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2015 Speakers

Arne M. Sorenson

President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, Inc.

Simon Barlow

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

Catalin Cighi

Managing Partner, Cain Hospitality Innovation (CHI)

Carlos Khneisser

Vice President of Development - Middle East, Hilton Worldwide

Gerald Lawless

President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group

Ahmed Ramdan

Founder and Group CEO, Roya International

John T.A Vanderslice

Global Head, Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, Hilton Worldwide

Rawaf Bourisli

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

Piers Brown

CEO, International Hospitality Media

Simon Enders

Project Director, Faithful+Gould

Henning Fries

Managing Director – Hospitality, Al Habtoor Group

Wolfgang M. Neumann

President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Ramzy Fenianos

Development Director - EMEA, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Dr Jeroen Oskam

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

Sebaa Orabi

Head of Discipline - Interior Design, SSH Design

David Thomson

Chief Operating Officer, JA Resorts and Hotels

Shaun Hinds

Managing Director – EMEA and APAC , BridgeStreet Global Hospitality

Markus Keller

Deputy Senior Vice President Global Sales and Distribution, ACCOR

Robert Swade

Group Chief Development Officer, Jumeirah Group

Taleeb Noormohamed

Vice President Global Partnerships,

Susan Harmsworth MBE

Chairman, ESPA International

Alain Debare

Chief Executive Officer, Action Hotels

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director, Hotel Analyst Group of Titles

Ali Borhani

Founder CWO, Incubeemea

Hiran Cooray

CEO, Jetwing Hotels Ltd

Simon Coombs

President & CEO, Shaza Hotels

His Excellency Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim

Chief Executive Officer, wasl Asset Management Group

Mark Wynne-Smith

Global Chief Executive Officer – Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL

Nicolas Mayer

Partner & Industry Leader - Lodging & Tourism Clients Group, PwC

Olivier Granet

Senior Vice President of Development Middle East, ACCOR

Graciëlla Karijomedjo

Project Coordinator and Researcher, European Tourism Futures Institute

Simon Allison

Chairman, HOFTEL

Hala Matar Choufany

Managing Partner, HVS Dubai

Jean-Jacques Dessors

Chief Executive Officer Mediterranean, Middle-East and Africa (MMEA), ACCOR

Kristina Fischer

Associate Vice President – Business Development and Legal Services , Centara Hotels & Resorts

Darroch Crawford

Managing Director, Premier Inn Hotels International

Dr Badr Al Badr

Chief Executive Officer, Dur Hospitality

Ivanka Trump

Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions, The Trump Organization

Ramine Behnam

Associate Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL

Daniel Ruff

President and Managing Director (EMEAI), Wyndham Hotel Group

Christopher R.J. Knable

Chief Operating Officer, Katara Hospitality

Oliver Ebner

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

Moses Solemon

Chairman and CEO, Canada Business Holdings Inc.

Philippe Zuber

Chief Operating Officer, Emaar Hospitality Group

Farida Al Raisi

Director of Human Resources , Shangrila Hotel and Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri

Neil George

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

Edmund O’Sullivan

Chairman, MEED

Gaurav Sinha

Founder & CEO, Insignia Worldwide

Duncan Fraser-Smith

Managing Director, The Cutting Edge Agency , CEO, Global Hospitality Limited

Satyan Joshi

Senior Industry Manager , Google

Clarence Tan

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

Rutger Smits

CEO, Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company

Alex Kyriakidis

President & Managing Director - MEA, Marriott International

Mustafa Al Hashimi

Chief Executive Officer, wasl Hospitality

Panos Loupasis

Senior Development Director – Middle East & Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group Middle East

Stephen Tate

Chairman, Cristal International Standards

Saad A Al-Qahtani

Accommodation Sector Manager, Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities

Alison Grinnell

Director – Hospitality and Leisure, Assurance Services Lead, PwC

Taras Ettl

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

Elie Younes

Executive Vice President & Chief Development Office, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Paul Diab

Vice President-Operations, Golden Tulip MENA

Filippo Sona

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

Mark Shea

Head of Hospitality for the Middle East, Faithful+Gould

Maria Zarraluqui

Global Development Managing Director, Melia Hotels International

David Vely

Senior Vice President Development Middle East, Africa & India, Premier Inn International

Suma Venkatesh

Senior Vice President- Real Estate & Development, Taj Group (Indian Hotels Company Ltd)

Gordon Drake

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

Khatija Haque

Head of MENA Research, Emirates NBD

Jawad Khan

Director, PwC

Amine Moukarzel

President, Louvre Hotels & Golden Tulip in the MENA Region

Michael Glennie

President & Chief Operating Officer, FRHI Hotels & Resorts

Imad Barrakad

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT)

Philip Shepherd

Partner, PwC

Ben Martin

Principal, Head of Economics, AECOM

Denis Sorin

President of Hotel Operations, Dur Hospitality

Prab Thakral

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

Christoph Härle

Chief Executive Officer EMEA, Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL

Munir Ahmed

Director Hospitality, Naseel Holding

Jerad Bachar

Strategic Advisor, Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau

Hubert Viriot

CIO – IFA Hotels & Resorts &, CEO – Yotel Ltd, UK

Assem Kaissi

Chief Operating Officer, Alesayi Group

Rudi Jagersbacher

President, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide

Abdellah Essonni

CEO, ABJAR Hotels International LLC

Bart Dohmen

Managing Director, BRC Imagination Arts, BV

Chiheb Ben-Mahmoud

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

Scott Antel

Partner, Berwin Leighton Paisner Abu Dhabi/Dubai

Abdulla Ziyath

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

Anil Bhardwaj

Director, A.A. AlMoosa Enterprises

Nick Skea-Strachan

Partner, Berwin Leighton Paisner

Kees Hartzuiker

CEO, Roya International

James Marsh

Vice President of Capital Projects, Jumeirah Group

Gabriel Von Bonsdorff

Senior Manager – Hospitality & Leisure, Aldar Properties P.

Rafi-uddin Shikoh

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, DinarStandard

Daniel Silke

Director, Political Futures Consultancy

Elizabeth Winkle

Managing Director, STR Global


Day 3 - Thursday 7th May 2015

8:30 - 9:00


Breakfast with the Bankers

Network and pose questions to our bankers and industry experts during our financed focused round table session.

Table Hosts include:

  • Oliver Ebner Executive Director at Project & Specialised Finance - National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD)
  • Jerome Gatipon-Bachette Managing Director - Co Head of Real Estate Structured Finance - Societe Generale
  • Amit Kaushal Executive Director - Goldmans Sachs
  • Jawad Khan Director - PwC
  • Shane Moore Executive Director, Real Estate Banking, Middle East & Africa - Standard Chartered Bank

9:10 - 9:30


Followed by a conversation with:

On this year’s AHIC theme, Developing Hotels for Tomorrow’s Traveller.

9:30 - 9:50

The Future of Luxury and the Next Generation of Luxury Traveller

  • Ivanka Trump Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions - The Trump Organization

In conversation with

9:50 - 10:10

Global Macro-Economic Outlook – Where are the Markets Going?

10:10 - 10:50

Global Leaders

…on how they are reacting to the current economic and political environment in EMEA, what has been the impact on performance and operations? How is the current macro-economic landscape shaping their strategic plans for growth and development?

Moderated By


10:50 - 11:10

Update on the Transactional Market of Hotels Globally

Who is buying what, where and for how much?

  • Mark Wynne-Smith Global Chief Executive Officer – Hotels & Hospitality Group - JLL

Followed by a conversation with


The Next Frontiers – What are the Hottest Global Markets?

Where in the world should you consider putting your investment dollars in 2015?

11:10 - 11:25

The Future of Talent

Why nurturing local talent is essential to the long-term success of the hospitality sector. What is the way forward?

11:25 - 11:45



11:45 - 13:30


11:45 - 12:15


The Kingdom of Tomorrow – Saudi Arabia is a Hot Spot for Tourism Infrastructure and Hotel Development

What are the major developments shaping the sector and who is leading the way?

  • Amine Moukarzel President - Louvre Hotels & Golden Tulip in the MENA Region

In conversation with

12:15 - 13:00


The Future of Operators: What do Owners want from them in the Digital Age and How are Operators Evolving to Reflect the Demands of Today's Guest?

From an owner’s perspective how do operating agreements need to evolve to reflect the realities of today’s market?

In conversation with

  • Ignace Bauwens CEO - Abu Dhabi National Hotels
  • Neil George Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development Middle East & Africa - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
  • Markus Keller Deputy Senior Vice President Global Sales and Distribution - ACCOR
  • Daniel Ruff President and Managing Director (EMEAI) - Wyndham Hotel Group
  • Rutger Smits CEO - Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company

13:00 - 13:20

Private Public Partnerships to Further Tourism Investments and Development

Where is it working and how can investors take advantage of government incentives in place?

In conversation with

  • Imad Barrakad Chairman and Chief Executive Officer - Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT)
  • Abdulla Ziyath Managing Director - Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)

13:20 - 13:30


Whether you are looking for investment, a hotel operator, a joint-venture partner or just want to profile your hotel project, submit it to us for the chance to have it presented in front of AHIC attendees. You will have three minutes and two slides to present your project. 

Contact to find out more.

13:30 - 14:30



14:30 - 15:15


Overview of the Destination Drivers Planned For the UAE

What, where and when?

The Future of Entertainment

Attractions are often magnets in the tourism industry, but what critical elements must be considered when thinking about an attraction? How do you become the next BIG thing? Are there any gaps in the Middle Eastern market?

  • Bart Dohmen Managing Director - BRC Imagination Arts, BV

on designing attractions


on making the economics stack up.

14:30 - 15:15

Session : WORKSHOP In the Conversation Room

The Future of Talent - Hospitality Careers for GCC Nationals Symposium

In conversation with

  • Mustafa Al Hashimi Chief Executive Officer - wasl Hospitality
  • Saad A Al-Qahtani Accommodation Sector Manager - Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities
  • Farida Al Raisi Director of Human Resources - Shangrila Hotel and Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri
  • Ahmed Ramdan Founder and Group CEO - Roya International

15:15 - 16:00


Future Proofing Your Business – Tourism Development in the Middle East: Scenarios and Wildcards 2030

Future scenarios help us understand the threats and opportunities GCC destinations will face in the next five to ten years. To what extent they will be able to attract and to prepare the necessary work force? Will technological developments be able to alleviate the effects of work force scarcity? Can the different destinations coordinate their strategies so that they can avoid a mutual cannibalization and price competition? And how can GCC destinations successfully anticipate plausible shifts in consumer behaviour?

  • Graciëlla Karijomedjo Project Coordinator and Researcher - European Tourism Futures Institute
  • Dr Jeroen Oskam Director of the Research Centre - Visiting Professor at EADA Barcelona & co-editor of the Journal of Tourism Futures - Hotelschool The Hague