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2014 Speakers

Alex Kyriakidis

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

Barry Curtis

Vice President - Global Strategic Accounts Buildings Business, Schneider Electric

Paul Macpherson

President & Managing Director, Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants International

Piers Brown

CEO, Boutique Hotel Media

Fahd Al-Rasheed

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, King Abdullah Economic City

Dr Martin Berlin

PwC Partner , PricewaterhouseCoopers

Gert F. Kopera

Senior Vice President RnB, Jumeirah Group

Yousuf Lootah

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

Ron Hilvert

Founder and Managing Director, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management

Selim El Zein

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

Elizabeth Winkle

Managing Director, STR Global

Jean-Jacques Dessors

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

Kevin Underwood

Global Leader of Leisure and Culture, AECOM

Mary Gostelow

, Gostelow Report

Russel Sharpe

Chief Operating Officer, Citymax Hotels - Landmark Group

H.E. Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi

Chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority

Alexandre Sogno

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

Martin Ostermann

Director of Development, Melia Hotels

Andrew Briganti

Analyst, Meed Insight

Rami Moukarzel

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

Samih Sawiris

Chairman, Orascom Development Holding AG

Carlos Khneisser

Vice President Development - Middle East, Hilton Worldwide

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR Global

Christopher Flinos

Managing Director, CH Stirling

Tariq Hameed

Managing Director, Capitas Group International Limited

Adrian Jossa

Co-Founder & Owner, Muse Hotels de Luxe

Peter Head

Executive Chairman, The Ecological Sequestration Trust

Samer Abu Ayash

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

Mark Wynne-Smith

Global Chief Executive Officer – Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL

Ziad El Chaar

Managing Director, DAMAC Holding Co. LLC

Pascal Gauvin

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

Frits van Paasschen

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

Geoffrey Lipman

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

Simon Hage

Associate Vice-President, Interior Design and Procurement, Design & Construction Department, Kingdom Hotel Investments

Nicholas Clayton

Chief Executive Officer, Group Operations, Jumeirah Group

Nicolas Mayer

Partner & Industry Leader - Lodging & Tourism Clients Group, Pricewaterhouse Coopers

Catalin Cighi

Managing Partner, Cain Hospitality Innovation (CHI)

Sumair Tariq

Managing Director, R Hotels

Gordon Campbell Gray

Chairman, Campbell Gray Hotels

Greg Perry

Asset Manager, IFA Hotel Investments

Ben Martin

Principal, Head of Economics, AECOM

Muhammad Al-Amir

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

Norman Forsyth

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

Costas Verginis

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

Amr Abdel Ghaffar

Regional Director - Middle East, UNWTO

Sameer Kazi

Head of Corporate Real Estate Investments, Sedco Holdings

Taras Ettl

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

Khalid Anib

Managing Director - Hotels Division, Al Hokair Group

Saahil Lalit

Associate Manager Hotels, MENA Region, Colliers International

Amro Attia Gomaa

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

Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan

Immediate Past President, Maldives

James Innes

Partner, Chrystal Capital Partners LLP

Aqeel Raees

Chief Executive Officer & Director, Gulf Hotels Group

Anil Bhardwaj

Director, A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises

Gordon Drake

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

Khatija Haque

Head of MENA Research, Emirates NBD

Khalaf Al Habtoor

Chairman, Al Habtoor Group

Tom Hasker

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

Joe Sita

CEO, IFA Hotel Investments

Tim Kiltscher

Executive Director Asset Management, Seven Tides

Amir Lababedi

Associate Director, HVS Dubai

Michael Glennie

President & Chief Operating Officer, FRHI Hotels & Resorts

Edmund O’Sullivan

Chairman, MEED

Christoph Härle

Chief Executive Officer, Europe - Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL

Gerald Lawless

President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group

Peter Greenberg

Travel Editor, CBS News

Oliver Ebner

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

HE Dr. Lahcen Haddad

Tourism Minister, Kingdom of Morocco

Hala Matar Choufany

Regional Managing Director, HVS Dubai

Paul Lonergan

Vice President Asset Management Hotels, Jumeirah Group

Gabriel Von Bonsdorff

Senior Manager – Hospitality & Leisure, Aldar Properties P.

Rui M. Barros

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

Elie Younes

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

Nenad Pacek

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

Rutger Smits

CEO, Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company

Amine Moukarzel

President, Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts MENA

Kabir Mulchandani

Group CEO, SKAI Holdings

Abraham Muthogo-Kamau

Head of Credit, Tourism Finance Corporation

Nick van Marken

Global Head – Hospitality, Deloitte LLP

Ahmed Ramdan

Founder and Group CEO, Roya International

Christopher Lund

Senior Consultant, Hotels, MENA Region, Colliers International

Lo’ai  Bataineh

DGM, Investment & Development, Head of Investment Management Group, Oman Arab Bank SAOC

Dr Salah Al-Bukayyet

Deputy Secretary General - Investments, Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director, Hotel Analyst

René Beil

Managing Director, Beaufort Global Partners LLC

Mohamed Najia

Secretary General, Kuwait Hotel Owners Association

Susan Harmsworth

Chief Executive Officer, ESPA

Simon Coombs

President & CEO, Shaza Hotels

Filippo Sona

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

Kees Hartzuiker

CEO, Roya International

Dr Badr Al Badr

Chief Executive Officer, SHARACO

Trevor Ward

Managing Director, W Hospitality Group

Hubert Viriot

Chief Investment Officer , IFA Hotels & Resorts

Christopher R.J. Knable

Chief Operating Officer, Katara Hospitality

Fergal Harris

Head of Commercial Real Estate, MENA, Standard Chartered

Henning Fries

Managing Director – Hospitality, Al Habtoor Group

Mark Martinovic

Chief Executive Officer, Hotel Spec

Abdellah Essonni

CEO, ABJAR Hotels International LLC

Jim Palmer

Funding Advisor, IFA Hotel Investments

Wolfgang M. Neumann

President & CEO, The Rezidor 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.