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2014 Speakers

Alexandre Sogno

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

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director, Hotel Analyst

Carlos Khneisser

Vice President Development - Middle East, Hilton Worldwide

H.E. Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi

Chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority

Trevor Ward

Managing Director, W Hospitality Group

Khalid Anib

Managing Director - Hotels Division, Al Hokair Group

Neil George

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

Mark Wynne-Smith

Global Chief Executive Officer – Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL

Russel Sharpe

Chief Operating Officer, Citymax Hotels - Landmark Group

Nick van Marken

Global Head – Hospitality, Deloitte LLP

Selim El Zein

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

Paul Diab

Vice President-Operations, Golden Tulip MENA

Aqeel Raees

Chief Executive Officer & Director, Gulf Hotels Group

Bernard Forster

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

Michael Glennie

President & Chief Operating Officer, FRHI Hotels & Resorts

Olivier Granet

Director of Development Middle East, ACCOR

Jim Palmer

Funding Advisor, IFA Hotel Investments

HE Helal Almarri

Director General, DTCM

Peter Head

Executive Chairman, The Ecological Sequestration Trust

Mark Martinovic

Chief Executive Officer, Hotel Spec

Ben Martin

Principal, Head of Economics, AECOM

Bernhard Bohnenberger

President, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Andrew Clough

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

Bani Haddad

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

Kevin Underwood

Global Leader of Leisure and Culture, AECOM

Amine Moukarzel

President, Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts MENA

Animesh Pandey

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

Ziad El Chaar

Managing Director, DAMAC Holding Co. LLC

Bob Puccini

Chief Executive Officer, Bob Puccini Group

Edmund O’Sullivan

Chairman, MEED

Elizabeth Winkle

Managing Director, STR Global

Pascal Gauvin

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

Fergal Harris

Head of Commercial Real Estate, MENA, Standard Chartered

Anil Bhardwaj

Director, A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises

Christopher Flinos

Managing Director, CH Stirling

Peter Greenberg

Travel Editor, CBS News

Sven Doliwa

VP Sales & Development, WorldHotels

René Beil

Managing Director, Beaufort Global Partners LLC

Dr Salah Al-Bukayyet

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

Ashley Scott

Principal, EMEA Leader for Leisure + Culture, AECOM

Henning Fries

Managing Director – Hospitality, Al Habtoor Group

Gerald Lawless

President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group

Paul Lonergan

Vice President Asset Management Hotels, Jumeirah Group

Muhammad Al-Amir

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

Kabir Mulchandani

Group CEO, SKAI Holdings

Adrian Jossa

Co-Founder & Owner, Muse Hotels de Luxe

Samih Sawiris

Chairman, Orascom Development Holding AG

James Innes

Partner, Chrystal Capital Partners LLP

Khaldoun Rashid Tabari

Vice Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Drake & Scull

Khalaf Al Habtoor

Chairman, Al Habtoor Group

Barry Curtis

Vice President - Global Strategic Accounts Buildings Business, Schneider Electric

Oliver Ebner

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

Margreet Papamichael

Director, AECOM Economics

Tim Kiltscher

Executive Director Asset Management, Seven Tides

Rutger Smits

CEO, Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company

Nicholas Clayton

Chief Executive Officer, Group Operations, Jumeirah Group

Amro Attia Gomaa

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

Lo’ai  Bataineh

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

Piers Brown

CEO, Boutique Hotel Media

Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan

Immediate Past President, Maldives

HH Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum

Executive Chairman, SHUAA Capital and the Chairman of Dubai International Holding Company

Gabriel Von Bonsdorff

Senior Manager – Hospitality & Leisure, Aldar Properties P.

Mohamed Najia

Secretary General, Kuwait Hotel Owners Association

Rami Moukarzel

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

Mary Gostelow

, Gostelow Report

Amr Abdel Ghaffar

Regional Director - Middle East, UNWTO

Wolfgang M. Neumann

President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Jean-Jacques Dessors

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

Hubert Viriot

Chief Investment Officer , IFA Hotels & Resorts

Andrew Briganti

Analyst, Meed Insight

Fahd Al-Rasheed

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, King Abdullah Economic City

Abdellah Essonni

CEO, ABJAR Hotels International LLC

HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz

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

Joe Sita

CEO, IFA Hotel Investments

Yousuf Lootah

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

Rui Barros

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

HE Dr. Lahcen Haddad

Tourism Minister, Kingdom of Morocco

Dr Badr Al Badr

Chief Executive Officer, SHARACO

Christopher R.J. Knable

Chief Operating Officer, Katara Hospitality

Sameer Kazi

Head of Corporate Real Estate Investments, Sedco Holdings

Elie Younes

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

Alain Debare

Chief Executive Officer, Action Hotels Co.

Nicolas Mayer

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

Filippo Sona

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

Ron Hilvert

Founder and Managing Director, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management

Kees Hartzuiker

CEO, Roya International

Catalin Cighi

Managing Partner, Cain Hospitality Innovation (CHI)

Martin Ostermann

Director of Development, Melia Hotels

Gordon Drake

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

Gert F. Kopera

Senior Vice President RnB, Jumeirah Group

Chiheb Ben-Mahmoud

Executive Vice President- Head of Hotels & Hospitality, Middle East & Africa, JLL

Paul Macpherson

President & Managing Director, Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants International

Sumair Tariq

Managing Director, R Hotels

Frits van Paasschen

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

Khatija Haque

Head of MENA Research, Emirates NBD

Abdulla Bin Sulayem

Chief Executive Officer, Seven Tides & Asteco

Simon Coombs

President & CEO, Shaza Hotels

Nenad Pacek

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

Ahmed Ramdan

Founder and Group CEO, Roya International

Alex Kyriakidis

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

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.