Latest News

Twitter iconJoin the conversation

2014 Speakers

Saahil Lalit

Associate Manager Hotels, MENA Region, Colliers International

Dr Martin Berlin

PwC Partner , PricewaterhouseCoopers

Ron Hilvert

Founder and Managing Director, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management

Carlos Khneisser

Vice President Development - Middle East, Hilton Worldwide

Lo’ai  Bataineh

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

Costas Verginis

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

Rui Barros

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

Mark Martinovic

Chief Executive Officer, Hotel Spec

Nick van Marken

Global Head – Hospitality, Deloitte LLP

Elizabeth Winkle

Managing Director, STR Global

Gordon Campbell Gray

Chairman, Campbell Gray Hotels

Neil George

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

Wolfgang M. Neumann

President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Selim El Zein

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

Peter Greenberg

Travel Editor, CBS News

Christopher Flinos

Managing Director, CH Stirling

Ziad El Chaar

Managing Director, DAMAC Holding Co. LLC

Kabir Mulchandani

Group CEO, SKAI Holdings

Dr Badr Al Badr

Chief Executive Officer, SHARACO

Kees Hartzuiker

CEO, Roya International

Simon Coombs

President & CEO, Shaza Hotels

Bani Haddad

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

HH Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum

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

Martin Ostermann

Director of Development, Melia Hotels

Bob Puccini

Chief Executive Officer, Bob Puccini Group

Barry Curtis

Vice President - Global Strategic Accounts Buildings Business, Schneider Electric

Alexandre Sogno

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

Alex Kyriakidis

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

Paul Diab

Vice President-Operations, Golden Tulip MENA

Gerald Lawless

President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group

James Innes

Partner, Chrystal Capital Partners LLP

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR Global

Animesh Pandey

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

Bernhard Bohnenberger

President, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Amro Attia Gomaa

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

Henning Fries

Managing Director – Hospitality, Al Habtoor Group

Catalin Cighi

Managing Partner, Cain Hospitality Innovation (CHI)

Alain Debare

Chief Executive Officer, Action Hotels Co.

Mary Gostelow

, Gostelow Report

Bernard Forster

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

Dr Salah Al-Bukayyet

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

Anil Bhardwaj

Director, A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises

Mohamed Najia

Secretary General, Kuwait Hotel Owners Association

Edmund O’Sullivan

Chairman, MEED

Rami Moukarzel

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

Piers Brown

CEO, Boutique Hotel Media

Sven Doliwa

VP Sales & Development, WorldHotels

Abraham Kamau

Head of Credit, Tourism Finance Corporation

Chiheb Ben-Mahmoud

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

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director, Hotel Analyst

H.E. Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi

Chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority

Samih Sawiris

Chairman, Orascom Development Holding AG

Khalaf Al Habtoor

Chairman, Al Habtoor Group

Hubert Viriot

Chief Investment Officer , IFA Hotels & Resorts

Christoph Härle

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

Aqeel Raees

Chief Executive Officer & Director, Gulf Hotels Group

HE Helal Almarri

Director General, DTCM

Amr Abdel Ghaffar

Regional Director - Middle East, UNWTO

Peter Head

Executive Chairman, The Ecological Sequestration Trust

Paul Macpherson

President & Managing Director, Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants International

Simon Hage

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

Trevor Ward

Managing Director, W Hospitality Group

Jean-Jacques Dessors

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

Russel Sharpe

Chief Operating Officer, Citymax Hotels - Landmark Group

Mark Wynne-Smith

Global Chief Executive Officer – Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL

Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan

Immediate Past President, Maldives

Norman Forsyth

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

HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz

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

Margreet Papamichael

Director, AECOM Economics

Gabriel Von Bonsdorff

Senior Manager – Hospitality & Leisure, Aldar Properties P.

Yousuf Lootah

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

Ahmed Ramdan

Founder and Group CEO, Roya International

Pascal Gauvin

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

Olivier Granet

Director of Development Middle East, ACCOR

Anita Mendiratta

Founder & Managing Director, CACHET Consulting

Tariq Hameed

Managing Director, Capitas Group International Limited

Khalid Anib

Managing Director - Hotels Division, Al Hokair Group

HE Dr. Lahcen Haddad

Tourism Minister, Kingdom of Morocco

David Thomson

Chief Operating Officer, JA Resorts and Hotels

Paul Griffiths

Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Airports

Amine Moukarzel

President, Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts MENA

Filippo Sona

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

Nicolas Mayer

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

Fergal Harris

Head of Commercial Real Estate, MENA, Standard Chartered

Nenad Pacek

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

Khatija Haque

Head of MENA Research, Emirates NBD

Tom Hasker

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

Vernon Page

Chief Executive Officer , Hotel Partners Africa

Andrew Clough

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

Oliver Ebner

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

Amir Lababedi

Associate Director, HVS Dubai

Rutger Smits

CEO, Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company

Susan Harmsworth

Chief Executive Officer, ESPA

Christopher Lund

Senior Consultant, Hotels, MENA Region, Colliers International

Jim Palmer

Funding Advisor, IFA Hotel Investments

Andrew Briganti

Analyst, Meed Insight

Ben Martin

Principal, Head of Economics, AECOM

Taras Ettl

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

Hala Matar Choufany

Regional Managing Director, HVS Dubai

Nicholas Clayton

Chief Executive Officer, Group Operations, Jumeirah 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.