Programme 2017

8:00 - 8:45

Networking

 
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Networking Breakfast in Sponsors Showcase

8:25 - 8:30  
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Welcome Back

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Jonathan Worsley
Chairman & Founder, Bench Events - Board Director, STR

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman & Founder, Bench Events - Board Director, STR

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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 13th 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.

8:30 - 9:00  
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Coffee and Keynote

‘The Next Disruption to the hotel industry; This time Silicon Valley is coming for you!’

Presentation by

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James Whittaker
Distinguished Technical Evangelist - Microsoft

James Whittaker

Distinguished Technical Evangelist - Microsoft

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James Whittaker’s career spans academia, start-ups and top tech companies and starts in 1986 as the first computer science graduate hired by the FBI. James then worked as a freelance developer, most notably for IBM, Ericsson, SAP, Cisco and Microsoft, specializing in test automation. He joined the faculty at the Florida Institute of Technology where he continued his prolific publication record in software testing and security. In 2002 his security work was spun off by the university into a startup which was later acquired by Raytheon.

James’ first stint at Microsoft was in Trustworthy Computing and Visual Studio. He then joined Google as an engineering director and led teams working on Chrome, Maps and Google+. In 2012 James rejoined Microsoft.

James is known for being a creative and passionate leader and sought after speaker and author. Of his five books two have been Jolt Award finalists and one a best-seller. Follow him on Twitter @docjamesw and at his website docjamesw.com.

 
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AHIC Pecha Kucha: Six Technologies that will Shape the Future of Hotels

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Ismail Al Kamal
Director - AlKamal International

Ismail Al Kamal

Director - AlKamal International

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Ismail Al Kamal is a Director for AlKamal International in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; an innovative interior design and turnkey contracting company with extensive experience in building leisure and hospitality projects since 2006.


He is currently responsible for business and strategy development within the company and leads the company’s most challenging hospitality construction projects. Ismail is most famous for leading the design and build effort for Jabal Omar Development Company’s first phase of Penthouses and Villas in Makkah that were urgently executed in less than 8 weeks and sold in 2 days for over 200 Million US Dollars. He also led the fit-out and FF&E installation efforts in the Hilton Suites, Marriott, Hyatt, Conrad and Hilton Convention hotels as part of JODC’s branded hotel mega project in Makkah.


Ismail is a certified Project Management Professional, holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and is an Advanced Study Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He is also a prominent author of a number of conference and journal publications in engineering.

9:00 - 9:30  
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A 360° approach to asset management

Regional Presidents of the Hospitality Asset Management Association gather on stage at AHIC to discuss how to implement an asset management programme that drives the value of the asset through a 360° approach, from investment, transaction and contracting through to operations.

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René Beil
Managing Director, Beaufort Global Partners - President, HAMA MEA

René Beil

Managing Director, Beaufort Global Partners - President, HAMA MEA

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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.

In conversation with

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Kees Hartzuiker
Chief Executive Officer - Roya International

Kees Hartzuiker

Chief Executive Officer - Roya International

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Kees Hartzuiker oversees all aspects of Roya International, leading an interdisciplinary team of 55 consultants and specialists, charged with key areas such as development advisory, asset management and hospitality services.

A recognized leading hotelier, Kees brings with him global expertise and experience, having assumed senior roles in three continents, initially in Europe, followed by MENA and Asia.

Prior to taking up the role in Roya, he has served as CEO of Rixos Hotels, orchestrating the transition of the chain from being regional to becoming international, shaping its strategy, structure and management tools.

A significant chapter in Kees’s career was his tenure with Hilton International, where amongst many responsibilities he was driving all Food & Beverage development across the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions; most recently as Vice President Asia he led the company’s operations during its multi brand fast paced growth in the region, including key markets such as India and China.

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Tasos Kousloglou
Executive Vice President, Strategic Advisory & Asset Management & President, HAMA Asia Pacific - JLL Hotels & Hospitality

Tasos Kousloglou

Executive Vice President, Strategic Advisory & Asset Management & President, HAMA Asia Pacific - JLL Hotels & Hospitality

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Tasos has extensive Asset Management experience working with Hotel Owners and Operators in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Over the last few years, he has led numerous asset management assignments in the region including Operation Reviews, Annual Business Plan Reviews and negotiations, Hotel Operator Selections and Management Agreements Negotiations and on-going Asset Management for a range of properties ranging from luxury properties to upscale / midscale hotels and serviced apartments.
Tasos is currently the President of Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA) Asia Pacific.

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Theodor Kubak
Union Investment Real Estate, Head of U.S. Investment Management Hotels - HAMA EUROPE, Co-founder, President a.d. - Board Member at Large

Theodor Kubak

Union Investment Real Estate, Head of U.S. Investment Management Hotels - HAMA EUROPE, Co-founder, President a.d. - Board Member at Large

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1983 - 1997: works in Europe, Australasia and the CIS; develops, opens, and manages hotels in Senior Executive and General Manager positions.
1997: Theodor and his wife incorporate SERVUS International in Istanbul assisting private and institutional investors, governmental bodies and hotel operators in Europe, Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and on the Arabian Peninsula with: Development Advisory, Asset Management, Operator Search and Negotiations, Mystery Shopping, Interims Management, Investment Reviews - Market Feasibility.


Since 2007: acts as External Advisor for Hotel Investments and Asset Management for Union Investment Real Estate GmbH introduces and implements Asset Management Structures for all Union Investment Hotels,  oversees transactions and the repositioning of assets such as Intercontinental Berlin).


Since 2015 and ongoing: Focus on Expanding the Hotel Portfolio of Union Investment as Senior Invest Manager with focus on CEE and outside of Europe in access of € 2.0Bil (i.e. The Godfrey Boston, LondonHouse Chicago, Courtyard World Trade Center NYC,  Melia La Defense Paris, Marriott Champs Elysées )


March 2014 – ongoing. Co-founder and 1st President of HAMA (Hotel Asset Manager Association) Europe Chapter, the preeminent Non-profit Association with the prime purpose to promote the enhancement of hotel asset values. Theodor aims to manifest HAMA Europe alongside its global Chapters in USA, MEA, Asia Pacific, China, and Japan by focusing on “Burning Issue” in the Hospitality Industry, establishing Best Practice Platforms and creating an Academic Foundation for Hotel Asset Managers.


Theodor is raised and educated in Vienna, now resident in Istanbul with two daughters and relaxes during long-distance runs

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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.

9:30 - 10:00  
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Investment beyond the Middle East

With a new world order in both Europe and the US, what do you need to know about investing in these markets? It might seem volatile now, but investors think in the long-term. Alternatively, what does the East have to offer Arabian investors?

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Jalil Mekouar
Managing Director - CHMWarnick

Jalil Mekouar

Managing Director - CHMWarnick

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Jalil Mekouar is Managing Director and Executive Vice President of CHMWarnick, the leading provider of hotel asset management and owner advisory services. He brings over 25 years of international experience in hospitality and real estate finance, asset management, operations, advisory, and investment, with professional exposure to over 35 countries in 6 continents. He is a proven operations, finance, investment and asset management strategist, with a solid track record in leading complex improvement initiatives to enhance asset value. Jalil is focused on advising and creating value on behalf of CHMW’s existing local and international clients, and is responsible for developing new international business relationships with clients and strategic global partners. As a recognized industry thought leader, Jalil speaks five languages and is a regularly invited speaker at international conferences in Europe, Middle-East, Africa and the Americas.


Jalil Mekouar holds an MBA (major in International Hospitality Management) from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and France’s leading business school, ESSEC as well as two post-graduate degrees in Financial Management/Business Administration and Hotel Management.  He is a Chartered Fund and Asset Manager as well as certified in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management by Cornell University. He is an active member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as well as various other international professional associations such as the American Academy of Financial Management (AAFM), Cornell Hotel Society (CHS), the Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA), the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association (AREUEA). 


Today, CHMWarnick asset manages a client portfolio of more than 60 hotels, with 25,000 rooms, collectively valued at $15 billion.

In conversation with

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Andrew JC Humphries
Chief Operating Officer - Katara Hospitality

Andrew JC Humphries

Chief Operating Officer - Katara Hospitality

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Katara Hospitality has welcomed Andrew Humphries as Chief Operating Officer to lead the strategic expansion of the company for both owned and managed hotels.

A professional of the luxury hospitality business, Humphries’ career has been spent with some of the world’s best known hotels including The Savoy and Athanaeum hotels in London, Royal Pavilion and Glitter Bay Resorts in Barbados and most recently with Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi where he held the position of Regional VP and General Manager. 

Prior to his time in Abu Dhabi, Humphries spent over sixteen years with Four Seasons, where he held the position of Regional VP and GM of the Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies and prior to that, as Regional VP and GM of the Four Seasons Hotel Amman, Jordan.

A graduate of Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom, he advanced his professional education at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University in the General Manager’s Program.

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Amruda Nair
Joint Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer - Aiana Hotels & Resorts (a Joint Venture with Al Faisal Holding)

Amruda Nair

Joint Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer - Aiana Hotels & Resorts (a Joint Venture with Al Faisal Holding)

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Amruda has hotels and hospitality in her DNA. From her grandfather, the late Captain C.P. Krishnan Nair, founder of The Leela Group, she inherited a maverick streak and an eye for trailblazing business opportunities. Amruda is an Economics graduate and has a degree in Hospitality Management from CHN University in The Netherlands and a master’s from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, New York, including exposure to Asian markets through the Nanyang Business School, Singapore.
After a stint with Mandarin Oriental New York, Amruda worked for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels (JLLH). Based in Singapore, she joined the firm as a full-time analyst on the hospitality brokerage team and was involved in investment sales mandates across the region including Indonesia, Japan, China, India and Thailand. In 2008, Amruda joined the corporate advisory division of JLLH where she acted as an owner’s representative managing three trading assets in Singapore and Shanghai for properties operated by IHG, Fairmont and Starwood. She also conducted pre-opening budget reviews, management contract negotiations and mystery guest audits for properties in Bali, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Beijing.
Returning to India, she served as the Head of Asset Management for The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts during a period of major growth. In this role, Amruda was responsible for conducting financial reviews for the luxury group’s eight operating properties, reviewing pre-opening budgets for upcoming projects and annual business plans. 
Amruda was awarded the 'Generation Next Awards' for Hospitality (2011) by The All India Association of Industries and the Young Entrepreneurs Society as well as the Young FICCI Ladies Organization Women Achiever's Award (2012). She is a part of Hotelier India’s Power List 2016 that includes several acclaimed names from the hospitality industry in India. She has also recently won the Rising Star – South Asia award at the Hotel Investment Forum India (2016). She has also become a part of the Industry Advisory Board of Qatar's Stenden University.

Amruda serves on multiple boards and organizations that include Camphor and Allied Products Limited and Entrepreneur's Organization Mumbai. She is a board member at both these organizations. She is the associate committee member of Sahachari Foundation, an NGO which stands for 'women who walk together' in support of societal responsibility and empowerment and is also the Vice President of Apne Aap Women’s Collective, an anti-trafficking organisation that serves women and children in Mumbai's red light district.

Aiana Hotels & Resorts is a global hospitality company that offers a unique blend of warm Indian service ethos, modern design and immersive, enriching experiences. The company has signed 8 management contracts in the Middle East & India, with over 1000 rooms under construction in 3 jurisdictions namely KSA, Qatar and India. Aiana is all about 'Hospitality 2.0', a promise that is aimed at offering innovative service in a smart, stimulating environment and delivering an intuitive hotel management model that resonates with the next generation of travelers.

As the Joint Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Aiana Hotels & Resorts, Amruda is responsible for designing the brand’s signature programming as well as spearheading the company’s overall business development to create a unique proposition that will define the next wave of smart hospitality.

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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, is Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer at Rezidor – one of the most dynamic hotel companies worldwide and a member of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Rezidor’s portfolio across Europe, the Middle East and Africa comprises more than 480 hotels with 105,000 rooms. The group develops and operates the brands Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson RED, Park Inn by Radisson and prizeotel.
Elie 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 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, he came to Hilton Hotels Worldwide as Vice President Development for the Middle East before moving to Rezidor in 2010.
Elie joined the Rezidor team as Vice President Business Development for MEA to drive the company’s growth strategy in the Middle East and some parts of Africa. In January 2013, he was appointed Senior Vice President, Head of Group Development, based in Brussels, Belgium; and since January 2015 he serves as Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer. In this role, Elie leads the company’s ambitious growth strategy and its execution. He is a member of Rezidor’s Executive Committee.

10:00 - 10:20  
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Global CEO Series - Catalysts of Change

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Richard Dean
Presenter, The Business Breakfast - Dubai Eye

Richard Dean

Presenter, The Business Breakfast - Dubai Eye

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Richard is one of the region’s most engaging business speakers, drawing on two decades experience as a journalist with the world’s leading media outlets. Today he’s best known as presenter of The Business Breakfast, a daily radio show on Dubai Eye 103.8.  

Richard has been one of the pioneers of business journalism in the Gulf. After training as a reporter in his native UK, he moved to Dubai in 1998 with Gulf Business magazine. He covered the Middle East from London for The Economist before returning to Dubai in 2004 to help Reuters launch its  business news coverage in the Gulf.   At the same time he helped launch the region’s first English-language news radio station, Dubai Eye.   Following two years in London anchoring Bloomberg’s flagship UK radio show, Richard returned to Dubai in 2008 to work on a range of media projects. Richard’s first book was published by Motivate in May 2010: Sink or Swim covers the boom and bust of Dubai’s real estate-fuelled economy.  

Richard’s media career has made him a sought-after public speaker, as keynote, MC/Moderator and awards host. A veteran of hundreds of high-profile events, he’s shared a stage with business and political leaders including HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Sir Richard Branson, Tony Blair and Sir David Frost. 

Richard is known affectionately as ‘The Three Degrees’ for his academic certificates in history, economics and media. He’s a bad golfer and worse triathlete but enjoys both. He lives in Dubai with his wife and two sons.

In conversation with

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Pierre-Frédéric Roulot
CEO, Jin Jiang Europe & - CEO, Louvre Hotels Group

Pierre-Frédéric Roulot

CEO, Jin Jiang Europe & - CEO, Louvre Hotels Group

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Pierre-Frédéric Roulot is the CEO of Louvre Hotels Group, the international hospitality player based in Paris, France.

He joined the Group in 2007, bringing more than 25 years of experience in the service industry including extensive knowledge in marketing, brand management, operations management and
franchise network development. Since the acquisition of the group by the Chinese conglomerate Jin Jiang in March 2015, Pierre-Frédéric has been successfully collaborating with his new shareholder to smoothly integrate Louvre Hotels Group to their existing structure while pursuing sound business development.

In December 2015, in addition to his current role, Pierre-Frédéric was named CEO of Groupe du Louvre – the holding of Louvre Hotels Group – which has become the new European headquarters of Jin Jiang International. He is responsible for implementing European development strategies of Jin Jiang, supporting Louvre Hotels Group to achieve better performance, as well as facilitating and coordinating the growth of its brands in China.

Prior to joining Louvre Hotels Group, Pierre-Frédéric spent 20 years with McDonald’s where he served in various strategic positions including Deputy Managing Director for France and Operations Director, Southern Europe.
Pierre-Frédéric holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Management from HEC Paris. A French citizen, he is married with two children and lives in Paris, France.

10:20 - 10:40  
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Knowledge Platform - Middle East Asset Price Index

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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.

10:40 - 11:10  
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Mega Projects and Master Plans

Looking around MENA to find out which mega projects of the future is on the horizon. Get the latest news on the projects are set to transform the tourism offering and destination strategies of these key markets. Where are there still opportunities for investors? What is the involvement of the tourism boards, legislative bodies, governments and banks?

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Richard Thompson
Editorial Director - MEED

Richard Thompson

Editorial Director - MEED

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Richard Thompson is the Editorial Director of MEED. He is responsible for the content of MEED Magazine, MEED.com, MEED Projects, MEED Insights and AMEInfo.com. 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.

In conversation with

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Abdullah Al Abdooli
Managing Director - Al Marjan Island

Abdullah Al Abdooli

Managing Director - Al Marjan Island

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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.

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Khalid Al Yahmadi
Chief Executive Officer - Muscat National Development and Investment Company (ASAAS)

Khalid Al Yahmadi

Chief Executive Officer - Muscat National Development and Investment Company (ASAAS)

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Khalid Al Yahmadi is the CEO of Muscat National Development and Investment Company (ASAAS), a semi-government company set up in 2014 to assist the government in diversifying its revenue streams. Khalid is a passionate advocate of the potential of Oman, possesses a wealth of real-estate investment and development expertise coupled with strong market insights.
Khalid is the founder of Amjaad Group, recognized as one of the leading real estate development and engineering companies in Oman, and California-based Amjaad Investments USA. He has served on the board of OMRAN, the Government of Oman’s master developer of major tourism, heritage and urban projects, Migros, one of the largest retail company in Turkey and the Oman Society of Engineers. Currently, he is also serving as the Chairman of Salam Air, the first and the only low-cost airline in the Sultanate of Oman.

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Imad Barrakad
Chairman & CEO - Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT)

Imad Barrakad

Chairman & CEO - Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT)

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Since 2011, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT), M. Imad Barrakad greatly contributed in the development of the national tourism sector.

In fact, M. Barrakad worked effectively in the implementation of tourism projects within the National Strategic Vision 2020, which aims to make of the Kingdom among the top 20 destinations worldwide.  Various projects were launched in order to diversify the final product that the Kingdom offers as the city of leisure and culture of Rabat and Casablanca, the Leisure City of Tamaouanza (Agadir), the Resort Desert Dakhla, Morocco's Cultural Theme Park in Marrakech etc…. It is to note that SMIT has also strengthened its support role of investment in the sector by restructuring Beach resorts in Morocco.

Also, upon his arrival to SMIT, M. Barrakad strengthened the promotion actions of the company through an active participation to international events dedicated to the promotion of tourism investment in order to boost and maintain the investment attractiveness of the destination Morocco for tourism investment.

Prior to joining SMIT, M. Barrakad was the head of Sales and Marketing at the Moroccan National Office of Electricity, an experience which equipped him with a good field knowledge. M. Barrakad has a global experience in project management and financial planning. In the past few years, he had also extensive interest and involvement in social marketing as well as project development. M. Barrakad is an industrial engineer and has a Master degree in Project Management.

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Abdellah Essonni
Chief Hospitality Officer - Maad International Co.

Abdellah Essonni

Chief Hospitality Officer - Maad International Co.

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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.

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Zoltan Kali
Chief Asset Management Officer - Omran

Zoltan Kali

Chief Asset Management Officer - Omran

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Zoltan is an experienced real estate investment professional with over 20 years of industry experience covering multiple senior managerial and leadership positions across geographies.


His primary background is in hotel investments and asset management, but Zoltan has been involved in extensive work in real estate asset classes like office, residential and mixed use developments.
He began his career in philanthropic organisations, then moved to KPMG, where he worked for a decade in the Real Estate, Leisure and Tourism sector for the Europe, Middle East and Africa.


Previous to joining Omran, Zoltan was employed by the largest sovereign wealth fund of Oman (SGRF) where he was responsible for the hospitality portfolio and related transactions.


Zoltan hold an MSc in Engineering, a Bachelor degree in social sciences and an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management, Cleveland, Ohio, specializing in International Management and Finance. He is a certified asset manager from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

 
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AHIC Pecha Kucha: The Seven Secrets of Successful Storytelling in Hotel Design

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Pallavi Dean
Design Director - Pallavi Dean Interiors

Pallavi Dean

Design Director - Pallavi Dean Interiors

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Pallavi is the founder and creative force behind Pallavi Dean Interiors. PDI is a boutique design consultancy with an award-winning portfolio. The company’s mission is to create great experiences through design! The firm has an international portfolio spanning three continents, flagship projects include the new Delano and Yotel hotels on Palm Jumeirah.

Pallavi is a trained architect and sustainability specialist, she’s won multiple awards for work across a range of sectors including commercial, hospitality and residential. She was born in India, raised in Dubai and spent years working in London; her designs reflect these eclectic influences. A former professor of interior design at the American University of Sharjah , she strives to implement the latest theoretical and practical research into the firm’s designs.


Pallavi debuted as a product designer at this Dubai Downtown Design 2016. 'Tension' is a line of furniture that documents her design journey to date. The lights are now a part of the Preciosa Lighting International Catalogue. The Collection also won the Harpers Bazaar Design Award in 2016.

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Richard Dean
Presenter, The Business Breakfast - Dubai Eye

Richard Dean

Presenter, The Business Breakfast - Dubai Eye

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Richard is one of the region’s most engaging business speakers, drawing on two decades experience as a journalist with the world’s leading media outlets. Today he’s best known as presenter of The Business Breakfast, a daily radio show on Dubai Eye 103.8.  

Richard has been one of the pioneers of business journalism in the Gulf. After training as a reporter in his native UK, he moved to Dubai in 1998 with Gulf Business magazine. He covered the Middle East from London for The Economist before returning to Dubai in 2004 to help Reuters launch its  business news coverage in the Gulf.   At the same time he helped launch the region’s first English-language news radio station, Dubai Eye.   Following two years in London anchoring Bloomberg’s flagship UK radio show, Richard returned to Dubai in 2008 to work on a range of media projects. Richard’s first book was published by Motivate in May 2010: Sink or Swim covers the boom and bust of Dubai’s real estate-fuelled economy.  

Richard’s media career has made him a sought-after public speaker, as keynote, MC/Moderator and awards host. A veteran of hundreds of high-profile events, he’s shared a stage with business and political leaders including HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Sir Richard Branson, Tony Blair and Sir David Frost. 

Richard is known affectionately as ‘The Three Degrees’ for his academic certificates in history, economics and media. He’s a bad golfer and worse triathlete but enjoys both. He lives in Dubai with his wife and two sons.

11:40 - 12:30  
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Dubai and The Next Five Years 2017-2022: Understanding the Dubai Guest

AHIC presents its first Dubai Tourist Profiling Report. A unique insight into Dubai tourist spend patterns, activities and motives – and a forecast into how the tourist profile will evolve by 2021.

Exclusive presentation by

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Gurdish Bassi
Project Director / Chief Economist - GRMC Advisory Services

Gurdish Bassi

Project Director / Chief Economist - GRMC Advisory Services

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Gurdish Bassi has been employed with GRMC Advisory Services since 2003. As Project Director / Chief Economist he is responsible for managing and coordinating hospitality and leisure projects requiring detailed economic and numerical analysis. Gurdish has several years experience in undertaking qualitative and quantitative research, and providing advice on major projects across emerging markets. Gurdish specialises in hospitality and tourism economics. His areas of specialisation include econometric analysis of tourism trends, economic impact of tourism, tourism policy advice and analyses relating to issues facing regional economies. Gurdish brings wealth of experience in analysing tourism markets, modelling & forecasting tourism trends, identifying causal relationships and developing insightful recommendations. Some of his recent tourism and hospitality engagements have included psychographic profiling and segmentation of foreign international travellers visiting the GCC, economic advisory for a hospitality and entertainment destination project, analysing factors influencing tourists' demand for leisure services, associated expenditures and market demand elasticity.  

Gurdish holds an MSc in Economics degree from University of Warwick, UK and a BSc (Hons) in Economics from University of Birmingham, UK. He is an active member of Royal Economic Society, American Economic Association and Urban Land Institute.

 
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What is the Outlook for Dubai’s Hospitality Industry Post-2021?

Dubai attracted 15.75 million overnight visitors in 2016. Is it on track to record 20 million visitors in 2020? How will Expo 2020 impact market performance in 2020-2021 and the question on everyone’s lips; what is the outlook for Dubai’s hospitality industry post-2021?

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Richard Dean
Presenter, The Business Breakfast - Dubai Eye

Richard Dean

Presenter, The Business Breakfast - Dubai Eye

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Richard is one of the region’s most engaging business speakers, drawing on two decades experience as a journalist with the world’s leading media outlets. Today he’s best known as presenter of The Business Breakfast, a daily radio show on Dubai Eye 103.8.  

Richard has been one of the pioneers of business journalism in the Gulf. After training as a reporter in his native UK, he moved to Dubai in 1998 with Gulf Business magazine. He covered the Middle East from London for The Economist before returning to Dubai in 2004 to help Reuters launch its  business news coverage in the Gulf.   At the same time he helped launch the region’s first English-language news radio station, Dubai Eye.   Following two years in London anchoring Bloomberg’s flagship UK radio show, Richard returned to Dubai in 2008 to work on a range of media projects. Richard’s first book was published by Motivate in May 2010: Sink or Swim covers the boom and bust of Dubai’s real estate-fuelled economy.  

Richard’s media career has made him a sought-after public speaker, as keynote, MC/Moderator and awards host. A veteran of hundreds of high-profile events, he’s shared a stage with business and political leaders including HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Sir Richard Branson, Tony Blair and Sir David Frost. 

Richard is known affectionately as ‘The Three Degrees’ for his academic certificates in history, economics and media. He’s a bad golfer and worse triathlete but enjoys both. He lives in Dubai with his wife and two sons.

In conversation with

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Mustafa Al Hashimi
Chief Hospitality & Leisure Officer - wasl

Mustafa Al Hashimi

Chief Hospitality & Leisure Officer - wasl

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As Chief Hospitality & Leisure Officer at wasl, Mustafa Al Hashimi is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of an important subsidiary of wasl Asset Management Group and one of the UAE’s leading hotel and recreation brands. Mustafa brings to his role a wealth of experience in the provision of first-class leisure and hospitality services to discerning patrons across Dubai.

Under Mustafa’s expert guidance, wasl Hospitality & Leisure, currently asset manages a portfolio of 14 hotels with over 5,500 rooms, including Starwood Hotels and Resorts (namely Le Meridien Dubai, Le Meridien Fairways, Westin Mina Seyahi and Le Meridien Mina Seyahi), Hyatt International (namely Grand Hyatt Dubai, Hyatt Regency Dubai, Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency Creek Heights, Hyatt Place Dubai and Hyatt Place Baniyas), Hilton International (namely Hilton Garden Inn Muraqqabat and Hilton Garden Inn Al Mina), and 3rd party asset management of Dusit Thani Dubai and Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. The division’s Dubai-based portfolio also includes the ownership and management of the prestigious Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club in addition to operating Al Mouj Golf in Muscat, Oman. Mustafa is currently driving the growth of the brand through the launch of 15 new projects that are supporting the tourism industry in Dubai. This strategy places a focus on hotels in the 3 and 4-star categories, with four such mid-range hotels launched during the last year alone and an additional mid-range hotel is to be introduced next year.

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Klaus Assmann
VP - Hospitality and Retail - Dubai Parks and Resorts

Klaus Assmann

VP - Hospitality and Retail - Dubai Parks and Resorts

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Klaus Assmann, a German national who holds a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management brings more than 27 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Started his career with Nikko hotels in London, worked in New York, San Francisco, Hamburg, Manila and Phuket with brands such as Hyatt and Shangri La. Moving to the Middle East, he spent 10 years with the Jumeirah Group and was part of the opening teams of Madinat Jumeirah, Meydan and Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai and later on joined the Accor Group to open Sofitel Dubai Downtown which is the companies regional five star-luxury flagship Hotel. Dubai Parks and Resorts marks his 8th opening and the 5th in Dubai, for which he would be responsible for the company’s entire hospitality portfolio, retail, events along with food & beverage in the common areas . Klaus Assmann is a people oriented person who is inspired by people and a strong believer that the dominant theme in the hospitality industry is the human element as it is equally important when dealing with both guests and the team that will make the business successful

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Dr. Martin Berlin
Partner, Deals Strategy ME, Global Deals Real Estate Leader - PwC

Dr. Martin Berlin

Partner, Deals Strategy ME, Global Deals Real Estate Leader - PwC

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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.

 
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Developing Dubai as a Resort Market

What does it take to create a successful resort destination and how much potential is there to tap into this lucrative segment of the market?

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Richard Dean
Presenter, The Business Breakfast - Dubai Eye

Richard Dean

Presenter, The Business Breakfast - Dubai Eye

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Richard is one of the region’s most engaging business speakers, drawing on two decades experience as a journalist with the world’s leading media outlets. Today he’s best known as presenter of The Business Breakfast, a daily radio show on Dubai Eye 103.8.  

Richard has been one of the pioneers of business journalism in the Gulf. After training as a reporter in his native UK, he moved to Dubai in 1998 with Gulf Business magazine. He covered the Middle East from London for The Economist before returning to Dubai in 2004 to help Reuters launch its  business news coverage in the Gulf.   At the same time he helped launch the region’s first English-language news radio station, Dubai Eye.   Following two years in London anchoring Bloomberg’s flagship UK radio show, Richard returned to Dubai in 2008 to work on a range of media projects. Richard’s first book was published by Motivate in May 2010: Sink or Swim covers the boom and bust of Dubai’s real estate-fuelled economy.  

Richard’s media career has made him a sought-after public speaker, as keynote, MC/Moderator and awards host. A veteran of hundreds of high-profile events, he’s shared a stage with business and political leaders including HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Sir Richard Branson, Tony Blair and Sir David Frost. 

Richard is known affectionately as ‘The Three Degrees’ for his academic certificates in history, economics and media. He’s a bad golfer and worse triathlete but enjoys both. He lives in Dubai with his wife and two sons.

In conversation with

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Gregory Lanter
VP Global Development & Construction - Club Med

Gregory Lanter

VP Global Development & Construction - Club Med

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Gregory Lanter joined Club Mediterranée Group and its development teams in 2004, especially in charge of Africa and Middle East. He was appointed Vice President Global Development in 2009, which was later extended to Construction matters. His teams are positioned in Miami, Paris, Singapore and Shanghai.

They are strong contributors to the success of Club Med’s strategy, aiming at being the worldwide leader of multi-cultural family premium all-inclusive holidays. Over the last ten years, Club Med and its partners invested above a billion Euros in transforming historical assets.

Club Med is settled on the most extra-ordinary sites on Earth, where Club Med was most of the time the first ever international resort operator (Cancun, Punta Cana, Maldives, Mauritius, Bali…). Its development is strongly accelerating, with projects over the 5 continents. 3 flagship destinations have been inaugurated over winter 2014: Val Thorens Sensations in 3 Vallées French Alps, Maldives Finolhu Villas and Dong Ao Island in China.

Club Med offers a unique combination of an expert resort manager (over 60 years of experience) and a unique Tour Operating company, recognized and physically distributed in 35 different markets in the world.

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Paul Macpherson
Executive Vice President - Global Business & Real Estate Development - Kerzner International

Paul Macpherson

Executive Vice President - Global Business & Real Estate Development - Kerzner International

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Paul Macpherson joined Kerzner International in March 2015 as the EVP Global Business & Real Estate Development.  In his role at Kerzner, Paul will drive the business development strategy to continue the global expansion of Kerzner International’s brands. 


Paul joined Kerzner from Whitbread PLC, where he held the position of President & Managing Director for Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants International since 2011.  At Whitbread, Paul implemented the 10-year international expansion strategy for Premier Inn hotels. He built that company’s international presence, as well as established a robust development pipeline spanning from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia.  Prior to joining Whitbread, Paul worked with Jumeirah where he held the position of Chief Development Officer from 2005, overseeing the entire development strategy of global expansion for the brand.  He has also worked at Hilton International where he held the position of Vice President Development for Asia Pacific and Middle East since 1999.  Paul has also held the position of  Vice President - Asia Pacific at PKF Consulting in Hong Kong and Singapore since 1994. 


Prior to moving to Asia, Paul worked for the Royal Bank of Canada, Price Waterhouse and Air Canada.

12:30 - 12:45  
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The Big Talent Wake-Up Call

With tens of thousands of rooms in the construction pipeline, what responsibility do owners, developers, tourism bodies and operators have to find, train and retain the young leaders to manage these properties? Where will they come from and how can the industry unite to develop a GCC workforce?

A presentation by

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Zaid Maleh
Managing Director - MODUL University Dubai

Zaid Maleh

Managing Director - MODUL University Dubai

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Zaid Maleh is the CEO of DACH ADVISORY, a fully-fledged investment and project management firm headquartered in Dubai with offices in Vienna & Moscow. A seasoned investment specialist with over a decade experience in emerging markets, an excellent international network of relationships and industries exposure.

Zaid has led and managed the establishment of several world-class entertainment and hospitality assets throughout his career across multiple geographies. Today, Zaid oversees a strategic portfolio of leading hospitality assets and concepts in the US, Russia, Austria, Kazakhstan, Georgia and the UK.

To compliment his track-record in the hospitality industry, Zaid has led the establishment of a state-of-the-art branch campus of Austria’s leading private university in Dubai. With over 100 years of academic excellence, MODUL University is the world’s oldest and only institution offering degrees in the tourism and hospitality industry from the age of 14 to Ph.D.

12:45 - 13:00  
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Global CEO Series - Catalysts of Change

On how she feels education and the hospitality sector can act as catalysts of change within Saudi Arabia. What is she doing to bring change?

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Richard Dean
Presenter, The Business Breakfast - Dubai Eye

Richard Dean

Presenter, The Business Breakfast - Dubai Eye

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Richard is one of the region’s most engaging business speakers, drawing on two decades experience as a journalist with the world’s leading media outlets. Today he’s best known as presenter of The Business Breakfast, a daily radio show on Dubai Eye 103.8.  

Richard has been one of the pioneers of business journalism in the Gulf. After training as a reporter in his native UK, he moved to Dubai in 1998 with Gulf Business magazine. He covered the Middle East from London for The Economist before returning to Dubai in 2004 to help Reuters launch its  business news coverage in the Gulf.   At the same time he helped launch the region’s first English-language news radio station, Dubai Eye.   Following two years in London anchoring Bloomberg’s flagship UK radio show, Richard returned to Dubai in 2008 to work on a range of media projects. Richard’s first book was published by Motivate in May 2010: Sink or Swim covers the boom and bust of Dubai’s real estate-fuelled economy.  

Richard’s media career has made him a sought-after public speaker, as keynote, MC/Moderator and awards host. A veteran of hundreds of high-profile events, he’s shared a stage with business and political leaders including HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Sir Richard Branson, Tony Blair and Sir David Frost. 

Richard is known affectionately as ‘The Three Degrees’ for his academic certificates in history, economics and media. He’s a bad golfer and worse triathlete but enjoys both. He lives in Dubai with his wife and two sons.

In conversation with

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HRH Princess Basmah Bint Saud Al-Saud
Chairwoman - GURA - Global United Centre for Research and Analysis, Saudi Arabia

HRH Princess Basmah Bint Saud Al-Saud

Chairwoman - GURA - Global United Centre for Research and Analysis, Saudi Arabia

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HRH commenced her career in media and journalistic writing in 2006, when she started writing humanitarian and social affairs articles for the newspapers Al-Madina, Al-Hayat, Al-Ahram Al-Masri and the magazine Al-Sayadity. She also featured in articles for international outlets such as the Independent, Berfabl, Argeninin, Yo Donna magazine, Vanity Fair and the Huffington Post.

Her articles have focused on local and Arab social affairs. HRH is very much interested in the concerns of citizens, social problems and developed ideas to solve these issues within her articles.

The number of articles published by HRH within the Arab newspapers exceeds 500 articles. She has also published dozens of research projects on her websites.

During her residency in Britain, from 2011 to 2014, and after a period of research and strategic studies into humanitarian problems and concerns, HRH launched the Fourth Way Law. The Fourth Way Law received official accreditation from the EU Parliament in 2014 as an alternative constitution able to succeed in the twenty-first century. This came after visits to Africa, Europe, Asia and America to make the initiative more realistic and applicable to reality. This constitution aims to fight the causes of poverty, the roots of tension and division, and to address global public laws. It is designed to evolve and keep up with modern developments. It incorporates legislation on social communication, which will be effective across the globe. It facilitates the way towards human development, taking a leading role in the movement for change and creating the appropriate conditions to improve opportunities and distribute them fairly, enabling us to come out of the crisis that has shaken the world since the beginning of the twenty first century.

During her time in London, Her Royal Highness established a global humanitarian foundation, The Lanterns, which brings together the most important international figures from each intellectual, social, economic and scientific field and acts as a platform for global relationships, serving humanity and addressing the major issues of today. Through the Lanterns, Global United Research and Analysis (GURA) was founded, a research centre specialising in developing long-term solutions and strategies for businesses and institutions in both the public and private sectors, and providing global connectivity in the business, tourism, antiquities and heritage sectors

13:00 - 13:15  
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AHIC Announcement: “Showcasing Local Talent - Anticipating the Future”

A Roya-AHIC Initiative.

13:15 - 14:00  
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PRESENTATION OF THE AHIC 2017 AWARDS

Awards presented by

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His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum
Chairman,Dubai Airports; President, Dubai Dept for Civil Aviation; Chairman and CEO - Emirates

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Chairman,Dubai Airports; President, Dubai Dept for Civil Aviation; Chairman and CEO - Emirates

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AHIC 2017 Industry Pioneer Award

Awarded to

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Sheikh Mubarak Al Abdullah Al Mubarak Al Sabah
Chairman - Action Hotels Vice Chairman, Action Group Holdings KSCC

Sheikh Mubarak Al Abdullah Al Mubarak Al Sabah

Chairman - Action Hotels Vice Chairman, Action Group Holdings KSCC

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Sheikh Mubarak Al Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al Sabah (Founder and Chairman) is a business leader and prominent figure in the Kuwait commerce and social sectors. He has been instrumental in spearheading a number of real estate, hospitality and investment projects, which have all served to raise international standards in Kuwait and the Middle East.


Sheikh Mubarak has a distinguished academic record; he holds an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge (UK), and a BA (Hons.) in Politics with Economics from the University of Buckingham (UK). In addition, he is a graduate of The Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst (UK), and served in the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, as an Armoured Officer. Sheikh Mubarak was also conferred the highest French civilian distinction, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) in January 2017.


He is the Vice Chairman of Action Group Holdings (AGH), a Kuwait based investment company with particular emphasis on real estate development and acquisitions in the GCC, Europe and Australia. He is also the Founder and Chairman of Action Real Estate (K.S.C.C), one of Kuwait’s major private real estate companies that has a portfolio of assets across the Middle East.


Sheikh Mubarak has been on several boards of companies and is the founding Chairman of Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company K.S.C., a public listed company of Kuwait. He also serves as a board member of EQUATE, Kuwait’s first and largest international joint venture in the petrochemical sector. Sheikh Mubarak is currently on the board of Egypt Kuwait Holdings, a MENA investment company with a diversified portfolio of investments, listed in the Kuwait and Egypt stock exchange.


He was honoured as a Young Global Leader (YGL) in 2009 by the World Economic Forum, and is also a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Sheikh Mubarak is a member of YPO-WPO International since August 2010, and a number of other professional organisations; he also has a particular interest in international affairs. In addition, he is a member of The Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Kuwait Economic Society and is also actively involved in Kuwait-British Relations.


As Founder and Chairman of Action Hotels PLC, Sheikh Mubarak provides direction for the executive team and overseas the setting and implementation of the company’s direction and strategy.
Through his extensive network of relationships across the region and within the hotel industry, Sheikh Mubarak is actively involved in the identification of new developments and opportunities.

With a visionary approach, he has spearheaded the economy and mid-market hotels in the region, and broken new ground internationally with Action Hotels, making it the only Kuwaiti company and only hospitality company within the region to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

AHIC 2017 Leadership Award

Awarded to

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Ghaith Al Ghaith
Chief Executive Officer - flydubai

Ghaith Al Ghaith

Chief Executive Officer - flydubai

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A UAE national, Ghaith Al Ghaith is Chief Executive Officer of Dubai-based flydubai which was launched in 2008. 

Al Ghaith has a long track record in aviation.  He started his career at Emirates Airline joining in 1986 as a Management Trainee.  During his more than twenty year career at Emirates Airline he held a number of positions including Executive Vice-President Commercial Operations Worldwide and Area Manager UK and Ireland. Ghaith Al Ghaith is  Vice Chairman of the Board of Jumeirah Group.

Al Ghaith holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Arizona, USA.

The advisory board chose to acknowledge and thank Mr. Al-Ghaith for his role in flydubai’s success. flydubai has paved the way to the growth of the budget and mid-market traveller, which in turn has opened this segment to hotel investors and operators.