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
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 Federatio
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
Leisure Property Services
David provides valuation, asset management and brokerage advice on hotels to an extensive list of clients across Europe. He has been a specialist hotel advisor for over fifteen years and is an RICS Registered Valuer.
He is the author of “Hotel Valuation for Investors”, the only comprehensive book on the appraisal of hotel businesses, which goes into great detail on how to understand the existing business through a thorough business review, so that the value of the hotel can be fully understood.
He is also the author of the hotel valuation section on ISURV, the RICS’s subscription website that provides “best practice” advice for professional real estate professionals.
In additional to hotel valuation David actively asset manages a number of hotels for a number of clients, providing a bespoke service depending upon the individual requirements of each client.
A large part of David’s current workload is transaction based, providing brokerage advice services to a wide range of clients across the globe.
David has been a consultant since 2005. Prior to that he was head of International Brokerage at CB Richard Ellis Hotels and was responsible for structuring the network of hotel agents across the EMEA region, as well as coordinating efforts with the US and Asia-Pacific offices. Prior to that he was Head of Valuation at CB Richard Ellis Hotels.
He has been a member of the RICS since 1992 and a Registered Valuer since 2011.
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.
Essameldeen Abdelhady Mohamed
Chairman and Managing Director
The Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels " E G O T H "
Margaret McMahon manages and leads the firm’s interior design practice. Margaret’s 27 years in the design industry have produced an impressive portfolio of projects and an equally impressive list of loyal clients.
Prior to joining Wimberly Interiors, Margaret was the managing director of Wilson Associates’ New York office and former president of the Greater New York Chapter of Network of Executive Women in Hospitality. Margaret is a frequent speaker at industry-related conferences and events.
Her work can be seen frequently in international design publications such as Interior Design, Architectural Digest, Hospitality Design, Hotel Design, Hotels and Hotel Business. Margaret’s natural talent to pinpoint details, analyze conceptual designs, and integrate reality with emotion makes her a revolutionary and inspiring figure in the field of interior design.
Current project experience
Khams Shamat Touristic Development Hotel
The Ritz Carlton Panama City
Panama City, Panama
prior project experience
Turning Stone Resort + Casino
Verona, New York
Foxwoods Resort + Casino
Boca Raton Resort & Club,
Boca Raton, Florida, (renovation)
Fairmont Southampton Princess Hotel
Southampton, Bermuda, (renovation)
The Savoy Hotel,
London, England, (renovation)
Miami Beach, Florida, (renovation)
Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence
Cairo, Egypt, (renovation)
The Ritz Carlton
Amelia Island, Florida
Fairmont Monte Carlo,
Monaco, France, (renovation)
Fairmont Chateau Frontenac,
Quebec, Canada, (renovation)
Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Eden Roc Renaissance,
Miami Beach, Florida, (renovation)
Nine Zero Hotel
Spruce Peak at Stowe
The Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes,
Orlando, Florida, (renovation)
The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel,
Washington, District of Columbia, (renovation)
MGM Grand at Foxwoods
The Mansion on Peachtree, A Rosewood Hotel
The Plaza Hotel
New York, New York, (renovation)
Senior Investment Manager
Oman Brunei Investment Company
Amr Abdel Ghaffar
Regional Director - Middle East
Director of Food and Beverage Concepts Asia Middle east and Africa
Duncan is responsible for concepting and shaping the direction of the company’s future F&B offerings across the Asia Middle East and Africa region. IHG, the world's largest hotel company, operates five brands across the region including InterContinental, Crown Plaza and Holiday Inn.
Duncan’s 20 years in the hospitality industry, spanning Asia, Australia and the Middle East have seen him developing both successful stand alone and hotel based Food and Beverage operations from iconic wine bars and cafes through to fine dining steakhouses and signature European outlets. Prior to his current role, Duncan spent 3 years in Doha, Qatar, as General Manager Hospitality, developing the hospitality operations for Qatar Sports City and its bid for the 2022 World Cup.
Duncan’s approach to establishing Hotel Food and beverage is to identify the mix of offerings falling under the three categories of, Core, Impulse and Destination and to make strategic, long term decisions on the correct use of each individual space.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Jennifer Fox is President of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and oversees the luxury brand’s global hotel portfolio. With an extensive background in hotel operations, branding and marketing, Jennifer is responsible for operations, product and service strategy, global brand development, human resources, owner relations and development. Prior to joining Fairmont, Jennifer spent 10 years at InterContinental Hotels Group, most notably as Chief Operating Officer for Continental Europe, and 13 years at Starwood/Sheraton where she held several senior management positions. Over the course of her career, Jennifer has also managed world-renowned hotels including the InterContinental Hong Kong and the Orchid at Mauna Lani (now a Fairmont). Jennifer has worked in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia during which time she has developed a global network of luxury and industry related contacts, including strong connections in the media, owner and investment communities. Jennifer holds a doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from the International School of Management in Paris, France, and an MBA from Baylor University, Texas USA.
VP Architecture & Construction Middle East & Africa
President Group Services & DNATA
Head of Business Development
Citymax Hotels, Landmark Hospitality
Mr. Dinesh Chadha is a Hospitality professional with more than 25 years of Hotel Operations, Projects and Development experience in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman & South Asia.
Having completed a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Delhi and a Diploma in Hotel Management, he started his career with the TAJ Group of Hotels. After several operational positions, he rouse to the level of General Manager.
Having worked with TAJ for almost 10 years, he joined Bass Hotels & Resorts, where he attended specially designed mini-MBA program conducted by University of Hong Kong.
After gaining valuable insight and experience in India, he moved to Middle East Region, in the year 2000, where he held General Manager and Country Head positions with Nizwa Hotel Oman, Avari Group of Hotels Dubai and Landmark Hospitality Saudi Arabia.
He presently heads Business Development for Landmark Hospitality’s Hotel division & is responsible for the expansion of group’s brands.
Stefan Breg has the unique job title of ‘Chief Worrier’ of TRIBE Restaurant Creators.
TRIBE was set up in Dubai in 2003 and has become one of the most prominent F&B Strategy and Design Houses in the region.
TRIBE has created and designed over 275 F&B brands internationally winning both Michelin and TIME OUT awards. TRIBE have masterplanned some of the world’s largest urban developments including mega malls in Dubai and Yas Island, home of the Grand Prix.
Clients include ALDAR, Cavalli Club, IHG, Hilton, Sofitel, Marriott, King Abdulla Foundation, Khalifa Fund, 360 Mall, Hakkasan and Buddha Bar.
Stefan was previously Regional F&B VP of Hilton and has held senior positions with Intercontinental, Thistle, Pepsi and Ernst & Young. He is a Visiting Professor at the Emirates Academy and Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne and is an internationally recognized speaker and expert on F&B strategy.
Lo’ai B. Bateineh
Head of Investment Mangement Group
Oman Arab Bank
I am currently serving as DGM‐Investments and Development, and heading the Investment Management Group (IMG) which is consider the investment arm of Oman Arab Bank SAOC. I have more than 21 years of experience specializing in financial investments and fund management. IMG managed assets in excess of USD 750 million. I am also a member of several committees in Oman Arab Bank like Asset Liabilities Committee (ALCO), Investment, IT Steering, Marketing, Budget and Promotion Committees.
I am specialize in Asset Management, Corporate Finance Advisory and Investment Banking, I was advising Investment Co’s, Mutual Funds, Family Offices, Public listed Co’s, Limited Liability Co’s (LLC) and different type of legal structure Co’s in their Financial and investment Operations within the GCC area. I did and advice a couple of corporate deals in M&A, converting LLC Co’s to Public listed Co’s, Valuations, Spin Off, acquisitions and sell off operations. Also I have been involved in a broad spectrum of complex financing transactions, including multi jurisdictional leveraged buyouts, IPOs, telecom valuations, infrastructure financings, securitizations, derivatives transactions, large scale joint venture arrangements, share purchase agreements and debt restructurings.
I advised on some of the most innovative transactions in the GCC region including:
1. United Power Co. (the first PPA project in GCC), in their rights issue, US $100 million. Year 1999
2. Al Safa Foods Co. (SAOG) in valuations, structuring and to go public, US$ 50 million-Year 2001
3. Bank Sohar (SAOG) to go Public, US$ 240 million –Year 2006.
4. Galfar Co. (SAOG) in valuations, structuring and to go public, US$ 416 million-Year 2007
5. Voltamp Power (SAOG) in valuations, structuring and to go public, US$ 200 million- Year2008
6. Al Khalili Group (LLC) in valuations, structuring and to go public, US$ 100 million- Year 2010
I participated in numerous conferences, courses (international and local) such as Institute of Banking & Finance, Singapore Training Program, Private Banking courses in the Arab Bank Group (London, Dubai, Beirut, Amman, Cairo, Bahrain, Singapore & Switzerland), Credit Analysis Program and the Bourse game with Citibank, Investment School (Cambridge University), in addition of delivering number of lectures, and conducting training and teaching sessions in many Colleges, Corporations and Universities in the Arab region. I also participated as a regular speaker at various conferences and several discussion forums as part of the panels as well as a key note speaker such as Oman Global Investment Forum (Muscat-Oman), Oman Economic Forum (Muscat-Oman), Oman Capital Markets Forum (Muscat-Oman) and Real Estate Markets Forum in Oman Facts & Challenges (Muscat-Oman). I am a well known writer in Financial and Economic subjects in local and regional newspapers & magazines.
I am holding a Master Degree as well as B.Sc (Both Honors Degree) in Money & Banking. Additionally, I am also hold a High Diploma in Investment Analysis as well as a High Diploma in Credit Analysis, and have finished Series 7. I also attended and participated regularly in various dialogues and interviews on several Electronic Media such as Oman TV, Al Jazeera, Abu Dhabi TV, Dubai TV, CNBC Middle East & Europe, Kuwait TV, Al Ekhbaryia TV, Al Eqtisadieh TV, Al Arabyia TV, …etc. In addition, I was Board Member of Oman United Insurance SAOG, Oman Brokerage Association, and I am still now a Board Member of the National Bureau of Credit Information SAOC, Oman Al Arabi Fund and Arab Bank MENA Fund.
I was been responsible for establishing The Investment Management Group of Oman Arab Bank SAOC in 1998. Under his leadership OAB‐IMG has been awarded the Best Investment Bank in Oman from World Finance Magazine in London for year 2010 and also awarded for 5 consecutive years (2004-2008) by Muscat Securities Market (MSM) in Oman, as one of Best brokerage house in Oman in all areas including services offered & organizational structure and also awarded the 2nd Best Financial Website Award for the year 2009 by Pan Arab Web Awards. He also a well known equity market participant and has raised more than US$ 2 billion for various companies including Al Safa Foods Co., Galfar Engineering, Bank Sohar, United Power, and Voltamp Energy through Public Offer. Also I was one of the few specialist in converting family co’s Business to public Co’s and to be listed in the markets.
Country Manager UAE
Marcello Baricordi has recently been appointed as Country Manager for Visa UAE within the APCEMEA region, joining from the Visa London office. Based in Dubai and reporting to Kamran Siddiqi GM for MENA, he is responsible for continuing to build the Visa business in the UAE.
Mr. Baricordi has over 10 years of financial services experience prior to joining Visa in 2009 on the Global strategy team as a member of the Visa International Management Team. His main role was to develop corporate country growth strategies and drive long term business planning while coordinating large global and local inter-functional teams. A key function area was gathering competitive Intelligence in order to assess and monitor threats and
opportunities arising from immediate and potentially innovative competition.
Prior to Visa, he worked at First Data International in Italy where he was in charge of the business development function across major Italian banks in the issuing and acquiring arena, including scouting M&A and strategic partnership opportunities.
Earlier, Marcello worked for over 6 years as a senior manager at A.T Kearney focusing on the payments sector, supporting large international organizations to develop their go to market strategy in the issuing and acquiring business.
He has extensive knowledge in repositioning products and developing entry strategy in the processing business via organic and inorganic growth.
Mr. Baricordi holds an MBA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.
Dr Abdullah S. Alweshail
General Director National Project for Tourism HR Development
Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities
• General Director of National Tourism Human Resources Development Center - Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities. Saudi Arabia
• Former Consultant at Human Resources Development Fund
• Former Manager of Office Administration programs at the Institute of Public Administration.
• Consultant to a number of public and private organizations.
• Conducted a large number of training programs, workshops, and seminars for both public and private sectors.
• Member of a number of national and international, professional and educational institutions and committees.
Chief Executive Officer
Adel A. Ali is well known for being at the forefront of the development of modern aviation. His innovative achievements and contribution to air transport and tourism sector in the wider Arab world are globally recognized. He managed to transform Arab aviation in October 2003 when he set up Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first low-cost carrier (LCC), opening up a market niche in the region whose existence few had suspected.
The pioneering aviator drove Air Arabia’s growth in the next eight years into the largest low cost carrier in the MENA region, as well as the first publicly owned airline in the Arab World and it’s largest by market value. Drawing on his 28 years of experience with industry leaders such as Gulf Air and British Airways, Adel has also been able to guide Air Arabia to become amongst the world’s best run Low Cost Carriers, delivering a profit for eight years in succession.
Under the leadership of Adel, Air Arabia’s business model has gone from strength to strength, enabling it to expand operations, enter new ventures and diversify into new revenue streams. Today, the Group holds a portfolio of successful businesses and projects, offering travel, tourism and hospitality services across the globe.
In addition to being the Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, Adel is also the chairman of Sharjah Information Systems Associates, Alpha Sharjah catering, Alpha Aviation Academy and Cozmo Travel. A board member of Sharjah Aviation Services; Adel also sits on the board of Air Arabia (Maroc), based in Casablanca’s Mohamed V International Airport and Air Arabia (Egypt), based in Alexandria’s Burj Al Arab International Airport.
Since 2007 and for five consecutive years, Adel has been awarded ‘Airline CEO of the year’ by various industry forums. He was named ‘World’s best Low Cost Carrier CEO’ during the World LCC Congress in 2008. He entered the “Hall of Fame Award” in 2010, honoring his contribution to the Middle East Aviation. In 2011, Adel was named “Business Leader of the Year” at the Middle East Accountancy and Finance Excellence Awards as recognition for establishing Air Arabia as the region’s number one low-cost carrier. Finally, in September 2012, during the third year of CEO Middle East Awards, Adel Ali was named “CEO of the Year – Aviation”. Hosted by CEO Middle East, an ITP group publication, “CEO Middle East Awards” recognise and reward outstanding success, innovation and ethics.
Dr Salah Al-Bukayyet
Deputy Secretary General - Investments
Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities
Dr. Salah Al-Bukhayyet is the Vise President for Investment in the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA).
Dr. Al-Bukhayyet received his Masters of Professional Accounting from the University of Miami in 1991 followed by a Ph.D in Accountancy from George Washington University in addition to the CPA, CMA, CFM, CFC, CIA, CBM, CRA, CCSA, and CGAP.
Dr. Al-Bukhayyet is a member of several renowned associations in the United States of America and Saudi Arabia and has received some distinguishing awards as he was recognized as a member of the University of Miami Alumni for Excellence 1998-1999, he did also receive HRH Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Excellence Award for excellent academic performance in his Master Program 1991. Furthermore, he was selected for membership in Beta Gamma Sigma – The Honorary Society for Collegiate Schools of Business (USA) 1991 in recognition of his high scholastic achievement in his Master Program; he was also qualified and elected as a student member of the National Association of Accountants (USA) 1990.
Dr. Salah Al-Bukhayyet, as the Vise President for Investment in the SCTA, is directing one of the most important sectors in the SCTA that is responsible for organizing, regulating, and monitoring tourism investment and accommodation sectors in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Al-Bukhayyet is considered one of the pioneers in the tourism accommodation sector as he has monitored the criteria for classifying and licensing hotels and furnished units in Saudi Arabia, participated in several local and international travel and tourism forums, presented various presentations and work papers in national and international tourism accommodation conferences and attended numerous meetings on the development of the tourism accommodation sector worldwide.
It is worth mentioning that Dr. Salah Al-Bukhayyet is currently managing key tourism projects in Saudi Arabia such as Aluqair Tourism Destination, Licensing Timeshare Units, Tour Guides and Tour Operators in addition to several other projects some of which are introduced to the Saudi Market for the first time.
Dr Badr Al Badr
Chief Executive Officer
Badr Al-Badr is a veteran business leader who achieved many best in class awards including best manager and best work environment. He has a diverse experience spanning government, startups, business consulting, and multinational corporations.
Badr is now the CEO of Saudi Hotels & Resorts company, managing a mixed portfolio of owned and operated iconic properties in hospitality, retail, and housing in Saudi Arabia. Before assuming that role, he led Cisco’s business and expansion in Saudi Arabia and the region and led the development of Cisco’s Smart Connected Communities practice in MEA. Previously, he was the CEO of Awal Net and the CEO of Al-Alamiah Internet before that.
Holding Ph.D. from UW (Seattle), and Bachelors from UPM (Dhahran), Dr. Badr is a regular speaker in events and provided expert-opinion to many local & international entities.
He is on the board of multiple companies including Al Watan newspaper and a member of several associations such as YAL. Interested in personal development, Badr in avid reader and has been in many executive leadership programs at University of Oxford, Cornell, the George Washington University and others. He is active in spreading this knowledge on social networks.
Khalaf Al Habtoor
Al Habtoor Group
Mohmamed K. Al Dhaheri
Quality & Performance Manager
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Mr. Al Dhaheri is a UAE National from Al Ain, the heritage city of Abu Dhabi emirate and the capital of its Eastern Region, who joined the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority in 2009 which preceded the creation of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority in 2012.
In his role as a Tourism and Corporate Planning Section Head, Sultan has been heavily involved in drafting the authority’s corporate and tourism strategies, and in developing a social economic strategy for Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Region.
He played a key role in the creation of the authority’s stakeholder engagement programme which has been implemented in close collaboration with stakeholders from Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector.
Mr. Al Dhaheri, 29, holds a B.Sc. Degree in Information Systems from the UAE University and has worked in the oil & gas sector prior to joining the authority.
H.E. Mohammed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi
National Bank of Oman