Close

Views on the Saudi Market by Jason Addison

Saudi Arabia has seen a wave of transformation since the introduction of Saudi Vision 2030, which has been strongly followed by the kingdom’s construction sector, leading to the advent of multi-million and multi-billion dollar Mega and Giga projects.

Jason is a real estate developer with extensive experience and has worked as the Chief of Strategy & Partnerships at the Events Investment Fund supporting its establishment and responsible for overseeing large scale real estate developments and structuring strategic public and private sector partnerships in Saudi Arabia.

He has been a part of major projects in the Kingdom and is sharing his view on Saudi’s Real Estate market and the scope for new companies to enter the market.

1. Can you tell us about your work with SIGMAC?

I am the CEO of SIGMAC, the real estate development arm of the Al Ghazzawi Group. We have a sizeable land bank across KSA and are mandated to build an institutional grade portfolio of income producing assets. We have several in the development pipeline designed by BENOY, DEWAN and other global firms.

2. Saudi is striving to build one of the world’s largest economies. Do you think it is achievable?

Saudi is already a member of the G20, and it will continue to advance in the future with its economic standing.

3. What is the scope for new and innovative solution providers in the Saudi market?

Saudi is adopting the latest technologies for alternative energy sourcing, such as hydrogen power, solar and nuclear. As a major shareholder in LUCID EV, we are building an EV Manufacturing Facility. Our new mega and giga cities are all LEED and or sustainable developments and designed with the most innovative solutions. We are leapfrogging over most industrialised countries to be a technology driven economic driving force.

4. Tell us your experience attending our previous summits in Dubai & Spain.

These two summits were excellent networking events and venues that shared tremendous information on the status of real estate development projects in Saudi Arabia.

5. What are your expectations from our upcoming RED Summit – Saudi Arabia?

Bringing the summit to Saudi is brilliant in that you will have to turn people away. The demand will be huge as real estate is the true buzz word for Saudi with expanding housing, hospitality, and entertainment offerings.

Meet Jason Addison, the CEO of SIGMAC, the Advisory Board Member for Real Estate Development Summit – Saudi Arabia taking place on 2nd – 3rd November in Voco Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Register Now, to join him and other industry leaders.

Ravi K Chandran

Founder, CEO

Arthur Adeya is an Architect by profession with over a decade’s experience in Architecture and over 6 years’ experience in Master Planning and Landscape Architecture.

Prior to joining Athena Properties Limited as a Director for design and planning, Arthur was a Principal Partner at Lexicon + ion In charge of Master Planning, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design working with external teams to ensure projects.
He previously worked in the USA with The HOK Planning Group in Washington DC and EDSA Inc. The HOK Planning Group in Washington DC and EDSA The HOK Planning Group in Wash

Prior to joining Athena Properties Limited as a Director for design and planning, Arthur was a Principal Partner at Lexicon + ion In charge of Master Planning, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design working with external teams to ensure projects.

Mohammed Almomen

Project Manager
LG Electronics

Senior Electrical Engineer with experience in design, review, inspection and maintenance for MV and LV equipment. This includes but not limited to preparation of specification, transformers, switchgears, switchboards, motors, generators, load studies, design drawing reviews. Strong engineering professional with a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.-Electrical) from Portland State University.

Oussama Kabbani

Group Chief Development Officer
ROSHN

Kabbani joined ROSHN, the Kingdom’s premier integrated community developer, as Group Chief Development Officer in 2022, helping to shape at unprecedented speed the Group’s developments across the nation as it is the most trusted leading mixed-use developer. Kabbani is a driving force behind the implementation of ROSHN’s vision for a new way of life in Saudi Arabia, integrating world-class homes and amenities with open and green spaces, all the while emphasizing walkability, sociability, and sustainability.
 
Oussama Kabbani is a seasoned leader with 33 years of development management experience in large-scale master planning and mixed-use/residential development projects across the GCC and beyond. Throughout his career, he has led and shaped significant urban design, master planning, and downtown development projects from inception to completion.
 
Over the course of his career, Kabbani has played a role in shaping cities, including Beirut, Boston, Amman, Muscat, Dubai, Jeddah, and Riyadh, as well as projects in Kazakhstan and Malaysia.

 

After completing a Bachelor’s in Architecture at the Beirut Arab University, Kabbani went on to complete his master’s degree in architecture in urban design (MAUD), and then Kabbani complemented it with an Extended Professional Course in Real Estate Finance at Harvard University.

Dana Dajani

Writer . Performer . Activist

Dana Dajani is an award winning writer, performer, and humanitarian advocate known for presenting a theatrical style of spoken word poetry which spotlights themes of social justice in creative appeals to our common humanity. She currently serves as head of Business Development in MENA for The Zero Fund, a Carbon Offsetting Platform. Additionally, Dana is one of the founding members of the Spiral Sessions, a 6-stage accelerator program to enable individuals and organizations to take positive change towards climate action and social welfare. 

As an advocate and activist, Dana has worked with numerous INGOs supporting causes such as: climate action, clean water access, education for women, youth empowerment, rights of refugees, medical care for Palestinians, and more. She has given inspirational Keynote addresses on topics such as: Dreaming into an Empowered Education, Pathways to Success, Finding your Voice, Women in Conflict, Time Banking, Women in Action on Climate Change, and others. 

Dana’s work as an event MC and panel moderator has given her the opportunity to interview and host many international executives, experts, government officials, and celebrities from a variety of industries. Her specialization as a presenter has been in events concerning: Education, Technology, Energy, Healthcare, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and the Environment. Her work as a performer and public speaker has also led to many opportunities to offer training for an array of professionals in: Public Speaking, Improvisation, Creative Writing, Social Ecology and Sustainability.



Just 5 years after relocating to Dubai, Dana was honored as Emirates Woman “Artist of the Year” and received the Young Arab Award for Entertainment in 2016. She was also recognized by Stylist Arabia as one of the “50 Influential and Inspirational Women in the UAE”.  Additionally, Dana was selected as a global “Goalkeeper” to attend the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Sustainable Development Goals Conference in NYC, 2017

Riyadh Althagafie

CEO
Tatweer Group

With over 28 years of experience in Global Real Estate, Banking, and Financial Services, Mr. Riyadh blends visionary leadership with skills in strategic planning, business model transformation, and adept management of cultural and organizational diversity.

Amr Salah

CEO | Infrastructure
Ajlan & Bros

Amr is the Chief Executive Officer | infrastructure in Ajlan & Bros Holding as one of the major development investors in Saudi Arabia and in the region. The infrastructure business in the group is contributing to the KSA 2030 vision, by investing and developing infrastructure projects with full band width and diversification including Roads, Energy, Gas, Water, Wastewater, District Cooling and Telecom projects with associated smart networks to assure integrity, reliability and resilience. In addition to Renewable Energy, Transportation, Airports and ports sectors.

 

Amr offers +27 years of hands-on end to end experience in Infrastructure development and Utilities operations. Starting from Business Planning, Strategy, Feasibility Studies, Budgeting, Master Planning, Design management, Tendering, Contracts management (FIDIC), including Construction Management, Risk Management and concluded by Operations Excellency and Assets Management.

 

Focuses on value creation to enable the strategic goals and objectives for Real estate, Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Hospitality mega developments, in conformance with international standards, specifications and latest well-proven technologies to meet the world-class service provision benchmarks and KPI’s.

 

Amr is a visionary with a clear end in mind allows to realize the mission and assess facts and events in order to develop realistic strategic programs. Leads multi-disciplinary international consultants and contractors, to deliver multiple programs/projects concurrently in compliance with Time, Cost, Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental objectives.

 

Amr holds BSc in Mechanical Engineering and certified as Project Management Professional from Project Management Institute (PMP-PMI). Amr is certified from Harvard, Stanford, INSEAD, Babson, George Washington University as successfully completed several executive education and leadership programs. Amr is enrolled in Alliance Manchester Business School to complete the Global Executive MBA Program.

 

Amr worked in several countries in the middle east, before the current role, he holds the position of Vice President – Infrastructure in the Royal Commission for AlUla. He leads planning and developing of the infrastructure program in AlUla, with sustainability standards and innovative solutions. Amr worked as Senior Director in Emaar, the Economic City (KAEC) and Utilities Director of King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST).

Before working in Saudi, Amr filled several positions in UAE since 2003 as Projects Manager in Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority then in Halcrow (currently JACOBS). Amr started his career in Egypt working for Siemens in the National Electricity connectivity Program since 1998.

Jalal Al Kurdi

Sales Director
HH Shaker

Jalal started his career in 2003 and moved through various positions and roles that allowed him to acquire the right experience in the retail and commercial air conditioning industry, as well as his skills in negotiation, market planning, operations management, coaching, and sales. Since 2020, he has been acting as sales director of HH Shaker Group where he’s putting to use his previously gained experience and leadership skills, which is clearly reflected in the strategic and long-term planning and execution that the company seeks to achieve.

Neil Serridge

Associate Principal, Regional Leader - Master Planning
Woods Bagot

Neil leads and oversees the Masterplanning and Urban Design team for Woods Bagot across Middle East and Europe.

 

Responsible for the design and delivery of some of the most exciting mixed-use developments across the MENA Region, Neil specializes in mixed use district scale masterplannning, covering various sectors such as Hospitality, Residential & mixed use commercial.
With more than 20 years of experience leading Architecture, Urban Planning and Environmental Design projects, Neils ethos is based upon a sensible business case for the proposed mix of uses and sustainable agenda. Neils approach to master planning combines evidence-based methodology with insight into the way people relate to spaces.

Gian Luca Barone

Associate Director
Zaha Hadid Architects

Associate Director at Zaha Hadid Architects graduated from Polytechnic University of Milan, Gian Luca has played a key role in several Zaha Hadid Architects’ commercial, civic, trans- port and masterplan schemes, working on projects across the UK, Europe, and the Middle East. Passionate for design excel- lence and innovative yet cost effective solutions. Result-driv- en professional with analytic design management expertise from project inception to completion and wide experience in leading & coordinating large international multi-disciplinary teams. Proven track record in the design and delivery of land- mark projects. Gian Luca joined the award-winning practice Zaha Hadid Architects in 2010, and was made associated di- rector in 2021. Gian Luca has lectured on advanced construc- tion techniques, architecture, urban design, and the work of Zaha Hadid Architects, for academic and professional audi- ences throughout Europe, Central Asia and Middle East.

Prior to joining ZHA, he worked for practices in Milan, Dub- lin and London. From 2001 to 2004 Gian Luca was lecturer and tutor at the Polytechnic University of Milan in the courses of Urban Planning, Architectural Composition and Heritage building conservation. In 2003 he was appointed by the Milan County and Abbiategarsso Municipality for the preparation of the Urban Framework Plan for rural area of the city (in collab- oration with Arch. Marco Porta) and the Master plan Guide- lines for three Sustainable Housing developments (in collab- oration with SdArch). In the same year he coordinated the installation of the design and lifestyle exhibition “New Ways of Living” in Milan (in collaboration with GAP). In 2004 he joint Douglas Wallace Dublin an award-winning architectural prac- tice with an international reputation for design and realisation of retail, residential, hospitality, and mixed-use developments. He was part of the strategy team where he authored several master plans, feasibility studies for retail, mixed-use and of- fice schemes in Ireland, UK and Poland. Gian Luca has been collaborating with the London office of Benoy Architects since 2007 where he was responsible for the urban regeneration of Leeds: “The Templar Arcade- Eastgate regeneration” and the Noor Al Ain office tower in Abu Dhabi. In 2009 Gian Luca founded Gibane to undertake and deliver the project for the renovation and extension of the Istituto Marangoni University
London Campus.

Harmen De Jong

Partner – Head of Strategy & Consultancy – MENA
Knight Frank

Harmen has been involved in real estate development advisory in the Middle East since 2006 and he recently rejoined Knight Frank as a Partner being responsible for the Development Consultancy service line in Saudi Arabia. He advised Clients on optimum investment strategies pertaining to capital projects with a combined value of over USD 100 bn. in geographic markets such as the Middle East, Asia, CIS and South America on behalf of investment funds, real estate developers and hotel management companies.  His strengths include real estate development strategy, feasibility assessments and highest and best use analyses and he is a well-versed financial modeler.

Marcus Püttmer

General Manager
RIVA GmbH Engineering

Marcus Armin Püttmer, born on August 28, 1964, is a highly accomplished General Manager with a strong background in industrial engineering, holding a degree from the University of Karlsruhe. He is a native German speaker and is fluent in English, French, and Italian, with a basic understanding of Spanish. Mr. Püttmer has received prestigious awards such as the Balthasar-Neumann-Price in 1998 and the Pietro-Petrini-Price in 1999. He is currently serving as the General Manager of RIVA GmbH Engineering, a position he has held since 2020. Prior to this, he held the role of General Manager of RIVA GmbH Holding and its affiliates from 2007 to 2021. Mr. Püttmer also has extensive experience as the General Manager of lngenieurgesellschaft Püttmer mbH and ventury GmbH Energieanlagen from 1991 to 2000. His professional journey includes leadership roles such as Head of Department for Technical Building Equipment at Götz GmbH Metall- und Anlagenbau in Würzburg from 1990 to 1991 and work at the Fraunhofer lnstitut of Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg from 1990 to 1991. He earned his Diplom-Wirtschaftsingenieur degree (equivalent to a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and Management) from the University of Karlsruhe in 1990. Throughout his career, Mr. Püttmer has contributed significantly to major projects worldwide, including iconic buildings such as the Reichstag and Sony Center in Berlin, the Makkah Clock Royal Tower in Saudi Arabia, and the Grand Tower in Frankfurt/Main, among others. Additionally, he has been involved in the development of several biogas plants and windparks in various countries since 1995 and 2000, respectively, showcasing his expertise in sustainable energy solutions. Marcus Armin Püttmer’s comprehensive experience and remarkable achievements underscore his expertise in the field of industrial engineering and project management.

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.

Tomasz Wozny

Partner
Foster + Partners

Tomasz studied architecture and urban design at Silesian University of Technology in Poland and Seville University of Architecture in Spain. His graduation project was awarded ‘Best Diploma Project’ in 2006, and he received his Master of Science Degree with first class honours the following year.
Tomasz joined Foster + Partners in 2007 and has gone on to work on a wide variety of winning competitions and projects, notably the SNB Head Office in Riyadh which completed in 2020. Tomasz has extensive experience in the design, management and construction of projects across the Middle East and Europe. He was previously based in Edinburgh, where he worked on the Quartermile development and later deployed to Saudi Arabia in 2012, where he has been appointed as General Manager to run the branch office in Riyadh.

Thank you
for voting

Stay tuned and follow us
for updates on RICA

Tariq Khayyat’s

Co-Founder
Tariq Khayyat Design Partners

Tariq Khayyat is an architect, designer, and university lecturer with over 20 years of experience in designing & delivering profound projects worldwide.

 

Tariq Khayyat co-founded tariq Khayyat design partners (tkdp) in 2019, as award-winning design studio developing dynamic, innovative, and practical architectural solutions for the clients, communities, and cities.

 

Tariq is responsible for the overall design direction and business strategy. tkdp is currently designing and overseeing projects across a wide spectrum of typologies on various scales including masterplans, mixed-use, residential and hospitality in UAE, GCC and China.

 

Prior to establishing tkdp, Tariq worked as project director and designer for 14 years at Zaha Hadid Architects in London, then led their MENA office between 2016 and 2018. Tariq co-designed and led several of ZHA’s seminal projects, including Bee’ah HQ in Sharjah, UAE, and the Meixihu Centre.

Since gaining his Master of Architecture & urbanism with Honours from the Architectural Association School in London, Tariq continues to be lecturing and being a critic in several universities in the UK, UAE and across the Middle East.

Manuel Fernández

Head of Design
Roth Architecture

ARCHITECT AIA – ARB – COAG – LEED AP BD+C / ID+C
Manuel studied Architecture at the ETSAC (Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de A Coruña in Spain), and at the EAL (Ecole d’architeture de Lille). He is a registered architect in USA, Spain and UK, with more than 15 years of experience at Foster+Partners from 2004-2019, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) 2019-2020. Being part of the leadership team in the offices of Madrid, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago offices, he has designed, coordinated, and built a large number of projects in all phases.
In 2021 he joined Roth Architecture as Head of Design, attracted by the creative and multidisciplinary environment with a deep focus on designing architectural spaces from the user experience, to understand the connection with nature and to elaborate meaningful designs.

Kerem Cengiz

MENA Managing Director
LWK + Partners

An architect and a noted business leader, Kerem Cengiz, the Managing Director of MENA, has led LWK + PARTNERS towards a trajectory of expansion. Kerem’s competencies traverse domains – from master planning and architecture to urban regeneration, retail, and hospitality sectors, with an unwavering focus on strategic development and business amplification. His international accomplishments, are indelible marks on global skylines from London to Dubai and Shanghai.
 

Guided by Kerem’s leadership, LWK has delivered a myriad of remarkable projects, including the iconic Rua Al Haram Master Plan, the Burj Crown, and the futuristic techno-industrial city for PIF. Context, human experience and commercial viability inform his approach as a leader. With a strong design lead background, he the LWK team investigate a range of design interventions that has ushered in a series of accolade-earning projects.

 

Kerem’s leadership extends beyond projects, impacting the very DNA of the company. He’s known for his strategic acumen, enabling operational efficiency, and leading multidisciplinary teams. Kerem’s passion for the field is contagious, inspiring his team to innovate using sustainable materials and cutting-edge technology and is the Managing Director of sister company CC Technology which explores the boundaries of real estate-oriented technologies.

 

A thought leader and a proponent of regional culture, Kerem has been instrumental in evolving LWK from a local architectural practice to a global integrated design studio. He is dedicated to shaping intelligent cities and embracing digital transformation, envisioning architecture that is future-facing, contextually relevant, and commercially successful. His core competencies include strategic planning, project management, risk management, and negotiation, making him a dynamic force in the world of architecture.

David T'Kint

Founder
DavidTKINT DMCC

Designing luxury and lifestyle hotels for the past 20 years with some of the world leading international hospitality brands, David considers not to have a specific design style rather he uses his expertise to translate the brand and developer’s vision into reality.

 

He has created distinctive and original interiors in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and China. 

As he travels the world collecting experiences, David continuously builds a new understanding of people, places and cultures. In Singapore and Dubai, he has led a multicultural team of over 60 designers inspiring and guiding them on their journey to achieve successful projects, cultivating their skills and creative diversities.

 

Prior experiences include working with Jean-Michel Gathy in Kuala Lumpur, Didier Lefort in Paris and 13-years as a  partner at HBA leading the EMEA region.

 

David set his own studio which is not limited by geographic boundaries and focuses on luxury hotels and lifestyle properties.

 

His aim is to provide outstanding service whilst being involved on each project to make it unique.

Dalia Muhdis

Interior Design Senior Director
Diriyah Company

Dalia Muhdis is a highly accomplished professional currently working as the Senior Director of the Interior Design department at Diriyah Company (DGCL). With a strong vision and exceptional leadership skills, Dalia played a pivotal role in establishing the interior design department within DGCL in 2020.Dalia’s holds a Master’s degree in Interior Design from the renowned Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD). Equipped with a solid educational foundation and a deep understanding of design principles, she has honed her expertise over the course of her impressive 18-year career.


Passionate about both history and interior design, Dalia blends these two elements seamlessly in her work. Her profound appreciation for history serves as a driving force behind her commitment to delivering exceptional quality in all interior design projects. She recognizes the importance of preserving the essence of a space while imbuing it with functionality and aesthetic appeal.


As the Senior Director of the Interior Design department, Dalia’s responsibilities encompass strategic planning, project management, and overseeing a team of talented designers. She brings innovation, creativity, and meticulous attention to detail to each project, ensuring that every space within DGCL reflects the rich heritage and grandeur of Diriyah.


Dalia continues to leave an indelible mark on the world of design, weaving stories into the spaces she creates, and inspiring others with her ever-evolving journey.

Turki Alhokair

Chiet Executive Otticer
FAS Real Estate Development & Investment

As the CEO for FAS Real Estate Development and Investment Company, Turki Alhokair embraces many projects inside and outside Saudi Arabia in hospitality, real estate investments and renewable energy. Mr. Turki is an accomplished and forward-thinking CEO with huge experience in driving business development efforts, profit and loss oversight, and staff development and leadership while overseeing a wide variety of operational and fiscal responsibilities to ensure optimal business performance and realize substantial revenue enhancements. Well versed in conceptualizing strategic initiatives to maximize profits. He graduated Bachelor of Business Administration – Finance & Economy – from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals.
His experienced includes Wealth Manager of High-Net-worth Clients for Audi Capital. Manager and Team Leader of Investment Group for Riyadh Capital Wealth Management and many positions in Riyad Bank as a Team Leader, Area Manager and Relationship Manager. He also works as a Corporate Relationship Manager at Samba Financial Group.

 

He holds some committees & Membership as follows Chairman

– Olaya Supplies Group of Medical Equipment and devices

– FAS Energy.

– Care FM Services and logistic supports.

– ALANDA SPAIN development group.

Independent Board Member
– Global Investment House.
– Saudi Association for Tourist Accommodation Facilities.

 

Board Member
– SAAF International Co., Ltd.
– Future Group
– Riyadh Company for the Development of shopping malls and Boulevards.

LAURA WOJCIECHOWSKI

Media Director and Partner
Saudi Projects

Born and raised in England, Laura has worked at tpg media for 26+ years in the UK and now Dubai office.

 

During this time, Laura has work on tpg media’s B2B & B2C publications that are distributed throughout Europe & the Middle East, gaining many years of experience. Having been responsible for millions of published words, pages & dollars, there really is no scenario Laura has not already faced in the publishing arena.

 

Laura began her professional career with tpg media in the UK office. Excelling at media, she rapidly progressed to magazine manager, country manager, head copywriter & now Media Director and Partner and contributes to all the company’s titles in the region.

 

Through her career at tpg media, Laura has grown with the company, learning & developing every aspect of the publishing business from sales & editorial to production & distribution.

Today Laura manages the entire publishing operation in the Middle East & continues to push the boundaries within the company, region & industry. Continually exploring new opportunities & technologies to communicate a chosen message to a given demographic.

 

Laura is target driven & client focused ensuring all of her team are reliable & accurate when it comes to client’s needs. Exceeding client expectations come as standard with on time project completion. Laura is accessible to all clients 24/7 & continues to be in regular contact with them to support her team & our clients.

 

Laura brings 26+ years expertise in optimising client’s marketing strategies through print & digital media channels.
Delivering company messages to leading decision-makers throughout the GCC & beyond. With over 10 million words published in the past 20 years, supplying copy for in excess of 8,000 companies and organisations throughout Europe, North America, the Far East, and the Middle East – writing copy for brochures, catalogues, press advertising, the in-house magazine, annual reports, and radio scripts.

Stephan Vanden Auweele

Chief Executive Officer
United Hospitality Management

Stephan Vanden Auweele is the CEO of United Hospitality Management (UHM) with offices in Dubai and Lisbon. United Hospitality Management is a hotel operating company managing a selection of luxury and upscale hotels across Europe and the Middle East. 

 

The company´s portfolio covers leading industry brands like the Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Hyatt, Movenpick, Vignette Collection, and Yotel as well as an affiliation with Fairmont. UHM’s expertise lies in mixed-use resorts and city properties. 

 

Prior to his role at UHM, Stephan was the Chief Hospitality Group Officer with Asset World Corporation in Asia, a leading and innovative real estate development company and a member of the prominent TCC group with a diverse portfolio of award-winning hotels and retail and commercial properties all Asia. 

 

Stephan’s illustrious career spans Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, including a tenure as the head of Marriott International (Starwood) in Dubai & Northern Emirates. He also chaired the Belgian Business Council in the UAE. With over three decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Stephan has successfully managed portfolios, orchestrated hotel openings, spearheaded repositioning efforts, and executed brand launches. 

Spencer Wylie

Chief Executive Officer
Compass

Having honed his craft throughout the Middle East over the past 25 years, Spencer is a proven board level advisor with verifiable specialism in the successful delivery of giga and mega-scale projects, comprising hospitality developments as well as an increasing number of mixed-use lifestyle destinations.

 

His experience in leading major international consultant and contracting organisations garners best in industry competencies covering programme, project, and commercial remits, having added positive impact to iconic project success stories, on behalf of high-profile regional developers.

 

Working alongside Compass’ multi-disciplined project development consultancy Team, Spencer aids improved operational excellence for client project delivery outcomes, with a keen interest in modern methods of construction and enhanced life-cycle value-chain in sustainable, tech-led construction delivery.

Duncan Kidd

Design Management Director – KSA
JLL

Duncan is a highly experienced Design Lead with over 35 years of industry expertise, including 15 continuous years in the GCC region. Currently, he is leading the design efforts for the prestigious Diriyah Square development in Riyadh, KSA, as part of JLL’s team. Duncan has a proven track record of delivering iconic projects in the region, such as the Thematic Districts and Plaza Pavilions for Dubai Expo 2020.

 

With a strong background in consultancy and construction, Duncan provides invaluable high-level design input throughout the project lifecycle and maintains design integrity by fostering strong relationships with client teams. He began his career in the UK before relocating to Abu Dhabi in 2008 to work with Aldar Properties on the design and construction of the five-star W Hotel on Yas Island. Duncan’s impressive portfolio also includes managing major urban redevelopment projects and serving as the Construction Design Lead for Expo 2020’s Thematic Districts and Al Wasl Plaza Pavilions in the UAE.

Dr. Adel Ezzat

CEO
Elaf Group

A visionary leader with a distinguished career spanning more than 25 years, Dr. Adel Ezzat currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Elaf Group.

Dr. Ezzat leverages his extensive experience in operations, marketing management, and sustainable organizational growth to steer the group’s strategic direction, which is closely aligned with Vision 2030’s roadmap for economic diversification and the development of the travel and tourism sector.

Prior to joining Elaf Group, Dr. Ezzat served as President & Chairman of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation. He has also held several senior positions with leading organizations including Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Paper Group, Managing Director of Hyundai & Genesis at Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors Hyundai, and Managing Director of the Toyota Business at Abdul Latif Jameel Group. Earlier in his career, he worked at Procter & Gamble for eight years where he honed his skills in the areas of operations management, human resources, supply chain management, and marketing.

Dr. Ezzat’s remarkable progression throughout his working life demonstrates a strong commitment to professional and personal growth that has enabled him to successfully increase profitability, oversee multiple projects to the highest standards, and lead teams towards exceptional performance.
He holds a PhD in Marketing from Paris University, a master’s degree in Business Administration from Manchester University, and a master’s degree in Marketing from Nottingham Trent University, together with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from King Abdulaziz University.

Eng. Salahaldeen Khaled

Projects Sales Manager
Alfanar

The first step towards customer satisfaction is being reached by stellar strategy, and that’s what I aim to provide.”
 These words comes from one of the key players in the industry and works from one of the top notched Porcelain and Ceramics Company in KSA.
 Mr. Salah Al-Deen Khaled, an expert Projects Sales Manager and working from Exa Porcelain & Ceramics, has allowed  many organizations in improving their sales margins and audience. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering on which took more of his expertise and successfully got an MBA Degree.
 Mr. Salah brought dedication and positive results to the Real Estate Developers, Contractors and even End-users that had worked and trusted  EXA ALfanar because of his passionate approach towards product perception, customer satisfaction, and business statistics.
 “What drives a product to success interests and inspires me. I specialize in long-term growth strategies and audience outreach.”
 In addition to 12 years of experience in Construction Materials & Professional Projects Sales Field, He have also extensively reached out to GCC Countries as the sole representation of EXA Alfanar for Mega projects that the company could attain. His field of experience in the Industry and professional duties, developed campaigns for different segments on which upscaled the company’s vision towards quality brand.

Christian Muhr

COO
Kerten Hospitality

Christian is a strategic and goal-oriented hospitality leader with over 30 years of experience. His distinguished career includes roles such as Vice President of Operations for Hilton in Central Europe, where he led the integration of a large number of new hotels and implemented regional strategies, as well as Vice President Egypt and Levant area, after a long-standing career in numerous operational functions. During the last few years, Christian leveraged his vast experience to provide consultancy services, focusing on change management and profitability optimization for various hotels and businesses. A record of success in challenging market conditions and a commitment to customers, investors, and team members defines his leadership style. With recognition in the Annual Hotelier Middle East Power 50 list, Christian continues to be an influential figure in the hospitality industry, fostering growth and innovation.

Olivier Harnisch

Founder
Lunasole Hospitality

Olivier Harnisch is an international Hotelier and founder of Lunasole Hospitality, a consultancy company based in the UAE, and a member of the Board of Directors of several companies in KSA, the UAE and Bahrain. Until the end of 2021, Mr. Harnisch held the position of Head of Hospitality at the Public Investment Fund in Riyadh. He was also the founding CEO of the PIF Hotel Management Company, in which he remains a member of the Board of Directors. Before that, Mr. Harnisch was CEO at Emaar Hospitality in Dubai. He started his hospitality career in 1986 in Nice, France. His path includes 4 years as COO of the Radisson Hotel Group and 14 years at Hilton where he was Managing Director for Northern and Central Europe. Mr. Harnisch holds an MSc in Organizational Behavior from the University of London, an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and a Degree in Hospitality Management from the Berlin School of Hotel Administration. Having worked across the globe, Olivier Harnisch is fluent in six languages. He is also a passionate airplane pilot.

Mourne Fourie

Technical Excellence Director
PIF

Morne Fourie (B.Arch cum laude, M.Arch) is a Real Estate Design & Development professional specializing in master planning, urban design, concept design & feasibility, historic precinct redevelopment, entertainment destinations, tourism, themed environments, retail and hospitality. He served in senior VP, VP and senior director roles in publicly listed entities and semi-government real estate developers in Saudi & Dubai including a decade with Meraas Holding group companies. He spent the preceding decade in consultancy in Asia and the Middle East, most notably as director of AECOM. He compose development briefs, procure and manage design consultants, design manage GFA, BUA, FAR and budgets.

He chairs and is a speaker and panelist at conferences, teaches urban planning at a post-graduate level, participated in the development plan of Dubai 2020 & Dubai vision 2021, and has presented real estate interventions to the rulers of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia. He serves on PIF FSC Boards and PIF Advisory Boards. He is a former cum laude student and recipient of the Commonwealth Scholarship and a Master’s graduate from McGill University in Montreal. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, ex Chairman of the Dubai British School Advisory Board, and a founding ex member of DSCP. As an artist, Morné’s work has been exhibited in a gallery in the Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, and is permanently exhibited in the Lapita Marriot Hotel in Dubai.

Dr. Bader I Saedan

Managing Director
Al Saedan Real Estate

Education:

  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering, King Saud University, Riyadh, 1986
  • Master of Construction management in Civil Engineering, University of Southern California, USA, 1991
  • Ph.D. in Construction management from University of Dundee, Scotland, UK, 2004

 

Current Positions:

  • Board Member Real Estate General Authority (KSA, 2022)
  • Managing Director Al-Saedan Real Estate (KSA, 2017)
  • Board Member Mawten Real Estates Development (KSA, 2007)
  • Board Member Kinetic Renewable Energy Solutions (USA, 2015)
  • Board Member Addiyar Residential Complex (KSA, 2009)
  • Board Member Saudi Maintenance Made Simple KSA, 2010
  • Board Chairman Mohammed Abdullah Ibn Saedan Charity Institution (KSA, 2017)
  • Board Member ENSAN Orphans Charity Association (KSA, 2017)

 

Previous positions

  • CEO Al-Saedan Real Estates Company
  • Board Member International Investment Bank (Bahrain, 2007 – 2017)
  • Board Member Saudi Tunisian Real Estates Development (Tunisia, 1994 – 2017)
  • Vice-Chairman of the Board Directors of Aqary Services Co. (KSA, 2000 – 2005)
  • Vice-Chairman of the Board Directors of Coldwell Banker (KSA, 2003 – 2007)
  • Board Member of the National Company for Glass Industries (ZOUJAJ) (KSA, 2002 -2005)
  • Board Member United Management Systems (UK,1989 – 2011)
  • Board Member Curzon Asset Management (UK, 2010 -2018)
  • Board Member Young Arab Leaders
  • Board Member Olaya Real Estate Company (KSA, 2016-2019)
  • Board of Real Estate Committee in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Riyadh, 2005-2019)
  • Board Member SRD Real Estate (KSA 2009-2015)
  • Board Member Gulf Real Estate (KSA, 2017 -2020)

 

Active Memberships:

  • Member Saudi Management Association
  • Member Saudi Council of Engineers
  • Member Prince Salman Social centre
  • Member Saudi Orphans Care Charity

Dr. Ayman Al Waleedi

Project Development - Executive Director
Rua Al Madinah Holding

Dr. Ayman Alwaleedi is the Project Development Executive Director for The Rua Al Madinah holding Company (RUM-H), a closed joint stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Overseeing the development and execution of program and project management for a new hospitability destination in Al Madinah Munawara City as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Brining more than 17 years of experience in project development, Design Management, Master Planning, Facility, and Operation. Knowledgeable in managing and developing the design and delivery duties by leading project development, planning, design, and commercial team and ensuring proper project execution through monitoring project stage gates to ensure high-end and on-time delivery. Demonstrated excellence in controlling projects & programs right from inception to completion, ensuring compliance in terms of quality, standards, and materials and alignment with agreed metrics, business objectives and environmental sustainability standards. Expertise in managing global consultants to set up environmental sustainability standards, project constructability, OSM, independent commissioning agent, site supervision, executive design, landscape and permitting. strong relationship management & communication skills with an ability to serve as a role model.

Previous positions include Project Delivery Director at the Red Sea Global for establishing Program Delivery Office & Project Control function including Risk, KPI, Digital Delivery, reporting, BoD reports and Governance, Risk & Compliance management. He worked as Director of Project Management Office (PMO) at MoH to build up a methodology of project and initiatives management, and Program Director of Tatweer Building Company, leading and delivering construction and facilities programs. As Director of Project Management Office (PMO) at KACST, I am responsible in creating and implementing projects strategy across several sector. Prior to this, held senior positions at Industrial Clusters and National Guard.

Furthermore, a member Committee Member of several committee at Riyadh Chamber, Facility and Hospitality Training Center (FHM) and Saudi Umran Society for Facility Management. In addition, he is certified on PMP, RMP, FMP & PMOC and holds a BSc Mechanical Engineering from the King Saud University, KSA. He carried his MSc and PhD degree in Project and Facility Management field from Heriot-Watt University,

Luca Dini

Founder
Luca Dini Design & Architecture

In 1987 in Florence 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 two others in development in Neom and Riyadh, to closely oversee multiple projects in those areas.

Ammar Al Assam

CEO
Dewan Architects + Engineers

Ammar Al Assam is the Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors of Dewan Architects + Engineers, a leading multidisciplinary architectural design firm. In 2003, Ammar joined the firm as Director of Business Development and has held various roles within the firm. He was appointed CEO in 2016.

Ammar has transformed Dewan, overseeing a multi-year strategy to improve profitability and position the firm to seize new opportunities in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. During his tenure, he has led a rapid expansion of the firm into new markets, winning new business and forging strategic partnerships to enhance the firm’s services.

In 2021, Ammar spearheaded Dewan’s expansion into Egypt, opening an office in Cairo, enabling closer collaboration with clients and creating new business opportunities. In 2002, he also oversaw Dewan’s expansion in Southeast Asia, opening an office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to meet increasing demand for the firm’s services and to provide a strategic hub for future expansion in the region.

Ammar has been instrumental in turning Dewan into a technology-driven design firm, improving operational performance and service delivery. He is also a key driver of the firm’s Web 3.0 strategy, which includes investing in building a metaverse and fostering collaboration with other firms.

Today, under his leadership, Dewan has grown to employ over 500 people across eight offices in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and Southeast Asia, and is widely recognized by leading industry publications as one of the world’s top international design firms.

Ammar holds both a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree and an MBA from McGill University in Montreal.

Pallavi Dean

Founder & Creative Director
ROAR

Pallavi plays at the intersection of design and entrepreneurship, she founded her design firm Roar in 2013. A trained architect and sustainability specialist, she has won multiple awards for work across a range of sectors including commercial, hospitality and residential.

Recent work includes The Accor House of Original in Dubai, Sensasia spa at Kempinski Dubai and Mckinsey HQ in Doha. She was born in India, raised in Dubai and spent years working in London; her designs reflect these eclectic influences.

A former professor of design, she strives to implement the latest theoretical and practical research into the firm’s designs. As a product designer, Pallavi collaborated with Artemide to launch ‘Interweave’ an interactive lighting system for Euro Luce in Milan 2019.

Her work has been profiled in some of the world’s leading international media including the Financial times, the BBC, Monocle , Wallpaper and the Architectural Digest. She was named Architectural Digest Middle East designer of the year in 2020 and Designer of the year globally by Interior Design Magazine in the 2021.

Alessandro Tedesco

Chief Operating Officer
FEBC

Alessandro Tedesco is an Italian-born hospitality, manufacturing, and operations expert with over two decades of experience. A stalwart in the procurement and supply chain industry, Tedesco is the Chief Operating Officer of febc Group, responsible for implementing daily operations, strategies and policies across the company’s 9 global offices.

Tedesco joined febc Group in 2012 where shortly after, he became the company’s Regional Director for the Middle East and Africa markets. In 2014, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and has since driven a global restructuring of febc Group, taking it from a project management company anchored in procurement, to an internationally acclaimed multimodal hospitality solutions enterprise.

At febc Group, Tedesco has designed and executed digital transformation through the automation of its proprietary procurement solution, to ensure transparency, efficiency, and quality control management throughout entire project life cycles. He spearheaded febc Group to achieve seven global ISO Certifications, alongside the diversification into food & beverage and culinary concepts and pre-opening operations with a dedicated division based in Dubai.

Tedesco’s experience in retail, hospitality, and commercial sectors has enabled him to lucratively implement numerous productive and innovative measures at febc Group. His passion and dedication have placed the company on a clear course to deliver revolutionary solutions for the hospitality industry, identifying gaps within the market to take febc Group and its clients to the next phase offering F&B concept creations and pre-opening management services for hospitality assets.

Prior to joining febc Group, Tedesco was responsible for setting up the Middle East operations for Italian companies looking to enter and expand in the FF&E and contract supply segments.

Faisal Durrani

Partner - Head of Middle East Research,
Knight Frank

Faisal has over 15 years’ experience in property. He currently leads the Knight Frank research function across the Middle East. His previous role was Head of London Commercial Research for Knight Frank, where he and his team provided consultancy and strategic advisory services to a range of global clientele, including investors, landlords, developers, HNWI, banks and institutions. 

 

His knowledge and experience spans all real estate sectors and includes markets across the UK, Middle East and Africa. 

 

His work in the Middle East is focussed on the impact of Vision 2030 on Saudi Arabia’s real estate landscape as well the rebounding of Dubai’s ultra-prime residential market and the growing importance of ESG considerations.

Turab Saleem

Head of Hospitality, Tourism, & Leisure MENA
Knight Frank

An accomplished and meticulous professional with 22 years of proven success record in various aspects of the hospitality industry including Asset Management, Hotel Development, Tourism Development, Restaurant Development/Management, Hotel Management and Project Management. With Master’s in hospitality from NYU and Bachelor’s in Hotel Management from Swiss Hotel Institute, his consulting experience includes projects with a value of approximately USD 64  Billion. He has worked in various continents including Europe, US and the Middle East holding senior positions. He has been involved in consulting some of the successful Hospitality projects globally including :-   Paris, Miami, New York, London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Riyadh, Doha particularly with major hotel and consultancy groups.

Hala Matar Choufany

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

Hala Matar Choufany is the President for 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 4,000 hospitality and mixed-use projects in the last 19 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 coneferences on a range of topics including tourism investments, 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, Middle East and Africa

Elsaeed Albially

Vice President Development
Knowledge Economic City

Elsaeed led the team of development for Knowledge Economic City Company who are developing a mega Mixed-Use Development across 6.8 M SQM in Al Madinah Al Munawara City with an aggregate investment of SAR 94 billion.

During his tenure at KEC Eng. Elsaeed held the position of the CEO (Acting) for the company for 2 years during which the company strategy was reviewed, and major anchor projects were specified, approved, and initiated. 

Elsaeed managed the development of  Mega Retail/Hospitality/Entertainment Hub, TOD development, Mega Hospitality development for Hajj/Umrah/Visitors to Madinah, Villas Residential Compound, mid/high-rise Residential Apartments, Strip-Mall, Business Park, International School, sub-developers’ plots and all related infrastructure utilities.

Throughout his 33 years career span, Elsaeed experience covered all aspects and due diligence of Real Estate development, successful record of forming, and leading teams in developing and managing World Class Real Estate Developments in KSA. Elsaeed has diversified experience in multiple Engineering disciplines and working for different sectors (Master Developers, Project Management, International Consultants, and Governmental entities).

Before joining the Knowledge Economic City Company, Elsaeed served in senior management roles at CIMS Management Consulting Company, Limitless LLC UAE, Akwaan Properties, Dar Al-Hadassah Consultants, Riyadh Water Authority & Urban Studies and Design Center.

 

Elsaeed holds B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, Mansoura University, Egypt, 1989 and number of professional courses & accreditation.

Ahmed Fathi

KSA General Manager
RAK CERAMICS

Ahmed Fathi, is a huge experienced business professional who has been leading RAK Ceramics operations in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for more than 3 decades achieving an outstanding growth and development in products and in Building Materials Market making RAK the Iconic and Ideal Brand for Most prestigious Projects and all other sales segments in related markets.

Adel Alkadi

CEO
AL HAYAT INVESTMENTS CO.

Adel Alkadi is Co-Founder & CEO of Al Hayat Investments Company which is specialized in fitness and wellness solutions. He is also a board member in several real estate organizations including Fund Listed Companies.

Under the vision of “Alkadi” the company has experienced rapid expansion in its business through the introduction of two subsidiaries, “BLUE” which is specialized in providing integrated solutions for the spa and wellness resorts sector & “FAA” for retail and wholesale of Sports equipment and home-use devices.

Mohammed Adib

Partner and Chief Design Officer
Dewan Architects + Engineers

Mohammed Adib is a graduate of the AA School of Architecture and a postgraduate in interior architecture from Barcelona. Mohammed Adib has worked in the UK, Spain, Jordan, North Africa, and Asia over the last 30 years, and for the past 17 years has been based between Barcelona and the Middle East.


During his studies, Iraqi-born Mohammed collaborated with many offices in the UK and Europe. After university he embarked on a “Grand Tour” working for 18 months in architectural offices across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. In 1993, Mohammed established Intercon in London as a niche design company specialising in large-scale commercial interior design. Under his design and management
guidance, Intercon has completed over 180 projects in 15 countries and has gradually expanded its services to include architecture, product design, signage and wayfinding.


In 2017 Mohammed, joined Dewan Architects + Engineers as partner and Chief Design officer. His main responsibilities are the protection and development of the design language as well as establishing new markets. He has directed projects in the Middle East, S E Asia, Europe and Africa.

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”

Scott Henshaw

Executive Director Development, ED of Buildings & Places, and 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.​

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.

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.

Amir Lababedi

Managing Director- MENA
HILTON

Amir is Managing Director Middle East & North Africa where he is responsible for driving growth throughout the region for Hilton’s suite of industry-leading brands.

Amir has acquired almost 20 years of experience in hotel investment advisory, development, and operations throughout EMEA in both public and private sector roles. 

He is a keen sportsman with a passion for combat and motor sports. He’s also known to pick up a tennis racquet and a pair of skis from time to time

Dimitris Manikis

President & MD EMEA
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Dimitris Manikis was appointed President and Managing Director for EMEA in April 2018. In his current role as President of EMEA, he is responsible for the development of all of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ brands in the EMEA region as well as maximising the performance of all new and existing franchise and managed hotels. He focuses on driving the strategic objectives of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts including quality and technology solutions as well as new business, loyalty, sales and marketing. 

Dimitris Manikis has a long-standing career and deep knowledge of the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, he spent over 27 years with RCI, the worldwide leader in vacation exchange, across a number of senior roles, and most recently served as Vice President of Business Development for EMEA. Earlier in his career, he also held a number key positions in the region as Managing Director of RCI Greece  and RCI South Africa.

Dimitris is an Industry Advisory Board member for Hotelschool the Hague, a Senior Advisory Board member for the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and a Board member for Christel House Europe.

A Greek national, Dimitris was born in Athens and holds a Bachelor degree in Tourism and Administration from the Technical University of Patras in Greece, and an MSc Postgraduate degree in Tourism Marketing from the University of Surrey. His passion for people and work ethic comes from his father, who built up a grocery retail business in Athens where Dimitris learned the value of elevated customer service, having a positive outlook and hard work as being the foundations of success in both business and life.

He is based in Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ London office

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 

Tanya Byls

C.O.O. Hospitality & Real Estate Development
Tonino Lamborghini S.P.A

Tanya Byls is a French citizen with German mother, living since more than 25 in Italy, Bologna.

 

She has been educated in Paris and Berlin, she graduated in Economics at the Alma Mater University of Bologna, and she also holds a master’s degree in hospitality and management at the Cornell University.

 

Over the last years, her personal interest in Counselling and Psychology has led her to earn a degree in Counselling and to further attend a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of Padova.

 

From 2011 to 2015 Tanya is Head of Hospitality Department at Tonino Lamborghini SPA developing Tonino Lamborghini branded Hospitality and Real Estate projects worldwide.

 

In 2016, Mr. Lamborghini elected her Chief Operating Officer – C.O.O. of the Hospitality and Real Estate Dept. at Tonino Lamborghini SPA and accountable for the business development of the Tonino Lamborghini luxury projects, supervising and coordinating signature 5 and 4-star Hotel, Residence, Lounge, Restaurant and Café projects worldwide.

 

She is also liable for project assessments, negotiations, architectural design supervision and relationship with Licensees, Partners Architects, Operators, and Investors.

 

Fluent in 4 languages and deeply interested in the human interactions and networking, she puts her vision, empathy, and communication skills at the service of building bridges between people and cultures, to achieve common goals and make dreams come true.

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.

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.

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.

Ian Wilson

Regional Director for Hospitality
THE LINE – NEOM

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.

Ian Williamson

Group Chief Project Delivery Officer
The Red Sea Development Company

Ian Williamson is the Group Chief Project Delivery Officer for The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), a closed joint stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Ian leads the delivery of the planning, design and construction of The Red Sea and AMAALA projects – two of the world’s most ambitious luxury tourism. As an executive and Board director for over 20 years, Ian has undertaken both strategic and operational roles across several industries and led the delivery of multi-billion-dollar capital expenditure programs and projects internationally. Prior to joining TRSDC, Ian served as Managing Director, Program Management, at Arcadis across the Middle East where he led the growth of program management and buildings design of the company across the Middle East. Prior to joining Arcadis, Ian served as led AECOM’s Construction Services in the UAE where he led major projects such as the Midfield Terminal, Advanced Military Maintenance Repair Overhaul Center (AMMROC), Yas Mall and Cleveland Clinic. Ian has also previously worked for Sainsbury’s, Glaxo, Wellcome Foundation, BDP and Courtaulds. Ian holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Mathematics from the University of Reading and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Bayes (formely CASS) Business School in the United Kingdom.

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

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.

Thank you for submitting the nomination. The final list of nominees will be published on 1st September 2023 for voting.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Laura Wojciechowski

Partner and Media Director
Saudi Projects

With her experience in media sales and her position as director of tpg media, a multinational agency with a significant presence in Europe and the Middle East, Laura Wojciechowski has always excelled in building solid partnerships. Laura now oversees the entire media operations in Saudi Arabia as co-owner of tpg media and Saudi Projects, where she also pushes the boundaries of the business, the area, and the sector. Through her passion for promoting the distinct transformative economic and social reform blueprint that is opening Saudi Arabia up to the rest of the world and in this networking with important stakeholders who share common goals for the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, Laura drives Saudi Projects and the agency to new heights at a pinnacle time in Saudis history.

Maan Suliman Alothimeen

GM - Procurement
National Housing Company

He is managing the Supply Chain And Business Support function in NHC. Mr. Al Othimeen was graduated from KSU in Saudi Arabia with bachelor’s degree from Architecture and Planning College in Urban Design Field. 

Mr. Al Othimeen started his career bath in construction companies as a Contracts and Material Department in one of the Big companies, who is execute a Mega project for MOE & MOH in Saudi Arabia from 2006-2010. 

Mr. Al Othimeen also joined one of the biggest Companies for food industries in MENA, He was Handling Capex Projects in Al Marai company and leading the deals with big contractors in Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan and Egypt. During 2010-2012 he manages deals over than 200M for new Depots in GCC.

Mr. Al Othimeen was moved to one of big Companies in GCC and a listed company in Saudi market managing the Information Security and handling all requirements by MOI, He was managing Procurement Role for projects over than 2B Saudi Riyal from 2013-2015.

In SEP 2015 he started his role as a Procurement Corporate Manager with DUR Real Estate and Hospitality CO, DUR owned more than 9 Hotels in Saudi Arabia with Marriott and its own Brand Makarem. 

Then Mr. Al Othimeen was Joined NHC in 2017 to lead the Procurement Role for NHC and MOMRAH projects, which is a mega project linked directly with Saudi 2023 vision. Since 2017 until today NHC was spent over my 200B Saudi Royal Direct and indirect.

Mr. Alothimeen was classified and Qualified with Global license related to Procurement and Contracts by American Purchasing Society and International Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Institute for CPP, CPPM, CICCM, CISCM.

Mohammed Al Mohammadi

Business Development Director
Retal Urban Development Company

Mohammed Al Mohammadi is a Business Development Director for Retal Urban Development Company. His success stems from his ability to connect with people and be a trusted first point of contact to key clients and corporate stakeholders. He has been integral to the growth and expansion of Retal and was a core member of the IPO team achieving its public listing on Tadawul. Mohammed’s responsibilities in Retal include strategic planning, research and development, promotion, and global business development. He has initiated many developments in the company such as the transformation of key departments, corporate social responsibility department as well as driving sustainable business practices and ESG initiatives in different divisions.

He is actively involved in the architecture, engineering, and construction community in Saudi Arabia. He was a member of the youth business council since 2018 and is presently transitioning to a new role as a trading committee executive in the chamber of commerce in Saudi Arabia. In addition to this he holds a position as a consultant in the youth council under the umbrella of Eastern Province Emirate Dammam.

He obtained over ten years of experience as lecturer at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal university on landscape architecture, environmental design, and project management. In 2016 Mohammed founded the highly successful business Run Inn Sports which distributes key sports brands globally. Mr. Mohammadi holds a bachelor from King Faisal University, Dammam, College of Architecture and Planning, Department of Landscape Architecture and a Masters from University of California Polytechnic Pomona, USA, College of Environmental Designs, City Planning and Design Policies.

Yeliz Olcay

Leader Architecture & Design MENA
Lixil EMENA

Yeliz Olcay is an Architect, who has a MSc in Project Management and a PhD degree in Architecture from Istanbul Technical University.  She was a guest researcher in Trento, Italy during her PhD thesis for a year.  After finishing her PhD, she started working in Istanbul as an architect.  She designed many showrooms and exhibition booths in the first years of her career for some reputable kitchen, bathroom, sanitaryware and furniture companies in Turkey.  She designed and implemented more than 30 showrooms and exhibition stands in Turkey, Europe, and Middle East.  She gained a significant reputation as an architect/designer in this field.  In her professional career, she soon started focusing on bathrooms and kitchens, which were her favorite areas.  In 2009, she won the national kitchen design award in Turkey.  She has many articles and interviews in various design journals and international magazines.  She relocated to Dubai in 2012 where she started focusing purely on business development and relationship management in the field of sanitaryware and kitchens.  She joined Grohe in the beginning of 2020 and started taking care of A&D accounts in MENA region.  She is married, and she has three sons.

Abbas Al Saleh

CEO
Afyaa Holding

Abbas is the CEO of Afyaa Holding and the CEO of Alsaleh Holding. In addition, he serves as the Vice President of Al Ahsa Chamber. With his extensive experience and leadership roles, Abbas is an excellent addition to the lineup of speakers.

Tanya Byls

C.O.O. Hospitality & Real Estate Development
Tonino Lamborghini S.P.A

Tanya Byls is a French citizen with German mother, living since more than 25 in Italy, Bologna.

 

She has been educated in Paris and Berlin, she graduated in Economics at the Alma Mater University of Bologna, and she also holds a master’s degree in hospitality and management at the Cornell University.

 

Over the last years, her personal interest in Counselling and Psychology has led her to earn a degree in Counselling and to further attend a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of Padova.

 

From 2011 to 2015 Tanya is Head of Hospitality Department at Tonino Lamborghini SPA developing Tonino Lamborghini branded Hospitality and Real Estate projects worldwide.

 

In 2016, Mr. Lamborghini elected her Chief Operating Officer – C.O.O. of the Hospitality and Real Estate Dept. at Tonino Lamborghini SPA and accountable for the business development of the Tonino Lamborghini luxury projects, supervising and coordinating signature 5 and 4-star Hotel, Residence, Lounge, Restaurant and Café projects worldwide.

 

She is also liable for project assessments, negotiations, architectural design supervision and relationship with Licensees, Partners Architects, Operators, and Investors.

 

Fluent in 4 languages and deeply interested in the human interactions and networking, she puts her vision, empathy, and communication skills at the service of building bridges between people and cultures, to achieve common goals and make dreams come true.

Sara Botey

Senior Associate Director
Benoy

Sara is a talented senior associate director registered at the ARB and RIBA in the UK. Building her expertise throughout international renowned practices in London, Sara has an interesting and diverse portfolio. She has lead projects from the initial concept design stage through to tender stage, and she brings a wealth of design and technical knowledge to the Benoy team. Sara applies her wide-ranging skills to projects in various sectors, including masterplanning, retail, mixed-use developments and hospitality.

 

Sara has been involved in major international projects throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. Her work includes, Heathrow Expansion, looking at bringing value with a Hospitality development at the north Gateway, The Fourth Mile, London, 70,000m2 mixed-use development, Al Waab City, Qatar, 30,000 retail led mixed-use development; Al Basheer Medical City, Sudan, Masterplan design of a new medical city in the Khartoum; Dubai Creek Harbour, Dubai, a new concept large scale mixed-use retail & residential led scheme; Trianon Retail Development, Mauritius, a new 100,000m2 mixed-use expansion; Forever Home for TJX, Watford, UK, a new improvement of 160,000m2 offices; and Koza Square, Sofia, Bulgaria, a 535,000m2 mixed-use build to enhance the lifestyle of residents with serviced apartments, offices, a hotel and an entertainment centre.

Amani Al Ibrahim

Partner
Kristina Zanic Consultants

Amani is a partner in Kristina Zanic Consultants and Executive Director of the company’s Riyadh office. She is also a highly experienced and talented interior designer who forms an important part of the design team.

 

With an academic and professional background in both Project Management and Interior Design, she has a distinct talent for space planning, a keen eye for design details, and a deep knowledge of project management and delivery. Amani brings exceptional understanding and appreciation for all technical aspects of her projects, from initial concept, creative planning, feasibility through to completion.

 

By placing a strong focus on initial concept direction and creative planning of her projects, Amani ensures that the essential balance between viability and aesthetics is always achieved. She is involved in all phases of her projects, including FF&E selection, procurement, and on-site construction and coordination.

 

Key Projects

  • Renaissance Hotel Riyadh, KSA – Design Lead & Client Contact
  • Grand Mercure Hotel Riyadh, KSA – Design Lead & Client Contact
  • Hyatt Andaz, London, UK – Senior Interior Designer
  •  Movenpick Hotel & Apartments, Riyadh, KSA – Senior Interior Designer
  •  Movenpick Madinah, Madinah , KSA – Senior Interior Designer
  • Millennium Copthorne Hotel, Jeddah , KSA – Senior Interior Designer
  • InterContinental Dammam, Dammam, KSA – Senior Interior Designer

James Atkinson

CEO
Fractal Architecture & Design

Following his graduation from the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, Scotland, James sought experience in architecture globally, helping to fuel his passion for travel. This has led to a career that has so far spanned 24 years across AsiaAfrica and Europe.

 

James leads Fractal, a boutique architecture studio, which he formed in 2017 on the tropical island of Koh Samui, Thailand, providing architectural and design services both locally and internationally. Subsequently, an additional team was established in the coastal city of Da Nang, Vietnam. Fractal’s portfolio encompasses a broad range of project typologies and scales covering all major sectors including hospitality, residential, mixed use, cultural, master planning and high-rise.

 

Over the years, James’s key design involvement has included projects that have won the Thai Property AwardsVietnamese National Architecture AwardSouth African Regional Institute Architecture Award and in addition has helped design numerous competition winners across China and Scotland.

 

His motivation is to create beautifulpractical and enjoyable spaces to livework and play. As a vegan architect, he aims to strive for a plant-based future for architecture.

Mr Khaled Elsehamy

Chief Real Estate Officer
National Housing Company

Mr. Khaled Elsehamy is professional Development Executive and Design Principle who led hundreds of Multi Billion Projects from inception to completion, he Designed many iconic and strategic projects in the Middle East. His experience covered Residential, Commercial, Retail, Hospitality, Health, Educational, cultural and industrial projects.

 

Mr. Elsehamy was Born in Cairo and completed his B.A. degree in Architecture and planning from Cairo University, Egypt in 1991 and started his professional career in Design and Project Management for 15 years where he exercised Architecture, planning and Project Management is United States, Austria, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Bahrain and more. He started his Career in Real Estate Development for the following 17 years.

 

Over the last 7 years he is leading the Real Estate Development in the largest Saudi development company National Housing Company NHC as the Chief Development Officer and succeeded to develop over 74 thousands units totaling 18 million Square meters of construction and 148 million square meters of developed Land with a value of 17 Billion USD of Development and expected to  exceed 62 Billion USD by 2025. NHC is developing housing communities all over the kingdom as Master Developer and attracting local and international sub developers to  develop their projects.

Lama Alhamawi

Journalist
Arab News

A reporter at Arab News, the Middle East’s leading English-language daily newspaper.

 

Lama Alhamawi has successfully covered many regional events pertaining to the diplomatic community, environmental progression, and Saudi Vision 2030 initiatives.

 

Lama began her journey with Arab News in October of 2020 and has since obtained several high-level interviews and exclusives with global leaders.

 

With a focus in international relations, business and environmental change Alhamawi has covered regional events through breaking news and features.

 

Lama has also been a panel member in FII discussing future leadership in a session titled “Board of the future: building the next generation of leaders”.

 

With a strong passion for public speaking Lama has also moderated numerous sessions and signing agreements such as Linking Europe and the Gulf: new post-trade connections, Building technology together: the UK and Saudi Arabia, and A New Frontier for Insurance Brokerage in Saudi Arabia. Alhamawi also led the Arab News coverage of this years Cannes Film Festival in France.

 

Raised in the United States, Lama spent the duration of her educational career in Texas and traveled back to her home in Riyadh to pursue a career in journalism in the Middle East.

 

Along with being a news reporter Lama has also co-written multiple deep dives that focus on historical research,investigative journalism and environmental protection that give readers a deeper understanding into a topic.

 

A strong leader in her community, Lama aims to set a positive example through her outreach on social media platforms to spread awareness and educate the public on regional events through positivity and optimistic initiatives.

Suha Sabith

Journalist

With a combined 10 years of experience in the field as a reporter, producer and editor – Suha Sabith has been the digital editor for Commercial Interior Design (CID) and Middle East Architect (MEA).
 
Producing content across various media (podcast, print, online and television), Suha has worked with national and internal media, reporting from key events in the country such as Dubai Design Week, Dubai International Film Festival and EXPO 2020.
 
A published researcher and writer, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Media and Communication from Manipal University Dubai with a specialisation in print and electronic media.
 

Said AlOmari

General Manager
Smart Home Lighting

An entrepreneurial visionary passionate about knowledge, quality and high-tech systems. A US graduate in engineering from the University of Texas. Said’s academic journey was marked by honors in Tau Beta Pi and Alpha Pi Mu. With over 24 years of professional experience, he established SmartHome in 2007, a Saudi-based company specializing in lighting supply and automation systems integration. He partnered with the top-notch manufacturers in Europe and the US. This venture quickly became a cornerstone of his success driven by customer-oriented leadership.

 

His commitment to presenting superior quality to the Saudi society has raised the industry benchmark and awarded him prestigious residential, governmental and commercial projects. These include Royal Palaces, Banks HQ, street lighting, hotels inside and outside Saudi such as the St Regis in Riyadh and the Mandarin Oriental in Istanbul after branching out in Turkey and Egypt. 

 

Said’s success transcended borders. Deeply moved by the Syrian crisis, he founded SAMA Foundation, an NGO, committed to transforming lives of the youth that is currently sponsoring the education of 100 students in displaced areas.

Faisal Altuwaim

Co-Founder and CEO
Oaktree Real Estate Company

Meet Faisal, the Co-Founder and CEO of Oaktree Real Estate Company. Holding a Law degree from the University of Leeds after winning a prestigious scholarship from SABIC, Faisal has specialized in cross-border and local M&A, as well as real-estate investment. His expertise has been instrumental in advising on multiple deals with a focus on real-estate development and hospitality. Notably, he has dealt with key players in the hospitality market, including Four-Seasons, Marriott, AMAN, and Accor.

 

Driven by the ambitious goals laid out in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, Faisal co-founded Oaktree Real Estate Company in early 2022. dedicated to revolutionizing the Kingdom hospitality and real-estate market. Today, boasting four divisions – Oaktree Hospitality, Oaktree Properties, Aliyah Homes and Oaktree Technology.

 

Oaktree has raised SAR 5 million and recently signed a deal to manage and operate a SAR 100 million real-estate investment fund. Oaktree Technology, the prop-tech innovation arm of Oaktree, is currently deploying two products in the prop-tech space and is continually seeking to push boundaries and evolve the industry. In short, Faisal and Oaktree Real Estate Company are committed to challenging the status quo and shaping the future of the hospitality and real-estate industry in Saudi Arabia. Faisal also is the co-founder of Retem Business Solutions and sets on the board of two tech-startups in the F&B and Biotechnology spaces.

Francesco Sabato

Investment Director
AlUla Development Company

Accomplished executive with a multifaceted experience and  proven ability to identify, plan and execute real estate development and investment opportunities. Results-oriented, Francesco is a decisive leader adept at forging lucrative relationships with key partners, vendors, and clients. He brings 20 years of experience advising and working for leading public and private institutions across Middle East, Europe and Latam.

Torsten Mischel

Managing Director
designboom

2014 – 2016: executive MBA HSG (university of St. gallen, Switzerland)

2017 – 2023: PhD candidate at HHL (University in Leipzig, Germany)

2014 – 2018: Lecturer for economics at DHfPG in Germany

2019 – 2021: Business Developer Architonic

2022 – … : Managing Director Commercial designboom

Jamie Webb

Head of EMEA
Benoy

Jamie’s diverse experience spans over 20 years in the UK, Asia and Middle East. With a deep understanding of the London Design Guide, he specialises in designing places to live, most notably creative mixed use solutions incorporating workspace, education, leisure and retail. As a designer, he believes successful placemaking is about seamlessly integrating mixed-use facilities into communities where people can come together and connect. Previously Jamie worked at Squire and Partners, 10 Design and Glenn Howells Architects, where he delivered the 2007 Stirling Prize nominated Savill Garden building. His portfolio includes the masterplan and concept design for the new Al Basheer Medical City Sudan with a 700-bed hospital, Centre of Excellence and Medical School campus, and residential lifestyle district. His other notable projects include the Ajdan Walk project in Saudi Arabia and Project Solitaire in Saudi Arabia, a visionary mixed use retail led destination. At city level, Jamie is leading a number of large scale urban regeneration and City Districts in the UK and beyond, commercializing and animating public and private space

Christos Passas

Director
Zaha Hadid Architects

Christos joined Zaha Hadid originally worked as a collaborator and a senior designer since February 1998. Now a director, he is responsible for leading a wide range of major projects and competitions within the practice. Christos taught Parametric Design and Urbanism at the Architectural Association with Patrik Schumacher in London (2007-2010), working on the exploration of digital and parametric techniques for the formation of large urban settlements. He subsequently went on to serve as Guest DAAD Professor in the Dessau Institute of Architecture (HA) at Bauhaus, Dessau (2008-2012), working on the implementation of digital design skills for large scale objects with a complex geometry and character, exploring uniqueness, diversity and complexity. He regularly participates in design juries at universities across the UK and Europe, and is a frequent guest lecturer in parametric design, design thinking, and the role of architecture.

Alaaddin Mogeem

Cultural Design Expert
The Royal Commission for AlUla

With a deep multidisciplinary experience across medical, transportation, hospitality, and cultural design projects, Alaaddin Mogeem is a versatile and creative designer and thinker who can adapt to any challenge. Having worked on three different continents, Alaaddin has been exposed to a variety of high profile and complex projects throughout various stages of the project development life cycle. His rich experience comes from working as a client, consultant, educator, and speaker for over 15 years. Alaaddin served as the custodian of the vision and intent at Jeddah Central Project, a true authentic development at the heart of Jeddah with a contemporary interpretation of the old Jeddah – Albalad. Alaaddin is passionate about creating spaces that reflect the culture and identity of the people who inhabit them to enhance the quality of life.

Sherif W Anis

Site Wide Development Director
KAFD

Sherif is an architectural generalist with 33 years’ diverse experience in the USA, UK and the GCC. Since 2007 Sherif has been actively involved in projects in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.  With a keen focus on design and design management, Sherif has a proven track record of developing innovative, cost effective designs in architecture, interior design and urban planning.  His high-profile project portfolio consists of large, mixed-use commercial/residential projects, corporate headquarters, hotels, university campuses and buildings, extensive multi-use developments, major educational projects and contemporary residences; all of which incorporate qualities that make projects successful, attractive, sustainable, and livable.

 

An award-winning and published designer, Sherif is a regular speaker, panelist and chairperson at regional conferences and for design award juries. He has been ranked #68 in the ‘Power 100 most influential people in the GCC’s construction industry.  A founding member of the American Institute of Architects’ Middle East Board of Directors, Sherif is the chapter’s Executive Director and has served as Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President and is a registered architect in the State of Massachusetts.

 

Sherif holds a Bachelor of Architecture from New York’s Syracuse University School of Architecture.