Programme

8:00 - 9:00

Networking

 
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REGISTRATION AND WELCOME COFFEE IN SPONSORS’ EXHIBITION

8:30 - 10:00  
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Invitation-only Investor Briefing hosted by JLL

9:00 - 10:00  
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ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS – Round 1

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 sessions. 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 twice to discuss industry issues from the following round tables:

Table 1: Is There Quantifiable Power in Social Media?

Should investors and developers take social media into account at any point of the decision making process? What should they be paying attention to and how can they utilize and react to the information it provides?

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Chris Gregory
Display Sales Manager - Middle East & Africa - Trip Advisor

Chris Gregory

Display Sales Manager - Middle East & Africa - Trip Advisor

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Chris is TripAdvisor’s Middle East & Africa Sales Manager and has been with the business  since December 2013, Chris is responsible for driving TripAdvisor’s continued growth in the region and is tasked with ensuring TripAdvisor remains a key partner for MEA based travel and hospitality clients. He is also responsible for expanding the regional office here in Dubai which now stands at 3 people already in 2015.

Prior to TripAdvisor, Chris had been working for Abu Dhabi Media Company having moved across from London in 2012 where he spent 5 years working for BSKYB after joining as a graduate. Chris brings with him over 9 years of experience working with both media agencies and clients direct to leverage digital and traditional advertising mediums such as sponsorship, video on demand and mobile.

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Nicolas Mayer
Partner & Industry Leader - Lodging & Tourism Clients Group - PwC

Nicolas Mayer

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

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In his Role as Industry Leader of PwC’s Tourism Industry Client Group, Nic is responsible for the overall service delivery of PwC’s Service Offering to Clients in this Industry.
Nic’s areas of expertise are in lodging strategy consulting, operative optimization projects, integrated destination management models, as well as on systemic management of guest experience and guest satisfaction at the property, group or destination level. Nic has executed numerous assignments within these areas worldwide, including frequent deployments in the GCC and Maghreb region.
Nic holds a BSc. in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and qualified as a CPA and ACCA. He holds regular visiting lectureships at Ecole Hôteliere de Lausanne, Les Roches Hotel Management School and Lucerne Hotel School. He is a member of the advisory board of the World Tourism Forum and frequently published in national and international trade publications.
Prior to joining PwC, Nic held several management positions with Hilton and Ritz-Carlton in the USA, Asia and Europe.

Table 2: 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?

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Markus Keller
Deputy Senior Vice President Global Sales and Distribution - ACCOR

Markus Keller

Deputy Senior Vice President Global Sales and Distribution - ACCOR

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With more than 20 years of hotel experience in various operational roles from front line through senior management and corporate positions in five countries, Markus is currently Deputy Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Distribution based in Paris.

Markus joined Accor in 2004 in Sydney before moving to Shanghai as Director of Distribution, Greater China in 2006.  He was responsible for deploying and training Accor distribution systems, pricing and revenue management strategy, developing cooperation with online travel agencies and developing Accor’s e-commerce strategy.  In 2008, he took over regional sales offices in China and Hong Kong, opened a new sales office in Taipei, building intra- and extra-regional business flows from the Greater China market.

Markus moved to Singapore in 2011 to take up a newly created role as the Regional Director Sales & Distribution Asia Pacific, working across 18-countries and the Accor worldwide organization to meet the business needs into and out of the region.  Markus was promoted Vice President Sales & Distribution Asia Pacific in January 2013, before moving to his current position in January 2015.

Markus is 40 years old and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia.

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Damian K. ten Bohmer
Director Commercial - Middle East & Africa - IHG

Damian K. ten Bohmer

Director Commercial - Middle East & Africa - IHG

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Damian K. ten Bohmer has over thirty years extensive hospitality experience and originally hails from the Gold Coast, Australia.

Damian first joined IHG in 2003 as Area Director of Sales & Marketing for Western Australia, NT & SA. Over the course of his 12 years with the company Damian has held senior roles in the Australian region having been awarded for his accomplishments as the ‘Most Outstanding Sales and Marketing Director’ in Asia Pacific, he then moved on as Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Southern Asia in 2006. Here he was responsible for the overall strategic direction within sales, branding, marketing and revenue management for the 47 IHG hotels across South East and South West Asia.

In 2007, Damian was appointed as General Manager of Holiday Inn Melaka in Malaysia before moving to India as Area Director of Sales and Marketing for South West Asia in 2008 before moving to Dubai.

Damian is now Director Commercial for the Middle East & Africa region and is responsible for implementing and integrating all sales, marketing, and revenue strategies for over 70 of IHG’s portfolio of hotel brands in the region encompassing InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and StayBridge Suites, along with exciting new openings such as Hotel Indigo.

Damian lives in Dubai with his wife and is the proud father of his 12 year old daughter.

Table 3: Rules and regulations governing the Saudi hotel & MICE markets – what are the latest developments’
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Eng. Tariq Al Essa
Executive Director - Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau

Eng. Tariq Al Essa

Executive Director - Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau

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15 years’ experience in tourism management, tourism market research, project management, business development, training and events management. Participated in the creation and management of more than 50 major events in Saudi Arabia.
In charge of managing and leading the Saudi Exhibition & Convention Bureau in order to achieve the following objectives:
Develop and implement efficient and transparent licensing policies which encourage investments in the country’s exhibition and convention sector.
Collaborate on the development of exhibition and convention venues in order to strengthen the capacity of the country, providing appropriate options for the organization of large, high quality events.
Develop and implement service standards in the Kingdom’s convention and exhibition sector to increase the quality of events.
Provide research and statistics to investors and stakeholders, including the measurement of the economic impact of the sector and its share of the GDP.
Provide career opportunities for Saudi citizens and to position the sector as an attractive option for career development.
Promote the Kingdom as viable host for regional and international exhibitions and conventions which assist in the development of country’s economic sectors.

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Abdullah Al Jehani
Special Advisor to the President - Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities

Abdullah Al Jehani

Special Advisor to the President - Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities

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Abdullah has had a long and distinguished career associated with the Kingdom’s travel and tourism sectors. He spent 27 years in increasingly senior roles with Saudi Arabian Airlines finally heading the airline’s marketing and programs activities as a Vice President . In 2005 he moved to the Saudi Commission for Tourism  and Antiquates(SCTA) and established the Makkah regional branch. In 2006, he  was appointed to  the position of SCTA  Vice President for marketing and programs, a role he held until being appointed to set up the newly-formed Saudi Conference and Exhibitions Bureau.(SECB) in may 2013 .Abdullah also  Is a Special advisor to the President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism  and Antiquates(SCTA).

Abdullah holds a degree in business administration from Arizona State University, majoring in Finance and  Marketing .

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Saad A Al-Qahtani
Accommodation Sector Manager - Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities

Saad A Al-Qahtani

Accommodation Sector Manager - Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities

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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.

Table 4: Looking at Hotels as a Part of Key Transport Hubs

As the city gets more and more dense how can you grow? What are the key factors to getting a hotel at a transport hub right from an operational and design perspective. Bringing it all together from an architect’s, urban planning and hotelier’s perspectives.

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Darroch Crawford
Managing Director - Premier Inn Hotels International

Darroch Crawford

Managing Director - Premier Inn Hotels International

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Darroch Crawford joined Premier Inn in 2001 as Operations Director for approximately half the brand’s 600 strong UK estate. By the time he left Premier Inn’s UK operation in 2006 to take up his current role as Managing Director of Premier Inn in the Middle East and Africa, he was responsible not only for operations, but also for the Brand Excellence function, which operates the Premier Inn’s unique quality management systems of Guest Promise Check, the Guest Recommend programme and the Good Night Guarantee.

He has over 40 years of experience in the hotel industry, previously working for organisations such as the Forte Group and Hilton International.

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Simon Hasdell
Vice President , Asset Management - Hospitality - IFA Hotel Investments

Simon Hasdell

Vice President , Asset Management - Hospitality - IFA Hotel Investments

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An individual with extensive experience in hospitality and hotel development across three
continents in 10 countries, including 8 years in the Middle East and 6 years in Japan. A
commercial and strategic background in senior management roles over the last 15 years
dealing with both multi branded hotels and Owner relations. Major strengths include
implementation of change, leading multi-cultural teams and management of complex multimillion
dollar projects and mixed use operating portfolios.

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Eric Perino
Director, Business Development, Real Estate - Dubai World Central

Eric Perino

Director, Business Development, Real Estate - Dubai World Central

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Eric Perino is the Director of Business Development for Real Estate at Dubai World Central. In this role he is responsible for devising and implementing strategies and products to promote real estate development within DWC. In his current role, he has successfully negotiated development agreements for four hotel plots near the new Al Maktoum International Airport passenger terminal and led the re-launch of plot sales at the Residential District.
With eleven years of experience in real estate investment, development and consulting, Eric has served as Head of Market Research and Business Development at DWC, where he also promoted real estate development within DWC. Before that, he was a Manager in Real Estate Transaction Advisory Services for Ernst & Young, where he advised developers and governments on real estate projects across 25 countries.
Eric holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from the University of California – Berkeley and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York.

Table 5: Maximizing ROI in F&B

Where are the ‘hotelier blind spots’ when it comes to F&B? How can you rejuvenate your F&B services to drive an increase in RevPAR? What innovations are the big brands introducing and how are they measuring success?

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Duncan Fraser-Smith
Managing Director - The Cutting Edge Agency , CEO, Global Hospitality Limited

Duncan Fraser-Smith

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

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Having spent the past 6 years in the Middle East region in key food and beverage roles within the hotel industry, Duncan has a wealth of experience in this region.

Duncan spent 3 years in Doha, Qatar, developing the hospitality operations for Qatar Sports City and the Cultural Village.  Most recently his role as Group Director of Design, Food and Beverage for Middle East, Africa and Asia, involved creating and developing over 150 different food and beverage concepts for InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the largest hotel companies in the world, so Duncan is well recognized and respected in the hotel and restaurant industry within the Middle East/GCC region and internationally.

Duncan’s 20 years in the hospitality industry, spanning Asia, Australia and the Middle East, have seen him developing both edgy brand defining concepts and establishing, both stand alone and hotel based outlets from deconstructed bars, cafes and lifestyle outlets through to contemporary steakhouses and high street fine dining .

Duncan has a unique approach to developing hotel food and beverage operations by identifying the mix of offerings falling under the three categories of , Core, Impulse and Destination and to make strategic, long
term decisions on the correct use of each individual space.

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Damien Rizzi
Asset Manager (MENA Region) - Colliers International

Damien Rizzi

Asset Manager (MENA Region) - Colliers International

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In Colliers, Damien is working primarily with four and five stars hotels, currently looking after a portfolio of hotels in UAE, Algeria, Qatar, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. He has worked in the hotel industry for the past 16 years, starting his career in operational roles with Starwood and Marriott in Europe. As a project manager in Mexico, Damien developed an independent 4 star hotel into a 5 star condominium. He then moved to France, where he managed an ultra-luxury 20 rooms’ castle, developing and improving the Castle Services. The property was purchased and Damien moved to the buyer’s main property in Montana where he was F&B manager, overlooking three restaurants and private events. Later on, Damien moved to Dubai as hospitality consultant with an edge in F&B. As project manager, he helped investors and owners in concept development, F&B operational audit, due diligence and project management. He then worked for Meraas in F&B projects, helping them to create their F&B portfolio and bringing brands from Turkey and UK to Dubai. Damien brings with him a unique skill set combining analytical thinking with operational exposure.

Table 6: Forging Strategic Partnerships

In an increasingly competitive market place where the internet is often the most powerful route to market how can strategic partnerships add value, enhance consumer experience and give a real competitive and commercial edge to performance?

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Micaela Juarez
Director of Commercial Events - Connections

Micaela Juarez

Director of Commercial Events - Connections

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Micaela Giacobbe is director of commercial events for Travel Weekly Group, spearheading the launch of the next generation of events called Connections.  Connections Luxury is an international, senior, invitation-only, all-inclusive experiential event providing the top luxury travel buyers and suppliers with memorable meetings and experiences that lead to long lasting business relationships.  Prior to joining Travel Weekly Group Micaela developed and successfully launched Decision Makers TV and spent 14 years with Reed Exhibitions where she was head of marketing & communications for World Travel Market. She is a specialist in branding, identity and strategic corporate restructuring and development of new product ranges.

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Kenny Picken
President and Group MD - TravelTek

Kenny Picken

President and Group MD - TravelTek

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Kenny Picken is the president and Traveltek Group Managing Director, founding the company in 2002, having previously worked in the global telecommunications and computer networks industries. A keen pioneer of travel innovation, Kenny has steered Traveltek through a series of first to market initiatives which have seen Traveltek become an award winning global player in travel automation.

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Ian Taylor
Executive Director - Travel Weekly Group

Ian Taylor

Executive Director - Travel Weekly Group

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Ian Taylor is executive editor of Travel Weekly Group, reporting online and in print for Travel Weekly and Travel Weekly Business:am and producing Travel Weekly Insight. He is a career journalist who has worked in travel for most of the last 15 years. Ian helped to devise the scenarios for the UK industry’s Tourism 2023 project. He has extensive freelance experience on newspapers and magazines.

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Daniela Wagner
Director - International Partnerships - Connecting Travel

Daniela Wagner

Director - International Partnerships - Connecting Travel

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Daniela Wagner is Director of International Partnerships of Connecting Travel, the new global business community for the travel & tourism industry launched this year by the Travel Weekly Group. She has a demonstrable track record of outstanding achievement within the travel industry and has had great success  growing businesses due to her commercial creativity and has applied her entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills very effectively in large corporate and start-up environments. Fluent in both German and French, she has an extensive network of top-level industry contacts around the globe .

Table 7: 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. 
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Graciëlla Karijomedjo
Project Coordinator and Researcher - European Tourism Futures Institute

Graciëlla Karijomedjo

Project Coordinator and Researcher - European Tourism Futures Institute

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Graciëlla Karijomedjo is project coordinator and researcher at the European Tourism Futures Institute in the Netherlands. Together with her team, she assists making companies in the tourism industry ‘future proof’ with scenario planning. Previously, Graciëlla worked as program leader Tourism Management for Stenden University in Qatar, where she was responsible for the tourism curriculum. Graciëlla holds a master’s degree from the University of North London in International Leisure & Tourism Studies and a master’s degree from the University of Leicester in Human Resource Development and Performance Management.

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

Dr Jeroen Oskam

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

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Jeroen Oskam is Director of the Research Centre at Hotelschool The Hague (the Netherlands). As a futures researcher, he studies plausible developments in the next five to ten years in order to help companies and organisations anticipate opportunities and threats that lie ahead. Jeroen has worked in hospitality and tourism education in the Netherlands and in Spain. He is a visiting professor at EADA Barcelona and a co-editor of the Journal of Tourism Futures.

Table 8: Asset Management in MENA looking at implementing effective asset management in the MENA region
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René Beil
Managing Director - Beaufort Global Partners LLC

René Beil

Managing Director - Beaufort Global Partners LLC

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Beaufort Global Partners LLC is a private boutique Investment, Asset Management & Development Firm specializing in hospitality real estate and public market ownership with a focus on hotels, commercial buildings, residential projects, and industrial complexes. The firm is based in Dubai, UAE

René Beil, Managing Director of Beaufort Global Partners LLC, brings a seasoned history in hospitality management, operations, finance, investments, asset management and business development to the group.  He has led business development and growth initiatives on multiple continents as prime driver of investments, asset management, and new business development for Sovereign Wealth Funds, Government, Public & Private Companies, Royal Families, High Net-Worth Individuals as well as Family Offices.

He has a proven track record in organization building, discrete off market Private Negotiations & Transactions, Business Development to Asset Management from Boston to Buenos Aires, London to Paris through Dubai to Singapore as well as Hong Kong, accompanied by a comprehensive network of personal relationships at senior principal levels in, Government, Commerce and Finance.

Beil is of German nationality, was born in Singapore and raised in South East Asia, Bali, Manila and Hong Kong, He spent his adolescence in Europe, The Hague, Geneva, Brussels and Paris where he pursued a successful hotel career with InterContinental Hotels and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.  Subsequently, he ventured to the United States of America, Boston, in the pursuit of academic achievements

From Boston University, Beil holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management, complemented by a Minor in Marketing and a Master’s degree in Finance and Economics. He is today a member of the Advisory Board to Boston University School of Hospitality

In his past appointment as Vice President Asset Management of Dubai Investment Group, Beil’s responsibilities included the asset management of the international hotel and real estate asset portfolio of Dubai Holding, which incorporated but not limited to the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts and other international real estate assets.  Furthermore, he was mandated to seek investments, develop & grow markets in South America and cultivate business relationships between Middle East and LATAM.

Beil is currently leading the formation as one of the founding members of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association MEA (HAMA MEA) which is being launched during AHIC 2014. He is fluent in English, French, German, Dutch and proficient in Spanish.

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Harry Johnson
Chief Officer Asset Management - OMRAN

Harry Johnson

Chief Officer Asset Management - OMRAN

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Harry Johnson brings over three decades of experience in the hotel industry with a focus in asset management, financial management and development. His previous assignments include Senior Director, Asset Management for Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), Senior Asset Manager for Longwing (Dubai Holdings) as well as a clear track record in Hotel JV Development in Asia. He has been intimately involved in opening hotels and luxury hospitality focused mixed-use projects in Asia, America and the Middle East. He has also been involved in and led the asset management of significant hotel portfolios. As Chief Asset Management Officer, Harry will bring to the business his experience in the region which goes back over twenty years in all hotel market segments with a solid background in asset management, JV structuring and co-development agreements, hotel sale transactions, development and redevelopment of iconic properties, operator selection, management agreement negotiation and litigation, strategic planning and risk management.

In Dubai, his responsibilities included rebranding of existing properties, asset re-structuring, and development underwriting and termination agreements for Hotels, Restaurants and Mixed Use Developments. Mall and Retail integration and various models of mixed use development has been a focus together with performance maximization. Mr. Johnson has worked for worldwide hotel chains such as Hilton Hotels International, Holiday Inns Inc., Peninsula Hotels, Langham Hotels and Dubai Holding which owns the majority of Jumeirah Hotel’s portfolio including iconic properties such as Bur Al Arab, Emirates Towers, and the Essex House Hotel in New York City.

His credentials include a major in Hospitality Management and Finance from Manchester University Hollings Faculty after which he was awarded full membership of the Institute of Hospitality. He is a past president of the HCIMA Hong Kong Chapter, past Member of the Advisory Board of Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hotel School, and Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality. He is also a Founding Fellow member of the HK Hotel Controllers Association For the Middle East & Africa Johnson is Board member of the most reputable & international non-profit organization HAMA MEA – Hospitality Asset Managers Association

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Fredrik Jonsson
Head of Asset Management- Hospitality - Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD)

Fredrik Jonsson

Head of Asset Management- Hospitality - Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD)

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Fredrik is the Head of Asset Management- Hospitality, at Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) were he oversees ICD’s hospitality assets.

Prior to ICD, Fredrik worked at Qatari Diar as Director of Operational Management, were he was responsible for the asset management functions across all asset classes, and with Majid Al Futtaim Properties, where he held the capacity of General Manager Development – Hospitality.

Before relocating to the Middle East Fredrik worked in various operational and development capacities with Melia Hotels International in Spain and with individual hotels in Switzerland and his native country Sweden.

With close to 20 years in the hospitality industry Fredrik has been involved with most aspects of the hospitality sector including operations, development, acquisitions, and asset management as well as a member of the board of management and property companies in the hospitality sector.

Fredrik holds an MBA from Instituto de Empresa in Madrid and higher degree in hotel and tourism management from Swiss School of Hospitality and Tourism, Chur.

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Nigel Teasdale
Senior Asset Manager - Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC)

Nigel Teasdale

Senior Asset Manager - Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC)

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Following 10 years in hotel operations and sales & marketing, Nigel joined PKF’s hotel consultancy team in 1996 where he undertook a wide range of feasibility studies throughout EMEA. He then moved to a role in PKF’s broking team, where he advises owners in their sale, lease and management contract negotiations. After 9 years with PKF Nigel joined Vision Asset Management where he was asset manager for various Hilton and Marriott UK portfolios, before opening Vision’s Dubai office in 2008. In 2010 Nigel joined TDIC (Tourism Development & Investment Company), the master developer of some of Abu Dhabi’s most prestigious hospitality projects, where he is asset manager for TDIC’s five Anantara operated hotels, the Westin Abu Dhabi, and for TDIC’s two Troon operated golf courses.

10:00 - 10:30

Networking

 
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COFFEE BREAK IN SPONSORS’ EXHIBITION

10:30 - 10:45  
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WELCOMING REMARKS

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Jonathan Worsley
Chairman, Bench Events - Board Director, STR Global

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events - Board Director, STR Global

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Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events, is one of the founders and co-organisers of leading conferences for the hotel investment industry in Berlin (IHIF), Dubai (AHIC), Moscow & Sochi (RHIC), Istanbul (CATHIC), Addis Ababa & Nairobi (AHIF), Casablanca (MTIF), London (BHTS), Madrid (MR&H) and the recently launched Global Restaurant Investment Forum in Dubai. 

Jonathan sits as a shareholder and board director of STR Global,  a global benchmarking company with some 50,000 participating hotels following the merger of The Bench, Smith Travel Research and Deloitte’s Hotel Benchmark.  Prior to The Bench, Jonathan worked for real estate consultants CBRE & Hotel Partners, hotel advisors PKF and hotel operators Forte & Holiday Inns.  He also sits on the board of Hotel Swaps which allows participating members to swap empty hotel rooms with other members around the globe.

Jonathan and his colleagues have been involved in raising money for various causes including the Kenyan Red Cross and the anti-poaching efforts of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.  More recently, considerable funds have been raised for TUSK, Cancer Research and the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation by participating in the Kili Madness challenge and breaking the World Record for the highest game of cricket ever played on top of Kilimanjaro as shown on www.mtkilimadness.com.  Jonathan also sits as a trustee of Future Talent, a charity to provide financial support to gifted young musicians who need financial assistance to pursue their dreams and talent.

Followed by a conversation with Robert Swade, Chief Development Officer, Jumeirah Group on this year’s AHIC theme, Developing Hotels for Tomorrow’s Traveller.

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Robert Swade
Group Chief Development Officer - Jumeirah Group

Robert Swade

Group Chief Development Officer - Jumeirah Group

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Robert Swade is the Group Chief Development Officer. He leads Jumeirah Group’s expansion and development strategy. He is responsible for driving growth through securing new hotel, resort and residence opportunities, and he manages the relationships with the Group’s partners, owners and developers.
Robert oversees the entire development process including the development strategy, generation of leads, project feasibility and market analysis, due diligence, project negotiations, design and technical services. As well as leading the Development team, Robert works closely with the Group’s pre-opening and operations divisions. He is a member of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Development Committee.
A British national, Robert moved to Dubai in 2000 and joined the Jumeirah Group in October 2005 as General Counsel with responsibility for the Group’s worldwide legal affairs. Robert took on additional responsibility for Development in 2012 and continued dual roles until January 2015. To prepare for the next phase of growth, Robert now dedicates himself full-time to the role of Group Chief Development Officer.
Robert started his career in law working as a commercial solicitor in both London and Dubai and has both private practice and in-house experience. Prior to joining Jumeirah Group he was Director of Legal Affairs for a leading Middle East telecommunications company. Before qualifying as a solicitor, Robert was a researcher at the House of Commons and worked for a Government Minister.
Robert holds a bachelor’s degree in English and European Law and a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

10:45 - 11:30  
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Tracking the Future: 20 Trends to 2020 to Shape and Shift the World

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Daniel Silke
Director - Political Futures Consultancy

Daniel Silke

Director - Political Futures Consultancy

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Daniel Silke is one of South Africa’s leading Independent Political Analysts and Keynote Speakers covering South African, African and Global political and economic issues. Silke holds a Masters Degree in South African and International Politics and has served, in a senior capacity, both as a Member of the Provincial Parliament and as a City Councillor in Cape Town He lectures and consults to major corporates, academic institutions and think-tanks both locally and overseas. He is currently the Director of Political Futures Consulting and also regularly appears in print, on the Internet and on radio & television both in South Africa and abroad. He is also the author of the acclaimed new book “Tracking the Future”.

11:30 - 11:50  
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Hard Talk with Arne Sorenson

President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International

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Christoph Härle
Chief Executive Officer EMEA, Hotels & Hospitality Group - JLL

Christoph Härle

Chief Executive Officer EMEA, Hotels & Hospitality Group - JLL

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As CEO EMEA, Christoph Härle takes responsibility for the EMEA region and oversees a team of about 100 people in 15 offices and 8 countries offering specialized services in the Hotels & Hospitality sector. Christoph Härle originally joined JLL in London in 1994, subsequently focusing on German speaking countries. Following a transfer to the New York office, Christoph returned to Germany to head the German team from 2002 to 2007. He then assumed a more regional role before being appointed as joint-CEO in 2012, responsible for Continental Europe. In 2014 he was promoted to the position of CEO EMEA.

Christoph Härle trained as a “Hotelkaufmann” in Hamburg and then graduated from the University of Surrey in 1994 with a BSc (Hons) degree in Hotel and Catering Management. He is a member of the Institute of Hospitality and a guest lecturer at the University of Zurich.

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Arne M. Sorenson
President and Chief Executive Officer - Marriott International, Inc.

Arne M. Sorenson

President and Chief Executive Officer - Marriott International, Inc.

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Arne M. Sorenson is President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, Inc., a leading global lodging company with more than 4,100 lodging properties in more than 79 countries and territories and reported revenues of more than $14 billion in fiscal year 2014.
Marriott International operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels, Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club.
Previously, Mr. Sorenson was Marriott’s President and Chief Operating Officer.  Earlier, he served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and President of Continental European Lodging, with responsibility for lodging operations and development in the continental European region, as well as the company’s overall financial functions.
Prior to joining Marriott in 1996, Mr. Sorenson was a partner with the law firm Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions litigation.
Mr. Sorenson was elected to Marriott International’s Board of Directors in 2011. In January 2015, he was elected chair of the Brand USA board, and also serves on the President’s Export Council and the Luther College Board of Regents.
Mr. Sorenson co-founded Marriott’s Global Sustainability Council in 2007.  In 2008, he launched Marriott’s rainforest preservation partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation in Brazil.  He is also chairman of Marriott’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council and on the Marriott Board of Directors’ Committee for Excellence, a board subcommittee focused on diversity. Together, the Council and Committee monitor and evaluate our company’s strategy to promote a diverse workforce, as well as ownership, customer and vendor communities around the world.  He also writes a blog as an Influencer on LinkedIn and has about 215,000 followers.
Mr. Sorenson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

11:50 - 12:30  
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Industry Outlook

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Elizabeth Winkle
Managing Director - STR Global

Elizabeth Winkle

Managing Director - STR Global

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Elizabeth Randall-Winkle is Managing Director for STR Global Limited.  Prior to being appointed Managing Director, Elizabeth had been Director of Operations for the company with responsibility for operations and client relationship management.  Elizabeth is active in the industry, speaking at international conferences and participating on panels at various events.  Elizabeth was invited to take part in the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS) at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration (SHA) in 2011 and at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in 2012.

Elizabeth joined STR Global from the financial services industry, having served as Interim President/CEO for Pasadena Federal Credit Union in California after previously serving as Vice President, Member Services for the $120 Million organization.

Elizabeth is a 2007 recipient of the World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) Young Credit Union Professional Award and represented the organization on a Cooperative Learning Tour in Ecuador.  In 2006, she was honored with the California Credit Union League’s Tomorrow’s Star award.

Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

Forecast for Middle East for the next 12 months – what do we have to look forward to?
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Filippo Sona
Director | Head of Hotels  (MENA Region) - Colliers International

Filippo Sona

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

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Filippo Sona has been in the global hotel industry for the past 20 years working for International hotel companies and consultancies in UK, USA, Middle East and North Africa. Filippo is specialized in destination and hotel development for mixed uses and stand alone projects, market & financial feasibility study, operator selection and strategic asset management. Filippo understanding of management agreements has been an invaluable skill to global law firms as an expert witness in International Arbitrations. His extensive operational background allows Filippo to provide true strategic operational and financial advice, to enhance hotel profitability and drive asset value. Filippo holds an MBA from Oxford Brooks University and an Honours Degree in Hospitality Management from Thames Valley University, London.

DEVELOPMENT UPDATE: On the progress of the Middle East’s hotel pipeline and tourism infrastructure projects.
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Mohammed Al Rais
Hill International - Regional President Middle East

Mohammed Al Rais

Hill International - Regional President Middle East

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Mohammed Al Rais has 35 years of experience in the management of construction
projects throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Presently, Mr. Al Rais is heading the Middle East operations of Hill International in
the capacity of Regional President Middle East, where he is responsible for the
strategic direction of the company’s operations in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar,
Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Oman and Yemen. Under Mr. Al Rais’s
leadership, Hill International has been successful in identifying new marketplaces
across the Middle East; diversifying its client base and extending its operations in
Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi in particular. Mr. Al Rais also oversees the operational
delivery of Hill’s expanding portfolio of real estate, hospitality and infrastructure
projects, including monitoring KPIs and ensuring client satisfaction. He directs the
executive management and technical teams in all aspect of these projects. He has
supervised the delivery of a range of large-scale, highly-complex, multi-stakeholder
developments such as the program management of Dubai International Airport
Expansion. Mr. Al Rais earned a B.Sc. in City & Regional Planning and a M.Sc. in
Project Management from the University of Reading, UK

12:30 - 13:15  
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Regional Leaders’ Panel

what are their plans for growth and development? How do they see the region developing and supporting the predicted inflow of inbound visitors? What is their take on the future of operators and how do they see them adding value to their business in the age of OTAs?

The Owners, The Operators and the Owner Operators

Moderated By

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Alison Grinnell
Director – Hospitality and Leisure, Assurance Services Lead - PwC

Alison Grinnell

Director – Hospitality and Leisure, Assurance Services Lead - PwC

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Alison leads our Hospitality & Leisure Assurance service across the Middle East. Alison is based in Dubai, following 10 years with PwC in the UK, and prior to that with Andersen in the UK and the US. Alison has 15 years of experience within the Hospitality industry, both in an Assurance and Advisory capacity, and helped lead the Hospitality and Leisure teams in UK and Europe, and now across the Middle East. 
Alison’s experience with leading hospitality companies, both operators and owners, comprising large brand names (Ritz Carlton, Marriott, Jumeirah Group, Four Seasons, Kingdom Hotel Investments, Starwood) as well as a number of smaller boutique hotels.

Her core expertise lies in Hospitality financial and operational audits, controls reviews, operational effectiveness reviews and benchmarking studies

With

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Dr Badr Al Badr
Chief Executive Officer - Dur Hospitality

Dr Badr Al Badr

Chief Executive Officer - Dur Hospitality

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Badr Al-Badr is a veteran business leader known for leading transformation and growing business. His leadership was recognized by awards including best manager and best work environment. He has a diverse experience spanning government, startups, business consulting, and multinational corporations.
Badr is now the CEO of Saudi Hotels & Resorts Company, managing a diversified portfolio of owned and operated properties in hospitality, retail, and housing in Saudi Arabia. Before assuming that role, he led Cisco’s business and expansion in Saudi Arabia and the region and led the development of Cisco’s Smart Connected Communities practice in the Middle East and Africa. Previously, he was the CEO of AwalNet (now part of STC) and the CEO of Al-Alamiah Internet & Communications before that. 
Holding Ph.D. from the University of Washington (Seattle, USA), and B.Sc. in Computer Science from The University of Petroleum & Minerals (Dhahran, KSA), Dr. Badr is a regular speaker in events and provides expert-opinion to local and international entities.
Badr has also actively participated in starting up and funding a number of businesses, and sits on their boards. Additionally, he is on the board of the leading Saudi newspaper, Al Watan, and a member of several associations such as Young Arab Leaders and executive board of Prince Salman Entrepreneurship Award. Interested in personal development, Badr in avid reader and has been in many executive leadership programs at University of Oxford, Cornell, the George Washington University and others. He is active in spreading this knowledge on social networks.

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Henning Fries
Managing Director – Hospitality - Al Habtoor Group

Henning Fries

Managing Director – Hospitality - Al Habtoor Group

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Henning Fries oversees the global hotel assets of the Dubai-based conglomerate - Al Habtoor Group. He took up his position in early 2013 and has been instrumental in driving growth.


The Al Habtoor Group’s hotel business has expanded fast over the past few years and the Group has ambitious plans in the pipeline, as part of Fries’ remit. He oversaw the successful opening of the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, the last addition to the Al Habtoor Group’s growing portfolio, as well as the conversion of its flagship Habtoor Grand, to the first Autograph Collection property within the region.  


The Group currently runs and operates hotels in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Hungary. In 2011, the Al Habtoor Group expanded its footprint in Europe, following the purchase of the landmark Le Méridien Budapest on the famous River Danube. It has since added the InterContinental Budapest to its Hungarian portfolio.


Fries started his career in the hospitality industry over 20 years ago. Before joining the Al Habtoor Group, he oversaw operations for several top brands including Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, IHG, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. He has worked in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East.


COMING SOON...
The Al Habtoor Group is currently developing ‘Al Habtoor City’ - a new landmark in Dubai. The multi-use development will incorporate three five star hotels (WESTIN, W Hotel, St. Regis) as well as three high-residential towers. The hotel complex will include a provincial style garden, a tennis academy, a European boulevard and a permanent water-themed Las Vegas style production by Franco Dragone, a marina and multiple restaurants and bars, operated in part by internationally acclaimed 3rd parties.

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Christopher R.J. Knable
Chief Operating Officer - Katara Hospitality

Christopher R.J. Knable

Chief Operating Officer - Katara Hospitality

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Christopher R.J. Knable joined Katara Hospitality in 2013 to orchestrate the strategic global expansion of the company for both owned and managed hotels.

With global expertise in the areas of hospitality investment, development, branding and operations, Christopher brings a unique blend of experience spanning three decades. Prior to joining Katara Hospitality, he managed a portfolio of hotels for Kingdom Hotel Investments as Vice President Asset Management, being instrumental in the successful development and launch of several market leading properties in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

A global hotelier and entrepreneur, Christopher worked earlier in his career in operations both in the United States and internationally for a number of well known brands and then transitioned into hospitality investment and development with his own private company, having developed a number of award winning hotels including the Rosewood Mayakoba and Waldorf Astoria Chicago.

A graduate of Hunter College in New York, he advanced his professional education at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and in leadership training with the Coro Organization in New York. Active in the community, Christopher has mentored hospitality students around the world from New York to Bhutan and also serves on the editorial board of the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

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Alex Kyriakidis
President & Managing Director - MEA - Marriott International

Alex Kyriakidis

President & Managing Director - MEA - Marriott International

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Alex Kyriakidis is President and Managing Director, Middle East & Africa, for Marriott International, Inc., with responsibility for all business activities for the Middle East & Africa Region (MEA), including operations, sales and marketing, finance and hotel development.

Prior to joining Marriott in January 2012, Mr. Kyriakidis served as Global Managing Director – Travel, Hospitality & Leisure for Deloitte LLP.  In this role, Mr. Kyriakidis led the Global Travel, Hospitality & Leisure Industry team, where he was responsible for a team of 4,500 professionals that generated $700 million in revenues.

Mr. Kyriakidis has 38 years of experience providing strategic, financial, M&A, operational, asset management and integration services to the travel, hospitality and leisure sectors.  He has served clients in 25 countries, predominantly in the EMEA and Asia/Pac regions.

He is a fellow of the Arab Society of Certified Accountants, the British Association of Hotel Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Mr. Kyriakidis holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science and mathematics from Leeds University in the United Kingdom.  He is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

13:15 - 13:30  
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An Interview with HIS EXCELLENCY HESHAM ABDULLA AL QASSIM

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Edmund O’Sullivan
Chairman - MEED

Edmund O’Sullivan

Chairman - MEED

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Mr Edmund O’Sullivan is chairman of MEED, the business information and intelligence service company. A businessman, writer and expert about Middle East political and economic affairs, O’Sullivan is a graduate from the London School of Economics in monetary economics. He worked as a Reuters reporter and a government economist before joining MEED as a specialist in finance, energy and developments in the GCC.
After seven years as a director of EMAP Business International in the UK and Publisher and Editor in Chief of MEED, O’Sullivan moved to Dubai. He is now executive chairman of the business.
O’Sullivan has visited every Middle East country, but spends most of his time in the GCC region. His role includes developing, managing and moderating MEED’s conferences; in 2014 these will be held in all six GCC states, Iraq and Libya. O’Sullivan is the author of thousands of reports and articles about all aspects of GCC socio-economic development.
O’Sullivan has written and edited a number of books about the region including MEED’s Business & Practical Guide to the UAE. He is author of The New Gulf: Arabia and its People in the 21st century which was published in June 2008. O’Sullivan is a member of the advisory board of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and provides consultancy advice to blue-chip international and regional corporations.
O’Sullivan was a member of the bass/baritone section of the world-famous London Welsh Male Voice choir and has performed with the choir at London’s Albert Hall, the Festival Hall Cardiff and, memorably, before the international rugby games at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. He is married with one son.

In conversation with:

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His Excellency Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim
Chief Executive Officer - wasl Asset Management Group

His Excellency Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim

Chief Executive Officer - wasl Asset Management Group

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Mr. Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim is the Chief Executive Ocer for wasl Asset Management Group
and is responsible for leading the organisation’s transformation into a world-class asset
management company. He is also the Deputy Chairman of Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, the
Chairman of Emirates Islamic, one of the leading Islamic banks in the region and Emirates NBD
Egypt; both are subsidiaries of Emirates NBD PJSC.
Mr. Al Qassim’s leadership role at wasl has seen him spearhead asset management, real estate,
hospitality and project development. This portfolio of achievement, combined with a wealth of
financial sector experience from over 17 years in the banking industry, makes him one of the most
experienced CEOs in the region.
Under Mr. Al Qassim’s stewardship, wasl has achieved remarkable success in the management
and ownership of large-scale real estate projects undertaken for the government of Dubai. He
was responsible for restructuring and developing a clear mechanism for the Group’s provision of
high quality services, which included operating three key subsidiaries; wasl properties, wasl
hospitality and leisure and dubai golf. wasl properties is a leading real estate company that
manages over 30,000 units across Dubai. wasl hospitality owns and manages several
international 5-star hotel chains in Dubai, while dubai golf is home to two world-ranked golf
courses across the emirate. This portfolio expansion was achieved in the face of the toughest
global economic conditions.
Mr. Al Qassim’s current Chairmanship roles at Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic and Emirates NBD
Egypt reflect his prominent role in shaping the future direction of these prestigious institutions.
Mr. Al Qassim’s senior level financial experience includes a period as General Manager at the
National Bank of Dubai, during which he was an architect for new strategies in retail and
corporate banking as well as treasury and trade finance. His innovations led the bank to become a
leading financial institution in the United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Al Qassim is an advocate for the importance of recognising and developing local talent. This
commitment to nurturing home-grown skills and abilities led him to becoming one of the
founders of the Young Arab Leaders organisation and a board member of the National Human
Resources Development Committee in the Banking and Financial Sector.
Mr. Al Qassim’s other board memberships include Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
Authority, DIFC Investments LLC., National General Insurance Co., Amlak Finance and Emirates
Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), as well as the International Humanitarian City.
His professional and vocational qualifications include a Bachelor’s Degree in Banking and Finance
and a Master’s Degree in International Business Management and in Executive Leadership
Development.
 

14:30 - 17:40  
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JOHARA 1: THE DEVELOPMENT DEN

14:30 - 15:10  
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Getting Under the Skin of Refurbishments and Conversions

Assessing the feasibility around renovation and when it should be done, how it should be phased, how do you manage the situation? Looking at where to put your money to get the most for your dollar.  Where can you tweak to keep things fresh? Minimum spend for maximum result.

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Sebaa Orabi
Head of Discipline - Interior Design - SSH Design

Sebaa Orabi

Head of Discipline - Interior Design - SSH Design

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Sebaa joined SSH in 2010 as an Interior Designer and led a team of Architects and Interior Designers on a wide range of projects from cultural, commercial, residential, educational, hospitality and retail. Sebaa is now Head of Discipline - Interior Design currently leading on all SSH’s interior design work.

Sebaa has 10 years of experience in Interior Architecture, designing interior spaces and producing FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment) Manuals from early concept design to tender stages.

Sebaa obtained a Master’s degree (Hons) in Architectural Management and Design and was selected as the number one student in a rigorous program that bridges Design and Management from I.E. University in Spain with the collaboration of The Royal College of Art in London.

In Conversation With:

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Munir Ahmed
Director Hospitality - Naseel Holding

Munir Ahmed

Director Hospitality - Naseel Holding

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A graduate of Ealing Hotel School London, Munir Ahmed worked in the West End of London at The Cumberland Hotel Marble Arch and the Grosvenor House on Park Lane with Trust House Forte Hotels.
Transferring to the Middle East as Director of Marketing with InterContinental Hotels, before going on to a career spanning 22 years with Hyatt International Hotels as General Manager for Hyatt Regency Riyadh, Grand Hyatt Muscat and Park Hyatt Jeddah with the additional responsibility as Area Director for Hyatt Hotels in Saudi Arabia.

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Simon Enders
Project Director - Faithful+Gould

Simon Enders

Project Director - Faithful+Gould

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Simon Enders is one of Faithful+Goulds project directors specialising in the hospitality sector. Simon has over 20 years’ experience in the construction industry internationally, with eight years in the Middle East region. Simon has worked on a variety of high profile projects including the planning and delivery of complex hotel new build and refurbishment developments, ensuring clients’ requirements are met in respect of aesthetics, quality, cost, time and safety

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James Marsh
Vice President of Capital Projects - Jumeirah Group

James Marsh

Vice President of Capital Projects - Jumeirah Group

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James is responsible for the capital projects programme for Jumeirah’s hotels in Dubai.  The portfolio includes a large proportion of refurbishments involving hotel rooms, restaurants and commercial space.

A Chartered Surveyor with over 20 years’ experience in the real estate industry, including 10years in the Middle East, managing diverse property portfolios. With experience in the property development and management sectors James has extensive knowledge of the functionality and value of real estate. Previous hospitality projects include the development of Yas Viceroy hotel in Abu Dhabi.

Prior to Jumeirah James has worked for real estate companies including Aldar and Capita Symonds.

15:20 - 16:00  
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Behind the Scenes of Development Teams

What is the internal decision making process an operator goes through to gain approval to put a flag on a property? How is each project evaluated and how do they decide a brand is a fit? What are key points they look for in a potential partner? What are the ‘hot buttons’ which would cause them to walk away?

Moderated by

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Nick Skea-Strachan
Partner - Berwin Leighton Paisner

Nick Skea-Strachan

Partner - Berwin Leighton Paisner

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Nick provides specialist advice to clients in the hotel industry. His areas of specialisation include hotel and resort management agreements and operating contracts, technical services agreements, franchising and hotel development and investment projects. He has advised a wide range of clients including developers, investors, lenders and hotel operators.

Clients laud Nick Skea-Strachan's legal acumen and note his ability to "get the best out of a franchising deal." 
Chambers  & Partners 2014

He has negotiated management and franchise agreement deals with most of the international hotel chains, including Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, InterContinental Hotels Group, Accor, Rezidor, Radisson Edwardian, Kempinski, Bulgari and Mandarin Oriental

With

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

Taras Ettl

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

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Taras Ettl is Vice-President Development of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for the Middle East and Africa. He is responsible for the group’s expansion program in those two key emerging market regions.

Prior to joining IHG, Taras worked for eight years as Vice-President Acquisitions & Development at Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI), a dedicated hotel investment vehicle headed by Saudi investor HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal where he was overseeing the assessment of deal flows ranging from acquisitions to green field developments with a particular focus on Africa. Before joining KHI, Mr. Ettl worked for Movenpick Hotels & Resorts in the capacity of Corporate Development Director with base in Zurich. He began his career at Arthur Andersen where he undertook feasibility work and valuation assignments at the firm’s practices in Frankfurt and Bahrain.

Taras has an intricate knowledge of all hotel markets across the Middle East and Africa as well as extensive experience of transaction closings across a variety of different
jurisdictions and markets. His particular strength is his ability to work within emerging countries known for their high barriers of entry.

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Ramzy Fenianos
Development Director - EMEA - Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Ramzy Fenianos

Development Director - EMEA - Starwood Hotels & Resorts

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Ramzy Fenianos is a Director – Acquisitions & Development and is responsible of overseeing Starwood Hotels and Resorts growth efforts in Middle East & Africa. . He was appointed to this position in 2010 and is based in Dubai.
Prior to his appointment at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Ramzy was managing the Investments & Acquisitions for IFA Hotels & Resorts, an international real estate investment firm listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange. He has a Master degree in Real Estate Finance from the Ecole Superieure des Professions Immobilieres in Paris.

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Carlos Khneisser
Vice President of Development - Middle East - Hilton Worldwide

Carlos Khneisser

Vice President of Development - Middle East - Hilton Worldwide

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Carlos Khneisser started his career in the hospitality industry in 1998 – gaining broad experience across the sector, before focusing on finance and asset management positions over a nine year period. He graduated with 1996 with a BA Business Administration and Finance from Notre Dame University, France and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
He joined Hilton Worldwide in 2009, overseeing the company’s growth within the region which now features more than 100 hotels trading or under development across the Middle East (including Egypt) under its Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts; Conrad Hotels & Resorts; Hilton Hotels & Resorts; Curio – A Collection by Hilton; DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn brands. Hilton Worldwide
According to STR data (Sept 2014), Hilton Worldwide leads the Middle East region in terms of operating and pipeline with more than 34,000 keys and 52 properties under development. The company also features the highest number of construction starts in its regional ME pipeline.

Current Position:
Based in Hilton Worldwide’s Middle East and Africa Regional Office, Dubai – Khneisser is charged with spearheading the growth of the Hilton Worldwide portfolio in markets including UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Kingdom of Bahrain; Qatar and Egypt.
Overseeing a team of three developers – recent milestones in the region include:
• Signing of an agreement to open a Curio – a collection by Hilton in the Mall of Qatar – the first Curio to be agreed internationally.
• The introduction of DoubleTree by Hilton to Dubai, with the openings of two properties located in Al Barsha and Jumeirah Beach.
• Rapid expansion of luxury Waldorf Astoria and Conrad brands – with three additions in 2013/14 in The Palm, Dubai; Downtown Dubai; and Ras Al Khaimah.
Under Khneisser’s leadership, Hilton Worldwide’s Middle East development has enjoyed year-on-year growth and is spearheading the industry’s growth in the region with a record number of signings across five hotel brands.
Thought Leadership:
• Future of the hospitality and travel industry within the Middle East & North Africa
• Government & private sector infrastructure investment in Middle East and North Africa
• Regional development & investment hot spots.
• Benefits of hotel branding & global distribution to owners and investors.
• Market segmentation predictions for growth; management vs. franchise agreements.
• Impact of major events taking place in the Middle East on hotel & tourism industry development.
Skill Set:
• Fluent in English, Arabic, French
• High level strategic negotiations

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Panos Loupasis
Senior Development Director – Middle East & Africa - Wyndham Hotel Group Middle East

Panos Loupasis

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

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Panos, a Greek national started his career in the hospitality industry on an operational level in properties in Europe, the United States and the Middle East.

Panos, a Greek national holds a BSc in Economics from the Aristotelian University in Greece and an MBA in International Hospitality Management from IMHI, a program established by Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

He moved to the Middle East in 2003 as Revenue Manager for the Novotel and Ibis World Trade Centre in Dubai before moving into the field of business development with Holiday Inn Express where his contribution was instrumental for the introduction of the brand in the GCC.

In 2007 Panos joined The Rezidor Hotel Group as Regional Director of Business Development where he drove growth for Rezidor through the execution of management contracts. His most recent position was with Taameer Real Estate Investment Co where Panos undertook various tasks ranging from business development, to equity raising, asset- and project management.

Since 2011 Panos is with the Wyndham Hotel Group. His role is to drive growth in the Middle East and Africa by focusing on new markets and the introduction of new brands under both management and franchise contracts.

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

David Vely

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

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David Vely serves as Senior Vice President Development, Middle East, Africa and India for Premier Inn International, a division of Whitbread focused on developing budget hotels in all international gateway cities and key resort destinations around the world. Mr. Vely is based in Premier Inn’s Dubai office.

In this role, Mr. Vely is responsible for directing all aspects of Premier Inn’s Middle East
Africa and India development activities, which include identifying and analyzing target markets for the company; developing and executing a strategic plan for the region; identifying potential owners and partners in these markets; and structuring, negotiating and closing management and other related agreements with selected partners.

Mr. Vely is a seasoned development executive with extensive experience both in Mergers and Acquisitions and in organic development. Mr. Vely most recently held the position of Senior Vice President Development Middle East & North Africa for MGM Hospitality where he was responsible for leading the development strategy throughout the region.

Prior to his role with MGM Hospitality, Mr. Vely held the position as Head of Development for Majid Al Futtaim Hospitality based in Dubai, UAE.
Before joining Majid Al Futtaim, Mr. Vely was Head of Development and Strategy in the Middle East for Accor, where he designed and implemented the development and investment strategy for the region. He had previously held the role of Director of Merger and Acquisitions for Accor based in Europe and during this time served as Chairman and Member of the Supervisory board for Orbis Hotels in Poland.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Vely participated in Sheraton Hotel and Resort’s Management Training Program.

Mr. Vely has a Masters in Business Administration from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of
Management-Northwestern University. He is also a graduate with a degree in Engineering from
Grande Ecole D’Ingenieurs Paris-Laval (ESIEA).

16:10 - 16:50  
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Getting the Right Operator for the Right Price

Pushing the boundaries and getting creative on management agreements to create more favourable T&Cs and performance tests for owners.  What are some of the innovative deals being done?

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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.

In conversation with

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Anil Bhardwaj
Director - A.A. AlMoosa Enterprises

Anil Bhardwaj

Director - A.A. AlMoosa Enterprises

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Anil Bhardwaj, a Chartered Accountant by profession, is a director with A.A. Almoosa Enterprises LLC, Dubai (The Arenco Group) for several years. The Group is a diversified conglomerate with interests in real estate, hotels, manufacturing, services and trade. As one of the largest landlords of Dubai it has, inter alia, several hotel and hotel apartment ownerships, with the hotels being managed by internationally renowned operators. The Group pioneered the hotel apartment concept in Dubai almost 25 years  ago. Anil sits on the board of the  group company that regularly  interacts with the hotel operators and their management.

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Abdellah Essonni
CEO - ABJAR Hotels International LLC

Abdellah Essonni

CEO - ABJAR Hotels International LLC

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An all-round hotelier with over 25 years of managerial experience spanning four continents and encompassing the industry’s various facets, including the oversight of several hotel openings with residential and commercial components.

Before his current role, Abdellah was managing director-asset management for Actif Invest, a Casablanca-based hospitality investment fund. Prior to that, he was head of hospitality for Sama Dubai, the government owned master developer.

Abdellah had also held several executive positions with major hotel chains such as Hyatt, Four Seasons, Jumeirah and Kempinski.

Abdellah lives in Dubai with his wife and two children. He's originally from Morocco.

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Kristina Fischer
Associate Vice President – Business Development and Legal Services - Centara Hotels & Resorts

Kristina Fischer

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

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Kristina Fischer is the Associate Vice President of Business Development and Legal Services for Centara Hotels & Resorts (Centara). She is responsible for expanding Centara’s portfolio overseas and all legal matters of the group. Kristina has helped Centara establish an office in Shanghai and expand into other international destinations including the Middle East.
Prior to joining Centara in July 2012, she worked as a corporate commercial lawyer at Baker & McKenzie in Bangkok and at Black Dawson and Ashurst LLP in Singapore where she specialized in legal issues related to the hotel industry.
Kristina has an LLB from King’s College London and a Masters degree in International Relations from Thammasat University.

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Suma Venkatesh
SVP Development - Taj Group

Suma Venkatesh

SVP Development - Taj Group

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Suma Venkatesh, Vice President – Development, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd., heads the Taj Group’s initiatives for growth through green field developments, acquisitions, licenses and management contracts and also planning of large scale renovations of various hotels within its portfolio. Over the last 12 years with the Taj Group, she has been involved in doubling the Group’s inventory to 127 hotels with 15500+ keys.

Ms. Venkatesh is an Electrical Engineer by training and holds a Masters Degree in Management Studies from the Mumbai University in India. She has over 22 years of cross functional experience across industries. Before joining the Taj Group, she has worked in different functions across multiple industry sectors in India.

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Maria Zarraluqui
Global Development Managing Director - Melia Hotels International

Maria Zarraluqui

Global Development Managing Director - Melia Hotels International

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María Zarraluqui is Global Development Managing Director for Meliá Hotels International Group, she is heading the worldwide development for the Group and is responsible for executing together with her team of developers the growth strategy of Meliá worldwide, having signed over the last 3 years more than 110 deals worldwide.

María holds a Law degree from the University of Navarra in Spain, as well as a  Master’s degree in Enterprises Legal Consultancy for the Deusto University in, Spain, a Postgraduate degree in Urban Development Law from the UIB University and got a Mention of honour as number 1 of the 2008-2009 Executive Tourist MBA, IE Business School, in Spain. She joined Meliá´s legal Department in 1999, on 2008 she joined the Development team as Development Director and was promoted to Global Development Managing Director in 2011.
 

17:00 - 17:40  
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Understanding Hotels that Embrace the Halal Lifestyle and Why it Makes Sense for Investors

Beyond religious tourism what and where is the demand for such hotels? Why is this segment becoming increasingly attractive to investors and financiers? Who is the customer, what do they want?

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Ali Borhani
Founder CWO - Incubeemea

Ali Borhani

Founder CWO - Incubeemea

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Ali Borhani is the founder and the self-styled "Chief Welding Officer" of Incubeemea, which advises Senior Executives in Fortune 500 companies and allows them to enhance the value of their activities in the MENA region. Through his journey in the corporate world and start-ups, he has learned from both success and failure.

Until 2010, he was the Director of Corporate Strategy & Business Development at Bosch Siemens in MEA, where he guided the strategic direction of the distributor network in 25 countries. Before that, he was the Regional Sales Manager for Philips Consumer Lifestyle, and its Business Excellence Manager. At Philips, Ali grew sales by 45% in less than three years and built a solid distributor network that has allowed the business to continue growing ever since.

A Canadian with Iranian origins living in the UAE, Ali understands the sensitivities, markets and opportunities across the region. With hands-on experience at every key level and a deep understanding of MENA, Ali and his board open up a huge network of senior contacts across the region. His expertise and smart, often unconventional, but always culturally correct and incisive strategic thinking have assisted his clients to outperform and break through barriers in some of the most demanding frontier markets.

He mentors budding entrepreneurs in the region and also works with a number of not-for profit causes, NGOs and public private partnerships organizations, such as Gavi the Vaccine Alliance.

Ali's very strong interest in people is best illustrated by a quote from world-famous choreographer Pina Bausch: "I'm not interested in how people move, but what moves them."

In conversation with

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Simon Coombs
President & CEO - Shaza Hotels

Simon Coombs

President & CEO - Shaza Hotels

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Simon Coombs is the President & CEO of Shaza Hotels. His position before joining Shaza as President and CEO was as Executive Vice President and CFO at Kempinski.

Prior to his appointment at Kempinski, Simon spent 16 years with Hyatt International in various positions linked to development and finance. Most recently, he held the Hong Kong based position of
Vice President of Finance for the Asia Pacific region, where he was responsible for Corporate Finance, Hotel Finance and Treasury functions as well for the implementation of Global Corporate Strategy for Hyatt International in Asia Pacific.

Using this wealth of experience, and his fluency in the business language of the region, Simon is instrumental in the development and expansion of the Shaza brand. A demanding and vitally important portfolio which sees him traversing the region in an effort to acquire and sign the best properties to the Shaza chain

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Rafi-uddin Shikoh
Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director - DinarStandard

Rafi-uddin Shikoh

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director - DinarStandard

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Rafi-uddin is the Founder and CEO of DinarStandard - a specialized market research and advisory firm focused on the emerging Islamic markets of Halal/Tayyab food, Muslim travel market, Islamic/Ethical Finance, and OIC member countries. He is passionate about empowering organizations for profitable and responsible global impact. Since 2008, Rafi-uddin has been advising global multi-nationals, Islamic financial institutions, Halal market startups and NGOs on market expansion analysis, business/investment strategy, and innovative marketing strategies.
Rafi-uddin has led various market studies on the Muslim markets globally including: State of the Global Islamic Economy, Global Muslim Lifestyle Tourism Market, DS100™ ranking of Top 100 Businesses in the Muslim World, Social Responsibility Survey of Islamic Financial Institution, State of Food Insecurity & Opportunities in OIC Countries, Productivity in Ramadan Survey, and various other such reports. He is a frequent speaker on innovation, marketing, social business, and Muslim customer strategies, and has presented at prestigious industry conferences at Oxford University, Harvard University, Jeddah Economic Forum, Dubai International Conference for Awqaf, International Food Conference Turkey, and IIUM Malaysia.
Prior to DinarStandard, Rafi-uddin had been a Vice President with Marsh Inc, a global risk-brokerage firm, where he led and successfully delivered multi-million dollar knowledge management and marketing technology related initiatives. He had previously served as a Senior e-Business Consultant at a Boston a based firm. Rafi-uddin has an MBA from UNC-Charlotte, North Carolina, and a BSc. in Marketing from Southwest State, Minnesota, USA.

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Moses Solemon
Chairman and CEO - Canada Business Holdings Inc.

Moses Solemon

Chairman and CEO - Canada Business Holdings Inc.

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Mr. Solemon is a mature investor and visionary business strategist with 35 years business practice. He is active now in 7 different economic sectors with focus on hospitality in the MENA region as a high growth sector.

With current dynamic economic-political shifts, Mr. Solemon and team targets building sustainable and profitable projects for the next 50 years. The goal is to create true growth and provide vital needs for markets.

14:30 - 16:40  
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JOHARAH 2: THE OWNER’S INTELLIGENCE DEN

Short Informative Presentations on Key Industry Issues: 

Hosted by: 
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Saahil Lalit
Associate Manager Hotels, MENA Region - Colliers International

Saahil Lalit

Associate Manager Hotels, MENA Region - Colliers International

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Saahil has 10 years of industry experience within the hospitality and tourism domain with over eight years of experience in hospitality development and investment advisory within the MENA region. Over the past eight years, Saahil has worked with different profiles of clients such as developers, investors/ investment funds, hotel operators, tourism ministries and multilateral organizations. For each of these clients, Saahil has delivered a combination of outputs such as concept building & development strategies, market & financial feasibilities, hotel operator search & negotiation strategy, operational audits & asset management, valuations, strategic business plans, master plan reviews and destination development plans. Saahil’s project experience includes hotels & resorts (standalone/ multiple assets or hotel portfolio/ development of hotel chain), leisure/ entertainment (theme parks and water parks), malls, mixed use developments/ integrated tourism developments and tourism master plans/ tourism strategies. The main markets that he has covered for such assignments are UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Tanzania and India.
Prior to joining Colliers, Saahil was leading the Dubai branch office for Tourism & Leisure Advisory Services – Europraxis Consulting, implementing hospitality, tourism and destination strategy projects across the MENA region.
Saahil holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from SIMS, Pune (India) and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Hospitality and Hotel Administration from IHM, Mumbai (India).

14:30 - 14:45  
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Asia as a Feeder Market for Inbound Tourism

What role do travellers from Asia play in changing the local development landscape? Are they choosing to travel to the Middle East, and how can you appeal to them? How attractive are they for the bottom line as a target market? How is the profile of the Asian traveller evolving?

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Clarence Tan
Senior Vice President, Development, Asia, Middle East & Africa - IHG

Clarence Tan

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

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Clarence Tan is the Senior Vice President of Development based in Singapore and leads the development efforts for all IHG brands, focusing on growing IHG’s presence across key markets in Asia, Middle East & Africa.
Prior to the appointment of his current role, Clarence was the Chief Operating Officer overseeing Southeast Asia (SEA) and Resorts, based in Bangkok. He was then responsible for the operations and performance of nearly 70 hotels in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.
This year marks Clarence's decade-long career with IHG. He joined the company in 2004 as Head of Finance for the Asia Pacific region, and took on the role of CFO and Head of Operations Support for Asia and Australasia in 2009. Clarence then moved to Tokyo in January 2011 to take on the role of CEO of the IHG-ANA Joint Venture in Japan, overseeing IHG hotels in Japan and Korea before heading Asia Australasia in November 2011.
Prior to joining IHG, Clarence held managerial positions with Raffles Hotels & Resorts. He has more than 16 years of management and consulting experience and spent the majority of his career in the accounting and hospitality sectors. Clarence's earlier work experience included Property Management at Pontiac Marina Pte Limited and three years at PriceWaterHouseCoopers as a Public Accountant. He graduated from Nanyang Technology University, Singapore in 1992.

14:45 - 15:00  
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Game Changers

A look at some of the global game changing innovations which have been successfully implemented in the GCC. What can you learn?

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Catalin Cighi
Managing Partner - Cain Hospitality Innovation (CHI)

Catalin Cighi

Managing Partner - Cain Hospitality Innovation (CHI)

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Catalin works to reinvent hospitality. He advocates a distinctive approach to decision-making for the development of better tourism destinations and hospitality concepts.

He leads a team organized for intensive research and solving of problems related to the development of tourism destinations and hospitality assets  - hotels, resorts, and mixed-use properties.

Roughly 80% of their time is dedicated to advance knowledge in the field of hospitality development, creating tools and step-by-step methods that improve the decision-making of asset owners, developers, and tourism authorities. The remaining 10% is dedicated to consulting work that generates the revenues needed to fund their ongoing research.

He started his career with PwC in Europe, joined HVS in Boston, and then Dubai. His last position with HVS Dubai was Associate Director. In 2011, while acting as Senior Advisor to HVS and Senior Consultant to The Economist Group, he founded CHI.

His experience in consulting covers Europe, North America, North Africa and the Middle East. Since 2008, he delivered over 40 strategy and innovation assignments related to MENA mixed-use developments valued in excess of US$ 47 billion.

15:00 - 15:20  
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Engineering Brand Value

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Gaurav Sinha
Founder & CEO - Insignia Worldwide

Gaurav Sinha

Founder & CEO - Insignia Worldwide

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Gaurav Sinha founded Insignia Worldwide in 2003, and stands as the visionary mastermind behind one of the Middle East’s most successful advertising and marketing services agencies. As chief executive, the firm’s impressive growth trajectory serves as testament to Gaurav’s inherent mastery of the trade. A reigning forerunner in the luxury, travel and lifestyle marketing sector, Gaurav has accumulated a remarkable portfolio of achievements that has solidified his status as an internationally recognised leader in his field.
Gaurav has worked in the Middle East for the past
19 years, and following a decade within the advertising industry - ending with a stint at global advertising giant
Lowe - he took on the illustrious role of Head of
Marketing for Hilton Worldwide in the Middle East
between 1998 -2002.
A respected creative strategist, Gaurav is recognised for his innovative thinking, inspiring leadership and business acumen. In 2014 he was noted as Indian Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur Middle East Magazine and has enjoyed a variety of accolades such as being listed at #47 in Arabian Business Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential Indians in
the GCC. Furthermore in 2014, his most recent venture
The Travel Marketing Council was awarded Innovation of
the Year at the Arabian Business StartUp Awards.
In addition to his other endeavours, Gaurav is also working
on a new progressive luxury hotel concept set to revamp
the light luxury segment.

15:20 - 15:40  
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What You Need to Know about Iran

What are the opportunities in the hospitality sector and how can they be navigated?

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Ali Borhani
Founder CWO - Incubeemea

Ali Borhani

Founder CWO - Incubeemea

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Ali Borhani is the founder and the self-styled "Chief Welding Officer" of Incubeemea, which advises Senior Executives in Fortune 500 companies and allows them to enhance the value of their activities in the MENA region. Through his journey in the corporate world and start-ups, he has learned from both success and failure.

Until 2010, he was the Director of Corporate Strategy & Business Development at Bosch Siemens in MEA, where he guided the strategic direction of the distributor network in 25 countries. Before that, he was the Regional Sales Manager for Philips Consumer Lifestyle, and its Business Excellence Manager. At Philips, Ali grew sales by 45% in less than three years and built a solid distributor network that has allowed the business to continue growing ever since.

A Canadian with Iranian origins living in the UAE, Ali understands the sensitivities, markets and opportunities across the region. With hands-on experience at every key level and a deep understanding of MENA, Ali and his board open up a huge network of senior contacts across the region. His expertise and smart, often unconventional, but always culturally correct and incisive strategic thinking have assisted his clients to outperform and break through barriers in some of the most demanding frontier markets.

He mentors budding entrepreneurs in the region and also works with a number of not-for profit causes, NGOs and public private partnerships organizations, such as Gavi the Vaccine Alliance.

Ali's very strong interest in people is best illustrated by a quote from world-famous choreographer Pina Bausch: "I'm not interested in how people move, but what moves them."

15:40 - 16:00  
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How to Reach Today’s Traveller

Understanding the world in which today’s consumers are basing their purchase decisions. What Hoteliers are in some cases doing and in other cases need to consider when faced with the highly connected, multi-screen researching and socially active guest.

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Satyan Joshi
Senior Industry Manager - Google

Satyan Joshi

Senior Industry Manager - Google

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Satyan Joshi is a Senior Industry Manager in Google's UK Team based in London.
He is responsible for building and maintaining key client and agency relationships within
the Hotels sector and advises on best account practices and how to
get the most for clients through the range of tools made available to them by Google.

Satyan Joined Google in 2005 having already worked in Online Media for seven years ,
bringing a wealth of established digital experience

16:00 - 16:20  
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Understanding Health and Wellness

What is wellness, is it just the new spa? And, does it make money?

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Susan Harmsworth MBE
Chief Executive Officer - ESPA International (UK) Ltd

Susan Harmsworth MBE

Chief Executive Officer - ESPA International (UK) Ltd

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Universally recognised as one of the world’s leading spa experts, Susan Harmsworth’s innovative, inspirational and forward thinking approach has shaped the luxury spa industry into what it is today.

Since the age of 21, Susan has devoted her professional life to spa and wellness, enriching people’s lives globally. Her passion and aptitude for the creation and management of spas and natural products has underpinned the success of health retreats, luxury spas and wellness centres internationally.

Susan’s career has also included health and beauty journalism, spa education programmes and the extensive development of natural skincare and body care products, based on the principles of nature and science. The culmination of this knowledge and a clear vision for what the spa industry should be offering, led Susan to create ESPA in 1993. In 2010, Susan was honoured with an MBE from the Queen in recognition of her services to the spa and beauty industry.

Since its debut, ESPA has rapidly become the world’s first total spa company, specialising in the innovative design, development and management of five star spas throughout the globe. Recognised as global leaders in spa, ESPA successfully combine the design and management of prestigious spas across five continents with the creation of pioneering, natural products that are rich in heritage, texture and aroma. An authority in its field, ESPA is proud to partner with luxury hoteliers, property companies and owners around the globe to create some of the world’s finest spas and equally proud to be a British company who manufacture their products in their own state-of-the-art factory in the UK.

Susan is frequently contacted by editors of consumer glossy magazines and international broadsheet papers to offer her observations and vital comment on the spa industry today. Susan has secured her well deserved position as the industry’s highest achiever, whilst remaining very hands on at ESPA.

16:20 - 16:40  
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Regeneration and Re-Positioning in Egypt

What are the market fundamentals in the perspective of developers and the local market?

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Filippo Sona
Director | Head of Hotels  (MENA Region) - Colliers International

Filippo Sona

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

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Filippo Sona has been in the global hotel industry for the past 20 years working for International hotel companies and consultancies in UK, USA, Middle East and North Africa. Filippo is specialized in destination and hotel development for mixed uses and stand alone projects, market & financial feasibility study, operator selection and strategic asset management. Filippo understanding of management agreements has been an invaluable skill to global law firms as an expert witness in International Arbitrations. His extensive operational background allows Filippo to provide true strategic operational and financial advice, to enhance hotel profitability and drive asset value. Filippo holds an MBA from Oxford Brooks University and an Honours Degree in Hospitality Management from Thames Valley University, London.

17:00 - 17:40  
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The Great Debate

The emerging tourist destinations in the Gulf will be more than a match for existing tourist hubs in the Indian Ocean and SE Asia.

Moderated by

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Simon Allison
Chairman - HOFTEL

Simon Allison

Chairman - HOFTEL

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Simon is the founding chairman of HOFTEL, which has grown into the leading global association for hotel real estate investors spanning different operators, with members’ portfolios now well above US$ 30 billion. Members include significant investors worldwide such as Host Hotels & Resorts, LaSalle Investment Management, Blackstone, Fonciere des Murs, Algonquin, Canyon Equity, CapMan, CTF Development, Dolphin Capital, Swire Properties, Sun Hung Kai Properties and Harilela Hotels.  We also have domestic players like HR Group in Germany, Amburaya and Boutique Asset Management in Thailand, VinaCapital and Indochina Capital in Vietnam and Lionstone Development in the USA.  HOFTEL holds meetings for its members annually in Europe and Asia asd well as publishing a quarterly Hotel Owners Journal.

Simon has widespread hotel industry experience, having been Chief Development Officer at Onyx Hospitality in Thailand from 2009 – 2013 and, prior to that, Chief Financial Officer of both luxury operator Six Senses and of hotel ownership company Hospitality Europe. Before that he worked for ten years in the corporate finance division of JP Morgan in London, coming to head up their EMEA hotel practice.

Simon has a First Class degree in Modern History from Christ Church, Oxford

For

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David Thomson
Chief Operating Officer - JA Resorts and Hotels

David Thomson

Chief Operating Officer - JA Resorts and Hotels

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David Grant Thomson, who describes himself as a Scot with an outrageous English accent, originally moved to the Middle East in 1984. He joined JA Resorts & Hotels in 2001, then Dutco Hotels part of the Dutco Group of companies, after a successful career in marketing and hospitality with some of the world’s largest agencies and world-class hotels.
David began working with JA Resorts &Hotels as Director of Sales and Marketing where he implemented the rebranding of the company to Jebel Ali International Hotels. Over the next few years David focused on developing opportunities for expansion, incorporating new venues, expanding product ranges and renovating the existing properties. Bateaux Dubai, her sister vessel Divaz, the Centre of Excellence, Al Sahra Desert Resort and the Oasis Beach Tower were all added to the portfolio during this period.

 

After six years with the company David became General Manger of JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Bateaux Dubai, a role he held for two years before being appointed Regional General Manager in January 2010.
In 2012 David was promoted to Chief Operating Officer for the newly rebranded JA Resorts & Hotels. That same year also saw the flagship property, JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort extend one of its two hotels, JA Palm Tree Court, by 74 junior suites and suites and the addition of the JA Ocean View Hotel to the portfolio, a Dubai property owned and managed by JA Resorts & Hotels.
In January 2014, JA Resorts & Hotels launched its first international property, Enchanted Island Resort located within Seychelles. The company also recently opened a high-end 84 villa resort in the Maldives, JA Manafaru marking the second international property and the next step in the company’s robust longer term global expansion strategy.
David enjoys the challenge of working in an industry that is constantly changing and reinventing itself and where better to be based than in the fast paced environment of Dubai, which continues to lead the global hospitality sector in development, innovation and product enhancements.
Very much a family man, as well as trained councilor and coach, David and his wife Deborah have six children aged 14 to 21.

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Gabriel Von Bonsdorff
Senior Manager – Hospitality & Leisure - Aldar Properties P.

Gabriel Von Bonsdorff

Senior Manager – Hospitality & Leisure - Aldar Properties P.

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Gabriel Von Bonsdorff, Senior Manager – Hospitality Asset Management – Aldar Properties

Gabriel joined Aldar from IFA Hotels & Resorts in 2014 with the responsibility of managing the company’s hotel portfolio as well as third party asset management mandates across the region. The current portfolio consists of 13 hospitality assets with an excess of 2,500 rooms and 40 restaurants across 6 different operators.

With over 13 years’ experience in hotel investment, asset management, management consulting and development across South East Asia, Middle East, Europe and the US, Gabriel brings extensive experience to his role with Aldar. He is a graduate of both the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and the London Business School.

Against

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Hiran Cooray
CEO - Jetwing Hotels Ltd

Hiran Cooray

CEO - Jetwing Hotels Ltd

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Hailed as a respected professional in Sri Lankan tourism, Hiran Cooray contributes an immense mixture of passion, honesty, integrity and tenacity to the industry. Carrying on the legacy of his father, the late Herbert Cooray, Hiran is the current Chairman of Jetwing - a family owned company which counts a storied 40 year history. His achievements are numerous and much acclaimed, being educated at the prestigious St. Joseph’s in Colombo and going on to graduate from the University of North Carolina and having followed a General Mangers course at Cornell University. Hiran has represented Sri Lanka on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)  as well as being the immediate past Chairman of the organization (2010/12); Chairman of  PATA Sri Lanka Chapter (2003/4) and President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (2005/8); and was recently appointed an Alternate Member of the UNWTO – World Committee on Tourism Ethics 2013-2017.  Hiran is currently serving for the second term as President of Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka 2014-2016.

Today, Hiran sits on the Boards of the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority. In addition, he holds over 50 directorships in various hotels and related companies – making him a much sought after speaker/panelist  at tourism related international forums.

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

Prab Thakral

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

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In 2004, Mr. Thakral founded Thailand based Thakral Land Ltd. and its related companies, the Boutique Group of Companies, where he is currently the Group CEO and a major shareholder. After initiating his first serviced apartment development in 2004, Mr. Thakral spearheaded the rapid development of mid-market hospitality properties in Thailand that include the Citadines branded apart-hotel product across Bangkok. Within eight years the company has spawned a successful development platform under Mr. Thakral's management, primarily focusing on internationally branded and managed limited service hospitality products and mid tier hotels in Thailand. Mr. Thakral is currently spearheading the development of Boutique’s retail real estate platform, with more projects being planned in the pipeline after the successful launch of its first lifestyle mall known as Rain Hill in early 2012. In addition to the continuous ongoing expansion of hospitality and retail projects in Thailand, the group has diversified further with the launch of its first quick service restaurant business in 2011 under the famous Japanese sanuki udon brand Marugame Seimen, and the launch of its real estate consultancy and asset management service covering all stages of development and investment and investment structuring. In 2012, the group launched Treetops Pattaya, its first condominium project. Over the years, Mr. Thakral's successful launch and operations of projects has attracted the investment of world recognized financial and corporate institutions.

14:30 - 17:40  
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MURJAN: THE CONVERSATION DEN

Hosted by

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Andrew Sangster
Editorial Director - Hotel Analyst Group of Titles

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director - Hotel Analyst Group of Titles

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Andrew Sangster launched Hotel Analyst 10 years ago and it has grown into a publishing business that now encompasses the original title and Hotel Analyst Distribution & Technology. Andrew has been a journalist for his entire career, starting out on trade press titles before joining the national press and a brief spell at the BBC. He launched his own business focused on providing high level information on a subscription basis after despairing at the quality of what the old business model of selling advertising space was producing. You can find out more about the Hotel Analyst titles at www.hotelanalyst.co.ukand www.ha-dt.com.

Andrew holds a BSc in economics and a MA in journalism. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and three children.

Intimate 25 minute interactive sessions which invite questions and discussion from the audience.

14:30 - 15:00  
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Short-Term Rental and Serviced Apartment Trends and Innovations

With the growth in short term rental and an increasing pipeline of serviced apartment accommodation options available, how is the MENA region fairing and what impact (if any) will this have on the hotel sector. Who is the Millennial traveller? What is the outlook for the future? What are the legal implications? A conversation with leaders from innovative companies in the short term rental and serviced apartments sectors.

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Piers Brown
CEO - International Hospitality Media

Piers Brown

CEO - International Hospitality Media

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Piers hosts the annual International Serviced Apartment Summit inc Extended Stay, July 7-8 in London to raise awareness of the sector, encourage networking, best practice and the sharing of ideas whilst addressing the challenges the sector faces to drive the industry forward.
He cares passionately about the growth of niche sectors within the hospitality industry and spearheads the growth of BoutiqueHotelNews.com and the annual International Boutique and Lifestyle Hotel Summit. Piers holds an MBA, ISMM and IDM Diplomas and has previously held senior positions in the UK national media and retail industries.
piers@servicedapartmentnews.com
www.servicedapartmentnews.com
www.servicedapartmentsummit.com
twitter: @ServAptNews

In conversation with

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Helen Hangari
Senior Legal Consultant - DLA Piper

Helen Hangari

Senior Legal Consultant - DLA Piper

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Helen is an experienced real estate lawyer having trained with a 'magic circle' firm in their London office and worked post qualification with them both in London and Dubai. Helen joined DLA Piper in April 2007.
Helen specialises in commercial real estate matters and has particular experience in the hotel sector including hotel management arrangements, mixed use development projects, sales and acquisitions and landlord and tenant matters.  Helen spent part of 2011 and 2013 on secondment to the legal team at Marriott International Inc in their Dubai office.

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Shaun Hinds
Managing Director – EMEA and APAC - BridgeStreet Global Hospitality

Shaun Hinds

Managing Director – EMEA and APAC - BridgeStreet Global Hospitality

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Shaun leads BridgeStreet Global Hospitality in all territories outside of the Americas. Based in the regional headquarters in London, he is responsible for all day to day business functions in addition to the strategic development of Bridgestreet’s business internationally. 
Shaun brings extensive commercial and corporate development experience gained over 20 years across sectors including hospitality, aviation, financial services, loyalty marketing and travel. His career encompasses a broad spectrum of leadership roles across a number of functions including commercial, marketing, business development, retail, general management and M&A for organisations such as The Co-operative Group, Cendant, BAA, Alamo Car Rental and Loyalty Management Inc. 
Shaun received his MBA (Dist.) from Keele University in 2011.

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Taleeb Noormohamed
Vice President Global Partnerships - HomeAway.com

Taleeb Noormohamed

Vice President Global Partnerships - HomeAway.com

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Taleeb Noormohamed is Vice President, Global Business Development at HomeAway.com. At HomeAway, Taleeb is responsible for leading all global business and partnership development activities across all brands, markets and geographies.
 He also led the creation of a new Luxury division at HomeAway, and leads our strategic growth in the Middle East
. Taleeb is also responsible for all key partner and is actively involved in HomeAway’s M&A and new markets strategies.
Previously, Taleeb was President and CEO of Vancouver - based Serebra Learning Corporation, an e-learning services provider, which he turned around and then restructured before its acquisition by Bluedrop Performance Learning in 2012. He also served as a consultant to and GM at Jetsetter, a boutique online travel agency, prior to its acquisition by TripAdvisor.
Before Serebra, he was Vice -President, Strategy and Partnerships of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, where he was responsible for leading more than $60M in deals.
He has also served in key posts in the Government of Canada.
Taleeb was named as one of Business in Vancouver’s Top Forty under 40 in 2011 for his innovation and strong strategic leadership in the business community. This year, Taleeb was named Business Development Executive of the Year at the annual Stevie Awards.
Taleeb has served as an advisor to several technology companies and startups and gives of his time as a Board Member and Governor of a number of not- for – profit organizations.
For his contributions to the community, Taleeb was awarded the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award by the Governor General in 2007 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012.
Taleeb holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and is completing his Doctoral studies at Oxford University.

15:00 - 15:30  
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M&A in the GCC

Recent transactions, challenges and opportunities for investors.

Meeting the appetite of current owners vs market expectations. What’s the right yield, what can be learnt from recent transactions and what opportunities for investors looking to get into the market.

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

Chiheb Ben-Mahmoud

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

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As Head of the Hotels & Hospitality Division for JLL Middle East & Africa, Chiheb leads the delivery of JLL’s services to regional Clients, in coordination with the firm’s Teams in JLL’s global offices. Chiheb’s areas of expertise include Hotel Development Advisory and Finance, Strategic Partnerships, Asset Management, Management Contracts and Negotiations, Investment Analysis and Due Diligence.
Prior to joining JLL, Chiheb held the position of Gulf and Middle East Regional Financial Director for Marriott Ownership Resorts Inc. Before this, and as Deputy General Manager for the hotels division of a large private group in Tunisia, Chiheb spearheaded the development of high-profile hotel and leisure assets in North Africa in coordination with leading world-players in the Hospitality and Tourism industry. He led several critical hotel asset-related negotiations and conducted various public studies and research initiatives. Chiheb has an in-depth knowledge of the hotels real estate markets in the MEA region, having worked on several large and high-profile hotels as well as mixed-use developments in several countries.
Chiheb, a Tunisian national, is holder of a Certificate of Hotel Real Estate Investment & Asset Management from Cornell University (USA), a Master of Science in Strategic Tourism Management from the CERAM Sophia Antipolis Business School (France) and a Master of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania (USA) (Graduate Student and Teaching Assistant in the Finance Department of the Wharton School of Business). Chiheb holds a Bachelors degree from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (Carthage, Tunisia). He speaks fluent English, Arabic and French.

In conversation with

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Hala Matar Choufany
Managing Partner - HVS Dubai

Hala Matar Choufany

Managing Partner - HVS Dubai

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Hala Matar Choufany, MRICS is the Managing Partner of HVS Dubai and is responsible for the firm's valuation and consulting work in the Middle East and North Africa.

Since joining HVS, she has worked on several mid and large scale mixed use developments and conducted numerous valuations, feasibility studies, operator search, contract negotiations, operational assessments, strategy advice, return on investment and market studies in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. Hala has in-depth expertise in regional hotel markets and a broad exposure to international markets and maintains excellent contacts with developers, owners, operators, investment institutions and government entities.

Hala is an official Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS). She also holds an MPhil from Leeds University,U.K., an MBA in Finance and Strategy from IMHI (Essec- Cornell) University, Paris, France and a BA in Hospitality Management from Notre Dame University, Lebanon. Hala is fluent in English, French and Arabic.

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Alain Debare
Chief Executive Officer - Action Hotels

Alain Debare

Chief Executive Officer - Action Hotels

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Alain Debare (Chief Executive Officer), aged 41, has spent his entire career in the hospitality industry and, in particular management of hotels and has extensive experience of hotel operations as well as hotel development. He joined Action Hotels in February 2008 shortly after its inception and has been key to its growth. Alain focuses on real estate development, oversees hotel projects from initiation to completion and has a supervisory role to ensure the ownership objectives are achieved. Driven by his sector
knowledge and hands-on expertise, Alain is closely involved with the operators to increase profitability and performance of operating hotels.

Prior to joining the Group, Alain held various management positions with leading hotel management companies, including Mandarin Oriental and Hilton Hotels Corporation. He joined Hilton in 1996 and worked his way through hotel operations to reach general management. Alain has broad international management and operations experience having worked in the Philippines, France, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain and the GCC. He received a BA in Hotel Management from Institut Paul Bocuse - IGL Lyon in
France and has also obtained a certification in hospitality investments and asset management from Cornell University. He speaks fluent French, English, Spanish and Portuguese and is a member of HAMA (Hotel Asset Managers Association).

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Gordon Drake
Chief Financial Officer and Head of M&A - Kingdom Hotel Investments

Gordon Drake

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

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Gordon Drake is Chief Financial Officer and Head of M&A at Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) with responsibility for implementing KHI’s monetization and value realization strategy. Mr. Drake’s track record with KHI includes overseeing the company’s take-private in 2010 by Kingdom Holding Company as well as 10 asset disposals returning an average of 2x invested equity to KHI’s principal shareholder.

Prior to joining KHI, Mr. Drake was Group Treasurer and Corporate Finance Manager at Rocco Forte Hotels, with responsibility for capital raising, risk management, and asset disposals. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holder of an AMCT professional qualification with the Association of Corporate Treasurers.

15:30 - 16:00  
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Investor Update – Developing Lifestyle Products Catering to the Next Gen Traveller

Lifestyle products are all the buzz, what are the key differentiating features for investors to consider? Why should they look at this segment? What is the ‘Next Gen’ traveller? Who is leading the race at the moment in capturing this market? Which brands are positioned well for the long term?  In 10 years’ time how will they position the three and four stars and lifestyle products of the now?

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Andrew Sangster
Editorial Director - Hotel Analyst Group of Titles

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director - Hotel Analyst Group of Titles

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Andrew Sangster launched Hotel Analyst 10 years ago and it has grown into a publishing business that now encompasses the original title and Hotel Analyst Distribution & Technology. Andrew has been a journalist for his entire career, starting out on trade press titles before joining the national press and a brief spell at the BBC. He launched his own business focused on providing high level information on a subscription basis after despairing at the quality of what the old business model of selling advertising space was producing. You can find out more about the Hotel Analyst titles at www.hotelanalyst.co.ukand www.ha-dt.com.

Andrew holds a BSc in economics and a MA in journalism. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and three children.

In conversation with

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Robert Swade
Group Chief Development Officer - Jumeirah Group

Robert Swade

Group Chief Development Officer - Jumeirah Group

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Robert Swade is the Group Chief Development Officer. He leads Jumeirah Group’s expansion and development strategy. He is responsible for driving growth through securing new hotel, resort and residence opportunities, and he manages the relationships with the Group’s partners, owners and developers.
Robert oversees the entire development process including the development strategy, generation of leads, project feasibility and market analysis, due diligence, project negotiations, design and technical services. As well as leading the Development team, Robert works closely with the Group’s pre-opening and operations divisions. He is a member of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Development Committee.
A British national, Robert moved to Dubai in 2000 and joined the Jumeirah Group in October 2005 as General Counsel with responsibility for the Group’s worldwide legal affairs. Robert took on additional responsibility for Development in 2012 and continued dual roles until January 2015. To prepare for the next phase of growth, Robert now dedicates himself full-time to the role of Group Chief Development Officer.
Robert started his career in law working as a commercial solicitor in both London and Dubai and has both private practice and in-house experience. Prior to joining Jumeirah Group he was Director of Legal Affairs for a leading Middle East telecommunications company. Before qualifying as a solicitor, Robert was a researcher at the House of Commons and worked for a Government Minister.
Robert holds a bachelor’s degree in English and European Law and a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

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John T.A Vanderslice
Global Head, Luxury & Lifestyle Brands - Hilton Worldwide

John T.A Vanderslice

Global Head, Luxury & Lifestyle Brands - Hilton Worldwide

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John T.A. Vanderslice is global head of Hilton Worldwide’s luxury and lifestyle brands – Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, and Canopy by Hilton – and leads each brand’s development strategies, operations and product innovation, training and culture, and global marketing initiatives.

Vanderslice joined Hilton Worldwide in September 2009 and now oversees 50 luxury and lifestyle properties located in the world’s most sought-after and desired leisure and business destinations. Prior to his role with Hilton Worldwide, he has worked at such notable companies as Club Med, Inc. and Kraft General Foods.

Vanderslice previously served as president and CEO of Club Med Americas, operator of more than 65 leisure resorts around the world, where he led Club Med's operations in North and South America. He was credited with successfully integrating Club Med's marketing and commercial activities, finance and operations while repositioning the all-inclusive resorts as upscale destinations.

Prior to joining Club Med, Inc., Vanderslice served as CEO for Miraval Spa in Tucson, Ariz., and was instrumental in transforming the 13-year old spa into a top-ranked lifestyle resort.

Vanderslice has also held executive positions with Triarc Restaurant Group, Fort Lauderdale, and its subsidiaries, including Arby's and T.J. Cinnamons, Inc. Prior to that, he served in a leadership capacity overseeing legacy brands and new product introductions for Kraft General Foods.

A leader in the business community, Vanderslice has served on the boards of the Bethesda Hospital Foundation in Boynton Beach, Fla., and Junior Achievement of White Plains, NY.

Vanderslice received a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College School of Management.

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Elie Younes
Executive Vice President & Chief Development Office - The Rezidor Hotel Group

Elie Younes

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

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Elie Younes, a Lebanese national and English citizen, joined Rezidor Hotel Group in Dubai in April 2010. He began his career in managerial roles in Lebanon before joining HVS International in London in 2001.  During his 5 years with HVS International, he quickly progressed to the position of Director, overseeing a number of projects, feasibility studies and contract negotiations in EAME as well as advising on over $8 billion worth of hotel real estate. 

In 2007, Elie joined Starwood Hotels as Director of Acquisitions and Development EMEA in London, before being promoted to Senior Director of Acquisitions and Development in 2008.  In 2009, Younes joined Hilton Hotels Worldwide as Vice President Development for the Middle East before moving to Rezidor in 2010.

Elie Younes joined the Rezidor Middle East team as Vice President of Business Development for MEA to drive Rezidor’s growth strategy in the Middle East and some parts of Africa.  As of 1st January 2013, he was appointed Senior Vice President, Head of Group Development, based in Brussels, Belgium and he got promoted in January 2015 to Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer.   In this role, Elie leads the company’s growth strategy and its execution.  He is a member of Rezidor’s Executive Committee, chaired by Wolfgang Neumann, Rezidor’s President & CEO.

Younes has conducted studies in Paris, New York, London and Beirut at universities like Notre Dame, Essec/IMHI, Insead, City University and Cornell. In his free time, Elie enjoys visiting new culture and practicing martial arts. He currently resides in Brussels, Belgium.

16:00 - 16:30  
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Keeping Up Brand Standards in an Asset-Light, Social Media-Heavy World

why it is in the collective interest of owner and brand and how it can be achieved. Looking at the knock on impact of customer experience reviewed through social media and resulting hotel performance.  How can these challenges be tackled?

Moderated By

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Andrew Sangster
Editorial Director - Hotel Analyst Group of Titles

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director - Hotel Analyst Group of Titles

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Andrew Sangster launched Hotel Analyst 10 years ago and it has grown into a publishing business that now encompasses the original title and Hotel Analyst Distribution & Technology. Andrew has been a journalist for his entire career, starting out on trade press titles before joining the national press and a brief spell at the BBC. He launched his own business focused on providing high level information on a subscription basis after despairing at the quality of what the old business model of selling advertising space was producing. You can find out more about the Hotel Analyst titles at www.hotelanalyst.co.ukand www.ha-dt.com.

Andrew holds a BSc in economics and a MA in journalism. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and three children.

With

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Viviane Khoury
Regional Sales & Marketing Director - Golden Tulip MENA

Viviane Khoury

Regional Sales & Marketing Director - Golden Tulip MENA

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Graduated from UNIVERSITY OF SAINT ESPRIT KASLIK- LEBANON in Sales & Marketing, working in the hospitality industry since 2005 with various local chains, joined Golden Tulip in 2008 as Sales Manager for Golden Tulip Hotels in the UAE, to move after and join Golden Tulip MENA region head office as the Regional Director of Marketing in 2010, working closely with the S&M teams of the each Golden Tulip property Providing the planning and leadership to the Marketing Department by ensuring that the appropriate structures, systems, competencies and values are developed in order to meet and exceed the goals of the Marketing plan .
Since 2010 Viviane has assisted in many hotels openings across the MENA region and in re-branding many Golden Tulip, Tulip Inn & Royal Tulip Hotels.

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Nicolas Mayer
Partner & Industry Leader - Lodging & Tourism Clients Group - PwC

Nicolas Mayer

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

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In his Role as Industry Leader of PwC’s Tourism Industry Client Group, Nic is responsible for the overall service delivery of PwC’s Service Offering to Clients in this Industry.
Nic’s areas of expertise are in lodging strategy consulting, operative optimization projects, integrated destination management models, as well as on systemic management of guest experience and guest satisfaction at the property, group or destination level. Nic has executed numerous assignments within these areas worldwide, including frequent deployments in the GCC and Maghreb region.
Nic holds a BSc. in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and qualified as a CPA and ACCA. He holds regular visiting lectureships at Ecole Hôteliere de Lausanne, Les Roches Hotel Management School and Lucerne Hotel School. He is a member of the advisory board of the World Tourism Forum and frequently published in national and international trade publications.
Prior to joining PwC, Nic held several management positions with Hilton and Ritz-Carlton in the USA, Asia and Europe.

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Stephen Tate
Chairman - Cristal International Standards

Stephen Tate

Chairman - Cristal International Standards

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Born in England, Steve has travelled the world building the Cristal International Standards global operation.  He now spends at least 6 months of each year actually visiting corporate clients and operational offices globally. He is an active skier, golfer and cyclist. He also has a keen interest in art and photography.

He started his career in 1985, and spent 7 years with PHS Group as a Sales Director. Then, from 1992, he spent 10 years as a founder and main board director of the National Britannia Group. In early 2003 he put together a small group of private investors to form Check Safety First Ltd, an environmental risk management service business. Then, from 2013, the business has expanded to incorporate Cristal International Standards. The company is now the global leader in the field of quality standards and environmental risk management to the hotel and hospitalities sectors.

16:40 - 17:20  
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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.
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Mark Shea
Head of Hospitality for the Middle East - Faithful+Gould

Mark Shea

Head of Hospitality for the Middle East - Faithful+Gould

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Mark Shea is Faithful+Gould’s head of hospitality for the Middle East region.
He has been in the industry for 20 years, most recently as head of hotels and resorts for Aecom (Davis Langdon) across Europe following his return to the UK from working in the UAE in 2010. He has since been responsible for delivering integrated project, cost and commercial management for numerous large-scale hospitality developments across the UK and Europe and the Middle East.

In conversation with

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Sultan Al Otaibi
Head of Real Estate development - Dur Hospitality

Sultan Al Otaibi

Head of Real Estate development - Dur Hospitality

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Mr. Sultan Al Otaibi is the youngest most powerful hotelier in Saudi Arabia at the helm of a hotel operation commanding 10 properties varied between 5 and 4 star hotels, resorts and high end residential compound. He started as an accountant for Dur Hospitality, Formally known for Sharaco, the Saudi hotels and Resorts Company, which he lived up in several management positions to become a Head of Real estate development. This journey earned him the recognition to be # 25 of the Hotelier Middle East power 50. Additionally, he is member of the board of directors, Hotel Services Company, member of the hospitality committee of Riyadh chamber of commerce and member of the consultant committee for hotels of Saudi commission for tourism and antiquities (SCTA).

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

Rawaf Bourisli

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

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With many years of professional experience in Architecture design, Project Management, and development, Mr. Bourisli is known as an expert in the field of mixed use and mid class developments.
His Academic interest was the advance of mix use architecture forms and vocabulary in Islamic Urban Planning during the last century.
While his professional Interest is Mix-Used development and Real Estate Development Management.
In 2006 he was appointed as Deputy General Manager, and promoted in 2007 to be General Manager of Action Real Estate Company (AREC) which was established in 2004 and then transformed into a Kuwaiti shareholding closed company in 2005 with a capital of KD 18 million. His hobbies are art (mainly baroque), history, literature, sketching and music.
In Addition, he enjoys travelling, reading, sea activities, and French cuisine.

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Paul Diab
Vice President-Operations - Golden Tulip MENA

Paul Diab

Vice President-Operations - Golden Tulip MENA

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Paul Z. Diab, a veteran hotelier since 1988, has a vast experience in managing hotels with thorough knowledge of the MENA region.
Graduated from the Michigan State University in the US in the year 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A) in Hotel Management specializing in Food & Beverage Operation, Paul Z. Diab started his career directly after as a Management Trainee with Marriott Hotel in Torrance, California until 1988 where he joined Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dubai as Banquet Manager in the Food & Beverage Department, his first step towards a long and fruitful journey, enhancing his Middle East experience.
In 1995 he moved to Sultanate of Oman, Muscat to join Rotana Group as Director of Food & Beverage after spending 2 years in Marriott Hotel Jeddah as Food & Beverage Manager.
Continuously climbing the Ladder of Success, he joined Sheraton Sana’a Hotel, Yemen in 1999, as EAM, In-charge of Food & Beverage until 2001 where he was promoted to the General Manager position of Sheraton Hotel, Aden.
In 2003, his next horizon took him to Kuwait as the General Manager of Flamingo Hotel Management to move later in 2004 to Muscat, Sultanate of Oman as General Manager of Golden Tulip Seeb.
Flamingo Hotel Management being the exclusive representation for Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts in the Middle East & North Africa, is currently having under its portfolio more than 55 hotels between managed & franchised Hotels.
In 2005 Paul Z. Diab was appointed as the Director of Operations of the Golden Tulip MENA head office in Dubai.
Being the Director of Operations for the MENA Region, his responsibilities cover under one umbrella of all Golden Tulip properties in Oman, UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Tunis, Algeria, KSA, Egypt and other countries like Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Juba, monitoring and maintaining high standards of services, ensuring that policies and procedures are implemented and adhered to.

As an active participant in the Pre-Opening of new hotels, he has made immense contributions in all areas of every newly achieved property, paying attention to every detail with an open mind, carrying out evaluations at every stage of construction and technical service assistance, so as to ensure that  the entire project bears fruit once completed and in full operation.
To name but a few of the hotels where Paul Z. Diab was the active leader of the task force team in the pre-opening, were the Golden Tulip El Mechtel & Golden Tulip Sfax in Tunis, Golden Tulip Galleria, Golden Tulip Jiyeh Marina & Golden Tulip Serenada in Lebanon, Golden Tulip Seeb, Tulip Inn Muscat, Golden Tulip Sharjah, Golden Tulip Al Barsha, Golden Tulip Al Thanyah & Golden Tulip Khatt Springs in the UAE, Golden Tulip Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Golden Tulip Al Jubail and Golden Tulip Dana Bay in KSA and many others across the region.
Over the years Paul Z. Diab has delivered many speeches and shared panels at leading conferences, trade shows, seminars, workshops with other leaders of the industry such as AHIC, Hotels & Restaurant Show, Gulf Food, Spa Summits and others.
In 2013 Paul Z. Diab contributed much to the development of the Golden Tulip, Royal Tulip and Tulip Inn brand across the MENA region acquiring new hotels in Tunis, KSA and Algeria mostly whether managed or franchised agreements to expanding to new countries such as Erbil, and to new areas where the brand already existed.
In 2014 he was appointed as the Vice President-Operations for the Golden Tulip MENA working closely with the President of Golden Tulip MENA Dr. Amine E. Moukarzel to expand the brand by opening one hotel every month, maintaining the standards and guidelines of the brand from the construction period to technical service assistance until the opening to full-blast operation.
Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts under Louvre Hotels, comprise as the 3rd largest European group and the 8th largest worldwide group with the brands: Royal Tulip, Golden Tulip, Tulip Inn, Kyriad, Campanile and Premiere Classe, is planning to expand in the MENA region to reach more than 65 hotels by 2015.
This shall capitalize on the success factor of Golden Tulip MENA achievements in the region.

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Russel Sharpe
Chief Operating Officer - Citymax Hotels - Landmark Group

Russel Sharpe

Chief Operating Officer - Citymax Hotels - Landmark Group

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With over thirty five years extensive experience in the Middle East and Asia, his comprehensive knowledge base and strategic sales and marketing skills, provides him with a platform to project manage a hotel concept from inception to launch, providing full feasibility studies and revenue projection. His recent venture with Mezze Associates Consulting as senior partner has allowed him to widen his knowledge and experience by looking at acquisitions for multi-use projects, financing, project, and asset management.

Russel joined Landmark Hospitality as COO for their Hotel Division since May 2011 and the Brand has grown from strength to strength now having 1200 rooms in the UAE with another 700 in the pipeline.

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Hubert Viriot
CIO – IFA Hotels & Resorts & - CEO – Yotel Ltd, UK

Hubert Viriot

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

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Hubert joined YOTEL in May 2014 to roll out an aggressive growth strategy targeting key city centre and international airports in Asia, Europe and North America. More than 3,000 new cabins are already scheduled to open by 2018, including YOTEL hotels in Singapore, Paris, Miami, San Francisco and a second property in New York City. 

Hubert is also Chief Investment Officer and a Member of the Executive Committee of IFA Hotels & Resorts, a global investment firm listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange and YOTEL’s largest shareholder.

Prior to his appointment as the CEO of YOTEL, Hubert was Chief Executive Officer of Raimon Land, a leading real estate developer listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). During his four-year tenure in Thailand, Hubert orchestrated the successful turnaround of Raimon Land and increased the company’s development portfolio from USD200million to USD1.1billion. Raimon Land's stock was one of the top 5 performing stocks on the SET and incorporated in the SET 100 Index.

Previously, Hubert spent 5 years with HVS, a global consulting firm focused on the hospitality, tourism and real estate industries.

He has a BS degree in International Management from the University of Wales and a BS degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the Glion Hotel School in Switzerland where he obtained Honors. Hubert also received a Director Certificate from the Institute of Company's Directors.


Notes

YOTEL currently operates three airport hotels in London Gatwick, (2007) London Heathrow (2007) and Amsterdam Schiphol airports (2008) and one city hotel in the heart of Manhattan, New York (2011). New YOTEL Airport hotels are set to open at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (2016) and Singapore Changi Airport (2018) and YOTEL City hotels are under development in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (2017) Singapore Orchard Road (2017), Miami (2017) and San Francisco (2017).

YOTEL’s HQ is in London and has offices in Boston and Dubai. Its major partner and shareholder is IFA Hotels and Resorts based in Dubai.

18:30 - 20:30

Networking

 
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NETWORKING RECEPTION AT ZETA, THE ADDRESS DOWNTOWN DUBAI

Emaar will host the final AHIC Networking Reception of AHIC 2015 at Downtown Dubai’s must-visit lifestyle destination Zeta. The newly expanded Asian Fusion Restaurant and Lounge offers guests unrivalled views of the The Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa.