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Profile

Sergey Lukyanov

Senior Associate - Hotel Financing
UniCredit Bank

Stepan Smitienko

Director Department of Investor Relations & Financial Institutions
OJSC Northern Caucasus Resorts

Смитиенко Степан Борисович
В 2007 г. окончил Институт Международных экономических отношений Финансовой академии при Правительстве Российской Федерации,
в 2009 г. - аспирантуру Финансовой академии при Правительстве Российской Федерации, кандидат экономических наук

До прихода в ОАО «КСК» занимался организацией проектного финансирования.
Возглавляет Департамент по взаимодействию с инвесторами и финансовыми институтами с июня 2013 г.


Smitienko Stepan.
In 2007 graduated from the Institute of International economical affairs of Finance academy under the Government of the Russian Federation
In 2009 graduated from  a postgraduate program in Finance Academy under the Government of the Russian Federation, PhD in Economics

Before joining OJSC “NCR” engaged in project finance.
Head of department of investor relations & financial institutions since June 2013

Naile Göçen Çukurova

Chairwoman
TUSIAD Tourism Working Group

James Innes

Partner
Chrystal Capital Partners LLP

James Innes is a founding Partner of Chrystal Capital, responsible for maintaining over 350 relationships with single family offices, sovereign wealth funds and niche financial institutions who are seeking to make direct investments in both public and private opportunities.

An experienced corporate financier and private equity practitioner, James brings with him extensive knowledge of the investment requirements of differentiated, non-institutional capital providers.  Having raised over half a billion dollars in the last few years, and following on from the recent successful IPO of Dubai based Action Hotels plc , James is bringing his experience to bear with MENA based companies that are looking to raise debt and equity finance.

James will give an insight into what companies need to do to attract investment, the process and timing for such investment, and how working with a boutique corporate finance house, such as Chrystal Capital, is beneficial to the achievement of those aims.
 

Kaan Kavaloğlu

General Coordinator
Limak International Hotels & Resorts

Kaan Kavaloğlu was born in Istanbul on 08.01.1971. He graduated from Istanbul University’s Finance Department Faculty of Economics.

Afterwards he received a Masters Degree from Istanbul University in Tourism and Hotel Management and from Marmara University in Sales Management.

He worked as a Sales & Marketing Manager and a Sales Director in Merit International Hotels & Resorts between 1994 and 1998.

In 1998 he started to work as Assistant General Manager for Limak International Hotels & Resorts, where he has been working as a General Coordinator since 2004.

Kaan Kavaloğlu is married with two sons and speaks fluent English and French.

Arda Ermut

Vice President
ISPAT - Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey

Arda Ermut was born in 1980, graduated from Bogazici University, Political Sciences and International Relations department in 2004 and completed the MA courses of the same department in 2005.

He worked for H.E. Prime Minister of Turkey, between the years 2005 and 2007, as a “Media and PR Consultant” at Istanbul Dolmabahce Office of the Prime Ministry.

Since 2007, he is working for the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT). He was the head of the team in charge of Gulf, Middle Eastern and Arabic speaking countries and also led the team in charge of India. He had been Chief Project Director and Advisor to the President in 2010. Currently as a VP he leads the Public-Private Partnership Department. He speaks English and Turkish.

Michael Kus

Director - International Operations
Aedas

Alii Pilyarov

Owner
Recreational Center "Mara"

Artem Shashkin

Managing Director
OJSC "North Caucasus Development Corporation"

Alexander Khloponin

Vice-Premier of the Russian Federation
Plenipotentiary Envoy of the President to the North Caucasian Federal District

Hüseyin Gürel

Manager, Financial Analysis & Sector Analyst
TSKB Bank

Hüseyin Gurel was born in 1983 in İstanbul, Turkey. He graduated from Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ),   Department of Economics. He started his career at Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) in 2007.  He is currently manager at the Financial Analysis Department of TSKB. Mr Gürel is responsible from project evaluation (credit risk analysis, risk capital analysis, project finance and debt restructuring), company valuation, real estate appraisal, feasibility, and consultancy activities since 2007.

He is also responsible for Tourism Sector as sector analyst in Department of Economics at TSKB. He presented several sectoral projections and reports on tourism.

Sinan Onbulak

eBusiness Director
Titanic Hotels

Sinan is the eBusiness Director of Titanic Hotels since 2010. He has online sales experience on Turkish Riviera, Istanbul and Berlin markets.

He has also developed expertise in website management, conversion optimization, online user experience and ancillary revenues.

Prior to joining Titanic, he worked at Booking.com and several global hotel chains both in Turkey and USA.

Alexis de La Palme

SVP – Head of Development Europe
Accor

Alexis is holding an Hotel & Tourism Diploma from the Swiss Hotel & Tourism School of GLION.

He started his career in 1988 where he was holding several Senior Hotel Operation positions for about ten years.

From there he was recruited by Accor as V.P of Worldwide Sales for Sofitel Luxury Hotels then moved to Middle East as VP Sales & Marketing Accor and went back to operations as Associate Director for Accor Middle-East & Africa.

After his MBA done with HEC School of Management in Paris he integrated the Accor Development Team where he is currently holding the position of Head of Development - Europe.

Stephen Mwansa

Permanent Secretary
Zambia

Al-Karim Hamir

Chairman - Managing Director
Prime Assets

Umberto Trussoni

Hotel Acquisition Manager
Quantum Global Real Estate AG

Lourie Kruger

VP M&A and Treasury
Kingdom Hotel Investments

Paul Redding

InnCom Business Development & Marketing
Honeywell

Andrew Rogers

CEO
Hospitality Property Fund

Kofi Adomakoh

Head of Project Finance and Export Development
African Export Import Bank

Selim El Zein

Head of Hotel Asset Management, MENA
Colliers International

Norman Forsyth

Regional Director, Design & Engineering, MEA
InterContinental Hotels Group Asia Middle East and Africa (IHG)

Norman is the regional head of  the Design and Engineering function in MEA for Intercontinental Hotel Group , based out of their Dubai corporate office.
With the same group he was  previously responsible for supporting the roll out of managed and franchised  Holiday Inn Express hotels in Europe.
He is a qualified architect with over 30 years design experience including over 12 years working for international operators including Marriott and over 5 years leading and developing regional hotel projects with Aldar and Majid al Futtaim 
He has worked globally on hotel projects whilst based in Europe and the Far East and has lived and worked in the UAE for over 12 years since first arriving in 1990.

Susan Harmsworth

Chief Executive Officer
ESPA

Universally recognised as one of the world’s leading spa experts, Susan Harmsworth’s innovative, inspirational and forward thinking approach has shaped the luxury spa industry into what it is today.
Since the age of 21, Susan has devoted her professional life to spa and wellness, enriching people’s lives globally. Her passion and aptitude for the creation and management of spas and natural products has underpinned the success of health retreats, luxury spas and wellness centres internationally.

Susan’s career has also included health and beauty journalism, spa education programmes and the extensive development of natural skincare and body care products, based on the principles of nature and science. The culmination of this knowledge and a clear vision for what the spa industry should be offering, led Susan to create ESPA in 1993. In 2010, Susan was honoured with an MBE from the Queen in recognition of her services to the spa and beauty industry.

Since its debut, ESPA has rapidly become the world’s first total spa company, specialising in the innovative design, development and management of five star spas throughout the globe. Recognised as global leaders in spa, ESPA successfully combine the design and management of prestigious spas across five continents with the creation of pioneering, natural products that are rich in heritage, texture and aroma. An authority in its field, ESPA is proud to partner with luxury hoteliers, property companies and owners around the globe to create some of the world’s finest spas and equally proud to be a British company who manufacture their products in their own state-of-the-art factory in the UK.

Susan is frequently contacted by editors of consumer glossy magazines and international broadsheet papers to offer her observations and vital comment on the spa industry today. Susan has secured her well deserved position as the industry’s highest achiever, whilst remaining very hands on at ESPA.

Animesh Panday

Senior Manager Commercial Development
King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC)

Animesh is a seasoned asset management & mixed-use development professional with well-rounded experience of over 13 years in asset life cycle planning, including- hotel operations, advisory, valuations, management contract negotiations, owner’s representation and development phasing. 
He has worked in the GCC region for the last seven years and before taking up his current role with Emaar, The Economic City, KSA to set -up the hospitality asset management function and support strategic development planning , he has performed consulting and valuation assignments in across ten countries in the middle-east and Asia, across various asset classes.
Animesh holds an MBA from Essec Business School, IMHI, Paris, France, has an Executive Education Certificate  from Harvard Graduate School of Design in Management of Design Process, and  is a member of Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA) Asia Pacific.

Barry Curtis

Vice President - Global Strategic Accounts Buildings Business
Schneider Electric

Yousuf Lootah

Executive Director Tourism Development & Investments
Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM)

Yousuf joined DTCM in 2014 as Executive Director of Tourism Development and Investments. He leads DTCM’s “destination development from a tourism perspective” for DTCM’s Dubai 2020 vision. From developing new tourism destinations, to ensuring that Dubai proactively develops its hospitality capacity, Yousuf is entrusted with one of the most exciting mandates in DTCM.  
He comes with extensive experience in strategic planning, investment management and business development in the real estate and MICE sectors; where he developed and managed successful strategy implementations and achieved profound financial results.
Before joining DTCM management, Yousuf served as the Vice President of Taziz Property Management Solutions, a subsidiary of Ejadah Asset Management Group. During his leadership of Taziz, the company established its position as one of the largest and most professional Property Management companies in the UAE with Assets under Management (AUM) in excess of AED 20 billion.
His earlier career includes serving as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).Yousuf, also held the position of Vice Chairman of Neuron LLC, a Third Party Administrator within the healthcare insurance sector; in addition to Chairman of ASP, a subsidiary of Zabeel Investments, ensuring the success and growth of the company between 2010 and 2012. 
Yousuf is an MBA graduate of the prestigious London Business School and holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Boston University School of Management.

Paul Lonergan

Vice President Asset Management Hotels
Jumeirah Group

Samer Abu Ayash

Senior Vice President Design,Construction and Real Estate
Kingdom 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.

Amir Lababedi

Associate Director
HVS

Saahil Lalit

Associate Manager Hotels, MENA Region
Colliers International

Saahil has 8 years of industry experience within the hospitality and tourism domain with over six years of experience in hospitality development and investment advisory within the MENA region. Over the past six years, Saahil has worked with different profiles of clients such as developers, investors/ investment funds, hotel operators, tourism ministries and multilateral organization. For each of these clients, Saahil has delivered a combination of outputs such as concept building & development strategies, market & financial feasibilities, hotel operator search & negotiation strategy, operational audits & asset management, valuations, strategic business plans, master plan reviews and destination development plans. Saahil’s project experience includes hotels & resorts (standalone/ multiple assets or hotel portfolio/ development of hotel chain), leisure/ entertainment (theme parks and water parks), malls, mixed use developments/ integrated tourism developments and tourism master plans/ tourism strategies. The main markets that he has covered for such assignments are UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Turkey, Burkina Faso, Senegal, India and Malaysia.
Prior to joining Colliers, Saahil was leading the Dubai branch office for Tourism & Leisure Advisory Services – Europraxis Consulting, implementing hospitality, tourism and destination strategy projects across the MENA region.
Saahil holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from SIMS, Pune (India) and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Hospitality and Hotel Administration from IHM, Mumbai (India).

Anton Pak

General Director
OJSC "North Caucasus Development Corporation"

Vladimir Vladimirov,

Acting Governor
Stavropol Region

François Victor

Associate Director
Horwath HTL

François Victor has a MBA from HEC Business School in Paris.

He first worked as an economist in the consulting company BIPE on sectors analysis. After developing an independent consulting activity in tourism, he joined Détente Consultants as senior consultant in 1999. In 2006, he joined Horwath HTL Paris as director and associate.

François has a 25 year career in consulting in Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure and has worked on more than 150 missions. He has developed a global expertise in tourism destination management and marketing, including market research, strategy and positioning and e-tourism.

He has worked on the development of sustainable projects in Turkey, in Mauritania and in various regions of France.

Yavuz Ungor

Owner
Matrix Travel

After having worked in different parts of Travel industry in Turkey, Yavuz Üngör set up Matrix Travel in 2000, based in Antalya.

His being a golf addict helped very much for improvement of golf section in Matrix Travel. 

He is a member of several sectoral clubs and associations.

Hakan Ozkasikci

Development Architect, Turkey & South Eastern Europe
IHG

Hakan Ozkasikci is an architect and a designer, with two decades of collective international experience in design management and coordination activities. His parallel career as an academician was based on sustainable design principles and their interpretations within the hospitality industry in the future.

Hakan Ozkasikci is currently the Development Architect for Turkey and South Eastern Europe at InterContinental Hotels Group - IHG. He is leading more than 20 projects in various countries; while taking an active role in preparing the refurbishment design guidelines for Green Engage; IHG’s renown and unique sustainability programme for its global portfolio. IHG's corporate responsibility strategy is concentrated on Green Engage as a tool meant to control the carbon footprint of the world's largest hotel group, and Hakan is a key contributor, acting for the improvement and application of the programme.

Volkan Müller

Chief Operating Officer / Chief Financial Officer
Jones Lang LaSalle Turkey

Nida Çandarlı-Sözügeçer

Golf Consultant
BDO Hospitality Consulting

Nida Çandarlı-Sözügeçer has obtained her Bachelor degree in Business Administration from University of Virginia in 2001 and Master of Science degree from Northwestern University in 2009. Following her studies, she has worked as Sales & Marketing Director and Deputy General Manager at Hacienda Golf Club, one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious and private golf clubs.

After spending nearly 12 years in America, Mrs. Sözügeçer moved back to Turkey, where she is from, and worked as the Chief Operating Officer at Bekay Property Partners, a leading Turkish real estate development company. At Bekay, she was in charge of the entire land and project development of one of nation’s largest master planned golf, hotel and residential project, located in Belek, Antalya.

Mrs. Sözügeçer currently works jointly with BDO Hospitality Consulting, providing land and project development services, along with a wide range of related consultancies (i.e. membership, agronomy, management, etc.) to existing golf resorts, as well as to local and international companies, developing / investing in golf resorts in Turkey and abroad. Mrs. Sözügeçer also takes an active role in the sports management aspect of golf, including management of golf tournaments (both national and international) and strategic golf sponsorship advisory.

Ed James

Head of Meed Insight
Meed Insight

Greg Perry

Asset Manager
IFA Hotel Investments

Greg represents IFA Hotel Investments, the global asset management arm of the Kuwait-based Al-Bahar family real estate portfolio. Overseeing 2,000 plus rooms in operation and development and $140M in annual revenue across the globe, Greg ensures that portfolio performance is aligned with owners’ interests of maximizing returns. In 2013 IFA HI secured financing for the landmark hotel, Fairmont The Palm, and opened the 168-room Mövenpick hotel in Jumeirah Lakes Towers; successfully completing the mixed-use Laguna Tower project. Two new IFA projects are under development on Palm Jumeirah, which Greg is active in securing and negotiating with hospitality operators to further enhance the offering and returns for investors.
Prior to joining IFA Greg spent four years consulting with HVS in the US and Dubai which provides a background of varied experience across numerous asset classes and phases of development with an international outlook. Greg’s experience in sourcing financing for hotels provides a unique perspective for an asset manager. He holds a Master’s degree in International Real Estate from Florida International University in Miami and an undergraduate degree in Education from Florida Atlantic University.

Khaldoun Tabari

Chief Executive Officer
Drake & Scull

Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi

Chairman
Qatar Tourism Authority

His Excellency Mr Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi is Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority, the entity charged with planning, regulating, developing and promoting a sustainable tourism sector in Qatar. His project management and international business background serve QTA well as it embarks on rolling out the new Tourism Sector Strategy for the State of Qatar.

Prior to taking up the post of Chairman in May 2012, HE Mr Al Mohannadi was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Msheireb Properties, a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation and one of the world’s most exciting and progressive real estate companies promoting sustainability in architecture and heritage preservation in Qatar.

HE Mr Al Mohannadi has received numerous recognitions for his contribution to Qatar’s rapidly growing business community, including the title of ‘Property Development CEO of the Year’ at the 7th Middle East CEO of the Year Awards organised by the Middle East Institute of Excellence in 2010.

In addition to his Chairmanship of QTA, HE Mr Al Mohannadi occupies a number of distinguished posts within public and private organisations in Qatar.

He is the founder and chairperson of the Qatar Green Building Council, which actively promotes sustainability in the local construction industry as it works towards formal membership in the World Green Building Council.

He was previously a prominent figure at Ras Laffan LNG Company - RasGas  Ltd -  where he drove key initiatives such as the Ras Laffan Helium Project train 1 and train 2 in France, and train 3 expansion in  Japan,  the LNG Venture Terminal Business Group and the RasGas Capital Projects Department. He also chaired RasGas Operation Group Qatarization Committee.

HE is the Vice Chair to the Doha Film Institute (DFI) and a board member of Qatar Airways, Barwa Real Estate Group, and Qatari Diyar. He is also a member of the board of trustee of Qatar Academy Al Khor.

HE Mr Al Mohannadi has a Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in Kingsville, Texas, as well as  specialised training certificates in project management from George Washington University, Washington D.C., Harvard Business School, INSEAD, and Kellogg Business School.

Jovica Mracevic

Development Director
Portonovi Montenegro & One & Only Montenegro

Serdar Denktaş

Deputy PM & Minister of Economy, Tourism, Culture & Sports
Northern Cyprus

Abraham Muthogo-Kamau

Head of Credit
Tourism Finance Corporation

Abraham is the Head of Credit at Tourism Finance Corporation, Kenya’s sole development finance institution (DFI) for the tourism sector. The Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC) is a state corporation that provides financing, investment opportunities and business advisory services to entrepreneurs and investors in Kenya’s vibrant tourism sector.

Abraham joined TFC in 2006 having worked extensively in Kenya’s financial services sector in various lending roles. At TFC Abraham maintains overall functional and administrative responsibility for a lending portfolio of over US$ 15 million. During his time at TFC, Abraham has been instrumental in structuring and financing over 50 successfully implemented hotel investment projects spread across Kenya and is currently involved in various pipeline negotiations for upcoming projects.

Abraham holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics and pursuing a Master of Arts (Economics of Multilateral Trading Systems) both from the University of Nairobi ,Kenya. Abraham has undertaken several professional development courses in his 20 year lending career during which he has worked for three (3) commercial banks and two (2) development financial institutions in Kenya.

Tim Kiltscher

Executive Director Asset Management
Seven Tides

Timothy James Klitscher, Executive Director - Asset Management, is responsible for Commercial and Residential Leasing, Hospitality and Branded Residential Sales, and strategic planning at Seven Tides.

With extensive experience in the hospitality and mixed use real estate sectors, Tim’s in-depth market knowledge throughout Africa, Australia and the Middle East offers Seven Tides strategic counsel for creating partnerships, selecting hotel operators and negotiating management agreements as well as identifying and recommending growth opportunities for the company in his role as part of the executive management team.

Tim has gained a wealth of experience, through a number of key executive roles, within some of biggest international brands in the hospitality industry. His previous roles included asset manager for IFA Hotels and Resorts FZE, associate director of business development at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and director of sales at the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove. 

Prior to that, Tim was corporate/international sales manager for the Westin Sydney Hotel in Australia.  Before Tim was seduced by the world of marketing, he had enjoyed a successful 16-year career in the food and beverage industry where he worked for a number of top class hotel brands such as Sheraton, Westin, Hyatt and the Jumeriah Group

Tim has recently completed a Masters of Commerce through Deakin University Australia majoring in Finance and Marketing. Tim also has a degree in Business majoring in Marketing and Hospitality from Griffith University, Australia.

Alexis Feuillat

Director of Development Russia, CIS & Georgia
ACCOR

Boris Obolenec

President of the Chamber of Commerce
Stavropol Territory

Pavel Elnikov

Senior Associate
DLA Piper Russia

Yulia Kosareva

Minister of Economic Development
Stavropol Territory

Maria Znova

Director Business Development
The Rezidor Hotel Group

Nina Novikova

Director of Economics
AECOM

Darren Blanchard

Senior Director Business Development
The Rezidor Hotel Group

Sergey Egorov

Development Director Russia and CIS
Wyndham Hotel Group

Yurii Hadzhaev

Deputy Minister of Economic Development
Stavropol Region

Nilsun Tümer

Country Coordinator Turkey
PKF hotelexperts

Nilsun Tümer is consultant with PKF hotelexperts Vienna and country coordinator for Turkey. She primarily works in the field of feasibility studies and valuations of hotels and hotel portfolios. Furthermore, she gives advice with regard to operator search and selection.

Nilsun is a part-time lecturer at Boğaziçi University, Department of Tourism Administration in Istanbul.

She started her career at Citibank, Istanbul and during 1998-2006, she worked at Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB). Following TSKB, she worked at Divan Hotel Group as head of business development. In 2011, she became a consultant for Servotel Group and in 2012, she started to work for PKF hotelexperts Vienna.

Temel Kotil

President & CEO
Turkish Airlines

Dr. Sapta Nirwanda

Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy
Republic of Indonesia

Serdar Bacaksız

Member of the Board of Directors
Limak Construction

Mr. Bacaksiz was born in 1977 in Ankara, Turkey. He graduated from Gazi University, Faculty of Engineering – Department of Civil Engineering and then earned a masters degree in Project Management in the United States at Baruch College between 1999 and 2001. After the completion of a second post graduation qualification in Traffic Engineering, presently he is working on doctorate studies. 

He began his career at the Limak Group of Companies in 2001. From this date forward he has taken an active role as an Administrator, mainly for strategic planning, infrastructure, investments and business development.

Currently he is working as a Member of the Board of Directors in several corporations belonging to the Limak Group of Companies.

Hakan Ateş

Chief Executive Officer
Denizbank

Erdem Şatiroğlu

Managing Partner
GEMDSE Project Management LLC

Erdem graduated from the Istanbul Yıldız Technical University of Civil Engineering in 1992. He founded GEMDSE Project Management LLC at the end of 2010, after twenty years of professional experience in a public corporation and in some private companies. He has managed many comprehensive and national constructions during professional experience. He serves as project and construction consultant for investors, contractors, companies and also a public institution since the end of 2010 in GEMDSE Project ManagementLLC, Istanbul.

Huseyin Koc

Co-Founder
Metropol Urban Planning LLC

Hüseyin Koç is General Manager, Metropol Kentsel Tasarım  ve Şehir Planlama, Mimarlık, Müh. İnş. Ve Tic. Ltd. Şti

Koç graduation from the Department of Urban & Regional Planning at Istanbul Technical University in 1992.

He has implemented many projects on the topic of Urban Design, Landscape Design, City Planning and Architecture.

Since 2004 he has been County and Metropoliten Council Member, Deputy of Mayor.

Brian Watson

Vice President, Architecture, Design and Construction, EMEA
Wyndham Hotel Group

Brian Watson is an architect with over 30 years’ experience of the hotel and hospitality industry.  Following seven years in private practice in the UK he has held senior positions with Whitbread, the Compass Group, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and the Millennium Hotel Group.  His experience includes all aspects of hotel development, design and construction on both new-build and refurbishment projects.  He currently leads the Architecture, Design and Construction team in EMEA for the Wyndham Hotel Group.  In 2013 the team added 79 hotels and over 11,500 rooms to the group portfolio throughout the region.

Kerim Başar

Managing Partner, CEO
N+1 Daruma Corporate Finance - Real Estate

Kerim Basar joined N+1 Daruma in 2006 and currently acting as a CEO and Managing Partner of N+1 Darunma Corporate Finance - Real Estate. Mr. Basar has over 20 years of business experience in different sectors of Textiles, Trading, Renewable Energy and Project Finance and M&A Advisory on Real Estate. Kerim received his BA in business administration from Uludag University in Bursa and HND from Bolton Institute of Technology on Textile Chemistry & Coloration.

Oya Narin

Chairperson of the Board
Marti Hotels and Marinas

Ms. Oya Narin was born in Istanbul in 1964. She completed St. Michel High School in 1982 and got her Bachelors  Degree from the Hotel Ecoliere Lousanne in Sweden.

After her graduation in 1986, she started her professional career by working in several hotels which are located in Sweden and United States of America and she finished the MT programme in Sheraton Hotels Hawaii Pacific Division.

Ms. Oya Narin started her career in Turkey at Narin Textile Industry. Since 1988 she worked at various departments as Manager at Marti Hotels and Marinas and became Chairperson of the Board of Marti Hotels and Marinas in 2008.

She was also Board Member and the Vice President of the Turkish Tourism Investors Association for many years.

Tarik Nasser

Vice President, International Lodging Development
Marriott International, Inc.

Mr. Nasser has been Vice President, International Lodging Development of MII since January 2012.  He is located in Istanbul, Turkey.  Previously, Mr. Nasser was Development Consultant, Turkey, of MII from September 2007 to December 2011.  Prior to that, Mr. Nasser was a co-founder and shareholder of APlus Healthcare Hospitality Services Co. from June 2006 to December 2010.

Frederic de Brem

Managing Director
Algonquin

Sevgi Kurt Gürbüz

Consultant - FFE & OSE Procurement
BDO Hospitality Consulting

Sevgi received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from İstanbul Technical University in 2003 and acquired her master degree at İstanbul Technical University in Project & Construction Management on Contract Management.

Having started her professional career at ENKA Construction in 2003, she worked  on several hotel projects on procurement management, purchasing, budgeting and tendering of furniture, fixtures, equipment and operating supplies (FFE & OSE).

Then she decided to specialize on hotel procurement and started her own company the-GAIA as the first FFE&OSE Procurement company in Turkey.

She has a wide local and international supplier database, being familiar to several brand specifications.

She is currently acting as the General manager of the-GAIA FFE&OSE Procurement with her experienced team servicing several hotel projects, such as Conrad Hotel İstanbul,Viceroy Hotel Bebeköy, Swissotel Moscow and Swissotel Bodrum.

Sevgi is a solution partner of BDO Hospitality Consulting in the field of FFE&OSE Consultancy and Procurement.

Henky Manurung

Deputy Director of Tourism Investment
Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Republic of Indonesia

José Roquette

Board Member | Development
Pestana Hotels & Resorts

  • 46 years, 3 children, living presently in Lisbon.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Pestana Group, heading the Development and Expansion plans, reporting to the Chairman & CEO.
  • Graduate in Business Administration & Management from the Catholic University, post-grad in hospitality management at the Cornell Univ. NY.
  • First business experience in family owned leisure resort in Portugal
  • Started his career in Venture Capital in Lisbon; Launched and led for 3 years the first Equity Fund specialized in the hospitality area, in Portugal, in public/private partnership.
  • Joined Pestana Leisure Group in 1996
  • Has been responsible for its international growth first in Africa, then Brazil & South America and now Europe & US
  • Between 2004-2006 was the CEO of “Pousadas de Portugal”, the most traditional chain of small luxury hotels in Portugal, privatized in 2003.
  • Won in 2002 (S.Paulo) the “Hospitality Entrepreneur of the Year” Award.
  • Member of the Cornell Society of Hotelmen, contributed to several books & articles specialized in the Tourism Industry in Portugal and Brazil.

Michael A. Fishbin

Global & Americas Hospitality Leader
EY

Claudia Pendred

Director of Property and Tourism
EBRD

Claudia Pendred is the EBRD’s Director for Property & Tourism.

Mrs. Pendred has over 20 years of experience in banking throughout Central and Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe and Russia.

Previously she was the EBRD’s Director for Romania and before joining the EBRD, she worked at N.M. Rothschild & Sons, where most recently she was Director of Corporate Finance, focused on Central and Eastern Europe. Earlier on, Mrs. Pendred worked at J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co and before that she worked with UNICEF and the World Bank.

Mrs. Pendred holds an MBA degree from INSEAD Business School, an MA from Harvard University and a BA from the University of Oxford.

Dario Filippone

Business Development Director
Mangalis Management Group

Dario Filippone is the Group Business Development Director and member of the executive committee of Mangalis Management Group. In this position he participates in the creation of Brand Standards for the newer brands, contribute to strategic decision of the company and is in charge for the definition and implementation of the development strategy for all the brands of group. Mangalis has created 3 new brands (Yaas, Seen, Noom) and has a pipeline of 15 new hotels under construction and aims to expand in the EMEA region with 50 hotels by 2019.

Dario started his career in operations being director of a private owned hotel in Italy, then he has worked for Accor in South America before joining Hotwath HTL as an associate and HTI Consulting as Vice President. As consultant Dario was responsible for hotel transaction advisory, contract negotiation advisory ( Management, Lease and Franchising agreement), feasibility study and asset management.

Bernard Forster

Director - Asset Management (Hospitality & Real Estate)
Rani Investment

Jan-Joost van Rijsbergen

Counsel
Clifford Chance

Kevin Montano

Senior Vice President, EDITION Global Development
Marriott International, Inc.

Kevin Montano is the Senior Vice President responsible for the global growth of the EDITION brand. Kevin has significant experience in the lodging industry and has developed hotels in the US and Asia for Marriott International for 29 years.

As head of the EDITION Development team, Kevin works closely with the Marriott development offices in London, Hong Kong, Zurich, Dubai, Paris, Moscow and Brazil. This wide network of hotel developers provides off-market opportunities to aggressively grow the EDITION brand in all of the key international gateway cities.

The ten EDITION hotels currently under construction in cities such as, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Bangkok and Abu Dhabi, highlight the depth of this new brand.

Kevin is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School and Syracuse University. He is based in Bethesda, Maryland and New York City.

Ashok Dalwani

President-Projects
Homestead

Sinan Inan

General Manager
Antalya Convention Bureau

Born in Söke - AYDIN on 19.09.1964. He studied at Çankaya Primary School in Mersin, continued his education at Tarsus American College.  He graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Science, and the section of Business Administration in 1986.

As of the high school he committed to the tourism sector and continued after his graduation from the university as professional. He worked for different national and international tour operator companies as middle and senior level positions.
Besides his professional life he also take responsibilities at the several NGO’s like as a founding member of Skal Club Kuşadası, founding member of Kuşadası Promotion Foundation, had duty for 12 years at the TÜRSAB Executive Board of the Regional Comity.

Since 2011, he is acting as General Manager at Antalya Convention Bureau and married with his classmate Zülal and he is the father of Efe.

Rutger Smits

CEO
Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company

Rutger Smits is the CEO for Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company (ARTIC), the hotel subsidiary of Al Faisal Holding. He has an extensive and varied hospitality background, including operational, management, development and consulting experience in leadership roles with InterContinental Hotels, Andersen, HVS, Cushman & Wakefield, Deloitte as well as his own consulting company. He has lived and worked around the globe in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, and has travelled extensively.
Based in Qatar, as the CEO of ARTIC he is responsible for the management and growth of ARTIC’s hotel portfolio, which currently comprises some 25 projects around the globe, both operational and in various stages of development.

Erwin Feldhaus

FDI Director for Germany, Central & Eastern Europe and Turkey
Promexico

Claudio Capaccioli

Senior Vice President Development
NH Hotel Group

Claudio Capaccioli has over 20 years of experience in the Hospitality industry. Since January 2012, Mr. Capaccioli serves as SVP of Development, responsible for the global Development of NH Hotel Group. During the last 7 years in the company, he has been directly involved in the negotiation of over 100 hotels and in the sale of properties in excess of €350m.

Previously, he worked in Carlson Wagonlit Travel (Business Development), Deloitte (Strategy and Real Estate), Aramark (Strategic Marketing and Sales) and Costa Cruises (Planning, Logistics and Accountancy) in various countries around the world.

Claudio Capaccioli holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics, and a Master degree from Cornell University and from IESE.

Sergio Holguin

Chief of Staff
Fonatur

Hector Novoa

Deputy Director of Investment Promotion
Fonatur

Rudy Salahuddin

Director of Promotion Development
Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board

Dr. Rudy Salahuddin is the Director of Promotion Development of Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

He graduated with a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from University of Indonesia in 1993, and received a Master and Doctor in Engineering Management and System Engineering from The George Washington University in 1995 and 2002.

Dr. Rudy joined Indonesia Ministry of National Development Plan (BAPPENAS) in 1996 and was assigned to various postings including Deputy Director for Post and Telematics (2002-2006) and Deputy Director for Energy Development and Utilization (2006-2007).

He joined BKPM in 2007 as Director of Promotion Development. He was then appointed as Director of Exhibition and Promotion (2010-2011) and Director of Investment Planning for Service and Economic Zone (2011-2012) before his appoinment as the Director of Promotion Development for the second time in 2012.

He is also the Commissioner of PT PNM Venture Capital, a subsidiary company of PT Permodalan Nasional Madani) and PT Tugu Pratama Indonesia (subsidiary company of PT Pertamina).

Emin Çakmak

Chairman
Global Healthcare Travel Council

(The Founding Chairman of the Turkish Healthcare Tourism Development Council; Advisor of IHG International Hospital Groups for Healthcare Investment in Turkey and African Countries, Founding Chairman Turkish-European Tourism Council,The Ex, Executive board member of the GCC, Middle Eastern and EU business Council’s of DEIK - Foreign Economic Relations Board; The Ex, Executive member of the Accessible Tourism Committee, Health Tourism Committee and Foreign relation committee of the Union of Turkish Travel Agents Association –TURSAB; International Director of International Peace Garden Foundation and the Founding Partner of Hello Tourism and Travel Inc ). Lately has been elected as Founding Chairman of the Global Healthcare Travel Council.

Having completed his secondary education and having earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Al-Fatih University in Libya.

Having worked last 20 years with Multi- cultural environments as an CEO in Tourism and travel industry at the family company and has run at the same period of last 20 years as an founder partner with multinational companies as an Industrialist, manufacturing Heat Exchanger, Air-conditioners and Automotive sub supplier to the OEM Automotive Industry.

Gülgün Korkusuz

General Manager
Uğurlu Consultancy

She was born in Malatya in 1965 and has completed her bachelor degree at Uludag University and acquired her masters degree at Istanbul University in Business Management and Organizational Development.

Having started her professional career at Koç Holding, in 1991 she decided to specialize in International Trade and she started off training again at Istanbul University's International Trade Department and also was certified as a Customs Consultant during this time.

She worked at various managerial positions until 2001 when she decided to run her very own Ugurlu Consultancy Ltd. to provide support in international trade, branding, state subsidies to companies.

Ministry of Economy and Culture of the Ministry of Tourism in Turkey for hotel investments documents related to the support given and received grants and consulting arrangements serve.

Between 2011 and 2012 she was the lady president of the business organization MESIAD that represents Merter with an export volume of 3,5 Billion Dollars. She is currently acting as the General Manager of Ugurlu Consultancy with her professional team and supports an active pool of 250 companies.

Rutger Smits

Chief Executive Officer
Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company

Omar Al Jaroudi

Chief Executive Officer
SHUAA Saudi Hospitality Fund

Omar Al Jaroudi, a Saudi national, comes with over 27 years of diversified experience in the fields of commercial and investment banking. He started his career in 1984 with the Saudi French Bank initially in commercial banking and later moved to investment banking.

In 1995, he moved on to help setting up Lebanon Invest, an investment bank which was merged in the year 2000 with Banque Audi SAL after which Mr Al Jaroudi joined SHUAA Capital in March 2007. During this period, he amassed vast and diversified experience, both in the region as well as in Europe, in the areas of investment banking, private equity, asset management, local and regional brokerage, and distribution. He also serves on the board of several companies both in the Middle East and Europe.

Mr Al Jaroudi holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from Syracuse University in New York and a Bachelor’s Degree
in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut

Andrea Thilo

Journalist, Facilitator & Documentary Film Producer

Andrea Thilo studied Social and Business Communication Studies at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. She completed a traineeship at the German public broadcaster NDR, worked as TV-reporter and editor for NDR and ARD and ran the art consulting company KUNSTKONZEPT from 1990-92. From 1995-97, she presented the weekly show “liebe sünde” on Pro 7 and reported for the European BBC1 show 'The E-Files' on a freelance basis.

Since 1998, Andrea Thilo has worked as a film producer and freelance journalist (mostly for DIE ZEIT). Regularly, she is booked as host for conferences, World Cafés, open space formats and other events, especially in the field of culture, education and sustainability.

In 1999, Andrea Thilo founded the production company BOOMTOWN MEDIA GmbH+CoKG in Berlin together with her partners Thomas Grube and Uwe Dierks. Their first production, called WARSCHAU EXPRESS, was nominated for the German television award in 2000. Five years later, the producer trio Thilo, Grube & Dierks got awarded the German Film Prize for the internationally recognized box office hit RHYTHM IS IT!. The documentary film about the education work of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle attracted more than 670,000 viewers alone in Germany and was sold to 15 other countries. In 2008, TRIP TO ASIA was released in German cinemas and in various European countries. Other cinema documentaries had been released soon after: PORGY & ME | IN THE WORLD OF GERSHWINS´PORGY & BESS and PEACE PUNCH | THE YEAR OF DECISION.

Andrea Thilo, mother of two daughters, left her company BOOMTOWN MEDIA at the end of 2010 to further connect and communicate in the field of culture, learning and sustainability.

Khalid Anib

Managing Director - Hotels Division
Al Hokair Group

With more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, Khalid has had the opportunity to manage hotels under well-reputed international hotel chains in different countries. His previous experience includes over
15 years with ACCOR where he was the General Manager of the Pullman City Center Hotel & Residence Dubai. Prior to joining Al Hokair Group, Khalid was the General Manager of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts a luxurious property in Bahrain.

Khalid has had the exposure to different business models, resorts & city hotels; from medium and large sized properties to luxurious categories.

Khalid, a 48 yr old Finnish citizen of Moroccan origin holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Strathclyde University UK.

Salah Al-Bukkayet

Deputy Secretary General
SCTA

Martin Ostermann

Director of Development
Melia Hotels

Based in Dubai for nine years

Martin leads the development efforts of Melia Hotels International in the Middle East Region.
With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and related industries, Martin acquired strong knowledge in hotel sales, marketing, public relations, hotel management in Europe, the US and Middle East, both in operations,hospi tality real estate advisory and development, as well as capital markets.
Martin holds a degree in Hospitality Management from the Conrad N. Hilton College at the University of Houston in Texas, USA.
He frequently travels to all GCC countries and abroad and leads top level client negotiations, participates in industry expert panels, conferences and exhibitions and has acquired a strong level
of market knowledge, client network and recognition. Strong market and subject knowledge as well as close owners and investors relations are essential to success in the
region and abroad ,which Martin masters.

Kabir Mulchandani

Group CEO
SKAI Holdings

Kabir Mulchandani is the Group Chief Executive Officer of SKAI Holdings. A seasoned real estate entrepreneur, Mulchandani has dispersed over US$8bn worth of real estate in Dubai, developing a reputation of successfully identifying the right market opportunities, consistently entering and existing investments at the right time, and has an unrivaled understanding of market movements, both long and short term.
In January 2013, Mulchandani was awarded the prestigious Esquire Middle East Businessman of the Year award after achieving more than US$3.6m worth of business in SKAI Holdings’ first year of operations. Other accolades include Arabian Business’ 11 th
Most Powerful Indian in the Gulf 2013, the 28th

Richest Indian in the GCC 2012 and the Businessman of the Year 2012. He was awarded CEO of the Year at the 2013 CEO Middle East awards.

In just a few short years, SKAI Holdings has established itself as a leading real estate player in the UAE. The firm launched its flagship project, Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah, a US$1bn hotel and furnished residences project on the Palm Jumeirah, in June 2013. SKAI Holdings is currently working with developers and contractors to complete and refurbish three projects in
Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Circle, valued at US$109m.Mulchandani studied Industrial Engineering at Stanford University in the United States and at Philips Exeter Academy

Hamed Farzadi

Group Chief Financial Officer
Seven Tides

Hamed Farzadi is the Group CFO of the Seven Tides and related group of companies. He is a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and is also a UK Qualified Insolvency Practitioner.
Hamed’s previous experience is centered on financial and operational restructuring and turnaround, predominantly in the Hospitality and the Real Estate sector.
Prior to Seven Tides Hamed was a Director at Deloitte Middle East Financial Advisory Services practice where he headed up the Corporate Restructuring division for the region, following a decade with Deloitte in London. Hamed joined Seven Tides in 2013 to use his wealth of hospitality and real estate industry knowledge to support the group in its latest developments.
Seven Tides is a hospitality and real estate group and its developments amongst others includes Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa and Residences, Mövenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel Offices and Residences, Oceana Residences and Dukes Hotel London.

Tom Hasker

UAE Country Director & Head of Project Management ME
Faithful + Gould

Tom Hasker is Faithful+Gould’s country director for the UAE and head of project management for the Middle East region.
He has worked in the industry for 17 years and has delivered major projects and programmes in the hospitality, healthcare, retail and commercial sectors – to time, cost and quality objectives in the Middle East and Australia.

Tom’s responsible for the strategic growth of the UAE business and oversees a wide variety of projects from a project, planning and commercial management function.

Sameer Kazi

Head of Corporate Real Estate Investments
Sedco Holdings

Sameer Kazi is the Head of Real Estate Investments at SEDCO Holding.  SEDCO is a multi-billion dollar Family Office of Bin Mahfouz family based out of Jeddah that has several billion dollars invested in real estate assets globally.  SEDCO also owns the Elaf hotel brand which is a leading Saudi hotel chain with strong presence in Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah.  In his role, Sameer is responsible for driving the strategic direction and performance of the real estate portfolio through investments, asset management, workouts, development projects and divestitures.  The real estate portfolio is globally diversified across North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia.  The assets include residential, office, retail, development project, land bank, hotel, logistics, light industrial, funds and REITS.

Tariq Hameed

Managing Director
Capitas Group International Limited

Mr. Tariq Hameed is the Managing Director for CGI’s Development Management Services. He brings over two decades of management & business development experience in the fields of Shari’ah compliant real estate financing, strategy consulting, corporate banking and business leadership.
Tariq leads the Development Management team at CGI and is directly responsible for business development and capitalization within the business. Along with his team, over SR 2 billion of investments have been raised during the past two years from within the Kingdom. Tariq works with a network of private family institutional, government and international investors.
Prior to joining Capitas Group International, Mr. Hameed was Managing Partner for the Middle East at Access Consulting Limited – a multi-disciplinary Management, Corporate Finance & Strategy Consulting firm, incorporated in Dubai (DIFC). Earlier, Tariq was a Member of the Management Committee of Tamweel PJSC – one of the largest Shari’ah compliant real-estate financial institutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the largest provider of home finance in the UAE. He has previously worked with Citi Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.
Some of the key engagements Tariq has been involved in include:
 Structuring land acquisition models applied to financial feasibility assessment of a 2 million sqm urban regeneration project in Makkah (Jabal al Sharashif and Nakasah)
 Capital raise for the SAR 1 billion real estate financing company in KSA
 Structured and capital raise for a SAR 1 billion Shari’ah-compliant mezzanine SME Fund for KSA
 Structured and capital raise for a SAR 100 million Shari’ah-compliant mezzanine construction finance company for KSA
 Structured a USD 100mn Shari’ah compliant income-generating real estate fund for the GCC
 Developed the business strategy for a USD 130 million mono-line mortgage finance company for a UAE commercial bank covering KSA & UAE
 Developed capital structures and raised USD 130 million for various UAE-based real estate developers
 Originated mortgage business of USD 1bn in UAE
Tariq holds a MBA degree in Banking & Finance from Pakistan’s premier business school, the Institute of Business Administration

Bob Puccini

Chief Executive Officer
Bob Puccini Group

Bob Puccini knows what makes social spaces and restaurants successful. Companies such as Fairmont, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Ritz Carlton, and Strategic Hotels and Resorts come to Bob because they know he understands the business from every perspective. Having been responsible for designing and remodeling over 1,000 restaurants worldwide, combined with his unsurpassed ability to survey a market, he appreciates a client’s goals and translates his perceptions into a winning concept that has earned Bob a stellar reputation and many longtime clients. Before founding Puccini Group in 1996, he served as Partner and Senior VP for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for ten years during their expansion from 4 to 35 restaurants throughout the United States. Today, Kimpton remains one of Puccini Group’s closest clients.

Bob has worked under many titles throughout his 40-year career, starting with dishwasher at the age of 16, then moving to restaurant General Manager, and by 30, he was Vice President of a national chain of restaurants. It was there that he began not just operating, but concepting and developing restaurants as well. In the late 1980s he met Bill Kimpton and worked for him on the development and operations of the restaurant division through the extensive growth years at the Kimpton Group. He has continued working as a consultant to this day. In addition, Bob has owned and operated restaurants in California, Oregon, and Canada. He understands the inner workings of every facet of the restaurant business and is quick to identify solutions in any under-performing hotel restaurant.

With current projects around the globe, from Dubai to Macau to his home city of San Francisco, and as a globally-thinking professional, Bob currently belongs to both the International Society of Hospitality Consultants and the Foodservice Consultant’s Society International. In 2002, he was named the Anti-Defamation League’s Food and Wine Industry Person of the year and won the prestigious Platinum Circle award from Hospitality Design in 2006.

Bob particularly relishes his role as a leader in the restaurant industry and its community, and has served on the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association and the Board of Advisors at University of San Francisco’s Hospitality Management program. He holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from San Diego State University and spent 1969 in Brazil with the Peace Corps.

Recognized as an industry expert, Bob is an internationally sought after speaker at hotel investment conferences in Berlin, Macau, Mumbai, Dubai, Istanbul and Beijing. With over forty years in the hospitality industry, Bob’s love for restaurants has helped Puccini Group become the niche market leader for hotel F&B outlets, in terms of concepts, design, and operations.

Aqeel Raees

Chief Executive Officer & Director
Gulf Hotels Group

Aqeel Raees is the Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Gulf Hotels Group, he is responsible for all divisions of the group, which includes the Gulf
Hotel, Gulf Brands International, Gulf Executive Residence, Gulf Convention Centre and Gulf Executive Offices. He has overseen the expansion of the group with the addition of the Ocean Paradise Resort in Zanzibar which is managed and partly owned by the group, The K Hotel in Juffair which is managed by the Gulf Hotels Group as well as the latest projects in the Group’s expansion plans, Gulf Residences Amwaj a two apartment buildings in Amwaj Islands, offering deluxe accommodation as well as unique F&B outlets planned to be opened in 2014 and
as part of Gulf Hotels Group’s strategic plan to establish its presence as a regional brand the Group has acquired a plot of land in the Business Bay area in Dubai, UAE and
has commenced the development of the 240 room, five star Gulf Hotel Business Bay Hotel in Dubai

He is one of the pioneers of the hospitality and tourism industry in the Kingdom of Bahrain, who began his hotel career when he got a scholarship to study hotel management in the United Kingdom 40 years ago. He held many senior positions in the Gulf Hotel and in 1990 he was appointed General Manager a post that he has held for 12years after which he was appointed
Chief Executive Officer of the Group. Aqeel Raees led the hotel successfully, especially through the difficult times the Tourism industry faced over the years such as the Gulf war, the worldwide economic crisis and the political unrest in 2011 and succeeded in maintaining the hotel’s leading position between five-star hotels in Bahrain and he managed to achieve excellentresults in terms of occupancy and the development of hotel facilities and outlets.

Aqeel Raees was awarded the WORLDHOTELS Leadership Award 2013 during the WORLDHOTELS’ Annual International Leadership Conference that took
place in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2013 recognizing his outstanding and inspirational leadership within the group,
In addition to his role in Gulf Hotels Group, Mr Raees is also

  • Vice Chairman, Chairman Executive Committee and Managing Director
  • of Bahrain Family Leisure Company.
  • Member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Sulmaniya
  • Ex. Vice President of the Skal International Club of Bahrain
  • Ex. Member of the Board and Chairman Financial Committee of the
  • High Council for Vocational Training
  • Ex Chairman of the Specific Council for Training in Hospitality
  • Ex Member of the Board of the Arab Union for Hotels & Tourism
  • Ex Member of the Supreme Council for Tourism.

Sven Doliwa

VP Sales & Development
WorldHotels

Born in 1971 in Germany, Sven Doliwa discovered his passion for hospitality during a traineeship at the early age of 14. Since then his career has led him to different stations within the industry, making him a true expert in the fields of Sales, Marketing, Distribution and Business Development.

Doliwa joined Worldhotels in September 2013 and is based in the group’s headquarters in Frankfurt. He overlooks and drives Worldhotels’ sales efforts in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and leads the company’s Hotel Development department, aiming to expand the Worldhotels portfolio with unique hotels in new destinations.

Before joining Worldhotels, Doliwa held senior sales positions with multiple international hotel companies such as Kempinski and Hilton. He gained international experience working for Rotana Hotels in UAE, where he oversaw the group’s regional Sales activities, as well as with Kempinsiki in Bulgaria and Jordan, where he held an executive position in the hotel opening team.

Most recently before joining Worldhotels, Doliwa was Vice President Commercial at Grand City Hotels in Germany, where he was responsible for Sales, Marketing, PR, Revenue Management and Distribution. Among his main achievements with the group was the successful integration of 120 Hotels within 7 years, the strengthening of the companies entire Sales, Marketing, Revenue Management & Distribution Department, as well as the successful positioning of the group’s hotels in the market through turnaround management.
Sven Doliwa lives near Frankfurt with his wife and son (7 years) and loves to spend his leisure time with his family, travelling, barbecueing and riding his motorbike.

Abdulla Bin Sulayem

Chief Executive Officer
Seven Tides & Asteco

After completing his degree in Business at Middlesex University, Abdulla Bin Sulayem moved on to join one of the world’s largest real estate developers, Nakheel in 2005 as Director of Operations.
After six successful years, Bin Sulayem then joined leading real estate and hospitality developer, Seven Tides, as CEO, with the overall responsibility for the company’s luxury five-star properties which include the Anantara Residences The Dubai Palm Jumierah, Movenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate, Movenpick Hotel Deira, the Oceana Residences and DUKES Hotel in London.
In 2012, Bin Sulayem was also given the added responsibility as CEO of Asteco, a major regional and international real estate services firm and the largest property services company in the United Arab Emirates.