HOSPITALITY INNOVATION SUMMIT - 2023

Unlocking the Future of Hospitality Innovation & Transformation

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Hospitality Innovation Summit

Vision 2030 arguably the most ambitious project a country has ever taken up, sets the stage for a transformation, the world has seldom seen. Targeting a 100 million visitors annually, hospitality sector is one of the flagbearers of this programme. So it comes as no surprise that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the host to one of the largest pipelines of hotels in the world, worth over $110bn.

The government of UAE, under the National Tourism Strategy aims at a massive Dh100 billion in tourism investment. and 40 million hotel guests by 2031. Consequently, the hotel pipeline is huge, mostly focussed on luxury market.

Summit Partners

INTRO

The Kingdom with the Vision 2030 & UAE’s ambitious strategy for 2031, have opened their doors to a host of opportunities. All it takes is to make the best of it.

At GBB (organizers of the Real Estate Development Summits), we believe, being connected and being a part of the network is key to thrive. Through Hospitality Innovation Summit, we bring to you a platform that eases the function of finding the right product, right projects right people, right service and at the right time. With an exclusive pool of project holders, a host of innovative global suppliers, an intelligent match-making process and intriguing knowledge sharing sessions we ensure the going gets easier.

Media Partners

Supporting Partners

Design Community Partner

DON'T MISS IT!

SIGNATURE MEETINGS

Our signature pre-scheduled B2B meetings are curated specific to your business needs. The focus on networking and stringent pre-qualification process offer the best for your buck. The elite speakers and trending topics of discussion provide the prospects to learn from the industry experts.

Thus making Hospitality Innovation Summit a phenomenon you don’t want to miss!

Summit Highlights

Networking

You will collaborate with more than 200 of your peers – all in one room – with ample opportunities to build, develop and continue business partnerships, and special focus onengagement with senior colleagues and esteemed peers.

Product Showcase

HI Summit gives you a chance to skip the corporate chain, avoid the block and interact directly with the key decision-makers to showcase your product.

Knowledge Exchange

From keynote sessions to panel discussions, get relevant insights from thought leaders across the Hospitality industry who will engage and interact with one another to analyse future as well as current trends in order to find pragmatic yet innovative ways to tackle the challenges.

Exhibition Space

The showcase at the conference helps brands make stronger impact to the right audience of potential buyers. Additionally, the varied range of exhibiting spaces provide international exposure through media partners.

TESTIMONIALS

TESTIMONIALS

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B2B Meetings

Guests of Honour

Hospitality Innovation Summit Speakers 2023

Industry leaders with diverse expertise who guide us to
bring forth the best of HIS 2022.

Gallery

Wahdan Al Kadi

Chief Business Officer
Tourism Development Fund (TDF)

Mr. Wahdan Al Kadi is the Chief Business Officer at the Tourism Development Fund (TDF), where he oversees Business Coverage and Development, Real Estate Development and Research, and Investment and Marketing.

He is a Board Member of UBS Group, Chubb Arabia Cooperative Insurance Company and STF.

Mr. Al Kadi has over 20 years of experience within Banking, Financial Institutions, Investment, and Telecommunications. including executive and advisory roles at leading organizations such as Samba, Hoshanco holding and Tharawat Holding Co., etc..
He also worked as an investment adviser at the Ministry of Tourism between November 2019 and June 2020.

Mr. Al Kadi holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, and an Executive MBA degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals. He has also obtained licenses and certification in ‘leadership transition’ from INSEAD and ‘strategic investment management’ from London Business School.

Yousuf Lootah

CEO of Corporate Strategy and Performance sector – Department of Economy and Tourism, Dubai

From developing new tourism destinations to ensuring that Dubai proactively develops its hospitality capacity, Yousuf Lootah is entrusted with one of the most exciting and diverse mandates in the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). As acting CEO of the Corporate Strategy and Performance sector, Yousuf has lead DET’s “destination development from a tourism perspective” since 2014. 

At DET, Yousuf has been utilising his extensive experience in strategic planning, investment management and business development to help develop innovative strategies and initiatives aimed at further enhancing Dubai’s position as a ‘must-visit’ sustainable tourism destination. This includes incentivising mid market hotels to open in Dubai to a Dubai Hotel Capacity plan to enable Dubai to host the guests of Expo 2020 and beyond.

Launched by DET to support and encourage hotels to actively drive sustainable tourism practices, Yousuf also leads the Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative. To ensure the success of DST, he has helped develop the annual Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards to reward  hotels that have gone the extra mile and implemented environmental practices, in addition to the development of the 19 Sustainability Requirements  and Carbon Calculator – that will support hotels in managing their energy consumption . 

Yousuf has played a key role in conceptualising and facilitating the launch of ‘Dubai Can’ – a citywide sustainability initiative to encourage UAE residents and tourists to turn the tide on plastic, and inspire mass action to actively reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles.

Yousuf has been instrumental in shaping the Intelak Hub, which features three programmes – Intelak Incubator, Idea Lab and the Futurism Accelerator – to support ideation and early and late stage start-ups in the aviation and tourism sector. The Intelak initiative was launched in partnership with Emirates Group, Accenture, Amadeus and Microsoft. The four co-founders work towards ensuring an integrated and inclusive programme to explore and nurture the industry’s most visionary start-up entrepreneurs. 

Yousuf also plays a pivotal role in the recently launched Retire in Dubai programme that offers resident expatriates and foreigners aged 55 and above the opportunity to retire in Dubai and enjoy the emirate’s distinctive lifestyle. The Retire in Dubai programme is being implemented in collaboration with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA-Dubai).

Cultural Tourism is also a key focus for Yousuf and his team, overseeing many of the developments made successful through private and public sector collaboration including the regeneration of the Dubai Historical District and Al Shindagha Museum, as well as projects such as ‘Visit Hatta’ and Al Marmoom Desert Reserve.

Yousuf is an MBA graduate of the London Business School and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University School of Management.

Phillip J. Jones

Chief Tourism Officer – Royal Commission of AlUla

Phillip J. Jones joined the Royal Commission of AlUla (RCU) in May 2019 as the Chief Destination Marketing and Management Officer. In this role, Jones actively drives the strategy for the development, promotion, expansion, and reputation of AlUla as a global tourism brand and destination in line with RCU’s strategic objectives. Jones led the RCU team to create the “Experience AlUla” website, which is the first official website for the destination of AlUla. Jones is currently leading the efforts to develop the brand identity for Experience AlUla. In addition, Jones was part of the RCU team that launched AlUla, Wonder of Arabia, the first major exhibition to present AlUla’s spectacular nature, archaeological treasures and cultural heritage at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, France, supported by the first advertising campaign to introduce the destination to the global travel market. Also he is leading the AlUla season for the second time.

Prior to his role at the Royal Commission of AlUla, Jones served as the President and CEO of VisitDallas in Dallas, Texas USA from 2003 to 2019. 

At the time of Jones’ departure, Dallas ranked No. 5 on Cvent’s list of the Top 50 Meeting Destinations in the United States for 2019 and claimed Dallas as the only Texas destination ranked in the Top 10. 

Other significant VisitDallas achievements under Jones’ 16-year leadership included:

  • Convention Center Hotel: Jones and the VisitDallas team were instrumental in the opening of the city’s first attached convention center hotel, including a successful city campaign, voter approval, construction and continued operational success of the 1,001-room Omni Dallas Hotel. Since its debut in November 2011, the hotel has exceeded sales and revenue projections and enhanced the city’s efforts to attract large citywides and additional room night bookings.
  • Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District (TPID): The state’s first Tourism Public Improvement District was championed by VisitDallas and approved by the State of Texas legislature and City of Dallas. The TPID enables Dallas hotels with 100 rooms or more to assess a two percent guest fee dedicated to marketing the city for business and leisure travel.
  • Dallas Sports Commission: Announced in October 2014, the Dallas Sports Commission is dedicated to expanding the organization’s revenue-generating opportunities, portfolio of events, partners, expertise and brand visibility by hosting top amateur and professional sports championships and events. 
  • Experience Department: In 2016, VisitDallas launched a Customer Experience department led by a Chief Experience Officer, the first such position in the country at a destination marketing organization. The department has created a renewed, reenergized and resounding focus on elevating the Dallas customer experience. In 2018, the organization announced plans to develop a new Dallas Experience Center, currently under development with completion expected in three years. 

Prior to joining VisitDallas, Jones served as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. He previously served as Director of Legislative/Intergovernmental Affairs for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Administration in Washington, D.C., where he helped organize and was a lead spokesman for the inaugural White House Conference on Travel and Tourism.

In 2017, Jones served as chairman of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Education Foundation, the world’s largest, most respected and most recognized network of business events strategists with more than 7,000 members in 37 countries located in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

An avid triathlete, Jones has completed multiple IRONMAN competitions around the world, including 20 half IRONMAN races and 19 full IRONMAN races before qualifying for the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona in 2015. 

Jones and his wife of more than 30 years, Denise, have two adult children – Phillip, Jr. and Laura Elizabeth.

Nadine Atta

Senior Director of Design
The First Group

Nadine Atta, Senior Director of Design, The First Group is currently designing the tallest hotel in the world “Ciel” which has more than 1000 rooms. She has 17 years of experience in Hotel Design and Fit out and has delivered more than 2500 4 stars hotel rooms, 2000 residential and hotel apartment units in the last 14 years. She has delivered more than 12 F&B venues in the last 5 years and is currently working on another 5 

Darryl Custer

Managing Director
KEO Design

Darryl has over 30 years of global design and management leadership experience and is a global expert in large planning projects and commercial urban mixed-use developments.

As the Executive Director of the Design division, Darryl is responsible for bringing excellence to the Design division and all its associated disciplines, from early concept designs to final construction documents. He is also a member of KEO’s Executive Leadership Management Board.

A talented designer with strong communication skills, Darryl is focused on supporting his client’s goals and overall community benefit. Before joining KEO, he spent 18 years with a global architecture, planning, and design practice, where his focus was primarily project management and design studio leadership with an emphasis on client and team development through the entire design process. Today, Darryl thinks of himself as a teacher, working with his teams to create design that pushes boundaries, and projects that address issues of sustainability, using architecture to create community-driven, smart, urban mixed-use environments for today, and tomorrow.

Currently based in the UAE, Darryl’s experience is truly global, spanning China and Southeast Asia, the US, the GCC, and North Africa.

Darryl holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the US. He is a licensed architect and member of the American Institute of Architects. He is also a LEED Green Associate Member of Hong Kong AIA (HK AIA), a Nominating Committee Member of ICSC and ICSM (HK), and a Washington State China Relations Committee ULI Member.

Imran Changezi

Senior Director Development – Hospitality
Diriyah Gate Development Authority

Having worked in Sales & Marketing, Revenue, Rooms Operations and general management in a number of international luxury hotels across 5 different continents covering UAE, UK, USA, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Australia, and Zambia, Imran is a seasoned hospitality professional operator. In his hospitality career spanning over 30 years, he spent 16 years with Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts where he led Sales & Marketing functions at property, cluster & at corporate level before growing in operational and executive management roles at iconic hotels such as Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers and Burj Al Arab. Imran then continued to build upon his professional credentials further by working in leadership roles with the Four Seasons, Accor, Anantara and The Aga Khan Foundation.

Imran joined Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) in order to manage business development function for its hotel assets in 2020 and has since then contributed to the organization’s strategy in determining hotel asset tiers & positioning, identifying hotel brands, managing RFP solicitation & hotel brand evaluations and leading Hotel Management Agreement (HMA) negotiations for DGDA’s diverse portfolio of 38 hotels & resorts strategically situated across 4 masterplans. DGDA has successfully executed 34 HMAs to date including an unprecedented line up of global brands.

Imran holds an MBA degree from the prestigious London Business School, UK and earned his General Managers Program (GMP) certification Cornell University, USA.

Tatiana Veller

Managing Director
Stirling Hospitality Advisors

Tatiana is the Managing Director of Stirling Hospitality Advisors with 20+ years of worldwide experience in strategic advisory, asset management, and hotel/restaurant operations, as well as executive search.

Tatiana has in the past 15 years headed up advisory firms or hospitality divisions of international consultancies such as HVS and JLL with responsibility over large geographical regions, as well as having been through operational departments of some of the global hotel brands (Radisson, Hyatt), and having also experienced the world of airline catering with LSG SkyChefs in the US.

Tatiana through her years of consulting work and hundreds of engagements has a deep understanding of the needs, approaches, and agendas of all types of hotel investors and owners – from private to institutional to banks and funds.

Tatiana has incubated, organized, and led sizeable regional level industry events both in the investment and operations themes, as well as being a frequent speaker and moderator on the panel discussions of other tradeshows. She’s produced numerous pieces of research articles and analytical reports, as well as being often quoted in the trade press and interviewed on the hot topics of the market.

Tatiana has been an Advisory Board member of many hospitality events, and she also has a Bachelor’s in Hotel & Restaurant Management and an MBA in International Business from the University of St. Thomas.

Scott Henshaw

Head of Design
Red Sea Global

Scott Henshaw, Head of Design, Red Sea Global, currently oversees and ensures that the project’s designs are being managed and delivered to design innovatively by establishing processes and practices to fulfil the Project’s Vision. Set and maintain the bar for quality and sustainability as contributes to the development of brand definition and experience principles, and ensure that those are appropriately interpreted through the team’s work. Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will comprise some 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands resorts, mountain retreats and desert hideaways. The destination will include luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment, and leisure facilities.​

David Glennon

Senior Digital Delivery Director
Red Sea Global

David Glennon is the Senior Digital Delivery Director for Red Sea Global, a closed joint stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. He oversees the development and implementation of new and innovative digital delivery techniques for a new international luxury tourism destination set along the Red Sea as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Bringing more than 25 years’ experience in the construction industry, he oversees the use of pioneering technology to improve the design and construction process, introducing automation and data driven insights to deliver fast-track construction, design for manufacture and assembly, and enabling the Smart Destination strategy through a ‘Digital Twin’ to enhance customer experience.

Previous positions include Managing Director of DoubleD.io, a digital accelerator for the built environment, and Head of Digital for Arcadis in the UK, leading their digital programme and the delivery of platforms, innovation, data and analytics and ecosystem thinking.

As Director of Digital Project Delivery at AECOM, he was responsible for creating and implementing digital strategy across Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. Prior to this, David held senior positions at Mott MacDonald and Lend Lease.

David was also an on the Executive Board of the UK BIM Alliance, an organization with a mandate to make Level 2 BIM “Business as Usual” for the UK construction industry and chair of the buildingSMART UK & Ireland chapter.

David holds a BSc Construction Management from the University of Salford, UK.

David Thomson

Senior VP of Brand and Business Development,
TFG Hotel Management

One of the region’s most well-known hospitality industry professionals, David is leveraging his talent and vast experience to help drive the growth of Dubai-based integrated property developer The First Group’s impressive portfolio of hotels and hospitality assets.

Since joining The First Group in 2018, David has celebrated several impressive milestones, including overseeing the launch of the firm’s award-winning The First Collection hotel brand in his role as Senior VP of Brand and Business Development for TFG Hotel Management.

The first property to open under the innovative lifestyle brand, The First Collection at Jumeirah Village Circle, opened in September 2021, and since then has gone on to forge a reputation as one of the city’s most popular upscale hotels.

Earlier this year, the hotel was named one of the 25 ‘Hottest New Hotels for 2022’ worldwide by TripAdvisor – the world’s largest independent traveller reviews website.

David was also instrumental in delivering the successful opening of the brand’s second hotel, The First Collection Business Bay, earlier this year, which was nominated in this year’s Conde Nast Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards in the ‘The Best Business Hotel’ category.

David has played a key role in driving The First Group Hotels’ sustainability agenda, which has seen properties operating within the portfolio eliminate single-use plastics, reduce energy and water usage, and increase recycling.

He is actively developing the firm’s pipeline of new lifestyle hotels planned for the UAE and elsewhere across the region in the coming years.

David’s professional pedigree ranks among the best in the business. Committed, industrious and passionate about the Middle East hotel industry’s growth and development, he spent almost 17 years with the Dubai-based JA Resorts & Hotels prior to his role at The First Group.

JA Resorts & Hotels’ portfolio spans nine hotels and leisure venues across the emirate as well as luxury resorts in the Maldives and Seychelles. Most recently, he was employed as the organisation’s Chief Operating Officer.

David also boasts extensive experience in advertising, sales and marketing, working with some of the world’s largest agencies and world-class hotels, including Hilton and IHG and he spent six years steering his own advertising and marketing agency specialising in hospitality.

In addition to his professional achievements, David is actively involved in fundraising for charities such as Dubai Autism, Al Noor Centre for Special Needs, Rashid Centre for the Disabled and the All As One Orphanage in Sierra Leone. David is a graduate of Scotland’s University of Stirling, where he earned a Joint Honours Degree in History and Social Anthropology.

Ian Wilson

Regional Director for Hospitality at THE LINE

As the Regional Director for Hospitality at NEOM’s THE LINE, Ian leads the creation of hospitality concepts, partnerships and supporting infrastructure.

Prior to joining NEOM, he ran Wilson Innovation Lab, providing consulting services to both the private and public sectors through expertise in culture, complex operations, distribution and revenue management, integrated resorts and the use of data, artificial intelligence and automation to achieve sustainable competitive advantage.

Previously, Ian was the Senior Vice President of Non-Gaming operations at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, which encompass about 5,000 staff and nearly US$1 billion in revenue. His purview included the 2,561-room hotel, as well as the Sky Park, Pool, Transportation, Call Center, Food and Beverage operations, Expo and Convention Center, facilities, security, sales and sustainability.

Ian started his career at Fairmont Hotels, handling food and beverage operations, followed by rooms, distribution, global reservations, revenue management and other senior operational roles.

He has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Hotel Administration from Cornell University, and is certified as a Journeyman Chef by the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. He is also the Chairman of the Advisory Board to The Business Analytics Centre at the National University of Singapore.

Stephen Laucirica

Senior Director, Design & Engineering India, Middle East & Africa, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

Stephen leads a talented and dedicated team of designers and engineers providing best-in-class brand design stewardship for InterContinental Hotel Group’s valued partners across Southwest Asia, Middle East and Africa. His 15-year career in hospitality design began with Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2008 expanding their portfolio of luxury brands across EMEA, followed by roles with Marriott and Accor before joining IHG Hotels & Resorts in 2019. An additional 14 years of prior international experience in architecture and design encompassed positions at the world-renowned firms of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Gensler between offices in New York and London. He holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame which included an enlightening year of study in Rome, and after graduating was followed by a challenging internship in Paris to kick start his passion for globally local design and sustainable travel.

Mohamed Belkhodja

Head of Investments and Special Projects, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

As the Head of Investments and Special Projects, Moh Belkhodja is responsible for the ongoing expansion of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority’s business strategies across the EMEA region. He is a true hospitality professional who brings over 15 years of hospitality and management consulting experience to the team. His role is to lead key investment strategies and increase global awareness of the Emirate. Belkhodja delivers on over 3 decades of expertise across several markets (Global expertise with Local focus).
Belkhodja is a seasoned Eco, Wellness, Agri and Adventure (EWAA) Tourism expert and believes that a combination of sustainable & conscious tourism along with the fractional economy will stimulate the economic & social development of the Emirate. His mandate is to enhance the existing destination product portfolio and develop new tourism attractions to elevate the destination’s tourist appeal and enhance the current infrastructure. He strives to develop a conscious ecosystem for entrepreneurs, tourists and residents with projects that blend health, sustainability, and technology.
Reengineering mindsets and creating an impact on Humanity is his passion and personal mission.
Favorite quote: ‘’We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?’’ – Steve Jobs

Samit Sheth

Digital Transformation Lead, Project & Development Services MEA, JLL

As JLL’s Digital Transformation Lead, Samit is responsible for designing and implementing real estate technology solutions across the Middle East and Africa.

He is a digital and technology expert who advices real estate clients on Enterprise Architecture for feasibility, design, construction and operations within the rapidly evolving proptech market. His experience includes user-centric designs on a portfolio of projects ranging from high-profile, large-scale mixed-use developments to refurbishments for the hospitality, leisure, residential and corporate real estate sectors.

Samit holds a Bachelor of Science in Infrastructure Engineering and Real Estate Development from the University of Maryland.

Rahul Deo Gupta

Executive Director – EPMO, Boutique Group

Rahul Deo Gupta, Executive Director – EPMO, Boutique Group has over 27 years of experience in his field. He is experienced in various fields like Strategic Planning & Execution, Balanced Scorecard (BSC), Performance Management, Business Transformation, Operational Excellence, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Change Management. He has worked in different industries like Real Estate Development, Hospitality & Asset Management, Family Business, Automobile, Construction Equipment, Trading and Manufacturing.

He has worked for numerous firms like The Clock Tower, Saudi Binladen Group KSA as Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer, RAFAL Real Estate Development Co., KSA as Head of EPMO, Abunayyan Holding, KSA as Head – Office of Strategy Management & TATA Hitachi & TATA Motors, India.

Alfonso Ponce Alvarez

Director Transitions Division|Financial Engineering – EGIS.

Alfonso Ponce-Alvarez, was born in Mexico in 1978, he joined the French building research centre, CSTB, in 2005 and represented France at the Board of Directors of the United Nations Environment Program’s Sustainable Building and Climate Change Initiative (UNEP-SBCI). Alfonso also held the position of Secretary General of the Sustainable Building Alliance (SB Alliance) during his time at CSTB.

In 2010 Alfonso Joined Deloitte Real Estate in France and lead the Deloitte’s Global Community of Practice Sustainability and Real Estate. He subsequently served as Director of Corporate solutions at Jones Lang Lasalle in London and later on as an Associate Partner at Foster + Partners, where he co-lead the sustainability group offering a wide range of design transforming skills to Foster + Partners’ projects at city and building level.

Alfonso is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a LEED AP BD+C and ND and a BREEAM licensed international assessor.

Stephan Konzelmann

Managing Director – Roya Project Management.

With a background in Architecture and Urban Planning, Stephan has, over the years, developed specialist know-how in Project Development and Project Management. Having been Managing Director and Associate of a renowned German Project Management firm in the UAE, he gained a wide range of market experience on large scale projects in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Iran. During his career, he has managed a large number of developments in Germany, UK, Italy, France, Switzerland, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Vietnam, China, Thailand, UAE, KSA, Iran and Qatar. As the Managing Director of RPM, Stephan is responsible for the company operations, building and managing the project teams and driving RPM’s Business Development.

Key strengths and core capabilities include:

• Development Management

• Project Management

• Strategic Management

• Client’s Representative’s Role

• Key Account Management

• Urban Development

• Master plan Development

• Architectural Concept and Design

• Feasibility Study Management

Stephan and his team are continuously creating effective and optimized project development and management strategies as a response to market demands in order to build a solid base for long-term growth of RPM business.

Aradhana Khowala

CEO – Aptamind Partners | Chair of the Group Advisory Board – Red Sea Global

Aradhana Khowala is a global expert and one of the most influential leaders in the

hospitality, travel and tourism sector. Her career has spanned 20+ years, five continents and more than 75 countries and she has won multiple awards and was featured amongst the 100 most powerful people in global hospitality and the 25 most influential women in hospitality in 2022. Today, she is the CEO of Aptamind Partners, a strategic consultancy, which combines hard data and decades of experience to advise governments, emerging destinations and public and private organisations on sustainable tourism development. She also sits on multiple boards and is also currently the Chair of the Group Advisory Board of Red Sea Global, the developers behind the Red Sea, AMAALA giga projects apart from a host of other planned projects in Saudi Arabia. An accomplished public speaker with dozens of keynote engagements every year, she has spoken on the TedX stage as well as participating in global policy discussions at the UN and the G20. One theme runs through all her work: radical change is needed to ensure a sustainable future for an industry that has huge potential for positive social and financial impact on communities around the world.

Philip Jones

Senior Vice President Operations, Middle East & Africa Premium, Midscale & Economy Brands – Accor.

Philip started his career in the United States with Ritz Carlton, where he worked for over 10 years in a variety of operational roles within the Front Office, Housekeeping, and Rooms Division departments, before relocating to the Middle East.

In 2008 he commenced his career in the Middle East, initially as Hotel Manager for a number of properties with Ritz Carlton, and Jumeirah, before becoming a General Manager with Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. He is currently part of the team for Accor in the Middle East & Africa Regional office, where he is overlooking 87 operational hotels, with another 35 properties in the pipeline.

Philip holds two degree certifications from Cornell University and an MBA from École Hôtelière de Lausanne.

Chadi Hauch

Regional Vice President Lodging Development Middle East – Marriott International.

Chadi Hauch is the Regional Vice President Lodging Development for Marriott International in Middle East. Chadi is responsible for the growth of Marriott’s portfolio of brands through new hotels and conversions.
 
Chadi has over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry covering hotel operations, hotel real estate consultancy, development, finance and investments. In his current role, Chadi leads and oversees a team of development experts in the middle east who are committed to growing Marriott International’s footprint and further strengthening the company’s position as the world’s largest travel company.
 
Chadi Joined Marriott Development team in 2013 and over his tenure was responsible for the growth of Marriott portfolio in several territories across Middle East and Africa. Prior to Joining Marriott, Chadi spent 4 years with Jones Lang LaSalle based in Dubai providing advisory services to private and institutional investors across the Middle East and Africa region. And another five years within the hotel sector in Lebanon and France.
 
Chadi Holds an MBA in International Hospitality Management with a major in Real Estate Finance and Asset Management from IMHI-ESSEC Business School in Paris. Originated from Lebanon, he speaks fluent Arabic, English and French.

Laurent A. Voivenel

SVP – Operations & Development for Middle East, Africa & India | SVP Group HR and Talent Development – Swiss-Belhotel International

Laurent A. Voivenel manages dual responsibility as the Senior Vice President, Operations & Development for Middle East, Africa & India for Swiss-Belhotel International, spearheading the group’s expansion in the region; and as Senior Vice President, Group Human Resources and Talent Development, ensuring the employee welfare throughout the Group. He 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.

Prior to joining Swiss-Belhotel, Laurent was the Chief Executive Officer of HMH – Hospitality Management Holding for over three and a half years and was the primary driving force behind repositioning HMH as the Middles East’s largest and most credible operator in the dry segment while setting in motion aggressive expansion.

With a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA), Laurent has a proven track record in areas of 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 18 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.

About Swiss-Belhotel International

Swiss-Belhotel International is currently in 19 countries, managing a portfolio of more than 125* hotels, resorts and projects located in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Tanzania. The Group provides comprehensive and highly professional development and management services in all aspects of hotel, resort and serviced residences. Offices are strategically located in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, China, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Vietnam and Thailand covering Oceania, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India regions. *Numbers may fluctuate

For further information visit http://www.swiss-belhotel.com

Hala Matar Choufany

President-HVS Middle East, Africa & South Asia and Managing Partner of HVS Dubai

Hala is an experienced Managing Partner and Hospitality Advisor with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry. Skilled in Contract Negotiation, Feasibility Studies, Development Recommendation, Valuation, Asset Management, and Strategic Advisory; she has advised on more than 2,500 hospitality and mixed-use projects in the last 15 years across Europe, MEA 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 speaks frequently at investment conferences on a range of topics including asset valuation, management issues and women leadership.

Hala completed Executive Education at Harvard Business School.  She also holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from IMHI (Essec- Cornell) University, Paris, France and a BA in Hospitality Management from Notre Dame University, Lebanon. Hala is fluent in English, French and Arabic.

Hala is a board member of Harvard Business School club of the GCC and is a mum of three. Born in Beirut, Hala lived and worked in a number of cities across Europe, Asia and Middle East.

Christopher Lund

Executive Director | Head of Hotels | MENA Region – Colliers

Christopher oversees the Colliers hospitality consultancy and asset management division of Colliers in the Middle East and North Africa. Over the past decade, the hospitality team has worked on more than 1,000 projects and deals in the region, providing advisory services to hotel developers, investors, operators, governments, law firms and banks. Christopher specializes in development consultancy and strategic asset management, ranging from standalone hotels to large-scale destinations and portfolios, as well as hotel company strategies, hotel investment models and negotiating complex hotel management agreements. His operational and asset management experience allows him to have a 360-degree view and hands-on approach when providing actionable advice to enhance hotel profitability. Christopher holds an MSc in Real Estate Investment and Finance from Henley Business School, with other degrees and certificates from New York University, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne and The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.

Arnold Rouverand

Hospitality Director – King Abdullah Financial District

Dedicated and passionate driven professional, with 27years experience in the leisure and hospitality industry, Arnold was involved in over 100 hotel developments around the world. Following a graduation at Lausanne hotel school and Cornell University, he specialized in hotel planning, and designed the entire spectrum of hospitality and residential projects, from luxurious to economical, joining finally KAFD in 2020, thrilled by the 2030 vision of Saudi Arabia.

Vishal Anand

Senior Director- IT – Jumeriah Group

A senior management professional with more than 24+ years of experience in managing multiple disciplines across Information Technology (IT), Destination Management(DMC) , Retail, Hospitality and Human Resources (HR) in a world class organizations. This includes 17+ years of experience in creating business & IT strategies, operational planning, building high performance teams and implementation of change across the organization. A seasoned operator, Vishal has overseen every facet of IT development from the procurement of software solutions to the design, setup of offshore development centers and mastermind of business systems and their simultaneous execution across multiple domains. In his current role, he is the Senior Director at Jumeirah Group, part of the team driving their Digital and Business transformation strategies, change and outcome with innovation and technology. He worked previously at Emirates Airlines for more than 2 decades and holds Masters in Business Administration from Bradford University, UK.
UNQUOTE

Vikalp Shrivastava

Vice President of Information Security – Kerzner International

Over 22 years of experience into different leadership roles help Vikalp to explore and learn new trends of security technologies and emerging markets. Experience with different business verticals gives him exposure to many different scenarios, which are the most challenging areas today for CXOs. This experience also cultivating the entrepreneur zeal which motivates Vikalp to drive large projects and teams to achieve the business goals.

Vikalp was engaged in delivering presentations & speeches to large audience during Seminars/Conferences and other security awareness events across APAC, during these engagements he also gained experience to understand different personalities and how to act within their comfort zone to achieve the defined goal and the vision, also he crafted several articles for international magazines / blogs to support information security education.

Related to in-house (company’s internal) security, Vikalp worked for multibillion dollar casino resort organisations in Macau, such as Melco-Crown Entertainment Ltd, as Group Head of information security, where he lead large team of security professionals, He drove the initiative of ISO27001 in this organisation and turned the organisation the first ever ISO27001 certified casino resort organisation in the entire glob, it was a role of CISO and helped him to understand many different areas of information security challenges from internal and external risk factors.

Vikalp was Director of Information Security, Cyber security and IT Compliance with Wynn Resorts Macau and was helping to achieve the best possible security protection and framework for the organization where he was part of opening a large casino resorts property called Wynn Palace.

Currently Vikalp holds position of Vice President of information security at Kerzner International and covers all it’s properties globally.

Kash

Group CEO – El Bahrawy Group of Companies

Kash is a senior executive holding vast exposure across Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & African markets; holding a master’s degree from the Liverpool business school, has worked for world-renowned organizations, including P&G, The Hershey Co. ATS, and also held the role of EFG CEO in 2020.

A highly commercial, strategic and operational leader with specific experience in setting up new businesses and entering new markets, as well as managing turnaround approaches for more mature operations.  Kash’s passion for sports and motorcycle riding has always influenced his leadership style to push the limits and energies of everyone around him. Also, his situational leadership certification (with Ken- Blanchard) allows him to ignite passion and steer the way. 

Recently, Kash has been leading the entrepreneurship program for Essex University-UK (international college) while being a board member for other companies in the middle east. And currently, he is bringing all his experience to El Bahrawy Group of Companies.

Justin Wells

Founder & CEO, Wells International

Justin is a revered contemporary hospitality interior designer, founder, and owner of Wells International. His decorated career has seen him design across the world on award winning projects and his penchant for hospitality started as a culture collector travelling the world. His ambition for a decorated career in hospitality design was set at an early age. An architect and interior designer, Justin has held executive roles with hospitality giants, HBA, Wood Bagot and dwp and his global network of clients, operators and designers in expansive.

Always requested for industry commentary, Justin has judged competitions, an avid key noted speaker and business entrepreneur, throughout his career. Wells International is an industry disruptive model created by Justin to ensure the very best design service is offered to clients, in the new borderless, office-optional hospitality design industry, post-pandemic era. Justin overseas all design projects with his team of industry design experts working across the world.

Filippo Sona

Co-Owner – Wood Couture

Filippo is the Co-Owner of Wood Couture Industrial Group, a global leading manufacturer of bespoke furniture for the hospitality Industry, an innovative organization with a track record exceeding 43,000 units, including some of the most acclaimed hotel brands worldwide such as Raffles, Waldorf Astoria, Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons. As an individual, Filippo is one of the most recognized names in the global hospitality real estate community, having carried out work in more than 28 countries for the past 30 years. He is a regular speaker at international conferences and a Board Member of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Kristina Zanic

CEO & Founder – Kristina Zanic Consultants.

Kristina is a well-known figure in interior design. A seasoned designer, successful business leader and entrepreneur, she has 35 years of industry experience in over 20 countries.

Early in her career, Kristina founded DWP, and for the following two decades led its expansion to 14 offices. In 2012, she set up her eponymous design studio in Dubai. The company today has 200 staff based in offices in Dubai, Riyadh, Bangkok, and Clark.

Kristina works with VIP clients, prominent developers, and hospitality operators and brands like Accor, Marriott, IHG, Jumeirah, Mandarin Oriental, Anantara, and Hilton. Her studio has worked on many prestigious projects in Europe, Asia, Africa and Middle East.

Under her direction, the company has earned various international awards. She was chosen in 2021 as Leader of the Year at Index Dubai awards and as #1 Designer in the Middle East by Commercial Interior Design magazine in 2022.

She creates spaces with timeless style that both look and feel good to the user. Her work is inspired by a passion for travel and exploring different cultures. She has been to over 70 countries, often seeking places off the beaten track. She also has a passion for art and owns an extensive art collection.
Kristina is committed to nurturing new talent and is actively involved in training and mentoring students and young designers.

Diane Thorsen

Principal Hospitality Design – Gensler

With a passion for creating solutions in interior architecture, Diane Thorsen is convinced that great design begins with understanding the client’s vision, their culture and DNA to design from the inside out. Her extensive experience coupled with her quality as a mentor has resulted in an award-winning

design studio of thought leaders. Her design approach is informed by human centric design, creativity, collaboration, and a forward-thinking approach paired with a structured, detailed process.

A graduate of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture from the University of Johannesburg South Africa, Diane furthered her studies and research to include sustainability. She is a well-respected LEED

and WELL Building-accredited professional and a registered Interior Designer within the IIDA. Given her active involvement with students and young professionals, serving the industry’s ecosystem came naturally to Diane. Currently, she is part of the advisory board of the American University in Dubai.

Seymone Moodley

 Editor-in-Chief – Hotel & Catering News Middle East

Hotel & Catering News Middle East
Hotel & Catering News Middle East is the cornerstone of decision-making for hospitality and food and beverage industry professionals in the Middle East. We dedicate our publication to hoteliers, caterers, suppliers, experts, and stakeholders defining the future of the industry. We track news and developments, provide in-depth analysis of key issues, and sit down with top industry players. And bring you the latest trends in the hotel and catering markets. In addition to our magazine, we recognise and celebrate the movers and shakers and influence and support the newcomers through our prestigious awards ceremonies and notable events. We are the region’s leading source for Hotel and Catering news.

Seymone Moodley
Editor-in-Chief, Hotel & Catering News Middle East
Seymone is a qualified Journalist from South Africa with extensive experience in digital communication. Before joining Hotel & Catering News Middle East as the Editor-in-Chief, she covered the news for the BBC, CNBC Africa, Forbes Africa, and Forbes Woman Africa magazine. Recognised at the Sanlam Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards for her investigative aviation print story and gamification television story, Seymone has been telling stories for over a decade now and remains a student of life. 

Ajay Mishra

Global Segment Leader – Hospitality Schneider Electric

Ajay Mishra is the global segment leader for hospitality at Schneider Electric and is responsible for the overall segment vision, strategy, policy, and direction. He is passionately connecting & working with customers across geographies as the industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic, to help them on their decarbonization journey using tech as the force and building the Hotels of The Future (HoTF) – which are more guest-centric, sustainable, hyper-efficient, and resilient. As the industry moves towards accelerated integration of automated room control technology, Mishra guides customers towards business growth through operational and energy efficiency improvement, improved guest well-being, and comfort. With almost 20 years of experience across five different countries, Mishra is culturally graduated in diverse settings. He is a transformational global business leader with a demonstrated track record in creating new business or turnarounds. Mishra has a MSc. in Computer Controls and Automation from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and an Executive MBA from Prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India, and presently lives in Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

ANTONINO LUCA MARIA TERRANA

Head of Urban Design, Luca Dini Design & Architecture

Antonino Terrana graduated cum laude from the Faculty of Architecture in Florence in 2012 with a thesis in urban and architectural design. In 2017 he achieved a PhD in Architecture, studying the development of the urban structure in relation to the street as a peculiar urban element, as a public and social space. Since 2012 he is assistant to Prof. Fabrizio Rossi Prodi on his course at the Faculty of Architecture in Florence. After the graduation he specialized in sustainable design by designing various buildings with a high profile of energy and environmental efficiency. In 2012 he founded his own studio, specialized in Bioarchitecture, earning some first prizes at international architecture and urban planning competitions, such as the Greenway of 12Km from Palermo to Monreale, A renovation of an old square in Florence and WonderLAD a new NZEB Building. At the same time, he continued his research on urban design at various scales, through participation in urban block projects, neighborhoods and infrastructures. Since November 2018 he has been project manager and design manager of LDA, for which he has gained experience in order management and as a reference person on site, living also in Riyadh and Neom Base Camp.

Cedric Sala

MEA Hotel Segment Director – Schneider Electric

Cedric has been working with Schneider Electric for more than 15 years in different activities and is currently leading the hotel segment for the MEA region. Helping Hoteliers to improve guest satisfaction and improve operational efficiency is our mandate”

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UPCOMING EVENTS

  • 14th Edition Real Estate Development Summit- Saudi Arabia, 15th & 16th November 2023, JW Marriott Hotel, Riyadh

Giovanni Ferrara

Head of Architecture, Luca Dini Design & Architecture

Giovanni Ferrara graduated from the University of Florence in 2011. He worked with Archea Associati in Florence and Archea Beijing in China until 2014, mainly involved in large-scale design architectural projects e masterplanning. He was a project manager and site supervisor for the Lilinc Art Ceramic City project, completed in 2014. After this working experience he became the founder and Design Director of FAR OFFICE, in Changsha, China, in 2014. His practice focuses mainly on luxury residential design and hospitality. Since 2018 he is architectural external consultant for Luca Dini Design and Architecture, in Florence. From 2015 to 2018 he was invited professor of “Architectural projects” at Hunnan Huniversity, in Changsha, China. Throughout his career he has dedicated himself to international multidisciplinary teams coordination, for several architectural and urban planning projects, from the concept stage to construction. Lately he’s been expanding the boundaries of his personal architectural research, focusing on testing new technologies and development of an innovative design philosophy

Alfonso Ponce Alvarez

Vice President – Digital Energy & Software MEA region

Amel Chadli is the Vice President Strategy and Digital Energy of Schneider Electric Middle East & Africa and a Member of Schneider Electric’s Middle East and Africa Executive Leadership Team.

Amel is driving the implementation of the overall strategy across all lines of business of the company in the MEA region. Amel assumed the leadership role for sustainability – developing Schneider’s sustainability strategy and plan, one that delivers human, economic, and environmental value.

She has had experience in Business Strategy and Corporate Finance within Schneider Electric through a key number of roles, including the Chief Financial Officer position for West and Francophone Africa. Amel has spearheaded the company’s growth in the areas of digital transformation and software across the region, with a specific focus on technology solutions that drive digitization of energy management for buildings, grids, power infrastructure, and services.

Throughout her 17 years tenure with the company, Amel was actively engaged in Africa’s energy evolution and development to ensure that everyone has access to safe, reliable, sustainable power. She is also a strong advocate for the UN Women Empowerment Principles in Africa.

Prior to Schneider Electric, she was working in various role in the Finance Management organization in APC, Ernst and Young and MessageMedia between 2000 and 2004. During the course of her career, Amel was exposed to several geographies and was living in Algeria, France, Nigeria, Morocco and most recently in the UAE.

Graduated in Political Science from University Pantheon Sorbonne, Amel’s holds a master’s degree in International Finance and Law. A woman of impact, Amel speaks fluently French, Arabic & English.

About Schneider Electric

At Schneider, we believe access to energy and digital is a basic human right. We empower all to do more with less, ensuring Life Is On everywhere, for everyone, at every moment. We provide energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. We combine world leading energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services into integrated solutions for Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. We are committed to unleash the infinite possibilities of an open, global, innovative community that is passionate with our Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.

Amel Chadli

Vice President – Digital Energy & Software MEA region

Amel Chadli is the Vice President Strategy and Digital Energy of Schneider Electric Middle East & Africa and a Member of Schneider Electric’s Middle East and Africa Executive Leadership Team.

Amel is driving the implementation of the overall strategy across all lines of business of the company in the MEA region. Amel assumed the leadership role for sustainability – developing Schneider’s sustainability strategy and plan, one that delivers human, economic, and environmental value.

She has had experience in Business Strategy and Corporate Finance within Schneider Electric through a key number of roles, including the Chief Financial Officer position for West and Francophone Africa. Amel has spearheaded the company’s growth in the areas of digital transformation and software across the region, with a specific focus on technology solutions that drive digitization of energy management for buildings, grids, power infrastructure, and services.

Throughout her 17 years tenure with the company, Amel was actively engaged in Africa’s energy evolution and development to ensure that everyone has access to safe, reliable, sustainable power. She is also a strong advocate for the UN Women Empowerment Principles in Africa.

Prior to Schneider Electric, she was working in various role in the Finance Management organization in APC, Ernst and Young and MessageMedia between 2000 and 2004. During the course of her career, Amel was exposed to several geographies and was living in Algeria, France, Nigeria, Morocco and most recently in the UAE.

Graduated in Political Science from University Pantheon Sorbonne, Amel’s holds a master’s degree in International Finance and Law. A woman of impact, Amel speaks fluently French, Arabic & English.

About Schneider Electric

At Schneider, we believe access to energy and digital is a basic human right. We empower all to do more with less, ensuring Life Is On everywhere, for everyone, at every moment. We provide energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. We combine world leading energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services into integrated solutions for Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. We are committed to unleash the infinite possibilities of an open, global, innovative community that is passionate with our Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.

Aradhana Khowala

CEO – Aptamind Partners | Chair of the Group Advisory Board – Red Sea Global

Aradhana Khowala is a global expert and one of the most influential leaders in the

hospitality, travel and tourism sector. Her career has spanned 20+ years, five continents and more than 75 countries and she has won multiple awards and was featured amongst the 100 most powerful people in global hospitality and the 25 most influential women in hospitality in 2022. Today, she is the CEO of Aptamind Partners, a strategic consultancy, which combines hard data and decades of experience to advise governments, emerging destinations and public and private organisations on sustainable tourism development. She also sits on multiple boards and is also currently the Chair of the Group Advisory Board of Red Sea Global, the developers behind the Red Sea, AMAALA giga projects apart from a host of other planned projects in Saudi Arabia. An accomplished public speaker with dozens of keynote engagements every year, she has spoken on the TedX stage as well as participating in global policy discussions at the UN and the G20. One theme runs through all her work: radical change is needed to ensure a sustainable future for an industry that has huge potential for positive social and financial impact on communities around the world.

Kate Barker

Chief Future of Work Officer & Executive Coach – NEOM

Kate Barker is a Global Consulting Leader, Future of Work expert, and a recognised authority in talent management, leadership development, and people/technology advancements. Recently rated Global Top 50 Women in IT industry. As an international advisor, Kate’s career spans three decades, working to advance Fortune 500 companies and Governments around the world by applying leading strategies from her ‘Future of Work’ insights, leadership for the 21st century, humancentric organizational cultures and innovative digital workforce transformation. Kate has earned successful partnerships with C-Suite executives, international royalty and government leaders and the highest level in furthering some of the most significant industry trends that impact the future of work.

• Futurist for the $500B Futurist-City, NEOM in Saudi Arabia.

• Senior Advisor to His Highness & President (UAE)

Kate has been a regular feature on Future of Work, ranks top 10 voices on Future of Work globally, publishes on topics like Technology disruption, Innovative talent Strategies, Inclusive Cultures and Workforce Transformations at HR Summits & Executive Roundtable globally. Kate was invited to attend Harvard’s Women in Leadership Program and recently commenced her PhD in Women in Leadership roles and the Future of Work at UCL.

As a Consulting Leader, Kate has led real-world results with clients such as Microsoft, Virgin, Deloitte, and Google and is a senior advisor to EY & McKinsey & Company. As a proud champion for diversity and inclusion, Kate is Board Director for 100% Project, a non-profit organisation devoted to challenging mindsets and shifts organisation practices to fully realise the leadership potential of all women and men. A seven-time marathoner, Kate loves to cook, dance and sing… despite her complete lack of talent at all three.

Luca Dini

Founder, Luca Dini Design & Architecture 

In 1987 in Florence, at the Pierluigi Spadolini studio, Luca Dini’s passion for design grew and evolved, leaving an unmistakable impression on the maritime and architectural worlds. The birthplace of the Renaissance with its art, culture, fashion, and lifestyle, remains a great source of inspiration for him today. A fascinating, timeless city where the hands of skilled artisans create magnificent things every day. In 1996, in this very place, Luca Dini created his own team capable of designing bespoke projects and transforming them into innovative solutions. Over the years he has received various international awards and worked with leading Italian and European shipyards. He is not only known for designing superyachts, but also stately villas and prominent buildings. His avant-garde concepts have evolved over time into revolutionary and ambitious urban development projects. Luca Dini has given important speeches in the most renowned institutions and universities and distinguishes himself for his farsighted vision. He sees innovation as a synergy between two entities, design and architecture, and also expresses this in his collections for notable luxury brands in the design world. His studio, LUCA DINI Design & Architecture is ranked third in Italy for revenue and has its splendid headquarters in Florence, as well as a showroom in Forte dei Marmi and a new studio in Dubai to follow numerous projects in Saudi Arabia more closely.

Ian Williamson

Chief Project Delivery Officer
Red Sea Global

Ian Williamson is the Group Chief Projects Delivery Officer of Red Sea Global (RSG), the developer behind The Red Sea and Amaala, two ambitious tourism projects set along the northwestern coast of Saudi Arabia. These destinations will play key roles in the realization of Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s economic roadmap for the future. 

Ian joined RSG in October 2017 and is responsible for leading the project’s development and delivery of planning, design, and construction.

Prior to joining RSG, Ian worked for 10 years with Sainsbury’s as a development team senior manager, managing marketing, finance, store planning, and project management. Later, as Senior Vice President at AECOM Europe and AECOM Middle East, he managed projects on both continents for over 15 years. He was also Managing Director at Arcadis Middle East.

During his 25 years as an executive and board director, Ian has developed a leadership style that allows his colleagues to reach their potential.

He earned a Master of Business Administration from Cass Business School, London, UK, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with Mathematics from the University of Reading, UK.

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Hospitality Innovation Summit
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