07:00 - 11:00
11:00 - 11:05
Jennifer Pettinger-Haines Managing Director Middle East , Co-Founder, GRIF – Bench Events
Managing Director Middle East , Co-Founder, GRIF
Jennifer has been a member of the Bench Events team since November 2008. Originally from Australia, she has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney. Prior to joining Bench Events she spent two years as a project manager in London for a conference company. She is presently working from Dubai as project manager of the successful Arabian Hotel Investment Conference. Currently she is focusing on programme development and speaker acquisition in addition to overseeing AHIC’s operations.
11:05 - 11:30
Richard Dean Presenter at Dubai Eye Radio – Director of Roar Interior Design
Presenter at Dubai Eye Radio
Director of Roar Interior Design
Richard is a journalist and broadcaster. He’s best known as host of The Business Breakfast – a daily radio show heard across the UAE on Dubai Eye 103.8FM. In total he has two decades experience reporting for the likes of Reuters, The Economist, The Financial Times and Bloomberg, in Dubai and London.
Richard is also a director of of Roar, an award-winning interior design firm based in Dubai Design District, which he owns with his architect wife, Pallavi. They live in Dubai with their two sons and two pugs.
In conversation with
Simon Williams Chief Economist, CEEMEA, Managing Director, Global Banking and Markets – HSBC Bank Plc
Chief Economist, CEEMEA, Managing Director, Global Banking and Markets
HSBC Bank Plc
Simon Williams is HSBC’s Chief Economist for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Simon joined HSBC in 2006 as chief economist for MENA in Dubai, returning to London in 2014 to lead the bank’s economics research on the CEEMEA region. He has 20 years' experience as a country analyst and emerging market economist.
11:30 - 12:00
Golf tourists are the highest average spenders in the world. How can golf tourism be leveraged for the benefit of a hotel? What operational adaptations need to be made for the new world? How can golf compliment real estate development and a hotel while enhancing the value of the business?
Robbie Greenfield Sports Presenter – Dubai Eye 103.8
Dubai Eye 103.8
Robbie has been finding any excuse to talk golf on Dubai’s airwaves for the best part of a decade now. One half of Off Script Extra Time’s sports presenting team on Dubai Eye 103.8, he is also the former editor of Golf Digest Middle East. In recent years he has been the official starter at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and hosted the prizegiving presentation at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
In conversation with
Mark Chapleski President – Troon International Division
Troon International Division
Mark Chapleski has more than 30 years of experience in the golf industry, but has been in and around golf his entire life. Prior to joining Troon, Mark enjoyed a successful collegiate golf career at Miami University and then briefly played professional golf in various parts of the world before settling into the business of golf. He has worked at several top private and resort properties including the ultra-exclusive Vintage Club in Palm Desert, the Marriott Desert Springs Resort, Ko Olina Golf Club in Hawaii, and The Phoenix Country Club in Miyazaki, Japan.
Mark joined the Troon team in late 1999 and moved to Tokyo Japan in mid-2000 to act as Director of Operations for Troon in Asia. In his 4 years in Japan, along with management of several high profile clubs, Troon completed due diligence of over 200 golf courses for various investment banks and assisted Goldman Sachs in the creation of a new golf brand in Japan, Accordia Golf. He was appointed as Area Managing Director in 2004 and promoted to Vice President for Troon Middle East in 2008, Senior Vice-President of Troon ME/Asia Pacific in 2015 and President of Troon International in 2017. Troon ME/Asia Pacific headquarters are located in Dubai Media City, Dubai, UAE.
Christopher May Chief Executive Officer – Dubai Golf
Chief Executive Officer
With over twenty five years experience in the golf industry, currently Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Golf which owns and manages Dubai’s leading golf clubs, Emirates Golf Club, Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates. Dubai Golf has been at the forefront of developing golf in the Gulf region, in particular promoting Dubai as a golfing destination and annually hosting prestigious European Tour events with the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Omega Dubai Moonlight Ladies Classic.
Previous career experience in the UK include managerial roles at the Jack Nicklaus designed London Golf Club, Woodbury Park Golf and Country Club for former Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell and Marriott Tudor Park Golf and Country Club.
Chris graduated from Loughborough University and Nottingham Trent University where he successfully achieved an MSC in Recreation Management and a BSC in Sport Science.
In 2010 Chris became the first person in the Gulf region to successfully pass the CCM examination through CMAE and has since achieved re-certification in 2015. Dubai Golf hosted the first MDP1 course in the region last year and will host both MDP1 and MDP2 courses in May 2017, providing aspiring managers with invaluable educational opportunities.
Chris has run both the London and New York marathons, as well as many half marathons and 10km races, and continues to play squash, ski, run and bike in an attempt to keep fit! Chris is married to Clare and has two daughters Gracie and Jodie.
Tom Phillips Head of Middle East – PGA European Tour
Head of Middle East
PGA European Tour
As Head of Middle East for the European Tour, Tom is responsible for the development of the men’s professional golf tour across the region.
The Middle East is home to six European Tour events, including the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – the biggest first prize in tournament golf and the finale to the year-long Race to Dubai. The region is also home to some of the Tour’s most committed partners.
Based in Dubai since 2019, Tom previously lived in Asia for 14 years where roles included CEO of the Hong Kong Golf Association and the Faldo Series, Director of Faldo Design and Consultant for the Mission Hills Group. In total, he has spent more than 20 years in the golf and leisure industry, working with national golf federations and international sports organisations in more than 40 countries worldwide.
11:30 - 12:30
Looking at getting the most from your asset and your operator. This is an invitation only session
Scott Antel – Partner Hospitality & Leisure Legal Advisor
Partner Hospitality & Leisure Legal Advisor
Anil Bhardwaj Director – A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises LLC
A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises LLC
Anil Bhardwaj, a Chartered Accountant by profession, is a director with A.A. Almoosa Enterprises LLC, Dubai (The Arenco Group) for several years. The Group is a diversified conglomerate with interests in real estate, hotels, manufacturing, services and trade. As one of the largest landlords of Dubai it has, inter alia, several hotel and hotel apartment ownerships, with the hotels being managed by internationally renowned operators. The Group pioneered the hotel apartment concept in Dubai almost 30 years ago. Anil sits on the board of various group companies, including that which regularly interacts with the hotel operators and their management.
12:00 - 12:40
What factors you need to consider when developing your wellness offering to ensure it is in line with market needs as well as done in a way which ensures return for the investor.
Kathryn Moore Founder & Managing Director – Spa Connectors & Hall of Wellness Awards
Founder & Managing Director
Spa Connectors & Hall of Wellness Awards
Founder & Managing Director, Spa Connectors, Global
Executive Producer, Professional Beauty GCC
Judge, Professional Beauty GCC Awards
Producer, World Spa & Wellness Convention, Global
Judge, World Spa & Wellness Awards
Judge, Asia Spa
Judge, Destination Deluxe Awards
Kathryn Moore has been a leading expert in the global spa industry for 15 years with extensive knowledge of all aspects of spa business. Her successes include negotiating complex commercial arrangements, conception and implementation of operating frameworks, standards and training programmes.
Recognised for creativity and ‘out the box’ thinking when developing bespoke, high end spa and wellness concepts for a broad spectrum of clients, Kathryn is a highly sought-after collaborator in the market today.
During her time with MSpa, overseeing more than 60 spas for Minor Hotels, Kathryn identified noticeable gaps in the industry. Her solution was to form Spa Connectors in 2015, offering exclusive training programmes as well as recruitment solutions and business consultancy.
In only a short time, Spa Connectors has developed a reputation for delivering innovative, personalised solutions to address the client’s needs, ensuring longevity and high performance for every spa business associated with Spa Connectors.
In conversation with
Leo Downer Executive Director, TLC Health Travel Ltd – Co-founder of Harmony Sustainability Tourism
Executive Director, TLC Health Travel Ltd
Co-founder of Harmony Sustainability Tourism
To say that Leo brings exceptional acumen to TLC & Harmony would be an understatement. His experience spans 30 years of managing clinicians and developing health services in the public, voluntary and private sector. He has worked strategically in the improvement of health, wellbeing, and safety nationally and internationally. From General Practitioner Coordinator with the Maudsley NHS Trust to Head of Drug and Crime Reduction in the Government Office for London; as Business Manager for counter- terrorism in the UK Home Office HQ Strategy and International Directorate, to Group Director of Business Development and Communications for the Social Interest Group, Leo’s innovative and strategic approach, has founded new health approaches, transformed sustainability paradigms, and led government operations and national delivery.
Puczkó László CEO & Co-Founder, Health Tourism Worldwide – Associate Global Wellness Research Director, TLC
CEO & Co-Founder, Health Tourism Worldwide
Associate Global Wellness Research Director, TLC
László is the Associate Global Wellness Research Director of TLC and CEO of Health Tourism Worldwide. He has been working in the field of travel and health for 25+ years. László is an experience engineer, strategist and trainer, and wellbeing intelligence expert. He has gained experiences in the private as well as in public sector environments both in medical and wellness tourism. László is one of the very few people in the world who has been active in every aspect and domain of health tourism. He is an economist and art & design manager, and holds master degrees and a PhD, and is a Certified Management Consultant. László has been lecturing and running tailor-made trainings, mentoring and masterclasses in over 40 countries all around the world. He has been actively involved both in industry as well as academic arenas and authored numerous industry reports and specialist books and publications. He was the project lead on the path making report for UNWTO & ETC titled Exploring Health Tourism, as well as a pioneering study for Global Spa Summit titled Wellness Tourism and Medical Tourism: Where do spas fit? László is a hot spring and wellness enthusiast and holds a Shinrin Yoku/Forest Bathing Diploma!
Nicki Page Founder & ED – TLC
Founder & ED
Nicki Page, born in Wales, with her formative career spent in London and Cardiff arrived in the Middle East in 1989 with a marketing and public relations background from her previous employment in Saatchi and Saatchi, plus Marriott Hotels and Resorts. With her distinct and thoroughly Celtic approach she was able to engage and establish influential networks with the leads and foremost decision makers across Arab, South & South East Asian and African nations - being a key strategic negotiator in establishing the success of world leading tourism and luxury destinations including: Jordan, Malaysia, South Africa, Kenya Maldives and the UAE. She has significant awareness of how to promote luxury health and Wellness resorts worldwide, and deep insight into the role women have, in influencing health, wellness, and travel decisions, for themselves, families and nation. As an established presence and trusted business presence in the Middle East she has established a network and client list of Ruling families, CEO’s and companies “to die for”..
“The Art & Science of understanding Wellness, and its marketing, is a position, that we believe is critically important to tourism, as we transform ourselves and the industry to adjust to new paradigms, that demand we take account of health & Wellness expectancies, and Sustainability requirements, for People Planet and Place” Nicki Page, TLC Health Travel 2020
Jean-Paul Riby Chief Executive Officer – Sun Hospitality Group
Chief Executive Officer
Sun Hospitality Group
Hotelier, mentor, project leader and design enthusiast, coupled with 35 years of hospitality experience has led me too an exciting chapter at Sun Hospitality Group (SHG) part of Sun Group. The creation of SHG focuses on business tourism and development of Sun Group and the continuation of sustainable growth being the key for the company.
With more than 30 years in South East Asia I have been at the forefront of the hospitality in emerging markets and it has become my specialty and the challenges it brings, this has driven me to innovate and bring a new definition to the phrase “think outside the box”
Talent search is a key area and the mentoring on future Hoteliers is a top priority. I believe the creation of SHG has allowed the team and I to put all this in practice and make a difference to Vietnam’s evolution in the field.
Actively involved into numerous industry organisations including the International Wine & Food Society. Others professional affiliations include Confrèrie de La Chaîne des Rotisseurs and Commanderie de Bordeaux.
Also invited to contribute in the book “EQ & Leadership in Asia” on using emotional intelligence to lead and inspire people, written by Sebastien Henry, and has also been a guest speaker at several webinar and other hospitality events around the region.
Quote: In Life we do things, some we wish we had never done, some we wish we could replay a million times. But they all make us who we are, and in the end, they shape every detail about us. If we were to reverse any of them, we wouldn’t be the person we are. So just live. Make mistakes, have wonderful memories. But never ever second guess who you are, where you have been and most importantly where it is you are going….
Daniella Russell Spa and Wellness Consultant and Mentor – Daniella Russell Harper DRG / TCL
Spa and Wellness Consultant and Mentor
Daniella Russell Harper DRG / TCL
Daniella wanted to grow up to be a tall, blonde beauty therapist after she her babysitter return from beauty college looking exactly that….amazing!
Over 40 years ago, Daniella went to Champneys college to train as a beauty therapist and came back with fantastic knowledge, a passion for her industry but certainly no taller or anywhere near blonde!
It was the start of a love affair of her profession and, since then, Daniella has travelled the world through her work, experiencing Spa and Wellness in every aspect……and there are a lot of aspects in this industry.
Daniella has opened some of the world’s most recognised Destination Spa & Wellness Resorts and Day Spas, Hair and Beauty Salons, Aesthetic Medi Spa Clinics and Fitness Clubs.
As a recognised spa and wellness industry pioneer, innovator and expert with over 40 years in the industry, she advises and consult across the sector - from conceptual development, retail and distribution, to operational management, strategic planning and beyond.
12:40 - 13:10
How do you mitigate against the fluctuations of Hospitality Real Estate Life Cycles through economic and geopolitical uncertainties? How are asset managers preparing for a long-term sustainable future with risk adjusted return and strategic planning?
René Beil President, HAMA MEA – Managing Director, Beaufort Global
President, HAMA MEA
Managing Director, Beaufort Global
Beaufort Global Partners LLC is a private boutique Investment, Asset Management & Development Firm specializing in hospitality real estate and public market ownership with a focus on hotels, commercial buildings, residential projects, and industrial complexes. The firm is based in Dubai, UAE
René Beil, Managing Director of Beaufort Global Partners LLC, brings a seasoned history in hospitality management, operations, finance, investments, asset management and business development to the group. He has led business development and growth initiatives on multiple continents as prime driver of investments, asset management, and new business development for Sovereign Wealth Funds, Government, Public & Private Companies, Royal Families, High Net-Worth Individuals as well as Family Offices.
He has a proven track record in organization building, discrete off market Private Negotiations & Transactions, Business Development to Asset Management from Boston to Buenos Aires, London to Paris through Dubai to Singapore as well as Hong Kong, accompanied by a comprehensive network of personal relationships at senior principal levels in, Government, Commerce and Finance.
Beil is of German nationality, was born in Singapore and raised in South East Asia, Bali, Manila and Hong Kong, He spent his adolescence in Europe, The Hague, Geneva, Brussels and Paris where he pursued a successful hotel career with InterContinental Hotels and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Subsequently, he ventured to the United States of America, Boston, in the pursuit of academic achievements
From Boston University, Beil holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management, complemented by a Minor in Marketing and a Master’s degree in Finance and Economics. He is today a member of the Advisory Board to Boston University School of Hospitality
In his past appointment as Vice President Asset Management of Dubai Investment Group, Beil’s responsibilities included the asset management of the international hotel and real estate asset portfolio of Dubai Holding, which incorporated but not limited to the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts and other international real estate assets. Furthermore, he was mandated to seek investments, develop & grow markets in South America and cultivate business relationships between Middle East and LATAM.
Beil is currently leading the formation as one of the founding members of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association MEA (HAMA MEA) which is being launched during AHIC 2014. He is fluent in English, French, German, Dutch and proficient in Spanish.
In conversation with
Stuart Etherington Vice President Hospitality Asset Management – Dubai Holding
Vice President Hospitality Asset Management
“Stuart Etherington is a seasoned hotelier, hotel developer, and certified HAMA Asset Manager who values dedication, service and excellence. As a seasoned hotel veteran, Stuart brings unique perspectives gained from his global hospitality experience, operational expertise and development mentality. Using real-world examples, Stuart’s enthusiasm and positive approach to life sheds light on how proactive management relationships are irreplaceable in today’s modern hotel industry and how they positively impact our industry.
Stuart learned the value of dedication at an early age growing up in South East England, as part of an entertainment and hospitality family. Stuart’s dedication, hard work, and determination to succeed in the hotel world inspired him to earn recognition amongst his peers which lead to an accomplished career as a hotel manager, then developer and finally asset manager.
Stuart knows that excellence is a journey, not simply a destination. This perspective inspired him to teach, develop, inspire, and mentor hundreds of future hotel leaders, within hotels and corporate organizations. He brings this dedication to his work within his business partnerships as they strive to collaborate, empower their teams and achieve greater success.”
Simon Hasdell Vice President, Asset Management – IFA Hotels & Resorts
Vice President, Asset Management
IFA Hotels & Resorts
An individual with extensive experience in hospitality and hotel development across three continents in 10 countries, including 15 years in the Middle East and 6 years in Japan. A commercial and strategic background in senior management roles over the last 30 years dealing with both multi branded hotels and Owner relations. Major strengths include implementation of change, leading multi-cultural teams and management of complex multi-million dollar projects and mixed use operating portfolios.
IFA Residential Services (Dubai, U.A.E.)
IFA Residential Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly listed IFA Hotels & Resorts. Established in 2010, its’ role is to encompass and lead, on a worldwide scale, IFA Hotel & Resorts’ operational and in-development asset portfolio which covers hotels, hotel condominiums, residential and commercial units, golf courses, beach clubs, game reserve, retail and food and beverage ventures. Brands under management include Fairmont, Movenpick, Marriott/Starwood, sbe, and the IFA wholly owned Yotel Hotel Company, currently in expansion worldwide as well as the recently launched JV of Bespoke Hospitality, MEA Holiday Homes and Property Service business.
Vice President, Client Advisory-Hospitality
Leading the professional coordination between instigating and aligning a team of experienced hospitality operator and asset manager resources to ensure the maximization of Operators’ financial performance across a mixed use and worldwide portfolio with a value of over $2 billion.
B. R. Kiran Chief Portfolio Officer – Miral Asset Management
B. R. Kiran
Chief Portfolio Officer
Miral Asset Management
Kiran with MRICS qualification has nearly 30 year’s experience in the field of Real Estate Development & Asset Management with major international property developers and related service providers.
Responsible for the Profit & Loss various developmental projects and operating assets in accordance with the Strategic, Development and Asset Management Plans. Lead, direct and manage the planning and execution of the organization’s Development and Asset Management activities.
Development & Asset Management of diverse business environments namely Theme Parks, Museums, Arena, Mixed Use, Hospitality & Leisure, F & B, Retail, Residential, Marinas, Master Planned Communities, etc.
Notable developments are Palm Jumeirah, Gate District on Shams, Mohamed Bin Rashid City D1, Warner Brother Theme Park & Hotel, World Trade Center, Yas Marina, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, Yas Bay Hilton Resorts, Qasr Al Wattan, etc.
Amit Nayak,CHA Vice President and Board Member – HAMA MEA
Vice President and Board Member
Amit is an asset manager with 18+yrs. of experience in asset management, private equity & operations. He is the Vice President of HAMA MEA , a Mentor at iN5 Dubai and on the executive board of the Cornell University Alumni association for GCC.
He leads the development of the hospitality division at WASL and part of the asset management team there. Prior to this he was the Managing Director of HighPoint providing Asset management & Investment advisory within the hospitality, PE & RE space within UAE, KSA & Europe as well Executive Manager for a family office in Bahrain where he managed as owner’s representative assets globally with international top tier operators.
He is an alumnus from the IHMCTAN, Mumbai School of hotel management as well from Cornell NY where he specialized in asset & revenue management with a post-grad in business administration from NMIMS, Mumbai. He holds a CHA license from AHLEI.
12:40 - 13:15
What are the ways to integrate fitness concepts into hotels now that guests are proactive about health and fitness?
Jonathan Worsley Chairman – Bench Events
Jonathan Worsley, Chairman & CEO of Bench Events, is one of the founders and organisers of multiple leading international conferences for the hotel investment industry, including the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) now in its 15 year; the 10th annual Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) and the 3rd annual Saudi Arabia Hotel Investment Conference (SHIC). Bench Events entered the Latin America market in 2016 partnering with SAHIC on their South American and Latin Amerian events. Jonathan also branched out into aviation and F&B, through AviaDev inaugurated in 2016, and the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) now in its sixth year.
In 1997, Jonathan co-founded the annual International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, a conference he subsequently organised for 19 years, which today attracts over 2,000 delegates. Earlier in his career, he worked for real estate consultants CBRE & Hotel Partners, hotel advisors PKF and hotel operator Forte & Holiday Inns.
Until recently, Jonathan was a board director and founder of STR Global, a global benchmarking company with over 60,000 participating hotels following the merger of The Bench, STR and Deloitte’s Hotel Benchmark. He sits on the board of Hotel Swaps, which allows participating members to swap unused hotel rooms with other members around the globe and is an investor in TripTease, the tech start-up that enables hotels to increase direct sales and aims to defeat rate disparity.
Jonathan sits on the Advisory Board for Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and is a Trustee of Future Talent, a charity that provides financial support to gifted young musicians in need of financial assistance to pursue their dreams and talent.
Mark Arnall, Fitness Trainer at F1 Champions, who has been mastering the art of training on the road for 25 years and Tea Ros, Founder & Managing Director, Strategic Hotel Consulting
13:10 - 13:40
Learning from the winners during the pandemic and what it means for your business
Henry Mason Evangelist at Large – TrendWatching
Evangelist at Large
Henry Mason is an experienced and sought-after keynote speaker and author of Trend-Driven Innovation. In the past 5 years, Henry has given over 100 keynote presentations in more than 30 countries, speaking alongside thought leaders (from Seth Godin to Steven Johnson), ground-breaking entrepreneurs (from Robin Chase to Eric Schmidt), global figures (from Kofi Annan to Muhammad Yunus) and many, many more. Henry was included in GQ's Most Connected Men in Britain list in 2016.
13:40 - 14:10
What has been learnt in last six months about operational efficiencies that can be carried forward for the future? How can we look at job roles and functions with a hotel differently when we think outside the box?
Donald Bremner Managing Director – Stirling Hospitality Advisors
Stirling Hospitality Advisors
Donald is the Managing Director of Stirling Hospitality Advisors with 20 years of experience in asset management, development and hospitality advisory services, primarily within the Middle East.
Donald has held multiple roles across the industry including Hotel Manager, Asset Manager, Director of Development and Director of Rooms for Jumeirah Group and Operations Analyst, Revenue Manager, Director of Rooms and Director of Food and Beverage for InterContinental Hotels and Resorts.
Donald is the Industry Chair for the Hotel Asset Management Association and has a BSc from Aberdeen University.
In conversation with
Hassan Ahdab President of Hotels Operations – Dur Hospitality
President of Hotels Operations
Hassan Ahdab is the President of Hotels Operations for Dur Hospitality, a leading Saudi grown hospitality company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. At present, he oversees operations, aligns the company’s overall vision to the growth of the Hotel’s portfolio across the Kingdom and manages 9 operating hotels and 5 hotels currently under development.
Beginning his career in 1979, Hassan Ahdab now possesses over 30 years of rich experience in hospitality and has thereby been recognized as a stalwart and one of the most progressive and energetic leaders in the industry.
Prior to his current role, Hassan Ahdab held several significant positions in the finance and operations sectors including CEO at Retaj Hospitality Group – Doha, Vice President and Regional Director for Africa & Indian Ocean Operations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Managing Director on assignment in Seychelles, General Manager for Le Meridien Libreville - Gabon, Complex Manager of Le Méridien l’Habitation and Le Domaine de Longvilliers - Saint Martin, as well as Area General Manager of Le Méridien Hotels in the Caribbean & French West Indies.
Complimenting his multi-faceted skills of hotel operations and management, Hassan Ahdab holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics, Commerce & Accounts Management from Damascus University, and also received the CEHMI (Geneva) honorary title – Executive Doctor for International Relations.
He also holds the 21st rank in the Hotelier Middle East Power 50 List 2019, and has been a continued participant and speaker at renowned industry events such as the Saudi Arabia Hospitality Investment Conference (SHIC) and the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC).
Additionally, Dur’s Hotel Operations arm has earned a range of accolades over the years from awarding bodies such as World Travel Awards, Haute Grandeur and HORECA, for its properties operating under its subsidiary brand Makarem Hotels, and those operating under partnership with Marriott International and Intercontinental Hotel Group.
Giuliano Gasparini Senior Vice President – Asset Management, Hospitality & Leisure – Aldar Properties PSJC
Senior Vice President – Asset Management, Hospitality & Leisure
Aldar Properties PSJC
Giuliano Gasparini is Senior Vice-President at Aldar Properties PSJC being directly involved in the asset management of the entire hotel and leisure portfolio of the firm. Prior to that he covered several executive positions in hospitality-specialized consulting firms having been Head of Consulting at PKF in Dubai, Senior Vice-President of JLL Hotels in Madrid and Senior Associate at HVS in Madrid amongst others. Giuliano Gasparini is one of the Chairmans of HAMA MEA (Hotel Asset Management Association) and a full-time professor at both Paris Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI) and IE Business School in Madrid. He holds affiliation at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS), Counsellor of Real Estate (CRE) and Institute of Hospitality (FIH).
Giuliano has spoken at many regional and local conference on hotel investment and asset management topics and published articles both on line and on Hotelier Middle East regarding hospitality markets in Europe and Middle East as well as Asset Management best practices.
Giuliano graduated in Economics at Bocconi University in Italy and hold two master degrees in Urban Economics and in Tourism Economics by Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Nederland’s and Bocconi University in Italy respectively; as well as a post-graduate certificate on Hotel Asset Management from Cornell University (USA).
Zoltan Kali Senior Vice President – Omran Hospitality
Senior Vice President
Zoltan is an experienced real estate investment professional with over 20 years of industry experience covering multiple managerial and leadership positions across geographies.
With a primary background in hotel investments and asset management, Zoltan has extensive experience with a range of real estate asset classes like office, residential and mixed-use.
He began his career in philanthropic organisations, then continued with KPMG, where he worked for a decade in the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism team for the Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Previous to joining Omran, where he heads up the asset management and hospitality functions, Zoltan worked at the sovereign wealth fund of Oman (SGRF) where he was responsible for the direct hospitality portfolio and real estate funds.
Zoltan, an engineer by trade, studied social sciences and acquired an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management, Cleveland, Ohio, specializing in Finance. He is a certified asset manager from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.
Clive Smith Managing Director - Hotels Division – Al Hokair Group
Managing Director - Hotels Division
Al Hokair Group
Clive is currently Managing Director – Hotels Division, Al Hokair Group. He was previously Director of Operations for Coral Sea Hotels in Papua New Guinea. He has held General Management positions with IHG, Millennium Hotels, Divan Hotels, Autograph Collection by Marriott and Absheron Hotel Group.
Whilst with Absheron Hotel Group he opened four hotels in Azerbaijan and previously one in Iraq for the Divan Group. Clive has over 30 years’ experience within the hospitality industry starting his career in the UK after finishing his Hotel Management studies. He then spent most of his career overseas within the Middle East and Africa, initially as hotel manager at the InterContinental Jeddah.
14:00 - 14:45
What are they really thinking? What can you expect and how should you go about it in the current market?
Cyril Lincoln Head - Real Estate, Investment Banking Group – ADCB
Head - Real Estate, Investment Banking Group
Cyril was born in Durban, South Africa, has over 25 years real estate banking and finance industry experience. During his career Cyril has arranged and structured real estate finance in South Africa, numerous African Countries, and UAE. Cyril has financed deals in the hospitality, commercial (retail shopping centres and offices) and residential housing sectors.
Cyril joined ADCB Investment Banking Group in 2007 and has played a leading role in advising, structuring, arranging and providing syndicated loan finance for leading UAE Property Investors and Developers such as, Investment Corporation of Dubai, Atlantis Dubai, Dubai Holdings, Jumeirah Group, Meraas Developments, Aldar Properties, Gulf Related and numerous HNW Private Investors from UAE.
Prior to joining ADCB he was General Manager ABSA Commercial Property Finance and Director Head of Commercial Property Finance for Barclays Bank Plc, Africa and Middle East, based in Johannesburg, where he arranged and structured all aspects of real estate finance, including property development finance and lease discounting structured finance.
Cyril has a B Com from the University of Natal, South Africa and has completed the Leadership Program from GIBS South Africa. Cyril has given numerous workshops and talks on real estate financing and structured finance.
An avid reader, he enjoys travel, meeting new people, spending time outdoors, theatre, gastronomy and photography.
General Manager Absa Commercial Property Finance - Johannesburg Director - Head of Property Finance Barclays Africa and Middle East, Barclays Bank Plc Property Finance Product Manager – Citibank N.A. Johannesburg Regional Manager – Commercial Property Finance – RMB / FirstRand Bank Durban
Amro Nahas Partner & Managing Director – Ritz Banc Group
Partner & Managing Director
Ritz Banc Group
Since January 2020 Mr. Nahas holds the position of Partner and Managing Director of RBG Holding. He is also an advisor and Investment Committee Member of the State Properties General Authority of Saudi Arabia as well as a board member of MASIC Logistics and Al Romaih Industrial Commercial Group.
From July 2012 until December 2019, Mr. Nahas headed the real estate investment division of Mohammed Al Subeaei Investment Company (MASIC) and manages the local and international real estate business of the MASIC. Mr. Nahas was also a member of the investment committee of MASIC and held Board positions in MASIC Logistics and Al Fhadli Company (a JV with Aramco), both subsidiaries of MASIC that he helped incubate.
Before joining MASIC, Mr. Nahas headed Shuaa Capital Saudi Arabia’s real estate division where he managed the real estate funds and the day to day operations of the real estate division. Mr. Nahas also acted as CEO for Al Oula International. In 2010 Mr. Nahas worked as the advisor of the BOD of Amer Group in Egypt and managed its IPO process and the eventual listing on the Cairo Stock Exchange. Mr. Nahas also worked as an expert advisor with Booz & Co (current Strategy &).
Mr. Nahas joined Al Oula International after holding the position of Investment Banking Director in charge of the Real Estate sector in the MENA region at HSBC Bank Middle East. During his tenure with HSBC, Mr. Nahas led the IPO of Drake & Scull and worked on many private placements and cross border transactions. Prior to HSBC, Mr. Nahas worked at the National Investor in Abu Dhabi, Bank Audi in Lebanon, and other leading institutions. His diverse experience extends to more than 25 years of consulting, corporate investment, and investment banking across Canada and the MENA region in the real estate, finance, industrial and manufacturing sectors. His portfolio of achievements includes leading many IPOs, most notably Tamweel and Kingdom Hotel and Investments, setting up real estate development and equity funds, structuring many debt transactions in conventional and Islamic finance, and successfully accomplishing many private placements and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Nahas executed more than USD 2.5 Billions of transaction and Managed assets worth more then USD 1.5Billion.
A Lebanese/Canadian national, Mr. Nahas holds a Bachelor and a Master’s degree in engineering with a specialty in industrial management from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He also completed an executive education program at Stanford University in negotiation strategies and in finance at Harvard University.
Zain Qureshi Head of Real Estate – Mashreq Bank
Head of Real Estate
Zain Qureshi is a Managing Director in the Corporate and Investment Banking Group at Mashreq and Head of Real Estate Finance and Advisory. He established the bank’s real estate practice in 2006, which has since grown to encompass debt products, a leading trust management business, buy and sell-side advisory activities, strategic advice, restructuring and capital raising. Zain also heads the Investment and Agency Services and the Corporate Restructuring Portfolio.
Prior to joining Mashreq, Zain held senior positions at Deutsche Bank and Bank of America, where he spent significant time working on the leverage finance side based out of London.
Richard Thompson Editorial Director – MEED
Richard Thompson is the Editorial Director of MEED. He is responsible for the content of MEED Magazine, MEED.com, MEED Projects & MEED Insights. A keen student of Middle East political and economic affairs, Richard regularly writes and contributes articles to the wider media, including Financial Times and the BBC. He is also a regular speaker on Middle East economy. Richard joined MEED as Managing Editor in February 2003. During his time at MEED, he has covered many areas of the Middle East economy including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. He was named MEED editor in April 2007 and become Editorial Director in February 2010. He has a Masters degree in International Relations, and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with Management Law. Prior to becoming a journalist he worked in the UK construction industry for Atkins and for Laing O’Rourke