H.E. Mohammed Al Mheiri
Ministry of Economy, UAE
H.E. Mohammed Al Mheiri
HE Mr. Al Mheiri has experience of over 25 years in the field of tourism and international marketing and is a member of a
number of tourism bodies and organizations; he held several leadership positions including the Executive Director of
Operations and Marketing in Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, where he achieved a remarkable
Al Mheiri graduated in Mass Communications Technology (Advertising-Marketing–Promotions), from the UAE University of
Al-Ain, with specialization in Political Science. He holds a Master’s degree of Destination Management from Granada
University in Spain.
Amr Abdel Ghaffar
Amr Abdel Ghaffar
Mr. Abdel-Ghaffar is a senior official of UNWTO with over 30 years of experience in shaping tourism policies and strategies and
managing development plans and projects, particularly in the Middle East, the region which he serves, as the Organization’s
Director, since 1992. During the period 1994-2005, in which UNWTO experienced rapid growth in its membership and
activities, he was responsible for coordinating the preparation and implementation of six successive general programmes of
work of the Organization and for introducing a new impact evaluation system. In 2006, he was assigned the responsibility of
shaping the Organization’s new Risk Assessment and Crisis Management programme, developing its governance structure,
systems and processes and mobilizing external financial resources for its implementation. In 2008, he was appointed President
of UNWTO’s Themis Foundation for Tourism Education and Training and entrusted with restructuring the Organization’s
programme in this area. In 2012, he was designated by the Secretary-General as UNWTO’s Focal point for the United Nations
Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and, in January 2014, he was appointed by the Secretary-General as his Senior Advisor on
Tourism and Peace. Throughout his career with the Organization, Mr. Abdel-Ghaffar assumed a broad range of responsibilities,
including the following:
• Executive Secretary of the Affiliate Members (representing the Business, Education and Operational Sectors, 1991 - 1993)
• Chief of Conferences (1990 – 1994)
• Chief of Relations with Member States (1986 – 1989)
• Chief of the Operational Section for Europe and the Americas (1982-1986)
• Officer in charge of the Coordination of Regional Activities (1977-1981)
Mr. Abdel-Ghaffar holds a Bachelor degree in Political Science and Economics and a Master’s degree in International Relations,
from the American University in Cairo.
Managing Director & CCO EMEA
Sabre Hospitality Solutions
Richard Wiegmann, member of the Sabre Hospitality Solutions (SHS) Executive Team is responsible for the leadership and
transformational growth of SHS in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Based out of the Sabre Frankfurt (Germany) office, Richard is responsible for business development, strategy, marketing,
client relationships, as well as operations, financial and administrative services of SHS for the region. SHS is the global leader
in SaaS-based distribution, operations, retailing, guest experience and enterprise intelligence solutions for the hospitality
Previously Richard held executive positions in public and private equity backed businesses in the tourism industry in Germany,
the UK and the USA, including leading Tour Operators, Travel Technology businesses and BPO operations.
Dr. Roger Carter
TEAM Tourism Consulting, UK
Dr. Roger Carter
Dr. Roger Carter has worked in 30+ countries across the world, consulting and speaking on all aspects of destination
development, management and marketing. He has undertaken more than 250 assignments for tourism boards, government
and development agencies at all levels. He has been consulting in the Middle East since 2006, most recently on a Tourism
Strategy & Development Plan for King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia.
Roger has worked extensively with the World Tourism Organization, co-authoring five publications, speaking regularly at
conferences and seminars, and undertaking research and technical missions. The publications include 'A Practical Guide to
Destination Management' and 'An E-Marketing Handbook for Tourism Destinations' (new edition March 2014). Previously,
Roger worked for tourism boards at national, regional and city level in the UK, 15 years at CEO level.
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan
Group Vice President of Brand Marketing & Loyalty
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan is one of the MENA region’s most experienced marketing leaders, with a diverse career in the UAE that
spans over 20 years. Throughout this time Yousef has led the digital strategy and delivery of some of the Middle East’s most
He is currently the Group Vice President of Brand Marketing & Loyalty at Jumeirah Group.
He was formerly the CEO of Flip Media (a digital agency that was acquired by Leo Burnett), the Chief Innovation Officer of Leo
Burnett/Publicis Group MENA, and the Vice President for Marketing & Analytics at app-based car booking service Careem, the
fastest-growing tech company in the MENA region.
Yousef is the most outspoken and visible evangelist for the role of digital marketing in the region. He is a regular university
lecturer & keynote speaker, and is a frequent contributor to regional and international publications and events. He has spoken
at such events as Cannes Lions, Eurobest, Harvard Arab Weekend, ArabNet, Abu Dhabi Media Forum and STEP.
Yousef has also taken an active role in the MENA tech scene, serving as a mentor & advisory board member to the next
generation of Arab technology entrepreneurs.
He is an Advisory Board member to brndstr & Harmony Cosmetics, and a Mentor to organisations including Endeavor UAE,
Flat6Labs & AltCity.
Yousef is a Board Member of the International Advertising Association's UAE Chapter.
Chief Happiness Officer & Corporate Coach
Stand Up for Passion, USA
Arnaud is a happiness specialist. He is a speaker, event producer and coach on happiness. He has worked in 30 countries, 150 +
teams. He is an award winning movie director, comedian and recipient of many fellowships (China, Holland, US) and awarded
creative (won 3 hackathon).
Arnaud Collery created Stand Up for Passion in 2014 drawing from his stage and directing background and combining it with
his personal mission to make the world a more purpose-driven and meaningful place.
He is in high demand as a public speaker, emcee, and creativity coach in NY, LA, Tokyo, and the Middle East. He was a TedX
speaker in Aruba on Happiness in 2015 and has been selected for November 2016 TedX Maastricht. He is the official public
speaking coach for TedX Champs Elysees Woman 2016.
He is a graduate of Thnk.Org in Amsterdam 2014, the leading program in Creative Leadership and Personal Dev. in
Amsterdam, IESE business school in Media and Entertainment 2012 and is a former fellow from the European Manager
Training Program in Beijing (EU commission scholarship) 2009. He has a bachelor in finance from ESGF in Paris, a paralegal
certificate from the American University of Paris as well as the "1 year immersion in Japanese studies" from CIEE/Waseda U in
Japan. He has attended several seminars in films, screenwriting (Robert McKee) or mindfulness (Google's Search Inside
Co-Founder & Chief Happiness Officer
Sean Dennis is CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) and Co-Founder of Loyyal, a blockchain-based behavior incentification
Sean is a seasoned entrepreneur with an international background. Having grown up in the UAE, Hong Kong, Europe and Latin
America, he brings a wealth of global perspective and experience to his business outlook. He is passionate about behavior
incentification, and the way in which Blockchain and Smart Contract technology can enable it. He holds a Masters from CASS
Business School (UK).
PWC Middle East
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.
Sweden Tourism Innovation Center, Sweden
Jan has a long experience from the travel & tourism industry and has held several senior positions both in Sweden as well as
internationally. Jan started his career in the Tour operator and Airline industry holding several Sales and Marketing positions. Jan
has also held senior commercial positions in the world largest travel distribution company Amadeus Marketing. Jan has also
funded several companies and was one of the pioneers in spearheading the mobile commerce arena and founded a company
developing mobile travel applications. In his role the past ten years at the Swedish Travel and Tourism Industry Federation he is
working everyday with business development both on a national as a international level, with focus on a building a green
sustainable tourism industry. In his role as spokes person for the private sector in Sweden, he has acquired a unique
understanding of the interaction between the private and public sector. He has successfully initiated and implemented several
public – private projects and initiatives which has had a positive impact on the growth of the Swedish tourism industry. His
international engagement is primarily with UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) through the joint global
development programs " Tourism and Peace" , "Down to Earth for Tourism" and several project initiatives with in EU and
specifically in the Baltic sea region. Jan Lundin, holds several board member positions in both private sector organizations as
well as non profit organizations. Frequent speaker at national and international travel and tourism trade fairs In the areas of
travel distribution, destination development and sustainable development.
Jan holds a Business degree from University of Stockholm, Sweden. The Swedish Travel and Tourism Industry Federation is a
private sectors business organization representing the Swedish Travel Industry.
SPS Affinity, UAE
Martin Kubler is a hotel GM turned hospitality & service industries consultant with 20+ years executive-level management
experience in three, four and five star hotels in Europe and the Middle East.
In May 2011, Martin founded Iconsulthotels, a boutique hospitality, leisure, and tourism consulting firm based in Dubai,
United Arab Emirates, which quickly gathered local and regional acclaim. In 2016 Iconsulthotels acquired SPS – Strategic
Partnership Solutions and rebranded as sps:hotels, part of sps:affinity.
Martin holds an MBA in International Hospitality and Service Industries Management, Marketing, and Innovation, from Glion
Institute of Higher Education, and is highly creative, passionate about communication, innovation, and the interactive world.
He is interested in many things and understands an eclectic mix of business, science, and art.
Martin knows people and how to communicate with them, but he also knows how to make organisations work and extract the
best profits for their many stakeholders.
Martin is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and a member of Skål International. He is also very well networked, a frequent
speaker at hotel and customer service conferences and events, such as ITHS, HTF, and the Hotel Show, and a regular
contributor to industry websites and publications such as eHotelier.com, Hotelier Middle East, Travel & Tourism News Middle
East, and Hospitality Business Middle East.
Pasmango Consulting, Sydney, Australia
Patrick Mangan brings more than 30 years of management consulting experience in fields such as customer relationship, public
sector services planning in some of the largest multinational corporations across the world. In his role as the Acting CEO of
Institute of Hospital Engineering Australia, Patrick led facilitation of major strategic planning processes across departments
and major transition projects.
He is also Registered Psychologist based in Adelaide, Australia
Third Wave Tourism, UK
Richard Lewis has over thirty years’ experience in service industries with fifteen of those in international markets including
Libya, Egypt, the U.A.E. and Jordan. He has spent the majority of his time in hospitality and related businesses.
Lewis has held senior roles with EMI, Forte Hotels, Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts, CNN Turner Broadcasting, Preferred Hotel
Group and Best Western.
He has an in-depth understanding of Digital Transformation and Disruptive Innovation after helping to pioneer changing
travel booking patterns with WorldRes in the late 1990s and launching Clickworker’s crowdsourcing platform in the UK in
Lewis is an international speaker and panellist who has presented on subjects ranging from ‘Living Services’ to ‘Internet
Innovations in Tourism’.
He first lived in Dubai in 1982, and has lived in the Emirates for a total of 13 years.
Tourism Advisor and Consultant
Mansoor Mohamed is an experienced tourism advisor and consultant operating in Africa and the Middle East. He recently held a
position as Director Destination Development at Dubai Tourism (DTCM) and previously was Executive Director of Economic
Development & Tourism at the City of Cape Town.
Mansoor’s experience include Fifa 2010 World Cup, Events Strategies, Cruise Liner Tourism, Responsible Tourism, Heritage and
Cultural Tourism and the development of Innovation Frameworks and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems.
Mansoor is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce as well as an Honours Bachelor of Accounting
Science. He previously worked in Old Mutual Plc, a global financial services company in London UK where he held various senior
Director for Innovation and Research
Emirates Academy for Hospitality Management, UAE
Sanjay Nadkarni (Ph.D.) is the Director of Research & Innovation at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. His
current interest is in the convergence space of Digital and Data Analytics in hospitality and tourism. His portfolio comprises of
academic and applied research, advisory and consultancy assignments for corporate, government and multilateral agencies
in addition to his pedagogic practice which includes Visiting Professorships at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (Switzerland),
Institute of Systems Science of the National University of Singapore (Singapore) and Faculty of International Tourism
Management of the City University of Macau (China). He is passionate about leveraging digital and tourism in economic
development and sustainability, and is an Open Source evangelist. Sanjay is a native of Mumbai and was based in Macao prior
to relocating to Dubai in 2009.
Strategic Catalyst and Agile Coach, CEO and Founder
Ed Capaldi Consulting
Ed Capaldi is an accelerator. a practitioner of Kaizen, Kaikak and SCRUM, driven by a relentless passion for excellence through
continuous improvement He is the only Gazelles International Business Coach trained in both Serum and Business Model
Canvas. covering the Africa, Middle East. Europe, and Asia.
His Clients are boards, CEOs. CIOs. GMs & business unit heads determined to make an impact in their world. They are the 'game
changers' who turn to Ed to accelerate their performance & scale their businesses, fast.
His areas of expertise: Strategic Planning & Execution. Digital Transformation & Innovation, Rockefeller Habits, OKRs,
TopGrading, Business Model Canvas. SCRUM, Balanced Scorecard & building Agile Organisations
With over 20.000 hours clocked. Ed has a proven track record for getting great results, fast.
He regularly speaks on leadership, holds public and private Business Accelerator Masterclasses, and hosts an exclusive CEO
Supper Club. He teaches Steve Black's Lean Start Up program and is a chief evangelist and core member behind the region’s
premier conference Agile Middle East.
Skyline University College, UAE
Amitabh Upadhya has over 30 years’ experience of Industry and Higher Education. His area of expertise is Travel & Tourism
Management. He has vast experience of Higher Education with several Universities around the world and is also visiting
Professor with a few. Amitabh has published research papers in refereed journals and contributed articles to periodicals. His
recent focus of research has been Destination Organizations and Management. In his role as an academic Amitabh has
supervised several PhD theses. Amitabh is the editor-in-chief of ‘Skyline Business Journal’; he also sits on the editorial board
of several prestigious tourism journals including ‘Tourism Recreation Research’ and ‘Journal of Tourism and Services’. Amitabh
was awarded the ‘Academic Leadership Award’ in year 2008 for his contribution to higher education administration. Since last
ten years he is involved in Planning & Operations of Business Management Courses at the Under Graduate and Graduate
SVP Global Revenue Management and Distribution
Judith Cartwright has been in the hospitality industry for over 17 years, has worked in 5 different countries and revenue &
distribution experience across 20 countries, 6 continents for Hilton, Starwood, Minor International and Kerzner International.
Judith joined Kerzner International in 2009 and has held the role of SVP Global Revenue Management & Distribution since
As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, Judith recognizes the importance of technology to stay ahead of the
competition. She has a particular interest in Disruptive Innovation and working towards Total Revenue Management
integration for Kerzner resorts globally.
Laurent A. Voivenel
HMH - Hospitality Management Holdings
Laurent A. Voivenel
Laurent A. Voivenel is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings and holds over 30 years of
extensive international hotel and asset management experience with some of the world’s leading and most prestigious
hospitality brands including Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
With a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Laurent has a proven track record in spearheading corporate mergers and
acquisitions, hotel development and investment, multi-brand operations, as well as outstanding management experience
across Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
Being based in the Middle East for the last 16 years, Laurent also has a deep understanding of the region's unique business
dynamics and culture that has resulted in a solid network and close ties with hotel owners, developers and investors. He is the
primary driving force behind repositioning HMH as the Middles East's largest and most credible operator in the dry segment
and has set in motion an aggressive expansion strategy
Guy Hutchinson joined Rotana as Chief Operating Officer in January 2014, bringing with him extensive experience in the luxury
hospitality industry from markets as diverse as Japan, Australia, China and India in addition to a previous stint in the Middle
Hutchinson moves to Abu Dhabi from New Delhi, where he served as Vice President Operations – India for Hilton Worldwide.
Prior to his post in India, Hutchinson served as Regional General Manager China North, responsible for all brands in the group’s
portfolio for China North and Mongolia. In 2012, he was responsible for a total of 11 trading hotels and 23 hotels in preopening
phases. He moved to the role from earlier positions as the General Manager of Hilton Shanghai, GM at Cairns in
Australia and Director of Operations at Tokyo Bay.
Hutchinson is no stranger to the Middle East – he was the man responsible for managing the pre-opening and trading of
Hilton Dubai Creek – including negotiating, securing and launching of the unique partnership with Gordon Ramsay and the
Hutchinson joins Rotana’s feted executive team with prestigious recognitions of his own such as being named China's Most
Innovative Leader (2011) and serving as the Chairman of the Australian Hotels Association (North Queensland).
The international hotelier’s career is notable for its creative leadership and his success in change management, repositioning
and building high performing teams. As Chief Operating Officer at Rotana, Hutchinson will be leading the brand’s operations
throughout the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe, and will be the key figure driving the quality standards and
Baraka Travel Club, Spain
Mr Oscar is the CEO of Baraka travel club since 1997. He gained experience from touring around the world since 1985 as a tour leader for the most important tour operators in Spain. Baraka travel founded in 1997 by Mr Oscar & it is main specialisation is in tailor-made tours & personalised interest for FIT, groups & incentives. Mr Oscar profound belief in travel innovation & dynamic business search was a main step to start looking for methods of updated marketing and invest in new technologies that can fit to our updated fast changes in tourism world. In few words Mr Oscar is an expert & original traveller passionate of technology.