Marketing, for the InterContinental brand at IHG. His work there saw him win the lead award by the Hotel Marketing Association in 2002.
Paul has been listed as one of the leading Marketeers in the UK for the last 3 years by Marketing Week magazine, and is a member of Visit Britain’s Industry panel, “Welcome to Britain”.
Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation
Mr. Alexander Radkov was born on the 13th of June 1970. In 1992 graduated from Saint-Petersburg State University, Faculty of Philosophy and in 1996 finished graduate course of the same University. He is married and has two children.
Mr. Alexander Radkov has been working in tourism more than 12 years, held the post of the head of the Russian companies representatives abroad.
Since 2005 has been working in the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation. In 2008 has become Head of the International Cooperation Department. By order of Mr. Vitaly Mutko, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Russian Federation, on the 16th of January 2009 was appointed Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation.
By Order of the Government of the Russian Federation, on 20 June 2011 was appointed Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation.
Under the leadership of Mr. Alexander Radkov Russian national tourism administration in working on the improvement of the juridical basis in the sphere of tourism, bilateral documents elaboration, tourism infrastructure development, human resourced development in the sphere of tourism, as well as Russian tourism promotion round the world etc.
Since Mr. Alexander Radkov has become Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism the bilateral cooperation in the sphere of tourism has considerably enlarged. He takes part in the sessions of the intergovernmental commissions and a large number of bilateral Working Groups on Tourism are headed by him.
Mr. Alexander Radkov is responsible for the cooperation with the international tourism organizations, including World Tourism Organization and World Travel and Tourism Council.
Minister of Tourism & Resorts
Krasnodar Region Administration
International Promotion Manager - Eastern, Central Europe & South America
Barcelona Tourist Board
Mateo graduated in Hospitality Tourism from Sant Ignasi TSI - ESADE - University Ramon Llull, and then worked in various positions in the hotel industry. In 1997 he joined the Barcelona Convention Bureau, within the Department of Corporate and International Marketing performing tasks in the Meetings and Incentives segment. He has made numerous "formative stages" in many Spanish Tourism Offices abroad and Commercial Representation Offices: Frankfurt, Rome, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, New York, he has also held several Conferences in support of the Spain Convention Bureau , TSI Tourism Sant Ignasi, SiteGlobal Intl. Networking Sessions.
Chapter SITE belongs to Spain since 2007 as Director of Young Leaders within the chapter Board. His division is a part of the technical working group of cities, members of the Spain Convention Bureau.
Regional Director Development & Acquisitions
Louvre Hotels Group
Willemijn Geels is Director of Development & Acquisitions for Louvre Hotels Group and is responsible for the group’s expansion in Northern, Central & Mediterranean Europe. She has more than 10 years experience in the hospitality industry through various operational and development related positions.
Before joining Louvre Hotels Group in 2008, Willemijn has been active as Manager within the HTL practice of Deloitte. In that role, she headed multiple hotel valuations, feasibility studies as well as transaction and strategic advisory assignments.
Willemijn graduated from ESSEC business school with a MBA degree in International Hospitality Management and diploma in Real Estate.
Vice Chairperson of GYODER (The Association of Real Estate Investment Companies)
General Manager of Extensa Istanbul
Ozlem Gokce (1972) is an architect and urban designer, holding Masters degree from Istanbul Technical University, department of Architecture and Urbanism. She later studied Marketing and Finance at Boğaziçi University.
Ozlem GOKCE specialized in real estate developments since 1997 after her position as Coordinator at Enternasyonal Tourism Investments Group a subsidiary of Yapı Kredi Bank.
Since then she has worked in various key management positions both at residential and commercial real estate development projects.
In 2009 she joined Extensa Group, a real estate development company under AvH, active in Belgium and several European Countries, as General Manager and Board Member of Extensa Istanbul.
She is currently vice-chairperson of GYODER, The Association of Real Estate Investment Companies comprising more than 130 real estate companies in Turkey. Ozlem GOKCE contributes to international relations since December 2012 as a Vice Chairperson of the Turkish-Belgian Business Council of DEİK(Foreign Economic Relations Board).
Ozlem GOKCE actively represents Real Estate Sector in various platforms as lecturer and speaker at universities and conferences.
Dr Tunç Gökçe
Tunc GOKCE holds Ph.D. degree in Coastal and Marine Engineering and has over 25 years of experience in this field as designer, consultant and contractor.
Dr. Gokce is founder and Managing Director of ARTI PROJE Consulting Ltd. ARTI PROJE provides a range of services to marina and property industries covering all aspects of marina design, waterfront development and operational management. In last 5 years ARTI PROJE expanded its business to contracting in special projects like beach rehabilitation, boutique marinas and moorings.
Dr. Tunc Gokce shares his experiences as lecturer in universities.
Dr Turgut Gür
Chairman of High Advisory Council
Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TYD)
Born in İstanbul in 1938, graduated from University of Marmara (PhD in
Economics) he is a certified financial auditor who managed as an executive in different investment projects for many years.
He was deeply involved in the development of Turkish tourism industry that was initiated by late president Turgut Özal because he was a very close colleague from the beginning of the Turkish tourism investment move since 1985 till now. He was also one of the initial investors in Turkey’s tourism sector.
He is one of the founders of Ketav – Antalya which is one of the tourism destination promotion foundations. He was the president of this foundation between 1995 -1999.
He was the initiator of a bilateral tourism sector cooperation with the State Committee of Sport, Education and Tourism of the Russian Federation for the Russian Universities with Bilkent University together on tourism education in Antalya.
Between 1995-1998 he was the chairman of DEİK (Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey) Turkish-Kirghiz Business Council and in the meantime served as a honorary professor at Kirghizistan International Tourism Academy.
During UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) General Assembly that took place in Istanbul in 1997, he was the first and the only Turkish businessman as a speaker emphasizing on the contribution of taxes for tourism industry development.
Between 2000-2008 he was the chairman of DEIK Turkish-Russian Business Council and made great contribution to the development economic relations between the two countries. He is currently the honorary president of this council.
Between 2009-2012 he was the chairman of Turkish Tourism Investors Association. Since 2013, he is currently the chairman of High Advisory Council of Turkish Tourism Investors Association.
Vice President - International Business
Senior Analyst – Hotels & Hospitality Group
Jones Lang La Salle
Senior Vice President Development – Middle East, Africa & South Asia
Cherif joined Jumeirah Group in September 2005 in the capacity of Vice President Development – Middle East, Southern Africa & South Asia and was promoted to Senior Vice President Development – Middle East, Africa & South Asia in April 2010.
Cherif brings over 30 years of experience in hospitality industry to Jumeirah Group having worked in senior management positions in Europe, Middle East and Africa from various international chains such as Le Meridien and Mövenpick. In his current capacity, Cherif is responsible for growing the Group’s portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Cherif has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Cairo.
Senior Manager, Global Project & Structured Finance
National Bank of Abu Dhabi
President & Managing Director
Premier Inn International
Commercial Real Estate Origination & Client Coverage
Standard Chartered Bank
Marianne Ndegwa Jordan
Kenya Tourist Development Corporation - KTDC
Dr. Abd Al Razaq Arabyat
Jordan Tourism Board
Ministry of Economy & Sustainable Development, Georgia
Ms. Ketevan Bochorishvili currently occupies the position of the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. Through 2010-July 2012 Ketevan Bochorishvili headed Georgian National Investment Agency. Deputy Minister supervises the development of the investment policies and introduction of investors to Georgian business and authorities. She also coordinates the export promotion activities with main focus on increasing the share of export in GDP.
Ms. Bochorishvili holds MA degree in International Public Management from SDA Bocconi School of Management (Milan, Italy) and BA/MA degrees in International Conflict Resolution from Georgian Technical University. She has studies at Georgetown University (USA), the Iacocca Institute (USA) and Charles University (Czech Republic).
Transaction Real Estate
Nehme is a manager for transaction real estate based in the Doha office. As part of the regional team, he manages all real estate engagements for the Doha office.
Nehme has seven years of experience with the last five focused on real estate finance and investments across TFI, HVS and Noor int’l Holding. Engagements included market feasibility studies, asset and portfolio valuations, highest and best use analyses, operator search, management contract negotiations, strategic advisory, and portfolio and operational reviews, all across the MENA region. Prior to this, he had honed his investment analysis skills at Bank of America and Mercer while in Boston.
Nehme holds a master’s degree in Economic Policy from Boston University and a bachelor’s of Economics from the American University of Beirut. He has also recently completed a certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investment and Asset management from Cornell University.
Hilton Grand Vacations EMEA
Richard studied Hotel Management at Napier College in Edinburgh, Scotland before joining Comfort Hotels in London and Holland. Four years followed as Deputy GM at a golf and country club in Exeter prior to returning to Scotland in 1985, which saw Richard start his 27 years in the timeshare business by becoming Country Club Manager and Marketing Manager at Craigendarroch, before joining the timeshare sales team full time in 1987. Positions of Timeshare Sales Manager and then Hotel and Resort General Manager followed at Craigendarroch before being appointed Managing Director for the groups business in 1996 prior to the Hilton acquisition in 1999.
Responsible for operating the Hilton Grand Vacations business across Europe, Middle East & Africa, Richard is actively working to grow the business in that region, from the existing three resorts in Scotland, one in Portugal, and two new projects opening in 2013 in Tuscany & Scotland..
Having served on the Communications Council and the Timeshare Council of the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe for a number of years Richard was the Chairman of the Resort Development Organisation ( RDO ) from 2008 - 2012.
Spare time is spent with the family, enjoying travel, and taking part in and watching various sports.
Family, Travel, Golf.
Born and brought up in Nairn, Scotland.
Now living in Ballater, Royal Deeside, Scotland.
Senior Vice President
Shaun Langdon is the Senior Vice President of DAMAC Hotels, the luxury services management arm of DAMAC Properties. Shaun leads the team which provides an ultimate luxury lifestyle experience and investment opportunity in DAMAC Properties high-end luxury serviced apartments.
Shaun has 22 years experience in the hospitality industry around the world covering Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia and India. He arrived at DAMAC Properties from IHG in India, where he was Regional General Manager and Director Projects, South West Asia.
Shaun has a diploma in Hotel Management from the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, New South Wales, Australia and numerous management qualifications from Cornell University in the United States.
Cain Hospitality Innovation
Catalin works to reinvent hospitality. He advocates a distinctive approach to create better tourism destinations and hospitality concepts.
He started his career with PwC in Europe, joined HVS in Boston, and then Dubai. His last position with HVS Dubai was Associate Director. In 2011, while acting as Senior Advisor to HVS and Senior Consultant to The Economist Group, he founded Cain.
His experience in hospitality consulting covers Europe, North America, North Africa and the Middle East. In the past three years, he delivered 35 strategy and innovation assignments related to MENA mixed-use developments valued in excess of US$ 45 billion.
Jumeirah Restaurant Group and General Manager Operations
Mohamed Hisham Abbas Zaazou
Minister of Tourism
Ministry of Tourism Egypt
Managing Director of Hotels Division
Al Hokair Group
Dr Masooma Al Balushi
Head of the Department of Tourism- College of Arts and Social Sciences
Sultan Qaboos University
CEO Continental Europe - Hotels & Hospitality Group
Jones Lang LaSalle
Manager, Transaction Real Estate
Ernst & Young
Business Development Leader, Transaction Advisory Services, Middle East & North Africa
Ernst & Young
Samer Abu Ayash
Head of Design, Construction & Real Estate
Kingdom Hotel investments
Samer Abu Ayash joined KHI in 1998, as an Owner Representative for the Four Seasons Hotel development in Beirut. In 2002, he became Vice President Design & Construction with responsibilities for KHI’s hotel development projects in Lebanon.
In July 2008, Mr. Abu Ayash was appointed Head of Design, Construction, and Real Estate at KHI, overseeing all global Design and Construction activity for new builds and refurbishments as well as other design and construction activities relating to the company’s $3 billion dollar international hotel portfolio.
Also under Mr. Abu Ayash’s responsibility is the company’s Ancillary Real Estate business which includes all Branded Residential and Commercial Real Estate activities that enhance the value of KHI’s global portfolio of assets. These activities include structure development, design, build, marketing, sales execution, legal and operations. To date, KHI projects with ancillary real estate have resulted in over $325 million dollars in sales in countries such as the Philippines, Mauritius, Lebanon, Thailand and Ghana.
A member of the Association of Engineers in Lebanon, Mr. Abu Ayash has a wealth of experience in construction and design. Prior to joining KHI, he was Project Manager / Owner Representative for Société Immobilière Les Dunes in charge of the Holiday Inn Dunes Multi Complex development in Beirut. Before that, he worked at Metito International in London - a leading environmental engineering firm - covering Middle East and Africa markets. His experience also includes various design and construction roles in the UK at the Engineering Division of Thames Water Utilities Ltd. (including the London Water Ring Main Project), Howard Humphreys & Partners Consulting Engineers and Freeman Fox & Partners Consulting Engineers.
Mr. Abu Ayash holds a Master of Science / DIC degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the Imperial College in London and a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from the American University of Beirut. He has dual Lebanese and British citizenship and is fluent in English and Arabic with a working knowledge of French.
Hotelier Middle East
Regional Vice President
Wyndham Hotel Group
Stuart G. Birkwood
Chief Executive Officer
FAS Hotels & Compounds Company
In April of 2012 Birkwood joined the exciting Fawaz Alhokair Group to lead their Hotel Division – FAS Hotels - as CEO. Presently the Fawaz Alhokair Group (FAS Hotels) has a number of hotel projects in KSA under construction and pipelined with Marriott and Starwood. Scheduled to open in the next 12 months are the Courtyard by Marriott Olaya in Riyadh, Aloft Riyadh, Aloft Dharran, Four Points by Sheraton Mall of Arabia Jeddah and Courtyard by Marriott King Abdullah Road Jeddah, with other further projects to follow.
Birkwood has been in the hospitality business for over 20 years. He graduated from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh in ‘91 joining Hilton Hotels as a Graduate Trainee being part of the Hilton East Midlands Airport and Hilton Coventry hotel opening teams.
In 1994 he moved to ITT Sheraton (later to become part of Starwood) and was subsequently with them for 18 years. He worked in a number of roles in Poland, Finland, Belgium and the UK as well as travelling and working on a Divisional level throughout EAME. In 2008 he came to Riyadh as General Manager of the Sheraton Riyadh, a role he enjoyed for over 4 years.
Christopher R.J. Knable
Chief Operating Officer
Ahmet Cuneyt Selçuk
Chief Project Director
ISPAT - Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey
He joined Akbank (one of the top private sector banks in Turkey) as an Internal Auditor in 1994. 3 years later, he moved to the Treasury Marketing Department and served there as a Deputy Manager between 1997 and 2004. In 2005, he was appointed as a Manager to one of Istanbul’s branches of Akbank.
Since 2008; he has been working as a Chief Project Director at ISPAT- The Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey- where he oversees the investment flows from China to Turkey.
Mr.Selcuk holds an Economics degree from Uludag University (Turkey). He is married and has 2 children.
Selim El Zein
Head of Hospitality Asset Management
Colliers International MENA Region
Selim El Zein is the Head of Hospitality Asset Management at Colliers International MENA Region in charge of the asset management of ten hotels in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Selim’s background is in hotel operations having spent 8 years in various positions with Accor UK.
He later joined the largest European Hotel Asset Management firm in London with 186 hotels under management, advising institutional investors, high net worth individuals, and finance houses on profit maximization, refinancing, and exit strategies .Currently he is a leader in advising hotel owner’s on the acquisition, operational asset management and disposal of assets. He is also an expert on contract negotiations, assessing capital expenditure programs, benchmarking and financial analysis.
Senior Investment Officer
International Financial Corporation (IFC)
Ajay is a Senior Investment Officer with IFC, based in Dubai and covers investments for IFC in the EMENA region for "Consumer and Social Services" sectors that include hospitality, retail, property, health, education and life sciences. He has over 17 years of professional work experience of which the last seven years has been with IFC. Prior to this Ajay has worked in investment and corporate banking roles in Middle East and India, and has advised clients on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and fund raising. He is a CFA, MBA (Finance) and Electrical Engineer by academic background.
Director and Head of Hotels (MENA Region)
Colliers International MENA Region
Filippo Sona has been in the global hotel industry for the past 20 years working for International hotel companies and consultancies in UK, USA, Middle East and North Africa. Filippo is specialized in destination and hotel development for mixed uses and stand alone projects, market & financial feasibility study, operator selection and strategic asset management. Filippo understanding of management agreements has been an invaluable skill to global law firms as an expert witness in International Arbitrations. His extensive operational background allows Filippo to provide true strategic operational and financial advice, to enhance hotel profitability and drive asset value. Filippo holds an MBA from Oxford Brooks University and an Honours Degree in Hospitality Management from Thames Valley University, London.
COO Africa, Middle East, Indian Ocean & Caribbean Islands
Jean-Jacques Dessors is appointed as Chief Operating Officer Africa, Middle East, Indian Ocean and Caribbean Islands, from January 1st, 2012.
Since 2005, Jean-Jacques has been Chief Operating Officer United Kingdom and Ireland.
He worked in France and in international postings before joining Compagnie Générale d’Hôtellerie et des Services, a subsidiary of Vivendi Group, in 1992 as Director of Operations Westin Demeure Hotels and Libertel.
In 1999, he is appointed as Director of Business & Leisure Operations, Paris-Ile-de-France.
He joined the United Kingdom and Ireland teams in 2002 as Managing Director Economy Hotels.
Jean-Jacques Dessors is a graduate of the Hotel School of Toulouse and the University of Toulouse (France).
Julide Ozbilge Nuss
Food and Beverage Asset Manager
Abu Dhabi National Hotels
Julide, a graduate of the Hotel Management School in The Hague, Netherlands began her career at the iconic London Hilton on Park Lane. In 2000, Julide moved to the UAE to open the prestigious Emirates Towers Hotel as restaurant manager and joined Hilton Abu Dhabi as Assistant F&B manager.
In 2002, Julide moved to Las Vegas and joined the MGM Grand as F&B Manager and worked with the Celebrity Chef Michael Mina in his award winning restaurant. After opening the largest non-casino hotel for Marriott Corporation, she returned to the region as Director of F&B for Sheraton and most recently, EAM in charge of F&B at the Yas Viceroy.
Currently, she is the Food and Beverage Asset Manager at Abu Dhabi National Hotels where she is responsible for the franchise and managing of the 6 brands at the Venetian Village, as well as developing brand driven restaurant concepts for their legacy hotels.
Chief Operating Officer of IHG, India, Middle East and Africa (IMEA)
Pascal Gauvin is responsible for all company managed, owned and leased properties as well as franchised hotels within the region. He is also responsible for sales, tactical marketing and development across IHG brands in the region. He works closely with counterparts in other regions to ensure they are aligned and implement IHG’s best practice standards.
Pascal also oversees the strategic development of IHG’s plans in the region and is additionally responsible for maintaining and fostering relations with existing and new property owners.
Pascal has a wealth of expertise in the hospitality business, starting his career in the Food & Beverage department, Pascal held several managerial positions at Accor and Hilton Hotels before joining IHG in 1993 as a Food and Beverage Manager at the InterContinental Hotel Paris. He has a total of 20 years experience with IHG, and has held a number of senior managerial positions in Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Africa, Lebanon, Qatar and UAE.
A strong believer in the principles of ‘leadership by example’ as well as ‘empowerment’, he spends at least 50% of his time in the field to ensure that day-to-day operations and relations are in line with IHG’s standards.
Pascal is a father of Aurore and Morgane, his favourite family getaway is Nice in France. Despite Pascal’s very busy schedule, he finds time for his preferred sport, golf.
Guido de Wilde
Senior Vice President, Regional Director Middle East
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Senior Vice President, Regional Director of Starwood Hotels and Resorts in the Middle East since 2006, Guido De Wilde brings with him over 28 years of international experience in the hotel industry to the region.
In his role, Guido is responsible for the operation of all Starwood properties in the Middle East (currently 44 hotels and resorts) and leads the development of Starwood’s brands in this rapidly expanding region. During this time, Starwood has introduced W, Aloft and St Regis in the Middle East.
Guido started his career with Starwood in 1983 and has since then held various management positions in Bahrain, Morocco, Germany, Belgium and Portugal.
Prior to his current appointment, Guido was the Area Manager for Starwood Hotels in Portugal and General Manager of the prestigious Sheraton Algarve hotel and pine cliffs resort.
Belgian national and holder of licentiate in Germanic philology from the University of Ghent in Belgium, Guido De Wilde continued his specialization in Norwegian Language, literature and history at the University of Oslo. De Wilde also holds a degree in Marketing from the Institute of Social Sciences, The Hague.
His love for languages and educational background makes him today a multilingual person who enjoys communicating in seven different languages, which include Dutch, English, French, German, Portuguese, Swedish and Norwegian.
Mehmet Ali Gezici
Chief Financial Officer
Dedeman Hotels & Resorts International
TUROB (Touristic Hotels & Investors Association)
Timur Bayındır, who is a Galatasaray High School graduate, has been in France due to the scholarship that is awarded him by French government. Mr. Bayındır has studied applied and theoretical hotel management for 2 years in France. He began working in a family-run hotel -Harem-, when he turned back to Turkey. He focused on accounting since he had studied in Faculty of Economics and Commerce before. Meanwhile, he enrolled in Institute of Journalism. He began translating short stories for Hayat magazine and performing tourist guiding. Timur Bayındır, who has participated in every field of tourism, has been serving for tourism sector for 46 years. Timur Bayındır, who played a role in founding TÜRSAB (Association of Turkish Travel Agencies), is now a member of board of auditors. He, at one time, was secretary-general of SKAL and is still a member of it. Mr Bayındır, who has worked for TUROB (Touristic Hotels and Investors Association) for 25 years, is now president of the association. Timur Bayındır is an executive board member of IH&RA (International Hotel and Restaurant Association) and member of Galatasaray Graduates Council Board. Timur Bayındır, who preserves his sophistication in every aspect and period of his life gave Technical Services lectures in Marmara University and Management lectures in Istanbul University and some Tourism Establishments. Mr. Bayındır is still general manager and owner of Harem Hotel and can speak French and English.
Margreet has recently strengthened the AECOM Economics team and brings across 14 years of consulting experience in the real estate, hotel, leisure and tourism sector. Her experience covers areas such as mixed use developments, policy reviews and strategies, project management, urban and resort hotels, restaurants, conference venues, golf resorts, racecourses and leisure real estate.
Margreet has undertaken numerous consultancy assignments throughout Europe and the Middle East. The majority of her clients are private sector companies although her work in tourism development has been commissioned by public sector bodies. Many of her assignments required close cooperation with various large hotel operating companies and major UK banks. Some of her clients have been the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Strategic Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, Istithmar World, OZCO, Whitbread, University of Kent, Cottrell Park, Precis Holdings, NBGI, Dolce Hotels, Happold Consulting. Projects have included assessments of mixed use developments, tourism development strategies, leisure real estate developments, both urban and resort hotel developments, conference venues, and operational reviews.
First Vice President Turkey
Aareal Bank AG
Director Development Spain & Portugal
Head of the Investment Promotion Unit
Invest in Greece
Executive Board Member
Head of Aquisitions Europe
Chief Operating Officer
Emaar Hospitality Group
Head of Property Services
Hotel Partners Africa
David is the Head of Property Services for Hotel Partners Africa (HPA), advising on all aspects of hotel properties, including valuation, operator selection and acquisitions & disposals. HPA is the coming together of four of the most experienced consultants working in sub-Saharan Africa to provide a one-stop-shop for hoteliers and developers, and David’s role is to provide the property advice
David is a Chartered Surveyor with over 20 years in property and the hotel industry. He is the author of Hotel Valuation for Investors, the best-selling book providing comprehensive advice on all aspects of hotel ownership. He also advises the RICS on hotel valuations and wrote the guidance on ISURV, a subscription service providing best practice advice for Chartered Surveyors the world over.
Prior to setting up Hotel Partners Africa and before that Leisure Property Services, David was head of hotel valuations and international brokerage for CBRE Hotels, and has been involved in some of the largest transactions across the globe. He has worked in over 100 countries and has unrivalled experience across sub-Saharan Africa.
Gordon is one of the founding partners of G1 Architecture and offers extensive experience in the hospitality sector. He has been involved in strategic planning and the implementation of many large and complex projects both in the UK and internationally. Gordon has worked on some of the most major UK luxury hotel projects and brings particular expertise in the re-positioning and refurbishment of high end hotel projects. In his career, Gordon has focused on hotels exclusively for the last 20 years. In that time, he has also undertaken resort projects in the Middle East, India and Africa.
Chief Development Officer
Orascom Development Holding
French national, born 1968, Chief Development Officer. Mr. Renaud-Perret joined the Orascom Development Group in 2006 as a member of the Executive Management in charge of Orascom Development Group's activities outside of Egypt. Prior to that, he was a member of the executive committee of Club Méditerranée responsible for the group strategy and implementation with respect to resort development and asset management. Mr. Renaud-Perret started his career with Euro Disney SCA, where he held positions in finance and strategic planning. He was educated in France and holds an MBA from INSEAD.
Executive Vice President [BDCB]
African Export Import Bank
Ministry of Tourism
Ministry of Tourism & Culture Senegal
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer
Transnational Hotels & Tourism Services Ltd. (owners of Transcorp Hilton)
Mr. Ozigbo is the MD/CEO for Transnational Hotels and Tourism Services Ltd, owners of Transcorp Hilton Hotels and Transcorp Metropolitan Hotel, Calabar. He was a banker and accountant with over 16 years experience in commercial, retail, investment and international banking. He is also Chevening scholar and winner of various university and work place best student/staff awards. Among his core attributes are great leadership, relationship management, business transformation, quantitative, analytical, presentation and communication skills.
Prior to his current position, he was Keystone Bank’s (successor to Bank PHB) General Manager and Divisional Director in charge of Global Transaction Banking, covering all the products of the Bank, international business, correspondent banking relationships, global trade, bureau de change business and ebusiness. Before then, he was the Divisional Head of International Banking and Head of Global Strategic Alliances at United Bank for Africa Plc where he handled similar responsibilities, but including playing key roles in the expansion of UBA franchise in many countries. He has also worked with FSB Int. Bank Plc (now Fidelity), Continental Trust Bank Ltd (now part of UBA) and Diamond Bank Plc.
He graduated from the Lancaster University, UK where bagged a Distinction in MSc Finance. His other educational qualifications include MBA in Banking & Finance and a BSc in Accounting both from the University of Nigeria (UNN) where he made the best result in both the department of Accounting and the faculty Business Administration (winning 6 prizes). He is a Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.
He has participated in many international seminars and debates including African Development Bank annual meetings in China, Lisbon etc, World Bank/IMF annual meetings in Washington DC, Euromoney and Economist conferences in London, Euromoney debates on Capital Flows to Africa in London, and SIBOS (the world’s premier financial services event) in Hong Kong, among many others. He has also inter-phased with many regulators in many countries including the US Federal Reserve Board, the Dubai Financial Services Authority, COBAC, etc.
He is married to Ojiugo Ozigbo and together, they have 3 wonderful kids.
Min Roger Kacou
Minister of Tourism
Republic of Cote D'Ivoire
Chief Edem Duke
Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Natural Orientation Nigeria
Senior Industry Specialist, Global Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services Department
Director of Business Development
Manager, Corporate Finance and Advisory Services
African Export Import Bank
Vice President EAME, Feasibility
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Co-Head of Franchising
Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP
Head of Hospitality Real Estate Investment Office
VIY Management LLP (VIYM)
Vyacheslav has more than 15 years of international investment, consulting and audit experience in hospitality real estate on top executive positions. He joined VIYM in 2008 as Development Manager and after a number of successful promotions he currently heads the firm’s hospitality real estate investment platforms focused on the Greater Europe markets, including the emerging markets of FSU economies and such developed markets as Italy, Switzerland and Austria. His hospitality real estate experience includes bringing the leading international hotel operators to Russia, including IHG, the Rezidor Group and the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, in all the segments from luxury to budget including the 1st Four Seasons hotel in Russia, an upscale mixed-use project with Crowne Plaza hotel and the Regional Hotel Chain with Park Inn by Radisson and Holiday Inn Express hotels. VIYM is now active across 25+ most vibrant regional city centers in the country, from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. Vyacheslav has an MA degree in Economics & Management with honors and a PhD in Economics from the St. Petersburg University of Trade & Economics. He is a certified Commercial Investment Manager as well as certified by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and University of Stirling in Practical Auditing, Accounting and Finance. Vyacheslav has released over 50 published reports on CRE investments. He is native Russian and fluent in English.
HE Helal Al Marri
Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Helal Saeed Almarri is the Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) - the principal authority responsible for strengthening Dubai’s positioning as a world-leading tourism destination and commercial hub. Under this mandate, his role entails leading the planning, supervision and development of sustainable tourism as an economic enabler for Dubai through enhanced partnerships with industry, and active government and public participation.
Additionally, Almarri is responsible for reinforcing Dubai’s growing global significance as the key business hub and networking platform for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
He also heads the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) which is the region’s largest business and consumer event, exhibition and conference hosting and organizing group.
Helal Almarri is the Chairman of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex and a Higher Committee Member for the Dubai Expo 2020 bid organisation. He concurrently serves on the boards of government and UAE-based private sector entities including Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment, International Humanitarian City, ARAMEX and Taaleem Education among others.
Having previously been as a consultant with McKinsey & Company and KPMG, his experience spans a diverse portfolio of industries across geographies. Helal Almarri holds an MBA from the London Business School, and is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Director of Government Relations & Emiratisation
Emaar Hospitality Group & Emaar Hotels + Resorts (Armani Hotels Group)
A senior Human Resources professional specialized in government relations within the hospitality industry; Hamad Eghdani is Director of Government Relations & Emiratisation at Emaar Hospitality Group and Armani Hotels & Resorts.
He is responsible for implementing the Emiratisation targets set by the Group across all levels, as well as designing and executing a long-term strategy for driving the recruitment and development of Emiratis.
In addition to assisting HR Directors, he also analyses vacancies that suit UAE nationals, leads hiring of Emiratis for identified positions, and works towards enhancing their career paths. He also liaises with the concerned governmental bodies on aspects related to Emiratisation and HR development, extending his support not only within Emaar but to other companies as well, supporting their Emiratisation programmes.
Eghdani previously worked as a Trainer & Consultant with Dubai’s Maharat Programme, developing training courses to promote Nationalisation, and conducted various hospitality and retail industry related programmes.
During his career he has also worked as Senior Cabin Crew – Business Class with Emirates Airline, and was Founder and Managing Director of Midway Tour in Sharjah. Eghdani has also served in the UAE Army as Sergeant in Logistics.
Fluent in Arabic, English, and conversational in French, he completed the Higher Diploma Course in HR, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in eBusiness Management from Dubai Men’s College. Eghdani is also Founder of the Emiratisation Committee for the Private Sector.
Vice President - Engineering
I was born in Glasgow Scotland, I am 52 years old married with 2 boys 13 & 19 years old. I carried our my mechanical engineering training with the British Steel Corporation in Scotland and then emigrated to South Africa in Late 1984. I began my career in the hospitality industry with Sun International at the world famous resort Sun City. I progressed through the ranks at Sun City to deputy head of engineering which included responsibility for refurbishment projects. In 1998 I took a career change within Sun International and became the Operations manager for the Time Share portion of the resort, then I became the Hotel Manager of the Cabanas Hotel and my final position with Sun International was as the General Manager of the Lugoggo Sun and Ezulwini Sun in Swaziland.
In 2006 I returned to Engineering and joined Jumeirah in Dubai as the Director of Engineering at the Madinat Jumeirah Resort and I have progressed to my current position as Vice President of Engineering & Projects. In my time at Jumeirah I have overseen major refurbishments of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Jumeirah Emirates Towers rooms as well as numerous restaurant and public areas refurbishments.
Having worked as a General Manager and as an Engineer I have a unique understanding of both sides of a refurbishment project and I try and take this into consideration when planning any refurbishments.
Ahmed Al Fahim
Executive Director – Marketing, Communications, Sales and Leasing
Ahmed Al-Fahim is responsible for managing TDIC’s marketing, communications, sales and leasing departments. With more than 10 years experience, not only does Ahmed possess an excellent academic background from which TDIC can draw, but his many experiences and insightful knowledge of the region make him a dynamic addition to the executive team.
Prior to joining TDIC, Ahmed worked in several prominent organisations, including the Dubai Properties Group (Salwan) where he served as the Executive Director of Leasing and Property Management/Marketing from 2005. There, he was responsible for managing all leasehold Dubai property projects, as well as 17,000 residential units, retail and commercial spaces.
He also worked with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority from 2001until 2005 where he held management positions and supervised duty officers from Emirates, dnata, the police, and customs and immigration in the airport control centre.
Ahmed completed various training courses in operational planning, strategic thinking, performance management, and sales skills, and is also a certified real estate agent. He is a graduate of Coventry University in the UK, where he earned a Master’s Degree in marketing, and a graduate of Cambridge University with an Executive Diploma. He also graduated with a Higher National Diploma from Dubai Polytechnic, majoring in business management and marketing.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Kingdom Hotel Investments
Sarmad Zok is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI), headquartered in Dubai, UAE. Mr. Zok founded KHI in 2001 and led the company’s US$1.6Bn Initial Public Offering in 2006. Following an aggressive expansion program, KHI was taken private in 2010 and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Mr. Zok is also a Board Director of KHC and a member of the company’s Investment Committee whereby he oversees KHC’s $13Bn global hospitality portfolio encompassing 24 hotel assets and four international hotel management companies.
Mr. Zok holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management from the University of Surrey and a Master of Arts in Property Valuation and Law from City University Business School in London. He is fluent in English, French, and Arabic.
Head of Emerging Markets
Roubini Global Economics
Partner - Head of Transaction Advisory Real Estate, Hospitality and Leisure - MENA
Ernst & Young
Gabriel Von Bonsdorff
Assistant Vice President - Investments
IFA Hotels Investments
Since joining IFA in 2006, Gabriel has been a pivotal member in the shaping of the company's asset management and investment team. Gabriel currently leads the investment function of IFA Hotel Investments including the investment, funding and asset management of Yotel ltd, a hotel operating company based in the UK, as well as for IFA's hotel investments in the US.
Gabriel brings over 10 years of real estate investment, structuring, management consulting and development experience across South East Asia, Middle East, Europe and the US. Prior to joining IFA, Gabriel worked as a management consultant for OC&C in Dubai advising real estate companies on investment and organizational strategies as well as performing turnkey project management services for real estate developments in the GCC. Gabriel also brings extensive valuation, development and technical skills from working with companies such as HVS International and hotel operators such as Six Senses Resorts & Spas.
Gabriel is a graduate of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, where he obtained a BSc in Hospitality Management, as well the prestigious London Business School where he graduated with an Executive MBA.
Chief Operating Officer
Citymax Hotels - Landmark Group
Russel Sharpe graduated from Surrey University intent on developing a career within the hotel and catering industry. He opted to learn the business by working through the ranks. Starting as a chef he moved into management initially as a Food & Beverage Manager, then Rooms Division Manager before becoming a General Manager of a five star hotel in Riyadh.
However, Russel's strength lay in sales and marketing and his broad experience coupled with his impressive track record enabled him to hold various senior regional posts with Holiday Inns, Accor and more recently with Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts, culminating with the role of Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing Middle East and West Asia setting up their first Central Reservation Office and extensive sales network servicing in the Middle East and India.
With over thirty years extensive experience in the Middle East and Asia, his comprehensive knowledge base and strategic sales and marketing skills, provides him with a platform to project manage a hotel concept from inception to launch, providing full feasibility studies and revenue projection. His recent venture with Mezze Associates Consulting as senior partner has allowed him to widen his knowledge and experience by looking at acquisitions for multi-use projects, financing, project, and asset management.
As the COO for Citymax Hotels, he has managed to hone his management skills and bring his vast hospitality knowledge to focus on filling and operating over 1200 rooms in the UAE.