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2014 Speakers

Mary Gostelow

, Gostelow Report

Simon Coombs

President & CEO, Shaza Hotels

Costas Verginis

Senior Director of Lodging Development, Marriott International Inc. & Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC

Bernhard Bohnenberger

President, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Nick van Marken

Global Head - Advisory, Travel, Hospitality & Leisure Industry Group, Deloitte LLP

Jean-Jacques Dessors

Chief Executive Officer Mediterranean, Middle-East and Africa , ACCOR

David Thomson

Chief Operating Officer, JA Resorts and Hotels

Abdellah Essonni

CEO, ABJAR Hotels International LLC

Yousuf Lootah

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

Taras Ettl

Vice President Development - Middle East & Africa, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 

Alex Kyriakidis

President & Managing Director Middle East & Africa, Marriott International, Inc.

Rami Moukarzel

Vice President, Development, Middle East & Africa , Fairmont Raffles Hotels International

Elie Younes

Senior Vice President, Head of Group Development, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Filippo Sona

Director | Head of Hotels  (MENA Region), Colliers International

Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi

Chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director, Hotel Analyst

Tariq Hameed

Managing Director, Capitas Group International Limited

Geoffrey Lipman

President & Managing Director, ICTP (International Coalition of Tourism Partners

Michael Glennie

President & Chief Operating Officer, FRHI Hotels & Resorts

Christopher Lund

Senior Consultant, Hotels, MENA Region, Colliers International

René Beil

Managing Director, Beaufort Global Partners LLC

Edmund O’Sullivan

Chairman, MEED

Anita Mendiratta

Founder & Managing Director, CACHET Consulting

Russel Sharpe

Chief Operating Officer, Citymax Hotels - Landmark Group

Paul Griffiths

Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Airports

Oliver Ebner

Executive Director at Project & Specialised Finance, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD)

Catalin Cighi

Managing Partner, Cain Hospitality Innovation

Adel Jemah

Vice President, Hill International Inc.

Hubert Viriot

Chief Investment Officer , IFA Hotels & Resorts

Nicholas Clayton

Chief Executive Officer, Group Operations, Jumeirah Group

Christopher Flinos

Managing Director, CH Stirling

Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan

Immediate Past President, Maldives

Amr Abdel Ghaffar

Regional Director - Middle East, UNWTO

Samer Abu Ayash

Senior Vice President Design,Construction and Real Estate, Kingdom Investments

Andrew Briganti

Analyst, Meed Insight

Samih Sawiris

Chairman, Orascom Development Holding AG

Ron Hilvert

Founder and Managing Director, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management

Gert F. Kopera

Senior Vice President Food & Beverage, Jumeirah Group

Anil Bhardwaj

Director, A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises

Henning Fries

Managing Director – Hospitality, Al Habtoor Group

Ahmed Ramdan

Founder and Group CEO, Roya International

Trevor Ward

Managing Director, W Hospitality Group

Paul Macpherson

President & Managing Director, Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants International

Tom Hasker

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

Khalid Anib

Managing Director - Hotels Division, Al Hokair Group

Sumair Tariq

CFO, Rholding

HE Helal Almarri

Director General, DTCM

Neil George

Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development Middle East & Africa, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Amro Attia Gomaa

Investments Principal, Holding Company for Tourism, Hotels & Cineama (HOTAC)

Alain Debare

General Manager, Action Hotels Co.

HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz

President & Managing Director, Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA)

Mark Wynne-Smith

Global Chief Executive Officer – Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL

Paul Lonergan

Vice President Asset Management Hotels, Jumeirah Group

Gerald Lawless

President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group

Selim El Zein

Head of Hotel Asset Management, MENA, Colliers International MENA Region

Gordon Campbell Gray

Chairman, Campbell Gray Hotels

Fergal Harris

Head of Real Estate Middle East, Standard Chartered

Christopher R.J. Knable

Chief Operating Officer, Katara Hospitality

Peter Greenberg

Travel Editor, CBS News

Barry Curtis

Vice President - Global Strategic Accounts Buildings Business, Schneider Electric

Peter Head

Executive Chairman, The Ecological Sequestration Trust

Kees Hartzuiker

CEO, Roya International

Sven Doliwa

VP Sales & Development, WorldHotels

Bob Puccini

Chief Executive Officer, Bob Puccini Group

Amine Moukarzel

President, Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts MENA

Mohamed Najia

Secretary General, Kuwait Hotel Owners Association

Piers Brown

CEO, Boutique Hotel Media

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR Global

Pascal Gauvin

Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East & Africa, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 

Ben Martin

Principal, Head of Economics, AECOM

Aqeel Raees

Chief Executive Officer & Director, Gulf Hotels Group

Mark Martinovic

Chief Executive Officer, Hotel Spec

Martin Ostermann

Director of Development, Melia Hotels

Joe Sita

CEO, IFA Hotel Investments

Sameer Kazi

Head of Corporate Real Estate Investments, Sedco Holdings

Wolfgang M. Neumann

President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Elizabeth Winkle

Managing Director, STR Global

Kabir Mulchandani

Group CEO, SKAI Holdings

Vernon Page

Chief Executive Officer , Hotel Partners Africa

Susan Harmsworth

Chief Executive Officer, ESPA

Khatija Haque

Head of MENA Research, Emirates NBD

Gordon Drake

Chief Financial Officer and Head of M&A, Kingdom Hotel Investments

Tim Kiltscher

Executive Director Asset Management, Seven Tides

Bani Haddad

Regional Vice President – Middle East & Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group

HE Dr. Lahcen Haddad

Tourism Minister, Kingdom of Morocco

Abdulla Bin Sulayem

Chief Executive Officer, Seven Tides & Asteco

Nenad Pacek

Co-Founder, CEEMEA Business Group, President, Global Success Advisors

Andrew Clough

Senior Vice President Development Middle East & Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide

Alexandre Sogno

President, Hospitality Asset Managers Association Asia Pacific (HAMA AP).

Kevin Underwood

Global Leader of Leisure and Culture, AECOM

Frits van Paasschen

President and Chief Executive Officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Olivier Granet

Director of Development Middle East, ACCOR

Carlos Khneisser

Vice President Development - Middle East, Hilton Worldwide

Abraham Muthogo-Kamau

Head of Credit, Tourism Finance Corporation

Hala Matar Choufany

Regional Managing Director, HVS Dubai

Ziad El Chaar

Managing Director, DAMAC Holding Co. LLC

Animesh Panday

Senior Manager Commercial Development, King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC)

Greg Perry

Asset Manager, IFA Hotel Investments

Muhammad Al-Amir

Founder and Managing Director, Riyada international Hotels & Resorts Co.

Rui M. Barros

SVP & Managing Director Europe, Middle East & Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group

Local Customs & Visas


Information concerning visa requirements for those travelling to the UAE are subject to change and should always be checked with your local travel agent or nearest UAE embassy before travelling.

For further information regarding visa requirements for entering the UAE please click here

Please note that the organizers are not in a position to sponsor visa applications.



Local Culture

Dress code – Dress code in Dubai is liberal compared to other Middle Eastern cities, however care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing which is too revealing.

Tipping - In Dubai most hotel and restaurant bills will have a 10% service charge and another 10% municipality tax added on, if not a figure of 10% is standard. If you are tipping porters or valets 5 or 10 Dirhams is plenty.

Photos – Avoid taking photos of government and military sites. As common courtesy dictates, permission should be granted before photographing individuals, especially women.

Taxis – Taxis are easily found in Dubai and can also be ordered by calling +971 4 208 0808. Try to have a supply of smaller notes as taxis often struggle to provide change.

Language – The official language of the UAE is Arabic, although English is widely spoken especially in business and trade fields.




Dubai enjoys an arid subtropical climate with year round sunshine. The hottest months of the year are from June until September when temperatures can reach well over 45oC.

During the month of May the weather conditions are as follows:

Rainfall (mm) 0
Min Temp (oC) 24
Max Temp (oC) 37
Min Temp (oF) 75
Max Temp (oF) 99

Click here for a live weather feed



Local time

The UAE is 4 hours ahead of GMT. There is no summer time savings when clocks are altered.