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2014 Speakers

Mark Wynne-Smith

Global Chief Executive Officer – Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL

Tim Kiltscher

Executive Director Asset Management, Seven Tides

Rami Moukarzel

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

Gerald Lawless

President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group

Kevin Underwood

Global Leader of Leisure and Culture, AECOM

HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz

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

Tom Hasker

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

HE Dr. Lahcen Haddad

Tourism Minister, Kingdom of Morocco

Wolfgang M. Neumann

President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Nicolas Mayer

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

Rui M. Barros

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

Abdulla Bin Sulayem

Chief Executive Officer, Seven Tides & Asteco

Ashley Scott

Principal, Masterplanning & Landscape Architecture, Aecom

Aqeel Raees

Chief Executive Officer & Director, Gulf Hotels Group

Peter Greenberg

Travel Editor, CBS News

Pascal Gauvin

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

Amir Lababedi

Associate Director, HVS Dubai

Gordon Campbell Gray

Chairman, Campbell Gray Hotels

Yousuf Lootah

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

Alex Kyriakidis

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

Geoffrey Lipman

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

Sameer Kazi

Head of Corporate Real Estate Investments, Sedco Holdings

Paul Macpherson

President & Managing Director, Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants International

Christoph Härle

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

Abraham Muthogo-Kamau

Head of Credit, Tourism Finance Corporation

Anita Mendiratta

Founder & Managing Director, CACHET Consulting

Bani Haddad

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

Ziad El Chaar

Managing Director, DAMAC Holding Co. LLC

Elizabeth Winkle

Managing Director, STR Global

Samih Sawiris

Chairman, Orascom Development Holding AG

Andrew Clough

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

Michael Glennie

President & Chief Operating Officer, FRHI Hotels & Resorts

Selim El Zein

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

Rutger Smits

CEO, Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR Global

Taras Ettl

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

Margreet Papamichael

Director, AECOM Economics

Henning Fries

Managing Director – Hospitality, Al Habtoor Group

Alain Debare

General Manager, Action Hotels Co.

Hubert Viriot

Chief Investment Officer , IFA Hotels & Resorts

Catalin Cighi

Managing Partner, Cain Hospitality Innovation

Khatija Haque

Head of MENA Research, Emirates NBD

Vernon Page

Chief Executive Officer , Hotel Partners Africa

Mohamed Najia

Secretary General, Kuwait Hotel Owners Association

Anil Bhardwaj

Director, A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises

Lo’ai  Bataineh

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

Animesh Panday

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

Kees Hartzuiker

CEO, Roya International

Trevor Ward

Managing Director, W Hospitality Group

Costas Verginis

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

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director, Hotel Analyst

Khalid Anib

Managing Director - Hotels Division, Al Hokair Group

Nicholas Clayton

Chief Executive Officer, Group Operations, Jumeirah Group

Mary Gostelow

, Gostelow Report

Dr Salah Al-Bukayyet

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

James Innes

Partner, Chrystal Capital Partners LLP

Gert F. Kopera

Senior Vice President Food & Beverage, Jumeirah Group

Frits van Paasschen

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

Tariq Hameed

Managing Director, Capitas Group International Limited

Bob Puccini

Chief Executive Officer, Bob Puccini Group

Susan Harmsworth

Chief Executive Officer, ESPA

Jean-Jacques Dessors

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

Neil George

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

Filippo Sona

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

Joe Sita

CEO, IFA Hotel Investments

David Thomson

Chief Operating Officer, JA Resorts and Hotels

Nenad Pacek

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

Christopher R.J. Knable

Chief Operating Officer, Katara Hospitality

Sven Doliwa

VP Sales & Development, WorldHotels

Hala Matar Choufany

Regional Managing Director, HVS Dubai

Edmund O’Sullivan

Chairman, MEED

Carlos Khneisser

Vice President Development - Middle East, Hilton Worldwide

Elie Younes

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

Simon Coombs

President & CEO, Shaza Hotels

Paul Lonergan

Vice President Asset Management Hotels, Jumeirah Group

Christopher Flinos

Managing Director, CH Stirling

Fergal Harris

Head of Real Estate Middle East, Standard Chartered

Peter Head

Executive Chairman, The Ecological Sequestration Trust

Paul Griffiths

Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Airports

Greg Perry

Asset Manager, IFA Hotel Investments

Chiheb Ben-Mahmoud

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

Amine Moukarzel

President, Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts MENA

Amro Attia Gomaa

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

Martin Ostermann

Director of Development, Melia Hotels

Andrew Briganti

Analyst, Meed Insight

Kabir Mulchandani

Group CEO, SKAI Holdings

Ben Martin

Principal, Head of Economics, AECOM

Saahil Lalit

Associate Manager Hotels, MENA Region, Colliers International

Samer Abu Ayash

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

Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi

Chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority

Ahmed Ramdan

Founder and Group CEO, Roya International

Amr Abdel Ghaffar

Regional Director - Middle East, UNWTO

Olivier Granet

Director of Development Middle East, ACCOR

Russel Sharpe

Chief Operating Officer, Citymax Hotels - Landmark Group

Nick van Marken

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

Fahd Al-Rasheed

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, King Abdullah Economic City

Sumair Tariq

CFO, Rholding

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.