Ismail Al Kamal
Director, AlKamal International
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.
Chief Executive Officer, Time Hotels
An international hotelier with over 30 years’ experience, Mohamed Awadalla has worked with some of the leading global hospitality companies including Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Hilton International, Rotana Hotels and now at TIME Hotels Management L.L.C where he was one of the founding members.
After completing his studies at the German Academic Institute for Hotel Management in 1985, Awadalla began his career with the well-known Swiss hotel group, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, in the Egyptian city of Luxor. He then joined Hilton International in Luxor and was subsequently tasked with running the travel trade division out of the Area Sales Office in Cairo, with the responsibility of 12 properties.
In 1996 Awadalla relocated to the UAE, and returned to operations, joining the Hilton Corniche Residence team in Abu Dhabi as Rooms Division Manager. Recognising the Emirates’ burgeoning potential in the hospitality sector in 2000 he was appointed Director of Business Development for the Al Ain Hilton Hotel, where he spent two years driving the brand’s business strategies.
Following his successful tenure with Hilton International, Awadalla was headhunted by UAE-headquartered Rotana Hotels and joined the Al Maha Rotana, Abu Dhabi, as General Manager in 2004. His reputation for operational excellence then saw him take on the role as opening General Manager for the new five-star Al Manshar Rotana in Kuwait City, where he quickly established brand presence, setting new standards of hospitality within the local market.
Being one of the founders of TIME Hotels Management in 2007, Awadalla started as the Area Vice President. In 2012 he moved to the position of CEO with overall responsibility for the company’s Ten Hotels, Hotel Apartments and Residence with a remit to spearhead the future development and drive the commercial success of TIME’s rapidly expanding portfolio of Middle East and Northern Africa based properties.
Hala Matar Choufany
President- Middle East and Africa, HVS
Hala Matar Choufany is President for HVS Middle East and Africa and Managing Partner of HVS Dubai. In the last 15 years, Hala has worked on more than 850 hospitality projects, ranging from single to large scale mixed use developments and conducted numerous valuations, feasibility studies, operator search and contract negotiations, operational assessments, and general consultancy work in Europe, MENA and Asia. Hala has in-depth expertise in regional hotel markets and a broad exposure to international markets and maintains excellent contacts with developers, owners, operators, investment institutions and government entities. Hala has completed Executive Education at Harvard Business School and has an MBA from ESSEC & Cornell.
Director of Architecture, SSH
With more than 14 years of experience with leading international practices in the UK and the Middle East, he has a proven record of creating, presenting and developing an international level of design work. In these projects he has also played a key leadership and business development role with both local and international clients.
David was previously employed by Meraas as a Lead Design Architect where he worked on several prestige projects. Prior to this, he worked with the internationally acclaimed studios Hopkins Architects and Glenn Howells Architects (GHA), where he was engaged in numerous projects including the London 2012 Olympics and the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Qualified with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours Degree in Architecture and a Post Graduate Diploma in Architecture in 2003 and 2007 respectively, and as a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), David brings a wealth of knowledge to SSH.
Tarek M. Daouk
Founder & Managing Partner, Smartotels Hospitality International
Tarek M. Daouk is the Founder and Managing Partner of Smartotels Hospitality International LLC (“Smartotels”), a hotel real estate investment and full-service hospitality and asset management firm developing and operating hotels under its unique proprietary upscale hotel brands.
Prior to founding Smartotels, Mr. Daouk was Head of Hospitality at Goldman Sachs's Realty Management Division in Europe responsible for hotel acquisition, asset management and disposition activities. Prior to his time in Europe, Mr. Daouk was involved in hotel acquisitions for the Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds in the U.S.
Before joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. Daouk worked at InterContinental Hotels Group in the Development & Investment Analysis Division of the Americas regional office. Prior to InterContinental, Mr. Daouk was a management consultant in the Hospitality & Leisure Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Mr. Daouk is currently co-President of the Cornell Hotel Society MENA Chapter, serves on the Board of the Columbia University Alumni Association UAE, and is the Event Chair of the Dubai Lodging Outlook Seminar, an annual seminar co-hosted with STR. He earned his MSc in Real Estate Development from Columbia University after receiving his BSc in Hotel Administration with distinction from Cornell University. He is fluent in English, French and Arabic.