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2015 Speakers

Gerald Lawless

President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group

Paul Diab

Vice President-Operations, Golden Tulip MENA

Anita Mendiratta

Founder & Managing Director, CACHET Consulting

Elizabeth Winkle

Managing Director, STR Global

Filippo Sona

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

Stephen Tate

Chairman, Cristal International Standards

Moses Solemon

Chairman and CEO, Canada Business Holdings Inc.

Darroch Crawford

Managing Director, Premier Inn Hotels International

David Thomson

Chief Operating Officer, JA Resorts and Hotels

Clarence Tan

Senior Vice President, Development, Asia, Middle East & Africa, IHG

Margreet Papamichael

Director, AECOM Economics

Chiheb Ben-Mahmoud

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

Wolfgang M. Neumann

President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Ahmed Ramdan

Founder and Group CEO, Roya International

Neil George

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

Simon Enders

Project Director, Faithful+Gould

Suparat Chirathivat

Vice President - Business Development, Centara Hotels & Resorts

Roger Blackall

Executive Director – Real Estate Asset Management, Premier Group WLL

Maria Zarraluqui

Global Development Manager Director, Melia Hotels International

Munir Ahmed

Director Hospitality, Naseel Holding

Edmund O’Sullivan

Chairman, MEED

Prab Thakral

Group CEO, Boutique Group of Companies (Subsidiaries of Thakral Land Ltd. (Thailand))

Denis Sorin

President of Hotel Operations, Dur Hospitality

Carlos Khneisser

Vice President of Development - Middle East, Hilton Worldwide

Dr Jeroen Oskam

Director of the Research Centre - Visiting Professor at EADA Barcelona & co-editor of the Journal of Tourism Futures, Hotelschool The Hague

Tim Fox

Head of Research & Chief Economist, Emirates NBD

Ali Borhani

Founder CWO, Incubeemea

Simon Lazarus

Vice President of Food and Beverage, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide

Christoph Härle

Chief Executive Officer, EMEA , JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group

Ignace Bauwens

CEO, Abu Dhabi National Hotels

Simon Allison

Chairman, HOFTEL

Rafi-uddin Shikoh

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, DinarStandard

Arne M. Sorenson

President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, Inc.

Mark Shea

Head of Hospitality for the Middle East, Faithful+Gould

Amine Moukarzel

President, Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts MENA

Simon Barlow

Chief Executive Officer – Hotels Business Unit, Majid Al Futtaim Properties

Dr Badr Al Badr

Chief Executive Officer, Dur Hospitality

Ivanka Trump

Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions, The Trump Organization

Hiran Cooray

CEO, Jetwing Hotels Ltd

Mark Wynne-Smith

Global Chief Executive Officer – Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL

Jean-Luc Chrétien

Executive VP Sales, Distribution & Loyalty, ACCOR

Hala Matar Choufany

Managing Partner, HVS Dubai

Susan Harmsworth MBE

Chairman, ESPA International

Satyan Joshi

Senior Industry Manager , Google UK Limited

Simon Coombs

President & CEO, Shaza Hotels

Daniel Ruff

President and Managing Director (EMEAI), Wyndham Hotel Group

Rutger Smits

CEO, Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company

Daniel Silke

Director, Political Futures Consultancy

Taras Ettl

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

Graciëlla Karijomedjo

Project Coordinator and Researcher, European Tourism Futures Institute

Christopher R.J. Knable

Chief Operating Officer, Katara Hospitality

Catalin Cighi

Managing Partner, Cain Hospitality Innovation (CHI)

Robert Swade

Group Chief Development Officer, Jumeirah Group

John T.A Vanderslice

Global Head, Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, Hilton Worldwide

Anil Bhardwaj

Director, A.A. AlMoosa Enterprises

Bart Dohmen

Managing Director, BRC Imagination Arts, BV

Abdellah Essonni

CEO, ABJAR Hotels International LLC

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR Global

Abdulla Ziyath

Managing Director, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)

Rawaf Bourisli

Director of Development, Action Hotels & General Manager, Board Member, Action Real Estate Company (kscc)

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.