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2015 Speakers

Ahmed Ramdan

Founder and Group CEO, Roya International

Satyan Joshi

Senior Industry Manager , Google UK Limited

Stephen Tate

Chairman, Cristal International Standards

Denis Sorin

President of Hotel Operations, Dur Hospitality

Anil Bhardwaj

Director, A.A. AlMoosa Enterprises

Arne M. Sorenson

President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, Inc.

Suparat Chirathivat

Vice President - Business Development, Centara Hotels & Resorts

Hala Matar Choufany

Managing Partner, HVS Dubai

Moses Solemon

Chairman and CEO, Canada Business Holdings Inc.

Dr Badr Al Badr

Chief Executive Officer, Dur Hospitality

Daniel Ruff

President and Managing Director (EMEAI), Wyndham Hotel Group

Wolfgang M. Neumann

President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Ivanka Trump

Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions, The Trump Organization

Clarence Tan

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

John T.A Vanderslice

Global Head, Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, Hilton Worldwide

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR Global

Munir Ahmed

Director Hospitality, Naseel Holding

Daniel Silke

Director, Political Futures Consultancy

Ignace Bauwens

CEO, Abu Dhabi National Hotels

Maria Zarraluqui

Global Development Manager Director, Melia Hotels International

Abdellah Essonni

CEO, ABJAR Hotels International LLC

Darroch Crawford

Managing Director, Premier Inn Hotels International

Simon Allison

Chairman, HOFTEL

Christopher R.J. Knable

Chief Operating Officer, Katara Hospitality

Ali Borhani

Founder CWO, Incubeemea

Simon Coombs

President & CEO, Shaza Hotels

Abdulla Ziyath

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

Simon Enders

Project Director, Faithful+Gould

Catalin Cighi

Managing Partner, Cain Hospitality Innovation (CHI)

Anita Mendiratta

Founder & Managing Director, CACHET Consulting

Rafi-uddin Shikoh

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, DinarStandard

Elizabeth Winkle

Managing Director, STR Global

Margreet Papamichael

Director, AECOM Economics

Rutger Smits

CEO, Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company

Filippo Sona

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

Rawaf Bourisli

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

Simon Barlow

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

Bart Dohmen

Managing Director, BRC Imagination Arts, BV

Mark Wynne-Smith

Global Chief Executive Officer – Hotels & Hospitality Group, JLL

Susan Harmsworth MBE

Chairman, ESPA International

David Thomson

Chief Operating Officer, JA Resorts and Hotels

Gerald Lawless

President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group

Roger Blackall

Executive Director – Real Estate Asset Management, Premier Group WLL

Simon Lazarus

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

Robert Swade

Group Chief Development Officer, Jumeirah Group

Tim Fox

Head of Research & Chief Economist, Emirates NBD

Paul Diab

Vice President-Operations, Golden Tulip MENA

Edmund O’Sullivan

Chairman, MEED

Amine Moukarzel

President, Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts MENA

Mark Shea

Head of Hospitality for the Middle East, Faithful+Gould

Graciëlla Karijomedjo

Project Coordinator and Researcher, European Tourism Futures Institute

Neil George

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

Christoph Härle

Chief Executive Officer, EMEA , JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group

Dr Jeroen Oskam

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

Chiheb Ben-Mahmoud

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


Day 3 - Thursday 7th May 2015

8:30 - 9:00


A Focus on Finance

Table 1: How can we be more creative in securing finance and closing deals?
What will it take to bring transparency to the market?

Table 2: What short-term financing profiles are available [12-15 years] and how can you ensure loan flexibility?

Table 3: What is the link between the growth of tourism regionally and an increase in financing?
Does it correlate? What types of terms are favourable?

Table 4: When can you go to IPO?
What other options are available outside of the standard banking system?

9:15 - 9:30


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

9:50 - 10:10

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

  • Tim Fox Head of Research & Chief Economist - Emirates NBD

10:10 - 10:40

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?

10:40 - 11:00

The Next Frontiers – What are the Hottest Global Markets?

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

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

11:00 - 11:15

The Future of Talent

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

11:15 - 11:45



11:45 - 13:30


11:45 - 12:00

Session 1: Focus on the Future

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?

  • Denis Sorin President of Hotel Operations - Dur Hospitality

12:00 - 12:30

Session 2: Focus on the Future

The Future of Operators: OTAs vs Brand Power and Customer Loyalty

Where do OTAs add value and how can they work together with operators? Is it a case of if you can’t beat them, join them? How does the playing field continue to evolve? How are operators innovating to keep and attract more customers?

  • Daniel Ruff President and Managing Director (EMEAI) - Wyndham Hotel Group

12:30 - 13:00

Session 3: Focus on the Future

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?

13:00 - 13:30

Session 4: Focus on the Future

Regeneration and Repositioning in Egypt

Is Egypt regaining its competitive edge? How is the inbound tourist profile changing? What does this mean for hotel development and the increasing move to upscale and luxury offerings?

13:30 - 14:30



14:45 - 15:30


Session : Worskhop 1

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

Session : Workshop 2

Building Mid-Market and Budget Hotels

Given high land costs how you build efficiently so you can make the numbers stack up? Looking at ‘Design and Build’ as an option.

  • Rawaf Bourisli Director of Development, Action Hotels & General Manager, Board Member, Action Real Estate Company (kscc) -
  • Paul Diab Vice President-Operations - Golden Tulip MENA
  • Mark Shea Head of Hospitality for the Middle East - Faithful+Gould

Session : Workshop 3

Sustainability in Contruction, Design Flowing Through to Operation

The UAE has one of the biggest construction footprints in the world. This market is ripe for change and sustainable new innovations. How can sustainable innovations be implemented throughout the planning, design and development stages? What lessons can be drawn from other infrastructural developments globally? How does sustainable development decrease costs and increase ROI for the investor?


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.