09:00 - 09:30
His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi
Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah
His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi is a Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
Born in Dubai in 1956, Sheikh Saud was educated in Ras Al Khaimah before attending the American University of Beirut. He later transferred to the University of Michigan, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics.
Upon his return from the United States in 1979, Sheikh Saud was appointed Chief of the Ruler’s Court, where he supported his father Sheikh Saqr’s ruling vision to modernize the administration and operations of the Government of Ras Al Khaimah. In 1986, he became the Chairman of the Ras Al Khaimah Municipal Council and continued his work to improve the Emirate’s infrastructure and governance practices.
During this period, Sheikh Saud also founded RAK Ceramics, restructured Julphar Pharmaceuticals, and introduced many commercial and social projects to Ras Al Khaimah.
Today, RAK Ceramics is the world’s largest ceramics company by sales volume, and Julphar is a leading pharmaceuticals company in the MENA region.
Sheikh Saud was named Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah on 14 June 2003.
Following his appointment, he immediately embarked on a wide ranging campaign of reforms that accelerated the emirate’s social and economic development. Capitalizing on Ras Al Khaimah’s assets, including its location, geography, and long heritage of trade and exchange, Sheikh Saud oversaw the introduction of free zones and industrial parks, efficient business licensing procedures, and offshore corporate registration. Fueled by investment in tourism, manufacturing, and real estate, the Emirate enjoyed consistently robust GDP growth and attracted international attention as an emerging business destination.
Chairman and Founder, Bench Events
Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events, is one of the founders and organisers of multiple leading international conferences for the hotel investment industry, including the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai, now in its 14th year, The Summit in London, the Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference and the Africa Hotel Investment Forum.
More recently, Jonathan and his team have entered the Latin America market partnering with SAHIC in Cuba and Buenos Aires and the inaugural Iran Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference in 2017.
Bench Events has also branched out into the related fields of aviation and F&B, with the respective launches of AviaDev Africa, inaugurated in 2016, and The Global Restaurant Investment Forum now in its fourth year.
In 1997, Jonathan was one of the founding members of the annual International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, a conference he subsequently organised for 19 years, which today attracts over 2,000 delegates. Earlier in his career, Jonathan worked for real estate consultants CBRE & Hotel Partners, hotel advisors PKF and hotel operator Forte & Holiday Inns.
Jonathan sits as a shareholder and board director of STR, a global benchmarking company with over 50,000 participating hotels following the merger of The Bench, STR and Deloitte’s Hotel Benchmark. He sits on the board of Hotel Swaps, which allows participating members to swap empty hotel rooms with other members around the globe and is an investor in TripTease, the tech start-up that enables hotels to increase direct sales and aims to defeat rate disparity.
Jonathan and his colleagues are actively involved raising money for the communities in which Bench Events works. They raised more than £200,000 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. In 2016, Jonathan cycled from Amsterdam to Berlin with nine others for the opening of IHIF and raised funds for the Anne Frank Trust and Future Talent, a feat he will tackle again in 2017.
Jonathan is a Trustee of Future Talent, a charity that provides financial support to gifted young musicians in need of financial assistance to pursue their dreams and talent.
09:30 - 10:30
His Excellency Mohamed Alabbar
Founder & Chairman, Emaar Properties
A global entrepreneur with active interests in real estate, retail, luxury hospitality and now e-commerce, technology, logistics and the food industry, Mohamed Alabbar is the Founder Chairman of Emaar Properties, the leading developer of iconic assets such as Burj Khalifa. A graduate of Finance and Business Administration from Seattle University in the U.S.A., Mr. Alabbar also holds an Honorary Doctorate from the same University.
10:00 - 10:15
It is a rapidly changing, complicated and interconnected world to do
business in, what do you need to have on your business plan in the
short, medium and long term.
President, Global Success Advisors GmbH; Co-founder, CEEMEA Business Group
Nenad and his businesses currently advise global and regional directors of over 340 multinational corporations. He is founder and president of Global Success Advisors (global business and economic advisory) and co-founder of the CEEMEA Business Group corporate service (advisory for regional executives running Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa). The advisory focus is on helping executives understand economic/business/political outlooks for virtually all countries around the world and on helping companies build strategies for sustainable growth in emerging markets.
Nenad is the author of “The Future of Business in Emerging Markets: Growth Strategies for Growth Markets” (2012), “The Global Economy” (2012), lead author of “Emerging Markets: Lessons for Business Success and Outlook for Different Markets” (2003, 2007), and a contributor to the book “The Future of Money” (2010). He is one of the world’s leading authorities on economic and business issues that concern multinational corporations seeking faster growth internationally. He performs on average two speeches/advisory sessions every week at various corporate meetings on issues ranging from global, regional and country level economic/business outlooks to best business practices for outperforming competition internationally. In corporate circles he is well-known for not using any notes or power point slides while speaking and engaging in discussion.
Nenad is former Vice President of The Economist Group (Economist Intelligence Unit) where he spent almost two decades advising multinationals on economic and business issues and managing several business units in Europe, Middle East and Africa and one business unit globally. He chaired over 100 Economist Government Roundtables with Prime Ministers/Presidents and their cabinets throughout Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Nenad is a board member of the Center for Creative Leadership (globally no. 1 provider of leadership education). He is guest faculty at Duke Corporate Education (globally no. 1 provider of corporate education), Notre Dame Executive MBA and a number of corporate universities.
He was educated in Austria where he studied international business, finance and economics. Nenad lives with his wife and three daughters near Vienna, Austria. He spends his rare free time mostly with his family, but occasionally sneaks out to play basketball, tennis, golf and to ski and swim.
10:15 - 10:45
Hear from some of the most sophisticated investors and owners in the
region about their priorities and market sentiments.
Chairman, ORASCOM Development
Samih Sawiris, born in Cairo on the 28th of January 1957 as the middle son among three sons of Onsi Sawiris, founder and president of Orascom conglomerate. He received his Diploma in economic engineering from the Technical University of Berlin in 1980, Samih is married and has 5 children. He is the founder and Chairman of Orascom Development Holding (ODH.SW), a Swiss-incorporated company listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX). Orascom Development is a leading developer of fully integrated destinations that include hotels, private villas and apartments, leisure facilities such as golf courses, marinas and supporting infrastructure. Orascom Development’s diversified portfolio of destinations is spread over nine jurisdictions (Switzerland, Egypt, Montenegro, England, Mauritius, Oman, UAE, Jordan and Morocco). The Group currently owns 35 hotels, with 8,135 guestrooms and over 1,000 rooms under development in the different countries. ODH operates eight destinations; Andermatt in Switzerland, Four in Egypt: El Gouna, Taba Heights, Haram City and Makadi; The Cove in United Arab Emirates and Jebel Sifah and Salalah Beach in Oman.
Samih is a major shareholder of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI N.V.) a Dutch based global producer of natural gas-based chemicals and engineering and construction contractor with projects and investments across Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. He is also a significant stakeholder in Lafarage (LG.FP); world leader in building material & major player in the cement, aggregates and concrete industries, operating in 64 countries and listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.
In addition, Samih is a member of Sawiris Foundation which was founded in April 2001, with an endowment from the Sawiris family, dedicated to social development.
10:45 - 11:05
Business Model & the Product Offering
IHG’s new CEO is shaking up both the corporate structure and the
guest experience to make his company more competitive. What does
this mean for IHG’s place in the industry?
Chief Executive Officer, IHG
Keith has been Chief Executive Officer of IHG® since July 2017. He is responsible for implementing IHG’s strategy for high-quality growth and generating industry leading value creation for hotel owners, operators and shareholders. This strategy focuses on strengthening a diverse portfolio of differentiated brands, building scale in key markets, creating lifetime guest relationships, and delivering highly profitable revenues to hotels.
Keith has spent more than 25 years working in the hospitality industry across a wide range of roles, having started his career in hotel operations. He has been a member of IHG’s Executive Committee since April 2011 and served as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) for four years before being appointed CEO. Prior to his role as CCO, Keith spent four years as CEO of IHG’s Greater China business, where under his leadership, IHG drove outstanding results and helped set the foundations for growth in a key market.
Keith joined IHG in 2000 and subsequently held a number of senior positions, including Vice President of Operations for Midscale brands in North America, Vice President of Operations for the Holiday Inn brand in North America and Chief Operating Officer for Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific.
Prior to joining IHG, Keith held several senior positions at Bristol Hotels and Resorts, which was acquired by IHG in 2000. He is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and is currently a member of its Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.
11:05 - 11:35
11:35 - 12:00
Managing Director, STR
Robin Rossmann is Managing Director of STR, leading its operations across the Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Central and South America regions. Robin is focused on continuing to improve the way STR provides the hotel industry with robust and insightful performance benchmarking that enables stakeholders to make better decisions. Prior to STR, Robin was a Senior Director in Deloitte’s Global Hospitality Advisory Team in London. During his 13 years with Deloitte, he advised leading hotel brands, operators, investors and lenders in most major global markets. His wide range of experience includes advising on hotel strategy, business planning, investment appraisal, market reviews, financial and commercial due diligence, IPOs, debt advisory, valuation, financial assurance, controls improvement and risk management.
12:00 - 12:20
In an ever-changing market landscape, we take a deep dive into the
trends and factors influencing our industry.
Dr Martin Berlin
Partner, Deals Strategy ME, Global Deals Real Estate Leader, PwC
Martin is a partner within the PwC Deals Strategy team in the Middle East based in Dubai.
He leads the Real Estate & Construction Practice in the Middle East and also serves as the Global Deals Real Estate Leader. Recently, he has worked on projects advising Construction Contractors and Architectural & Engineering companies in their corporate strategy development, assisting property development companies in feasibility and market entry studies and supporting other real estate companies in operational projects like customer reviews or growth projects. Martin is also actively involved in the Global Deal Origination initiative that has the objective to present customised deal opportunities to a targeted list of global investors (e.g. SWFs, Pension Funds and PE). He has also worked on several feasibility studies for Leisure, Entertainment & Hospitality development projects in the Middle East.
Martin brings over 12 years of experience working in senior strategy and operational positions at real estate development companies in the Middle East. While his core functional expertise is in strategy, he also gained significant experience in business development, deal making, marketing and operations. With his experience in McKinsey & Company, he combines a consulting advisor perspective with a operational expertise that he acquired working for Procter & Gamble and Dubai Holding.
Before joining PwC, Martin was the Chief Strategy Officer of Dubai Properties Group where he was responsible for the turn around and restructuring of Dubai Holding’s property development and management business, optimizing revenue opportunities for the developer while streamlining OPEX. Martin has is also experience in the Healthcare and Leisure & Entertainment sectors. He has served as the VP of Strategy & Business Development at Dubailand Parks & Resorts (BU of Dubai Holding) where he led IP licensing negotiations with Universal Studios, Six Flags, Marvel, and Dreamworks. His healthcare experience is focused on the pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals industry and the development of Dubai Healthcare City, a large development focusing on the delivery of the entire healthcare value chain.
Before his positions with Dubai Holding he was with McKinsey & Company for 6 years and with Procter & Gamble for 3 years.
12:20 - 13:00
What do investors want from the operators?
Investors discuss with our moderator what they want to know from
the operators and their views on the current operating environment.
Chief Operating Officer, Habtoor Hospitality and Al Habtoor Investment, Al Habtoor Group
Sanjeev Agarwala is currently the Director Strategy and Business Development of Al Habtoor Group LLC. He is member of the Executive Committee for major business verticals of the Group.
He is an experienced Hotelier with more than 23 years in the Hospitality industry.
Sanjeev was the Group CFO from 2009 till 2011& Chief Investment Officer of Al Habtoor Group from 2007 to 2009. During this time, he was involved in transactions relating to Real Estate, Equity, Derivatives & Fixed Income. Prior to this Sanjeev was in charge of the Hospitality division of Al Habtoor Hotels in various capacities, last of which was Chief Financial Officer, Habtoor Hotels.
Sanjeev joined the Al Habtoor Group in 1997 after spending 2 years in Nairobi, Kenya and 7 years with ITC Limited in India.
He is a Chartered Accountant from India and a CPA from USA. Also, regularly lectures at the Becker USA AICPA classes. He is a graduate from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata; and a trained Co Active Life Coach from CTI California, USA.
Sanjeev and his wife have one son and one daughter. His Son is studying at the McIntire School of commerce @ University of Virginia, USA & daughter at Gems Modern Academy, Dubai.
Chief Executive Officer, RAK Hospitality Holdings
Yannis is a passionate and creative hospitality executive with a long track record in ‘turnaround’ projects and delivery of financial returns for stakeholders. He has over 22 years’ experience in international 5-star and luxury hospitality, with a career spanning 12 cities in 8 countries, across 4 geographical regions.
After obtaining a degree at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland, Yannis’ career path included managerial and executive roles in hotel operations, project management, estate management and hotel development.
Prior to joining RAK Hospitality Holding, Yannis was employed by Hilton International (Athens, London, Durban & Cairo), InternContinental Hotels Group (Miami, San Francisco, Toronto & Dubai) and Jumeirah Group (New York & Dubai).
Since joining RAK Hospitality Holding in December 2013, Yannis has been tasked with establishment of the Company and its subsidiaries and oversees their operations.
Chief Executive Officer, Action Hotels
Alain has spent his entire career in the hospitality industry and in particular in the management of hotels, gaining extensive experience in 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 the 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).
Chief Executive Officer, Hotels, Majid Al Futtaim Properties – Properties
Jalil Mekouar is the Chief Executive Officer of Hotels at Majid Al Futtaim – Properties leading the business unit’s growth strategy across the entire portfolio of existing assets and new developments. Mr. Mekouar joined Majid Al Futtaim in July 2017, responsible for overseeing the company’s growth plans, performance and roadmap in alignment with Majid Al Futtaim’s vision of developing integrated lifestyle destinations .
With over 25 years’ international Real Estate and Hospitality experience, Mr. Mekouar has held senior regional and global roles across six continents with large public listed and Fortune 500 companies in corporate finance, investment strategy, asset management, corporate strategy, business development and hospitality operations of various asset classes including hotels, resorts, spas, time-share, retail, residential and mixed-use.
Mr. Mekouar joins Majid Al Futtaim from leading advisory and asset management firms in the US where he was Managing Director and President, and spent several years with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) as Managing Director for Middle East & Africa, based in Dubai, and Chief Operating Officer for the Americas, based in the US.
Mr. Mekouar speaks fluent English, Arabic, French and Thai and holds an MBA in International Hospitality Management from Cornell University (USA) and ESSEC (France) as well as two post-graduate degrees in Financial Accounting in addition to Tourism and Hotel Management.
13:00 - 13:30
What are operators doing to support
their owners? How are they adjusting as the market matures and the
region shifts from being developer led to operations focused? Asking
the tough questions initiated by the preceding panel
Managing Director, India & MEA, IHG
Pascal Gauvin is Managing Director, India, Middle East and Africa (IMEA), responsible for driving the growth and strength of IHG and its hotels across the region.
Pascal’s previous role was Chief Operating Officer, IMEA, leading the operations and performance of more than 124 hotels as well as overseeing the strategic development of IHG’s plans, including the 74 hotels in the region’s development pipeline. Key to his role is maintaining and fostering relations with existing and new hotel owners.
Pascal has a wealth of expertise in the hospitality business, starting his career in the Food & Beverage department. Pascal held several managerial positions at Accor and Hilton Hotels before joining IHG in 1993 as a Food and Beverage Manager at InterContinental Paris. He has been with IHG for more than 25 years, and has held a number of senior managerial positions in Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Africa, Lebanon, Qatar and UAE.
A strong believer in the principles of ‘leadership by example’ as well as ‘empowerment’, he spends at least 50 percent of his time in the field to ensure that day-to-day operations and relations are in line with IHG’s standards.
Pascal is a father of two and his favourite family getaway is Nice in France. Despite Pascal’s very busy schedule, he finds time to practice golf.
Managing Director & COO - Middle East and Africa, AccorHotels
Olivier Granet is the Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer of AccorHotels Middle East since January 2016. In January 2017 he took also the responsibility of Africa. He oversees the overall AccorHotels’ diverse portfolio of internationally renowned luxury, upscale, midscale and economy hotels in these regions, and is responsible for the development of the AccorHotels network in the Middle East and Africa. This includes 200 operational hotels with over 43,000 rooms across thirty countries, and over 32,000 rooms under development representing a total of 75,000 rooms committed.
Olivier’s previous role was Senior Vice President of Development at AccorHotels Middle East. Since he moved to Dubai in 2011, Olivier oversaw the signing of over 90 new partnership agreements across the region; reaching a rate of one new signature every two weeks.
He is a 16-year veteran of the hospitality industry, having joined AccorHotels in 1999 as Chief Financial Officer for Central Europe, based in Budapest. Moving to Paris in 2002, Olivier was appointed Vice President, Corporate Finance, in charge of integrating the German hotel chain Dorint and developing synergies with Club Méditerranée and Groupe Lucien Barrière. He served as AccorHotels’ Executive Committee General Secretary in 2006, and Chief Financial Officer for Accor Services in 2007 and 2008. Olivier took on the role of Senior Vice President, Strategy in 2009, before moving to Dubai two years later to head up AccorHotels’ regional Development team in the Middle East.
Prior to joining AccorHotels, Olivier worked with Deloitte & Touche for ten years, initially as an auditor and later as a Manager in the Corporate Finance Department, holding positions in France and abroad.
He has a degree from the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po Grenoble) and an MBA from ESSEC Business School in Paris.
President and Managing Director - MEA, Marriott International
Alex Kyriakidis is President and Managing Director, Middle East & Africa (MEA), for Marriott International, Inc., with responsibility for all business activities for the Middle East & Africa Region (MEA), including development, brands, sales, marketing, finance, human resources, legal and operations.
Prior to joining Marriott International 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 45 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/Pacific regions.
As President of the MEA region for Marriott International, Mr Kyriakidis leads the growth of Marriott’s business for the region. Mr. Kyriakidis was the MEA executive sponsor for the acquisition in 2013 of the South Africa based Protea hotel. Marriott’s portfolio of brands in the MEA region has experienced substantial growth and today comprises one of the largest hotel chains with 147 hotels and 24,647 operating rooms and a construction pipeline of 88 hotels and 20,000 rooms by 2024.
Mr Kyriakidis 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. Mr Kyriakidis is fluent in English, Greek and Arabic. In his spare time, Mr. Kyriakidis enjoys training in Shotokan Karate in which he was awarded a third grade black belt in 2015.
13:30 - 14:30
14:30 - 15:30
Looking around the world for hotel and tourism investment
opportunities. Where in the world is good for your money? Which
markets are emerging hot spots for development?
Executive Director, CG Corp Global
Mr. Rahul Chaudhary is the Executive Director of CG Corp | Global which is a multinational conglomerate with an exceptional legacy of 140 years and 4 generations. Spread over 30 countries and with a work force of over 10,000, it is the Himalayan Republic of Nepal's first and only company listed on the Forbes list of Billionaires since 2015 valued in excess US$2.5 Billion comprising over 90 companies that produces world class products and brands.
CG Corp | Global’s notable areas of interests are FMCG, Hospitality, Finance, Banking, Electronic and Home appliances, Cement, Real estate, Education, Energy, Biotech, Retail to name a few. CG is also the brain behind the famous Wai Wai brand of noodles.
Rahul heads CG Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality wing of CG Corp | Global. His forte lies in forging strategic alliances in established as well as emerging markets, which assists in the growth and development of the company. CG Hotels and Resorts has a proud history of successful joint ventures in the hospitality sector with esteemed partners and owns some of the most iconic assets globally with some of the leading hospitality brands over two decades such as Taj, Alila, Jetwing, Radisson, The Farm and its own brands The Fern, Summit and Zinc. CG Hotels & Resorts portfolio comprises of over 100 hotels & resorts in 20 countries and 65 destinations with over 6000 keys. By 2020, the portfolio is expected to grow to over 200 hotels and 10,000 keys.
Senior Vice President, GENCOM
15:00 - 15:30
How is Ras Al Khaimah creating an investment and tourism
proposition to make it competitive on the global stage?
Abdullah Al Abdouli
Managing Director, Al Marjan Island
Abdullah Al Abdooli, a qualified Architect and Urban Planner, is a senior contributor to the design and planning of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and its crown jewel, Al Marjan Island. His specialist areas of expertise include architecture, urban planning, interior design, project management and sustainable development.
As Managing Director of Al Marjan Island, Al Abdooli leads the company’s real estate investment, development and strategy. He is a board member of AlMarjan Island LLC and works closely with the board to deliver the strategic plan and vision for the organisation.
His priorities include establishing and building relationships with major institutions and developers. He actively engages all stakeholders as he continues to develop both the brand and the Al Marjan Island project into a highly regarded investment destination of choice, and proactively shapes partnerships within various investor categories.
In addition to being Managing Director and board member of Al Marjan Island LLC, Abdullah Al Abdooli is also Director, Town Planning, Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, and board of RAK Dredging.
Abdullah Al Abdooli received his Master’s degree from Paris Sorbonne University, Abu Dhabi and his Bachelor’s from the American University of Sharjah.
Chief Executive Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority
Haitham Mattar, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, was appointed in May 2015 to drive the economic growth of Ras Al Khaimah by positioning the Emirate as a world-class destination for business and leisure tourism.
With over 25 years of experience in global destination and hospitality management and marketing, Mattar has held senior roles with leading global brands including Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and most recently Hilton Worldwide.
As Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Hilton Worldwide, he was managing a 240+ strong team across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia and responsible for 126 trading properties with a further 100 in the pipeline, sharpening his aptitude in hospitality, travel and tourism.
Mattar’s cross-continent experience and valuable global insights allow him to effectively lead Ras Al Khaimah’s destination growth strategy, through capturing existing and emerging source market movements and global tourism trends. Under Mattar’s leadership, Ras Al Khaimah is achieving continued growth in visitor numbers and netting a growing share of the global outbound tourism market.
A Lebanese-born American citizen and Arabic speaker, Mattar holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida, USA, and a MBA in Marketing from the University of Liverpool, UK, having completed a thesis on the sustainability of tourism in Dubai.
Dr Reem Osman
Chief Executive Officer, Saudi German Hospital
Dr.Reem Osman has been the CEO of Saudi German Hospital since 2012. She believes in a top-down management style, and empowerment of staff by treating them as equal partners driven by the common goal, which is the treatment of SGH patients.
Dr.Reem is an Advisory Board Member of the School of Health and Environmental Studies (SHES) at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) and guiding the new generation has always been one of her passions.
She is a regular speaker in regional private equity and healthcare arenas. Additionally, she has received many awards as a passionate advocate of humanitarian work in the region.
Dr.Reem has a Master’s degree in Eye Diseases and Surgery, Master in Business Administration from Wollongong University in Sydney and is a certificate holder of Managing Healthcare Delivery from Harvard Business School.
• The Burj award Washington CEO of the year women USA(2016)
• Award a leading Arab tender of tender Arab forum social responsibility ambassador humanitarian work kingdom of Bahrain (2016).
• Goodwill for woman and child Ambassador by Arab Women Foundation (AWF) (2015).
• Ambassador for Humanitarian Action by Sheikh Zayed Giving Initiative Organization (2014).
• Feigenbaun leadership Award by Hamadan Bin Mohammad Smart University 2015.
• Emirates Women Award (May, 2015)
• Forbes Middle East -200 Most Powerful Arab Women 2014
• 14th Middle East Women Leaders Excellence Award (March 2014
• Number 15th top most influential people in UAE By Arabian Business 2017
• Golden Excellence Award in charitable work (The Arab Women Council) 2017
15:30 - 16:00
The Market with arguably the most potential
in the region has launched itself as open for investment from
international money. Where are the gaps for investors? What is the
government doing to help support incoming capital? What can Saudi
Dr Badr Al Badr
Chief Executive Officer, Dur Hospitality
Dr. Badr Al-Badr is a veteran business leader, serial entrepreneur, a published author, a blogger, and a social activist. The Chief Executive Officer of one of the oldest Saudi publicly listed companies in Saudi Arabia, Dur Hospitality Company, a Saudi Joint Stock hospitality company established in 1976, recognized for its extensive record in managing, developing and operating a wide portfolio of hotels and residential compounds across the kingdom.
Prior to being with Dur, Dr. Badr held many leading positions in local and multinational companies, earning him numerous “Best Manager” awards during his career. He was the CEO of Cisco Systems Saudi Arabia which, under his leadership, won the “Best Business Environment” Award in Saudi Arabia, he was also the CEO of AwalNet Company and CEO of Al Alamiah Internet and Communication Company.
Dr. Badr earned his masters and PHD from Washington University, USA and his B.A degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran. An entrepreneur and contributor to leading and developing emerging business, Dr. Badr actively participated in many leadership programs at several renowned universities including Oxford, Cornell, and George Washington University.
Dr. Badr is currently a member of the board of directors for Tourism National Committee Riyadh, SYAHYA National Company for Tourism, and Saudi Heritage Hospitality Company "NUZUL". He is also an activist on social media for knowledge and science dissemination and a spokesperson on several occasions.
Ranked 17th in the list of top 50 most influential hospitality professionals in the Middle East in 2016 by hotelier magazine, and 65 on the list of top 100 CEO in the GCC for the year 2016 by TRENDS magazine and INSEAD – international business school, Dr. Badr is known for being an eloquent speaker in major conferences such as Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, Global Competitive Forum, Hospitality Summit, and IPD MEA Summit.
Yasser bin Faisal Al-Sharif
Chief Executive Officer, Jabal Omar Development Company
Mr. Yasser bin Faisal Al-Sharif is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Jabal Omar Development Company (JODC). Prior to joining JODC he was CEO & MD of various multinational companies in Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Yasser Al-Sharif joined JODC in March 2016 and leads to oversee the team that delivers the trade mark hospitality of the Arab World through its projects in Makkah Al Mukarramah. He has chaired a number of companies, and also assumed leadership positions in investment and risk management. In addition to serving as Board of Director and Members of Executive Committees of several listed (on Tadawul) and private companies and also educational institutions, while Mr. Yasser is currently the Chairman of Central District Cooling Company (CDCC).
Mr. Yasser Al-Sharif holds a General Management Program (Executive) degree from Harvard Business School, a Master's degree in Risk Management from the New York University (NYU), and a Bachelor's degree in Finance from the King Abdulaziz University (KAU). In addition to the above, he had attended many executive finance courses and received professional certificates from local and international universities and relevant authorities with a focus on Financial Engineering, and Asset, Investment and Risk Management.
Advisor to CEO, General Entertainment Authority
Hatem Samman is presently Chief Strategy Officer for the Saudi Arabian Entertainment Authority. Prior to this position he was Chief Economist and Economic Advisor at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). He was Director and Lead Economist of the Ideation Center—Booz & Company’s (now Strategy &) Middle East Think Tank, held the position of Vice President at a major Saudi Bank and was Director of Regulatory Affairs and Strategic Planning at a major regional telecommunications company. He was Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota and Consultant at the World Bank, among other positions. Dr. Samman has published several academic articles in the International Journal of Applied Economics, the Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, among others. He is often requested to give talks, presentations, and participate in panel discussions in major institutions such as INSEAD, USC Energy Institute, Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, and Falcon & Associates. He is frequently quoted in regional and international magazines and newspapers such as the Financial Times, and often appears as an expert on BBC, Al-Arabiya, and CNBC Arabia. Dr. Samman has co-authored numerous Strategy & and Ideation Center publications, including How to Succeed at Education Reform: The Case for Saudi Arabia and the Broader GCC Region (2008), The Vital Role of Sovereign Wealth Funds in the GCC’s Future (2009), and Meeting the Employment Challenge in the GCC: The Need for a Holistic Strategy (2010). Dr. Samman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of California, San Diego and a PhD in Political Economy & Public Policy from the University of Southern California.
15:30 - 16:30
In an environment that seems very unsure of how to
proceed, how can you ensure your investment is operating
according to legal obligations?
Partner, Argent Gulf Consulting
David Daly read business at Trinity College Dublin and is a qualified accountant [CIMA].
With an international career focused on transformative environments, he has exposure to a wide number of industries.
Based in the UAE for ten years he is a partner at Argent Gulf Consulting, a leading provider of VAT solutions. He writes an ongoing column on tax for The National and is an occasional contributor to Bloomberg.
Do I have to give up power over my asset and my
investment? Do I have the ability to manage it myself?
As political stability in the region ebbs and flows, so too does the interest of global investors. Where are the new openings and how can you get involved?
As development in the Kingdom pushes forwards, the
possibilities for progress grows. What is the current state of
play? Where do you fit in?
Chief Hospitality Officer, Maad International Co.
An accomplished real estate and hospitality specialist with over 25 years of managerial experience in operations and development spanning four continents and encompassing the industry’s various facets, including opportunity identification, product definition, asset management and the oversight of several hotel openings with residential and commercial components.
Abdellah is Chief Hospitality Officer at Maad International Co. a development conglomerate that’s preparing to deliver the largest hospitality complex in Makkah with 21 towers and almost 11,000 rooms in close vicinity to the Holy Haram.
Before his current role, Abdellah was CEO at Abjar International Hotels, a subsidiary of Almulla Group of companies, that owns and operates a dozen managed and franchised hotels in Dubai under renowned global brands. Prior to that he held several senior positions globally with investment funds and major hotel chains such as Hyatt, Four Seasons, Jumeirah and Kempinski.
The modern investment landscape is constantly
changing. New stakeholders, new market considerations
and new opportunities. How can we take advantage of this
method to better protect our investments in future?
15:30 - 17:00
Senior reporter, Europe, Hotel News Now / STR
Terence Baker is senior reporter at Hotel News Now, the news vehicle of global hotels data bench marker STR and has responsibility for coverage of the Middle East and Europe. Having lived in London and New York City, Baker has written about hotels, tourism, hospitality, events and business travel for almost 20 years. He was the former managing editor and travel editor of the American Automobile Association’s Car & Travel magazine and has also written for Meetings & Conventions, Meetings & Incentive Travel and Travel Weekly. In his spare time, he searches for rare birds and runs marathons and ultra-marathons, having run the former in 2:44:56 and the latter up to a recent 100 kilometres from London to the English Channel.
15:30 - 16:00
Looking at Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and
16:00 - 16:30
In an ever- maturing market, the segments of most interest have
changed dramatically. Can Mid-Market and Extended-Stay remain
the champions of ROI in the region?
16:30 - 17:00
The ultimate goal of both the operator and the owner is maintaining
and optimising the value of the asset. Are operators and owners
really focusing on the real benefits of Asset Management as a tool?
13:30 - 17:00
Editorial Director, MEED
Richard Thompson is the Editorial Director of MEED. He is responsible for the content of MEED Magazine, MEED.com, MEED Projects & MEED Insights. A keen student of Middle East political and economic affairs, Richard regularly writes and contributes articles to the wider media, including Financial Times and the BBC. He is also a regular speaker on Middle East economy. Richard joined MEED as Managing Editor in February 2003. During his time at MEED, he has covered many areas of the Middle East economy including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. He was named MEED editor in April 2007 and become Editorial Director in February 2010. He has a Masters degree in International Relations, and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with Management Law. Prior to becoming a journalist he worked in the UK construction industry for Atkins and for Laing O’Rourke
15:30 - 16:00
How have Expos affected their markets in past years, and how can
Dubai and those who are active in the market take full advantage of
the opportunities at hand?
Area Director Middle East, STR
Based in Dubai, Philip leads STR’s business development and client relations for the Middle East and Africa region. He spent two decades in hospitality, and his career has spanned several senior positions in hotel operations and management, sales, marketing and revenue management for a variety of hotel companies. Philip joined The Bench in 2006 and transferred to the STR team in 2008. Get in touch with Philip at email@example.com
16:00 - 16:30
In a rapidly changing world have management contracts kept pace?
What should they incorporate to reflect the realities of the operating
environment? Who is adapting to meet owner’s needs?
16:30 - 17:00
In an environment where branded residences can be misunderstood,
what are the realities of the asset class and how can investors and
owners realign their expectations to make more stable returns?
Founder & Managing Director of Strategic Hotel Consulting
Tea Ros is the Founder and Managing Director of
Strategic Hotel Consulting, an international management consulting firm specialising
in hotel investments. Tea is based in Switzerland and has 15 years of
consulting experience within Europe, Middle East and Asia. She has advised a
number of prominent owners, developers and investors.
Prior to establishing Strategic Hotel Consulting in 2009, Tea was in Asia with Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels and in the Middle East with TRI Hospitality Consulting.
She is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC), the leading source for global hospitality expertise.
Tea has comprehensive operational background, having worked with the Four Seasons, Rosewood and Starwood in positions covering F&B, rooms division, sales and marketing, yield management and Six Sigma process improvement and management. Tea is a graduate from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom,
Corporate Director, Business Development, Emaar Hospitality Group
Mandated with the global growth and expansion of all Emaar Hospitality Group brands through potential acquisitions and management contracts, Jaidev Menezes brings over ten years of global corporate strategy and hotel development expertise to Emaar.
Jaidev has a successful track record in hotel and branded residential development in several markets including the Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa. He earlier served in corporate strategy and development roles including his most recent position leading mixed-use development for the EMEA region at a global luxury hotel operator.
Jaidev holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from Cornell University
18:00 - 20:00