Programme

16:00 - 17:00  
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ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS

Join us for round table ‘brainstorming sessions’ with your fellow attendees. These sessions allow you to meet and share ideas ahead of the start of conference. A great ice-breaker and an excellent way to gain industry knowledge. Network, demonstrate your expertise to potential partners and gain insight from industry leaders in an intimate setting. Each table will be hosted by an industry expert. During the session you will move tables once to discuss industry issues from the following round tables:

UNCOVERING BAHRAIN

Where are the opportunities and what do investors need to know?

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Jerad Bachar
Executive Director – Tourism and Leisure - Bahrain Economic Development Board

Jerad Bachar

Executive Director – Tourism and Leisure - Bahrain Economic Development Board

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Jerad Bachar, CDME is the Executive Director – Tourism and Leisure at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB). The EDB is responsible for the development of foreign investment and economic viability of key sectors within the Kingdom of Bahrain, including the vital segment of Tourism.  The EDB aims to develop a tourism business environment that is diverse in products and services, attractive to investors, provides sustainable growth opportunities, and increases Bahrain’s overall competitiveness.
Prior to joining the Bahrain EDB, Jerad was a strategic advisor for tourism organizations in the Gulf Region including the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.  Prior to that, he was a Director at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. 
In 2014, Jerad was elected to the board of directors for the Destination Marketing Association International, which is based in Washington DC.  DMAI is the international association of destination marketing organizations.

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Roger Blackall
Executive Director, Real Estate Asset Management - Premier Group WLL

Roger Blackall

Executive Director, Real Estate Asset Management - Premier Group WLL

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Mr. Blackall joined Premier Group, W.L.L.in Bahrain, in 2008 where he is responsible for the oversight of all real estate investment and asset management activities.  Prior to Premier Group, he spent five years at Kingdom Hotel Investments as Senior Vice President Asset Management, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, UAE.  At Kingdom, Mr. Blackall was responsible for the Asset Management of a $1.5 billion portfolio of five-star hotels throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia, comprised of 25 operational hotels and 13 projects in various stages of development.  Brands included Four Seasons, Fairmont, Intercontinental, Raffles and Movenpick.  Prior to joining Kingdom, Mr. Blackall worked for Japanese firm Shimizu Development, Inc. in Los Angeles, California, where he was responsible for all facets of a $1 billion real estate portfolio, consisting of hotel, office and retail properties.  Prior to joining Shimizu, Mr. Blackall operated his own company in Palm Beach, Florida, specializing in hotel appraisals, feasibility studies, acquisition due diligence, impact studies and general management advisory and consulting assignments for hotel, restaurant, golf course and other related recreational projects. Mr. Blackall has also held a variety of hospitality industry consulting and operational management positions throughout the United States at Arthur Andersen, Marriott International Corporate Hotel Development, PKF Consulting, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and the Walt Disney World Resort Division.  Mr. Blackall holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and also attended graduate-level real estate classes at the American University in Washington, D.C.

DUAL BRANDING

What are the advantages and disadvantages to pursuing a dual-branded project? What are the factors to consider when determining which brands can work together? How do you maintain brand integrity? Hear from the brands who have made this concept work.

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Louis Abboud
Director of Development - AccorHotels Middle East

Louis Abboud

Director of Development - AccorHotels Middle East

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Louis Abi Aboud is Director of Development at AccorHotels Middle East, a role he has held since November 2014. Louis has diverse experience within the hospitality industry, having served on the property owner side as well as the hotel operator side.

He began his career in hotel operations with Starwood Hotel and Resorts in the United Sates, at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in California. He held management positions in hotel operations for a couple of years, before joining the Saudi Bin Ladin Group in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as part of their Asset Management team overseeing a 3000-keys portfolio of hotels in Makkah.

Louis later moved to the United Arab Emirates, joining international consultancy firm HVS in Dubai, where he was in charge of valuation, feasibility, management contracts, and other strategic assignments throughout the Middle East. He then moved to Asset Management & Business Planning at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, to work part of the team overseeing eleven internationally branded properties in Dubai, UAE, and Manama, Bahrain, in addition to several new hotel developments across the Middle East and North Africa region.

Louis graduated from Sagesse University’s Faculty of Hospitality Management with an academic certification of École hôtelière de Lausanne with a Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Management. He also holds a certification in Real Estate Investment and Asset Management from Cornell University.

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Ramsay Rankoussi
Senior Director Business Development, Middle East & Africa - The Rezidor Hotel Group

Ramsay Rankoussi

Senior Director Business Development, Middle East & Africa - The Rezidor Hotel Group

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Ramsay Rankoussi, a Belgian national, joined the Rezidor Hotel Group in Dubai in June 2014 as Manager of Business Development before being promoted twice to his most recent role as Senior Director.

He was previously with Millennium Hotels & Resorts where he first joined them as a feasibility analyst for their Middle East office. He quickly moved into the role of Associate Director of Development & Asset Management, where he led all development related activities for the company in the region. During his tenure with the hotel group Ramsay successfully positioned the company in the top 5 hotel pipeline in the Middle East with over 25 hotels and 8,000 rooms secured with multiple new market entries.

Ramsay is now co-heading the business development activities in the Middle East for the Rezidor Hotel Group as part of a common objective to double the hotel portfolio within the next three years across each of the brands: Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson, Radisson Red and the Quorvus Collection.

A hotel development and investment professional, Ramsay is committed to value creation through strategic growth, financial expertise and appropriate due diligence on each project that he embarks on. He personally enjoys management contract negotiation and execution while remaining proactive in the sourcing and maintaining of new and existing relationships with local and international partners.
Ramsay holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and a MBA majoring in Hotel Real Estate Finance and Asset Management from the ESSEC Business School (IMHI) in Paris.

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Costas Verginis
Vice President Development Middle East - Marriott International

Costas Verginis

Vice President Development Middle East - Marriott International

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Dr Costas Verginis – Senior Director Lodging Development, Marriott International

Costas is a hospitality professional with 20+ years experience in the hospitality industry. Costas has served the hospitality industry in various capacities, namely hotel operations, hospitality education, hospitality consultancy and since January 2013 hotel development.

Costas started his education in a traditional Swiss Hotel School, followed by Master and Doctoral degrees in the UK. His PhD thesis is in the area of real estate finance and specifically on hotel feasibilities and valuations.
Costas held various operational roles in hotels in Switzerland, Cyprus and the UK, and taught hospitality related courses in the UK, Greece and the UAE.

Between 2006 and 2012 Costas led Deloitte’s hospitality and real estate Middle East consulting team, and in this capacity he has advised many developers and hotel owners across the Middle East in areas of strategic growth, business planning, growth strategy, asset management, hotel operator selection, feasibility studies, and market trend analysis.

Since January 2013, Costas joined the Marriott International lodging development team, with focus on the markets of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.

MICE – THE UAE CASE STUDY

Is the UAE doing enough to maintain its position as one of the top MICE destinations globally? Who are the main competitors and how is the UAE keeping up? What are the long term implications of being a global MICE destination that Middle Eastern Neighbours need to consider before investing in MICE development? Are there better returns to be sought from di erent industry segments?

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Bridget Baker
Managing Director - Bridget Baker Consulting

Bridget Baker

Managing Director - Bridget Baker Consulting

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Bridget Baker has spent 30 years in the hospitality business.  She worked in the operations side of the industry in the UK and France for more than a decade before joining the hotel & leisure consultancy team at PKF London in 1990.   She has been a specialist hospitality consultant for more than 20 years, with 13 years at PKF, two years at a chartered surveying firm specialising in the leisure and planning side of the industry, before setting up her own consultancy – Bridget Baker Consulting Ltd - in January 2006.

Bridget has undertaken consultancy projects throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa for a range of clients including hotel chains, developers, public sector organisations and funding institutions.  Over the past few years Bridget has been working on many hotel and resort projects in Emerging Markets including Libya, Morocco, Turkey, Croatia and the Gulf.

Bridget is also a specialist in the conference and meetings market and regularly assists clients seeking to develop new convention and event facilities.
 

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Sanjay Tanna
Senior Executive – EAME Region -

Sanjay Tanna

Senior Executive – EAME Region -

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Sanjay is a senior executive with over 20 years of experience in Development, Investments and Corporate / Commercial Finance within the Real Estate and Hospitality sectors.
Within the hospitality spectrum, his experience ranges from development and acquisition of luxury single assets through to select service and portfolio of budget hotels.
His prime focus is within strategic planning, investments, acquisitions, development, branding, market reviews, financial feasibilities, performance & asset management.
Sanjay has a wealth of experience which has added to his commercial repertoire and has gained experience, from FTSE listed entities, Financial Institutions to Owner - Managed businesses, both in the UK and in UAE, and it is this that makes him not only financially observant but, more importantly, a commercially focused individual with an eye for latest market trends.

MEET THE BANKERS

A chance to network with bankers of the region to discuss the current and future lending climate.

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Oliver Ebner
Executive Director at Project & Specialised Finance - National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD)

Oliver Ebner

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

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Oliver Ebner has 16 years of work experience in arranging and advising on transactions in Project Finance and Asset Finance for projects mainly in Europe and Asia. In his current position as Senior Manager in Project & Specialised Finance at National Bank of Abu Dhabi he leads the arrangement of large scale project as well as corporate financings for local and regional projects and sponsors. Prior to NBAD he spent most of his time with WestLB and SEB in London on a wide range of limited recourse transactions, with a particular focus on the leisure sector. His Project Finance experience also includes transactions in the energy, telecom, infrastructure, oil & gas and other sectors. He started his career with Merger & Acquisitions before moving to the Project Finance arena.
Oliver is a German national with a degree in Business Administration & Economics from Augsburg University. He now lives in Abu Dhabi with his wife and daughter.

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Jawad Khan
Director, Debt & Capital Advisory - PwC

Jawad Khan

Director, Debt & Capital Advisory - PwC

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Jawad has 15 years of experience in raising; refinancing; and restructuring debt for clients in Europe and Middle East. He currently leads the PwC Debt & Capital Advisory team in the MENA region, advising and raising funds for clients through a multitude of means including debt and capital markets
In the last 12 months, he has successfully raised multi billion Dirham financing across various industries and debt forms
Jawad’s experience has been accumulated both in an advisory capacity with PwC and executory capacity (where he headed up the Finance Function of a large Middle Eastern corporate), which allows for a unique insight into how excellence can be achieved whilst being pragmatic
Jawad has experience of working with mid to large corporates (distressed or otherwise) allowing him to tailor "best practice" for a given situation. He has undertaken numerous independent financial and strategic reviews for a variety of businesses and well versed in contingency planning.
Jawad has advised a range of banks and corporate clients on stakeholder and situational management, allowing him to understand key motivating factors
Recognised as a strong negotiator, Jawad has an extensive network of financiers, which allows him to achieve the desired outcome for clients
His recent experience includes raising finance for corporates in the Real Estate, education, retail and manufacturing sectors.‎ He has also helped clients in developing long term strategy and corporate governance modules.

CYBER SECURITY – HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE HACKERS?

What you need to know about cyber security and how your business could be exposed?

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Patrick MacGloin
Middle East Cyber Security Lead - PwC

Patrick MacGloin

Middle East Cyber Security Lead - PwC

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Patrick MacGloin leads the Cyber Security and Data Privacy practice in the Middle East for PwC. He is a former British diplomat with extensive global experience of operational, physical and technology security. He has a master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University ofManchester, and a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. He specialises in transnational and international cyber security. He is a contributor and advisory board member for several security related forums and conferences, and has presented on several international events including joint-platforms with regional national security entities.

HOTEL SECURITY – A COST OR AN INVESTMENT?

Designing for security and what you need to take into consideration when building a hotel. What is the ROI for hotel security – can it be an income generator?

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Ashley Scott
Principal - AECOM

Ashley Scott

Principal - AECOM

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Ashley’s expertise is in the areas of hotels, resorts, urban planning, golf and leisure communities, commercial and retail developments.
He is one of the EMIA leaders for the AECOM Design + Planning’s international masterplanning, urban design and landscape design team and has worked on projects in the Middle East, South America, Africa, China, Asia, Russia, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean.
As one of the Global leaders of AECOM’s resorts, leisure and tourism projects Ashley works with the world’s major hotel operators and his focus is on combining the finest hospitality with economic, environmental and social sustainability. His masterplanning and landscape projects range from golf and vineyard residential communities to hotel and branded residential resorts.

RAS AL-KHAIMAH – THE NEW DESTINATION FOR INVESTORS AND HOLIDAY MAKERS?

A look into the development of Ras Al-Khaimah as a new destination on tourist maps. What are the investment opportunities?

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Abdullah Al Abdouli
Managing Director - Al Marjan Island

Abdullah Al Abdouli

Managing Director - Al Marjan Island

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Abdullah Al Abdouli is the managing director of Al Marjan Island one of the largest master developers in the Emirates of Ras Al Khaimah. Al Abdouli as well the Director of Town Planning & Survey Administration - Project Management Office (PMO) in Ras Al Khaimah Municipality and board member for Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. Al Abdouli hold a master degree in  Regional & Urban Planning from the Paris Sorbonne University, and Bachelor of Architecture in Urban Design from the American University of Sharjah.

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Yannis Anagnostakis
Chief Executive Officer - RAK Hospitality Holding LLC

Yannis Anagnostakis

Chief Executive Officer - RAK Hospitality Holding LLC

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Yannis is a passionate and creative hospitality executive with a long track record in ‘turnaround’ projects and delivery of financial returns for stakeholders. He has over 22 years’ experience in international 5-star and luxury hospitality, with a career spanning 12 cities in 8 countries, across 4 geographical regions.

After obtaining a degree at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland, Yannis developed an extensive knowledge of hotel operations in various managerial and senior executive roles.

Prior to joining RAK Hospitality Holding, Yannis was employed by Hilton International (Athens, London, Durban, Cairo), InterContinental Hotels Group (Miami, San Francesco, Toronto, Dubai) and Jumeirah Group (New York, Dubai). His hospitality career path included managerial and executive roles in hotel operations, project management and development.

Since joining RAK Hospitality Holding LLC in December 2013, Yannis has been tasked with the consolidation of Government owned hotel and hospitality assets and the formation of RAKHH subsidiaries.

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Harmen de Jong
Partner - Knight Frank

Harmen de Jong

Partner - Knight Frank

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Harmen is a Partner at Knight Frank, responsible for the Development Consultancy service line and covers all real estate sectors including hospitality. He advised Clients on optimum investment strategies pertaining to capital projects with a combined value of over USD 50 bn. in geographic markets such as the Middle East, Asia, CIS and South America on behalf of investment funds, real estate developers and hotel management companies.

He has been based in the Middle East since 2006 and has been involved in a number of large scale mixed-use projects with leading real estate developers and (semi) government authorities. His strengths include real estate development strategy, feasibility assessments and highest and best use analyses and he is a well-versed financial modeller.

His key responsibility with Knight Frank is to grow the firm’s development advisory footprint in the region whilst establishing specialist advisory practices in the areas of hospitality, retail and healthcare amongst others. Harmen holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from RSM Erasmus University with a concentration in corporate finance and is currently working towards attaining RICS membership. In addition to Dutch, his mother tongue, he is proficient in German and Indonesian.

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Haitham Mattar
Chief Executive Officer - Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

Haitham Mattar

Chief Executive Officer - Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

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Haitham Mattar, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, was appointed in May 2015 to drive the economic growth of Ras Al Khaimah by positioning the Emirate as a world-class destination for business and leisure tourism.
With over 25 years of experience in global destination and hospitality management and marketing, Mattar has held senior roles with leading global brands including Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and most recently Hilton Worldwide. 
As Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Hilton Worldwide, he was managing a 240+ strong team across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia and responsible for 126 trading properties with a further 100 in the pipeline, sharpening his aptitude in hospitality, travel and tourism.
Mattar’s cross-continent experience and valuable global insights allow him to effectively lead Ras Al Khaimah’s destination growth strategy, through capturing existing and emerging source market movements and global tourism trends. Under Mattar’s leadership, Ras Al Khaimah is achieving continued growth in visitor numbers and netting a growing share of the global outbound tourism market.
A Lebanese-born American citizen and Arabic speaker, Mattar holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida, USA, and a MBA in Marketing from the University of Liverpool, UK, having completed a thesis on the sustainability of tourism in Dubai.

THIRD PARTY MANAGEMENT - THE START OF A NEW BEGINNING?

What is third party hotel management and what benefits does it offer both to investors and hotel companies?  How does it compare to the traditional management models seen across the region?

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Scott Antel
Hospitality and Leisure Partner - Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

Scott Antel

Hospitality and Leisure Partner - Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

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Scott Antel is an internationally regarded emerging markets hotels & hospitality lawyer.  He has more than 20 years’ experience advising both owners/developers and international operators in the Middle East, Russia/CIS, Turkey, the Baltics and Asia on hotel, branded residence and mixed use developments.
A senior partner in BLP's Abu Dhabi and Dubai offices, Scott recently joined BLP to lead the firm's "tier one" global Hospitality Practice in the Middle East as well as focus on developing the Russian, African and Asia Pacific practices.
Scott regularly advises clients on all aspects of hotel, branded residence and mixed use development and operational matters, including litigation.  He has acted on hundreds of hotel projects, including numerous landmark projects with major international hotel brands.  He most recently advised on several luxury hotel and branded residence projects on Dubai’s iconic Palm Jumeirah.  He also works in the franchise sector advising hotels, restaurants and retail clients. 
Scott is recognised as a “leading advisor” and “go to hospitality lawyer” by Chambers Europe and Legal 500 law directories.  He serves on the advisory board of the Russian and Arabian Hotel Investment Forums and is a regular speaker at events, as well the Berlin IHIF and is regularly published and quoted on hospitality related topics.
Scott was recipient of the Russia/CIS Hotel Investment Forum's 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the industry in emerging markets, the only lawyer to ever receive this prestigious award.

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Jerome Briet
Vice President Development, Middle East & Africa - Marriott International

Jerome Briet

Vice President Development, Middle East & Africa - Marriott International

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In his capacity of Vice President Development, Jerome oversees the expansion of Marriott International and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company brands in the region with a particular focus on the United Arab Emirates and Oman. His extensive network and solid market reputation built over the last 10 years spent in the region have enabled Jerome to bring some of the company’s most iconic brands to the region, including Edition and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, as well as expand the midscale and full service brands in underprovided submarkets.

Prior to joining Marriott International, Jerome has advised international clients in successfully conducting hotel transactions both in Europe and the Middle East, having been a senior member of the Capital markets team of Jones Lang Lasalle in Dubai and previously in Paris.

Jerome holds a BSc in Finance from INSEEC Paris and an MBA from ESSEC Paris in Hospitality Management.

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Bani Haddad
Founder & Managing Director - Aleph Hospitality

Bani Haddad

Founder & Managing Director - Aleph Hospitality

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A visionary leader, decorated speaker and widely respected hospitality industry veteran, Bani Haddad has first-hand experience of virtually every aspect of hotel management.  From site selection, fundraising and construction at Hospitality Management Services, to pre and post-opening operations with Starwood and Disneyland Resort Paris, to strategic growth and development as Regional Vice President Middle East & Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group, Haddad has over 20 years’ experience in launching, developing and successfully managing international hotel brands. 

During his career, Haddad has orchestrated brand launches in countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain and has received an MBA from IMHI, a joint programme established by Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and ESSEC.  Haddad founded Aleph Hospitality in 2015 after identifying a significant gap in the market to enable brands to expand more rapidly across the Middle East and Africa through third party management.

17:00 - 18:00  
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SPEED NETWORKING

Speed Networking is a great way to break the ice and ensure you go into AHIC already knowing your fellow attendees. Meet over 50 new contacts before the conference has officially started!

18:30 - 20:30

Networking

 
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NETWORKING RECEPTION

Jumeirah Group welcomes AHIC

Keep an Eye on the Future and meet industry future-shapers at our opening networking event.

Join us at an informal evening hosted by Jumeirah Group. Don’t be part of the past – start your journey towards tomorrow.

Majlis Al Salam Ballroom, Mina A Salam Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah.