Bringing Together the Who’s Who of Digital!
The ArabNet Digital Summit 2018 brings you the “behind-the-scene” initiators of change from across the world.
Over 90 speakers will join us this year as we pave the way for the latest in digital.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi is the CEO of Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai mandated to promote the small and medium enterprise sector. In his current role, Al Janahi has been contributing significantly to developing and maintaining an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Dubai and mobilising government and private sector support to help young and aspiring entrepreneurs in the UAE grow into successful business leaders. Today, under his leadership, more than 13,000 entrepreneurs have been assisted. Prior to starting Dubai SME, Al Janahi was a founding member in a number of leading organisations and transformational initiatives in Dubai, including the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Internet city and Aswaq. Currently he’s also the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund for SME, a member of Board of Directors of Tejuri.com (LLC) and a member of UAE Genetic Diseases Association. Al Janahi is a graduate in Business Administration; he has also completed executive programmes in management, entrepreneurship and public finance from the Harvard University, Harvard Kennedy School, Georgetown University, National University of Singapore and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Management.Twitter:@abasetaljanahi
Aaditya Sarna oversees UWI’s financial, technical and policy provisions for developing and investing with governments to establish national infrastructure assets identified as Economic Clusters. Before joining UWI, Sarna led investment and business development for Mubadala Development Company. He was also an initial team member of Dubai Holding where he was instrumental in building iconic companies like Dubai Internet City, Dubai Development and Investment Authority and other projects that have attracted multibillion-dollar investments.
Aarti Tandon is the Executive Director of Smart Cities New York (SCNY), North America's leading global conference to highlight the innovations and investments being deployed by governments, business leaders, NGOs, and academia to make cities around the world more sustainable. She has overseen the tours of the world’s most famous Bollywood stars and organized high-level sports and entertainment delegations for the U.S. State Department in advance of the 2014 World Cup. She spent over a decade representing clients ranging from Grammy-nominated artists to emerging songwriters, filmmakers, producers and more.Twitter:@aartitandon
With nearly two decades of experience in infrastructure and facilities management, Abdulla Al Wahedi is Senior Director of Emaar Facilities Management and Head of Emaar District Cooling. He oversees the FM operations of Emaar’s integrated master-planned communities including iconic projects such as Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall. Abdulla is a graduate of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Programme for Leadership Development and has won the Sheikh Rashid Award for Academic Achievement.Twitter:@alwahedi
Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East, a business magazine catering to the region's entrepreneurs and business-minded readership. In this role, Aby writes and edits for Entrepreneur Middle East's monthly print publication, and website, www.entrepreneur.com/me. He is especially interested in stories on startups and the people behind them. Prior to media, Aby was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London and New York.Twitter:@thisisaby
Over the last 20 years Ahmed Sodoudi has established himself as a highly effective Marketing & Sales executive working with Fortune 10 companies including General Motors, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank and McDonald's in the Middle East, Africa and the United States. He is described as a driven marketer who delivers results through human and data driven insights, root cause analysis and systematic improvements using structure and process, leading the Chevrolet brand with a focus on profitability, share, brand health and footprint growth in the Middle East.Twitter:@Asoudodi
Ahmet Kayhan, is the CEO & Co-Founder of Zingat.com, an online real estate marketplace for consumers and professionals in Turkey and President & Co-Founder of REIDIN, a real estate information and analytics company focusing Emerging Countries. Prior to that, he was the Regional Manager of ISI Emerging Markets, a Euromoney Institutional Investor Company. In addition to various business interests such as real estate, big data, blockchain, emerging markets, venture capital and private equity, Kayhan is a member of Turkish Business Council, ULI – Urban Land Institute, Propeller Club and Galatasaray Sports Club.Twitter:@AhmetKayhan
Alex is leading the launch of what3words across the GCC with partners in government, e-Commerce, logistics, travel & mobility. He started his career in finance at Credit Suisse, London before moving into Tech where he headed up Business development across Africa with JUMIA Group (Rocket Internet). Prior to what3words he was as Operations Director for logistics company ‘Stuart Delivery’ which successfully launched in London and acquired by Geopost.
Ali Qudah is a Digital Transformation Manager at ADXP Consultancy. And a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum. Ali has been working extensively on digital transformation projects in the smart city space and is an evangelist of social entrepreneurship. Ali combines both digital transformation with civil society engagement to maximize the impact disruptive technologies can have on societies.Twitter:@ali_qudah_russ
With nearly twenty years of experience across Europe and the MENA region and with a strong focus on TMT investments, Alvaro has worked across transaction execution, post-acquisition management and advisory roles. He co-founded BECO Holdings, Dubai-based early-stage investment firm focused on digital businesses in the MENA region, such as Careem, PropertyFinder and SellAnyCar. Alvaro also held previous positions with Diamond Cluster International, Value Partners and Booz Allen & Hamilton.
Amit Patel is a Partner at Owl Ventures. He’s worked closely with several education companies, including PresenceLearning, Revolution Foods, TenMarks (acquired by Amazon), Raise.me, MasteryConnect, LearnZillion, Accelerate Learning, DreamBox Learning and EdSurge. Amit serves on the board of directors of Lingo Live, Securly and is a board observer for Panorama Education and Director of Technology for Success Academy Charter Schools. Before Owl, he founded Personal Academic Trainers, an after-school tutoring company, and created the quality assurance program and institutionalized sales training for Mathnasium Learning Centers.
A professional with a business vision, hardcore technical skills and the ability to motivate/bring people together, Aref has over 22 years of international experience with Senior Managerial positions in designing, developing and successful implementation of IT & Management Information System Solutions. He sources innovation by partnering and building strong lasting relationships with relevant technology startups. Aref is a public speaker at major academic, social and professional events.
Arihant is the Head of Business for Middle East and Africa at Freshworks. His latest startup Joe Hukum (acquired by Freshworks), provides businesses with chatbots for an enhanced customer engagement with end users. With over 15 years of experience, he has also held senior positions in customer support, business operations and sales across different verticals and geographies. Arihant holds a Masters in Business from INSEAD and a Bachelor's degree from Stanford University. He enjoys design and travel in his free time.
In his role, Bashar oversees the IBM business in the Gulf Countries and the Levant working with clients and partners across industries. He began his career with IBM in the United Kingdom and held several managerial and executive positions in soft-ware development, services, sales & marketing. His international career includes several assignments in the USA, Europe and the Middle East. Kilani has a passion for thought leadership around Digital Transformation, AI, Blockchain, Cloud and has spoken at many international and regional conferences.Twitter:@BasharKilani
Bassam Rizk is the Director of Measurement & Platform Solutions at OMD. He is responsible for identifying the best possible data architecture to record and analyze data to support strategy recommendations and achieve client objectives. He has been with OMD for 10 years operating across the fields of planning, research, as well as data & platform integrations.
Benjamin Ampen is Twitter's Managing Director for the MENA region and is responsible for overseeing the regional operations of the organization. Since joining Twitter, Ampen has successfully launched the company’s sales activities in France, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. In 2015, he moved to the UAE as the MENA Head of Revenue leading the growth and revenue performance for the company in the region. Ampen worked at Google for four years, as well as at Universal McCann and Detecon Consulting.Twitter:@bampen
Bob is a director with over 20 years of professional and consulting experience in various industries, with multinationals, SME and government organizations, as well as new ventures/start-ups. His expertise in getting complex projects off the ground. He is passionate for digital technology developments and deployment. Bob holds a dual BBA from the International School of Economics Rotterdam, a MA from Radboud University and has completed executive management education at INSEAD.Twitter:@bobsorensen1
Boye Balogun is MD of Future Tech Media, a digital solutions and technology business. He is Co-founder of Lowe Profero Performance and ex- Regional Head of Digital at Mindshare. Boye specializes in helping brands accelerate their digital marketing & achieve digital transformation, with experience from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Bruno leads Google Publishers business across Middle East and North Africa with the main goal to empower publishers to thrive in a digital future. He works closely with partners on their most challenging objectives and brings the best of Google to guide them on their digital transformation path. Having previously been responsible for the Telecoms business across Emerging Markets in EMEA and News publishers and Broadcasters in Italy, Bruno has a wealth of digital experience at Google.Twitter:@br1bianchini
With over 14 years of industry experience at both Client and then Agency-side; Burt’s mandate is to infuse Performance Management, Data Solutions and Technology-Driven Channel thinking into MediaCom’s marketing solutions for clients. He has delivered some of the most notable data+technology layered award-winning marketing campaigns in the region. He also finds synergies within other streams of the client’s marketing stack, namely their approach to attribution and measurement.Twitter:@burtjee
Christopher Kiew-Smith (Chris) joined the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in 2017. He supports FSRA and overall ADGM in their approach to innovative financial technologies. Chris is involved in initiatives such as the ADGM Regulatory Laboratory (Reglab), its Innovation Centre and institutional-focused projects. Prior to ADGM, he was at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and he led the regulator’s policy towards blockchain technologies. Chris was also a member of the Whitechapel Think Tank, a London-based group of industry experts discussing the potential of blockchain solutions in financial markets.Twitter:@distribledgers
Worthem joined Ford in 1999. She led brand integrations on American Idol, Need for Speed, and the highly successful Effie award-winning Fiesta Movement and Escape Routes marketing campaigns. Recently recognised as a Young History Maker, Top 40 Under 40, and Marketer of the Year by various publications, Worthem has also received numerous awards for her efforts, namely eX-Award for the Ford Experience Tour, Warriors In Pink, Focus Rally, and the Global Marketing Excellence Award.Twitter:@crystalworthem
Dan spent his career helping media companies reimagine their businesses for the digital age. He led the strategy and design for Hulu and The Wall Street Journal. He’s a trusted advisor to startups such as Rent the Runway, Foursquare and Skift and has also led relaunches for The New York Times, CNN, Newsweek, Billboard and Gawker. Dan’s a co-founder of the product design company Charming Robot. He has a M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and is a Senior Fellow at The Fletcher School at Tufts University.Twitter:@danmaccarone
Darelle started her media career in 2008 in New Zealand as publisher for a TV network. Since 2011, she moved to the agency side and worked in both hybrid and digital roles in 3 other countries (Australia, United Kingdom & UAE). Darelle has experience across a plethora of categories; notably travel, FMCG, beauty, retail and entertainment. In her current role as a digital planning director at OMD, she overlooks the Beiersdorf account. Darelle has a clear passion for digital, in particular programmatic, performance and measurement solutions.
David is charged with supporting Bahrain’s conventional and Islamic financial industries with a particular focus on international outreach. He works closely with key stakeholders such as the Central Bank of Bahrain to create an innovation-friendly environment for businesses and investors alike. This has led to the introduction of Bahrain’s Regulatory Sandbox along with Bahrain Fintech Bay, the largest fintech hub in the Middle East and North Africa, of which David is a Board Member. He’s also worked on assignments that included heading Invest Hong Kong in London and International Business Wales.Twitter:@DParkerIIP
Deniz has been TEB Group Director of Digital Banking since April 2016, following a six-year stint as Alternative Distribution Channels Director. He headed up TEB’s digital transformation with his team and launched Turkey’s fastest growing digital banking platform CEPTETEB. In addition, he is mentoring for Istanbul Technical University Core, STARTERBOOTCAMP Istanbul, Turkcell Future Writers and TEB Entrepreneur House. In 2005, Deniz joined TEB as CRM and Marketing Department Manager, worked for CRM and Marketing Departments in Garanti Bank and before that worked for Nicholson International.Twitter:@denizcengiz
Program Manager of One Million Arab Coders initiative and Consultant of innovation by Technology with Dubai Future Foundation, and on UAE Prime Minster’s office before , 16 years of managing mega technology projects across the UAE with passion of programing.
Fadi Hindi is the Chief Executive Officer of Takaful Emarat. He has over 28 years of experience in digital transformation, and most recently served as Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chief Innovation Officer at DEWA. Prior to joining DEWA, Fadi was a Strategy, Operations and Partnerships Consultant at Smart Dubai and worked for Dubai Smart Government. He holds BSc in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University.Twitter:@fjhindi
Fadi has 14 years of experience in advertising, marketing and management consulting across the Middle East and Africa. He has worked at Leo Burnett, JWT, Delta Partners, du, and Virgin Mobile prior to founding Netizency, a digital marketing agency. Fadi studied at the American University of Beirut in addition to attending executive education courses at Harvard, Columbia and London Business School.Twitter:@fkhater
With over 14 years of experience, Fadi Maktabi began his Omnicom journey in 2007 at OMD managing the PepsiCo account in Dubai, eventually leading the regional account, overseeing 14 markets and 19 brands. His career has spanned planning, strategy and business development, leveraging his expertise to help clients develop brand strategies that bridge the gap between offline and online media. Being General Manager of Hearts & Science MENA, has really linked Fadi’s passion of strengthening that bridge between digital and offline media through data-driven marketing for their clients.Twitter:@fadimaktabi
Recognized as one of the Top 20 Influential and Trusted Real Estate Professionals in Dubai by Property Times for two consecutive years, Fadi Nwilati is currently leading the advancement of the property industry with technology. With his 11 years of rigorous expertise, serving on numerous boards of some of the largest real estate funds in the region, he’s also the Founder and CEO of Kaizen Asset Management Services. Fadi, at the forefront of technology adoption within the GCC Real Estate sector, will be launching various smart-real-estate software applications.Twitter:@FadiNwilati
Fahim is a partner at AQ&P, a UAE-based corporate advisory and investment firm. As an advocate for strong corporate governance in SMEs, he’s spoken on the importance of addressing corporate governance at the outset of any venture and has worked with startups and SMEs as a corporate governance consultant. Fahim is an angel investor in a number of ventures in the UAE, is a non-executive director at Taqarabu Hybrid Communications and has served as a director and chaired the audit committee of a large media conglomerate in the UAE.Twitter:@fahimaq
Faisal has more than 8 years of experience in the marketing B2B and B2C products working mostly in the MEP and HVAC sectors. Earlier on in his career he was involved in landmark projects like Burj Khalifa, the New Hamad international airport and Dubai Metro helping market and sell products from the American and European market. Faisal won the best marketing initiative of the year at the Climate Control Awards consecutively for the years 2015 and 2016 and is now a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.Twitter:@faisalsz
For 25 years, Farshad has been one of the critical global consultants to Reuters Financial services, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Stockbrokers and at Microsoft-Seattle HQ. He’s also VP of eStrategy at Saman Bank, an initial investor in Google and Amazon and investor in some FinTech startup across the Middle East, Europe and USA. Currently, he’s part of one of Europe largest Fin/Tech start-up community VC programs at Level 39-London and Plug and Play/Santander FinTech Startups at Station-F in Paris. He has an M.Phil (Computing) from Sussex(UK) University.Twitter:@farshadn
Gary is responsible for setting the strategic direction of Smartology, while managing the day to day operations of the company. He has over 15 years of experience in Ad tech and online businesses, developing digital strategies for leading companies such as The Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange. He has lead teams, developed market leading websites, mobile apps and database products for both B2C and B2B markets.
Gary D. West is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of GM’s Future Mobility technologies in the Middle East, in line with the company’s vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. West brings extensive fleet management and Mobility experience, working in diverse locations in the USA, China and Singapore. West has over 25 years of global automotive vehicle sales, service and marketing experience, managing teams in emerging, developing and mature markets.
Ghela is a regular fintech industry speaker and contributor to publications, specializing in dynamic pricing and customer centricity, having spent the last ten years focused on core insurance and banking system solutions. Ghela also founded FemTechGlobal to bridge the gender gap in the financial services industry and was named one of Brummell Magazine’s 2016 “30 Inspirational Women Innovators”, and included in Innovate Finance’s Women in Fintech Powerlist 2016. Ghela is Head of Fintech/Regtech Partnerships at Rainmaking, home of Startupbootcamp.Twitter:@GhelaBoskovich
Gonçalo is responsible for leading the strategy definition and execution for du’s IoT and Blockchain portfolio, partnerships and platforms across the enterprise segment. Prior to du, he was responsible for Cloud, Vertical Services and Alliances in Portugal Telecom. Under Gonçalo’s leadership, PT launched its Cloud marketplace winner of the award for best Cloud Services in Europe 2013 by the EuroCloud organization and positioning PT as a leading provider of Cloud services for Enterprise. Before entering the telecommunications industry Gonçalo worked in FMCG (Nestlé) and IT (Hewlett-Packard).
Since 2008 he’s been working in the digital marketing industry as an entrepreneur and consultant, with a focus on social media strategies in fast-growing markets in Asia. In 2017, he contributed to launch the international team of Cifnews雨果网, the first Chinese media specialized in cross-border e-commerce. The company, based in Xiamen with offices in Italy and California, is active in the fields of publishing, online and offline training, investments (Cifnews Capital) and business events - with CCEE (Cifnews Cross-border E-commerce Exhibition), registering over 45k participants in 2017 alone.Twitter:@guido_ghedin
Gustavo Montero is a Swiss national and a trained Engineer/Technology Industry Specialist. He’s the co-Founder and Chairman of Agar LLC, with over 25 years international banking experience with senior roles at Standard Chartered Bank, Cramer Bank, global audit positions for International Organizations and substantial Global Project Management experience. More recently, Gustavo has advised some of the world’s largest family offices on their investment activities.
Heba Sayed is the Head of Marketing for IBM Watson Customer Engagement in Middle East & Africa. She has a cool job that sits right at the intersection of marketing and technology, and is excited about the rising focus on customer centricity in the region. She has been advocating for the use of AI technologies in customer engagement in the region’s most renowned platforms like Arab Luxury Summit, DubaiLynx Festival of Creativity, Mashable Social Media Day, Watson Summit, ArabNet Digital Summit and MICE Luxury Travel summit amongst many others.Twitter:@HebaSayed
Herbert is the Chief Information Officer with ASGC Construction LLC. He was hired by ASGC in 2017 with the mission to help shape and play a pivotal role in ASGC’s digital transformation journey. Herbert’s professional career over the past +25 years was with global players across various industries where he had the opportunity of being instrumental in significant transformation and optimization initiatives. Throughout his career, he established himself as an innovator and though leader across the “build”, “run” and the “transform” spectrum of IT.
Hubertus Thonhauser is Founding Partner of Enabling Future, a Dubai-based early-stage venture capital boutique. Hubertus and his partner have invested in a portfolio of 20 companies mainly covering the US, Europe and MENA, with a sector focus on social impact driven businesses in fintech, e-commerce and big-data. He’s also an early investor in distributed ledger technologies and member of the board of the Tezos foundation. Previously, Hubertus co-founded Babil Games, currently the top-grossing mobile games publisher in the MENA region, acquired in 2016 by NASDAQ-listed Stillfront Group.Twitter:@Mr_Hubertus
After acquiring his Master’s Degree from Brunel University London, Hussam ventured to Dubai where he began his career in digital media. In his current role at AWRostamani, he oversees the digital transformation of the corporation along with delving into the intricacies of digital data. Hussam has been adamant on the evolution of the media industry and his ideas have appeared in the region’s top media publications along with the release of his podcast “Let’s Take This Online” where he addresses all aspects of media and digital in Dubai.Twitter:@digitalhuss
Hussein has over 17 years of Marketing Communication experience leading and building integrated marketing practices within multinational agencies (JWT - Leo Burnett - TBWA) and client side (Fortune 500 companies - Virgin Mobile - Red Bull). He’s been featured in the 50 most influential digital marketing leaders listing for 2017. Furthermore, Hussein was voted by the Huffington Post as among the 10 people changing the marcomm landscape in the MENA region and in Gulf Marketing Review's GMR’s list of 40 of the brightest marketing professionals under the age of 40 in the Middle East.Twitter:@hussdajani
Jan Gloncak is Managing Director of Consulting Services and partner at Teambase. He has spent almost 20 years in the software industry focusing on helping businesses get the most out of what technology offers, by designing, developing and deploying innovative solutions that give them advantage over the competition. His passion is Business Intelligence and Analytics and its application in today’s enterprises to drive better performance, efficiency and ability to make decisions based on facts rather than intuition.Twitter:@JanGloncak
Jesse is General Partner at Flybridge. His investments include Bulletin, Hyr, Imperfect Produce, Remote Year, Splice and Wethos. Prior to joining Flybridge, Jesse was an early executive at WeWork and the head of information technology at LivePerson. He co-founded Backstory, a venture-backed marketing-tech company. Jesse was also an active angel investor in many early stage technology startups including Authenticated Digital, Eight, fitmob (acquired by ClassPass), inDinero, Jackpocket, Rukkus, Studio, Squire, Thunderclap, and YourTrove (acquired by LiveNation). Jesse lives in Harlem with his two year old son (born on Leap Day), Holden and wife Magda.Twitter:@srcasm
Jihad Tayara is Vice President Commercial for ICT at du, leading new smart initiatives and collaborations for digital transformation for Smart City, IoT, Blockchain, AI, Big Data, Cloud & Smart Solutions. In his last 3 years as Vice President, several key projects were awarded to du. Jihad set-up the first smart city Wi-Fi UAE initiative. In 2017, he won several awards for “The Best Smart City Initiative” for Dubai Pulse Project at forums which include: Telecom World ME, COMMS MEA & Telecom Review Summit. He worked for Motorola Networks, Orascom and Investcom.Twitter:@jtayara
John currently serves as Securrency COO and Senior Executive Officer for Securrency Middle East North Africa (MENA) Operations in Dubai, UAE. Prior to co-founding Securrency in 2015, John served in executive leadership and senior program management positions with the U.S. Navy. His uniformed career spanned 25 years with extensive experience leading cross functional teams to include international business development efforts managing portfolios valued in excess of $15B.
Jonathan Nelson is the managing director of Hack VC and the founder and CEO of Hackers and Founders, the largest group of tech founders globally with 200,000 members in 118 cities in 44 countries. Jonathan has had a dizzying career path: Trauma nurse, software engineer, advisor for the SEC on small businesses investment and advisor for development banks on emerging technologies.Twitter:@iamelgringo
Jonathan Schmitt is Chief Mobility Strategist for Ford Middle East and Africa (MEA), a newly-created position focusing on the mobility business in the region. He supports Ford’s global City Solutions team by working closely with city planners, public transport agencies and communities to create solutions for the changing needs of urban dwellers and cities. He was a founding member of the Principal Finance team at Arqaam Capital, a leading Dubai-based investment bank and founder and director for ACFIT Advisors, a boutique advisory firm which delivered strategic advice to clients across MEA.
Julien is the Regional Commercial Director of Buzzeff Middle East Africa, a leading online video advertising platform helping brands and advertisers to achieve effective digital communication strategies. He is advocating throughout the region for brand safety and viewable advertising on high quality online environments.
Justin has recently joined Securrency, a platform for tokenized securities. He spent 10 years in Asia working in senior retail banking, risk, operations, technology, strategy and product roles. His most recent position was CTO of Wave Money in Myanmar, a rapidly-scaled payments fintech. Prior, Justin was a digital banking Head for ANZ Bank across Asia-Pacific. Justin is also an Alumni of Wing – Cambodia, and Visa. Justin has degrees in Psychology and Information Systems (Dean’s Honours List) from the University of Melbourne, where he’s also a faculty-member and published author.Twitter:@hadgkiss
Kaushik has 18 years of experience across North America, Europe and Asia in areas of business consulting and strategy development for key clients across sectors of FS, telecom, retail and Oil and Gas, leading teams of professionals with P&L management in operations. His domain knowledge is around Information Management, application of AI and analytical techniques to drive insights from it.
At ConsenSys Ventures, Kavita heads a unique VC-Hedge Fund, investing in next-generation Ethereum Blockchain technologies revolutionizing our current systems. Over her 16-year career, she has set up innovative investment funds across East Africa, Middle East, South Asia and most recently in the US through World Bank, IFC, McKinsey and The Schmidt Family Office.Twitter:@KavitaGupta19
In 2017 Lina joined ConsenSys, the largest Ethereum blockchain technology firms globally, as Executive Director of the Dubai office. She oversees strategy and enterprise professional services for the Middle East and North Africa. Lina works closely with government entities to help them build their blockchain strategy, use case ideation, technical analysis and enable them to issue RFPs. She also acted as a juror on the judging committee for the 2017 World Virtual GovHack organized by the United Arab Emirates government. Lina is a seasoned technology leader with over 20 years of experience as a technologist, advisor, and executive.
Linda Gibbs is a Principal for Social Services at Bloomberg Associates, a not-for profit consultancy serving Mayors in achieving their vision in meeting unique municipal challenges. She is also a Senior Fellow at Results for America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting government at all levels to harness data to solve the greatest challenges. Gibbs served as New York City Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services from 2005-2013.Twitter:@lindagibbs
As Director of Partnerships, Lisa leads the growth of Stellar.org's network of financial partners. Lisa travels the world collaborating with diverse financial institutions, from Central Banks to Money Service Businesses (MSBs), on how they can improve their financial infrastructure and lower the cost of cross-border payments using Stellar.org's open-source blockchain network. Her dream is to bring low-cost financial services to all, including the underbanked.Twitter:@nestorious828
Lynnette’s core professional passions are technology and real estate. She has spent her career in the technology sector for over 20 years and has specialized in the PropTech industry for the last 11 years due to her passion and experience in the real estate industry in the U.S. and Dubai. Lynnette holds multiple accreditations from the US based National Association of Realtors (NAR). Previously, Lynnette was instrumental in building the tech stack, business plans and regulatory outreach for Property Monitor amongst other real estate digitalization efforts in Dubai.
Mansour Salameh has been working at Facebook covering the Middle East and North Africa Retail scene since 2012. During this time, Mansour has been at the forefront of helping top retail, online and e-commerce companies including Souq, Namshi, Al Shaya, Al Tayer and Landmark Group (among others) achieve their business objectives and scale their business through Facebook. Prior to that, Mansour spent 9 years working in traditional media and creative advertising, managing blue-chip brands across various industries.Twitter:@VincenzoSalamon
Martin Sabbagh began his career in 2002 with ING specializing in LBO Financing, before spending four years as an Auditor with Ernst & Young. He moved to JCDecaux in May 2007 to take up a position as Senior Acquisition Analyst. In 2008, he was appointed Head of the Group’s Investor Relations and Financial Communications Department before becoming, in 2011, Director of Mergers & Acquisitions and Development. Based in Dubai, Martin reports to Jean-Charles Decaux, Co-Chief Executive Office of the Group.
Matthew Gardiner is the Founder of Catch London. He advises Tier I Banks, Institutional Investors, FinTechs and VCs on cryptocurrencies, AI and RegTech. Matthew previously worked in PwC’s Global Financial Services practice and has recently spoken at Money 2020 Asia, CSFI, Next Money, Google, The Global Leaders Forum, The Inner Temple, TenCent, Alipay, Finnovasia, FinTech Australia, Arab Net, Dubai Futures, Bank Negara and The Turing Trust.Twitter:@matwg
Maud Moawad is Maddict Managing Director and a founding partner. Till date, she earned a substantial 15 years of experience in mobile technology and mobile media. Maud’s success story started with the emergence of Maddict from a startup to a profitable medium enterprise spread across four markets in the MENA in three years’ time. She is also invested in Big Data research and privacy compliance technologies. Maud achieved fruitful consultancy outcome in the innovative technology for multiple multinational brands across the MENA markets.
Maya has over two decades of media and communications experience. From the World Government Summit to the Women in Leadership Forum, Maya has moderated and participated as an MC for high-level events attended by Senior Members of Government and C-Suite Executives from global companies. She’s a News Presenter and a Producer at Dubai TV and has worked at Al Arabiya TV. She has carried out extensive media training for several high-profile spokespeople in various industries and has educated students in Media and Journalism at the American University of Dubai.Twitter:@MayaHojeij
Melissa's work in start-ups and multinationals, across the Middle East and Europe, is a blend of instinct, fueled by statistics. Communicate and Entrepreneur Middle East have published some of her musings. The panel she moderated on Gen Z at the 2017 Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity was voted one of the top 5 to watch. She was also named one of the 30 under 30 media faces to watch and was one of 10 women in MENA chosen to take part of the See It! Be It! mentorship program.Twitter:@melimoub
As Founder and CEO of Cranium Creation a digital agency in Dubai, Mo has worked very closely with hundreds of startups. Over the last 8 years he has help create and consult on projects drawing on his experience and training in Artificial intelligence, software development and business acumen. Mo Mirza’s focus these days is his latest company Snagreport, a software that provides insightful reports on building construction and facility management.
Mohamad Itani has 14 years of regional media experience. He was previously the CEO of Neo Digital, the first dedicated online media agency in the Middle East. Mohamad joined MCN in 2009 as Regional Digital Director of Initiative MENA, and since February 2013 has been leading Platform5. As a Managing Director of this specialized digital entity formed to support the networks UM, Initiative and Magna Global brands, he is in charge for the growth of mobile, Programmatic Buying, Data Analytics and performance marketing sectors.Twitter:@mgitani
Mohamed El Deeb has 26 years of experience in FM, PM, CM and Construction within Real Estate companies such as Emaar Misr and Orascom Holding. He has had three academic published papers at the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering (CSCE) in 2017 and is IFMA certified, holding FMP and trainer 2016. Mohamed is a “Visiting Professor” at the American University in Cairo (AUC) as well as Member of the FM Steering Committee.
Mohammad AlSaraira is the Director of Business Development & Sales at du ICT Solutions, driving the digital transformation in Government and Large enterprises through Smart Services echo-system creation including Smart Districts, IOT uses cases, Blockchain and many others. He joined du in 2014 launching the first smart city WiFi UAE initiative. Prior to that, he worked with Eitsalat Group and Umniah/Batelco. He holds a degree in Information Engineering & Technology Management from the UK and a Master’s Degree of Business Administration from the University of Manchester.
Mohammed Shael AlSaadi holds a number of positions including being a member of the Dubai Smart City Initiative and the Dubai Smart Government Executive Committee, ensuring that DED smart strategy is aligned with the overall Dubai Government movement towards achieving eﬃciency and better utilisation of all government resources.
Nicolai Strøm-Olsen is an author and founder of Startup Migrants and Kunstforum. In 2009, Strøm-Olsen co-founded the leading Nordic art magazine: KUNSTforum. Writing about culture and city development, he was struck by how startups and artists revive cities. Since then, he has written three books on business, culture and city development. His latest book is Startup – Europe, The Entrepreneurs transforming Europe (2016). Strøm-Olsen is currently working on a book about entrepreneurship and migration.Twitter:@StroemOlsen
Omar joined Abdul Latif Jameel’s leadership after nearly three years within Volkswagen Group’s leadership as the CEO of Volkswagen Group Saudi Arabia. Prior to that, he was a member of SAGIA's executive team and also worked with Saudi Aramco. Omar was also an Associate at McKinsey & Company and was appointed by Royal Decree to the Board of the Job Creation & Employment Commission and was later selected as a member of the Executive Committee. Omar was elected as a Young Arab Leader, is an Eisenhower Fellow and was awarded the Ward Wheelock Distinguished Middle East Fellow honor.Twitter:@2lmadi
Omar Christidis is the Founder & CEO of ArabNet the leading events, media and research company focused on digital business and innovation in MENA. Before founding ArabNet, he worked in private wealth management at a family office in New York on a small team managing $1B in diverse assets. Before that, he was a Consultant at Booz & Co. in the MENA, and worked on varied projects across industries. Omar was selected as a high-impact Endeavor Entrepreneur and was highlighted by GulfNews Magazine as one of its “30 under 30" list in 2012.Twitter:@OmarChr
Patrick Vosgimorukian has over 18 years of experience investing and transacting in growth markets having worked on over 100 transactions in more than 40 countries. Prior to co-founding Digital Spring Ventures, he was the CEO of Amun Capital, a growth markets TMT fund, Head of Investment Banking and Finance at Renaissance Capital Central Asia, a leading investment bank in CIS, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions in CEE and CIS at ABN AMRO, and Equity Research Analyst covering the CEE and Middle Eastern equity capital markets at Societe Generale Securities.
Peter Fancy has been working in FM for over 20 years and has developed a deep understanding of the many facets of FM, delivering FM solutions to private and public organisations, including Healthcare, Educational, Retail, Hotels and Leisure, Airports, Nuclear, Pharm and Manufacturing. With a Masters in Facilities Management, a Certified Member of the British Institute of Facilities Management, and Deputy Chair for BIFM in the UAE, Peter provides thought leadership in the development and delivery of strategic FM solutions, and providing the ‘bridge’ between Construction and the in-use Built Environment.
Peter Smith is the DFSA’s Managing Director, Policy and Strategy. He joined the DFSA in June 2012 and became a Managing Director in early 2016. He is responsible for the development of the DFSA’s policy framework, including for FinTech and RegTech applications; overseeing the DFSA’s strategic planning, including its annual business planning cycle; and for the organisation’s overall risk framework.
Racha Ghamlouch holds a BS in Multimedia Design from the American University in Sharjah, UAE. After graduation, she joined Diwanee as a community manager handling client social media accounts from strategy to execution. In 2011, Racha joined the ArabNet team to spearhead the development of content and competitions for ArabNet conferences across the MENA region. A geek at heart; she is passionate about digital and its potential power to levitate the regions youth and economy.Twitter:@__racha
Rachid Abu-Hassan is an experienced designer and buildings engineer, a musician and an adamant long distance runner. Prior to joining WeWork as director of design for WeLive in Europe and Australia, Rachid worked for over 10 years at Arup, and over 7 years at Shen Milsom Wilke where he started his journey as a buildings engineer. Rachid is also the founder of Platform 78.
Raja Al Mazrouei oversees the region’s first FinTech accelerator. At DIFC, she was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communication, Commissioner of Data Protection, Head of Operations and Head of Information Technology at DIFC Authority. Also, Al Mazrouei served as Head of Information Technology at National Bonds Corporation, Director of IT Relationship Management at Dubai Holding and Systems Development Supervisor at Higher Colleges of Technology. She’s a member of the Harvard Business School MENA and is the Vice President of Harvard Business School Club for the GCC.Twitter:@rrougez
Richard is Managing Director and Founder of Augustus, a ‘new media’ company, publishers of Lovin Dubai and Lovin Saudi. It was launched in 2016. He has worked in the media advertising space for the past 12 years at agencies in Ireland, England and the UAE. He successfully built a regional Social Media department at Mindshare before becoming Managing Director of a creative technology startup. Richard is fascinated about changing media consumption habits and passionate about creating effective brand communications through native advertising.Twitter:@FitzyRichard
Prior to Brightcove, Rick worked for companies such as Portugal Telecom, Vodafone, NOS Portugal, AWS Elemental and Imagine Communications in various roles spanning Technical Project Manager / Owner, Solutions Architect and Head of Sales Engineering. Rick’s latest efforts focus on building Brightcove’s partnerships with key media and marketing companies in the MENA region as well as some large key customers within the UK.
Rita Makhoul is the Managing Editor of ArabNet’s website as well the magazine the ‘ArabNet Quarterly.’ The ArabNet website is a leading reference for digital businesses in the Middle-East. The ‘ArabNet Quarterly’ is the first print release with stories covering the latest e-business, technology, media and entrepreneurship news in MENA. She has a wealth of strategic experience from her 16 years in the marketing and communications industry having led key accounts across industries and finding her passion in the digital, tech and startup industry.Twitter:@rampurple
With 17 years’ experience in the media and entertainment Industry, Rizk Al Haddad is steering Zee media group’s commercial arm, media and research functions for 10 TV channels, Radio and Digital, targeting Asians, Arabs and kids across MENA. He led major projects including a joint venture with a leading global entertainment group, a digital technology venture and VOD projects. He’s a graduate of American University of Beirut (AUB) in Economics and holds an MBA from the London Business School (LBS) with focus on Strategy and Entrepreneurship.Twitter:@rizkhaddad
Ronit Ghose is Global Head for Banks in Citi Research. He’s the lead author of Citi's GPS FinTech report series - the 2016 edition has had c250,000 downloads making it the most read report ever published by Citi. Since joining Citi, Ronit has analysed banks in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He previously worked at the British Bankers’ Association and as a research assistant in Parliament. He’s an Advisory Board Member at the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship.Twitter:@ronit_ghose
Roy started out by applying his degree in economics on brand management at Unilever and then J&J. However, after studying for a Masters in Behavioral Psychology, he moved to strategic planning at Ogilvy Action and ended up in London as a Chief Global Head of Retail Strategy. He moved back to the UAE to found a startup that uses technology to change behavior, Solouq, which he still owns, but then rejoined Geometry (previously OgilvyAction) as their Chief Experience Officer for EMEA.
Ryan Fix is the founder of Pure House, developing and operating co-living projects globally. He is also the co-founder and VP of Pure House Lab (http://www.purehouselab.org/), the leading industry association for co-living globally.Twitter:@ryanfix
Samer is an experienced professional and frequent speaker in the area of customer strategy, Real Estate and service management having worked with numerous organizations in a variety of industries including three of leading property master developers in UAE, the primary Oil & Gas company in UAE, and one of the world's premier investment and online brokerage firms in the US. He started working at an operational level managing day-to-day customer service related issues and has eventually used this widely gained experience to move to a higher strategic level.
Samvit is a Principal with the Middle East Office of McKinsey & Company. He leads the Real Estate practice for McKinsey in the Middle-East and is the global lead on the Institutional Investor joint venture with Infrastructure. He works with SWFs, institutional investors and developers of “hard assets” in SE Asia, the Middle East and more selectively in Europe.
Shankar Narayanan is the Co-Founder and COO of Active.Ai. He’s a Fintech entrepreneur with a successful track record in innovation, technology, operations and product development. He has strong problem solving, change management and project management skills and the ability to develop strategic alliances. In 2000, he founded Internet payment company Cazh. In 2005, he founded enterprise mobility company TAGIT, and in 2012 he founded Social Payment company, Fastacash. He started his career in computer animation in India and carved a niche in multi-media production work when he moved to Singapore.Twitter:@shnkr8
Shyam Sunder has over 25 years of experience in building valuable brands across categories and markets. He started his career at DDB Mudra in India, where he went on to become the Country Head of a leading Brand Activation agency. He moved to Marketing in Dubai with 5 years in Real Estate. Shyam is also a member of the Group Marketing Council Jury/Panelist at the leading marketing & advertising festivals in the region, Executive Member of the Marketing Society and is listed in the Top Marketers in GCC by Gulf Marketing Review.
Sofiane is a self-motivated and qualified digital marketing professional with over ten years’ experience in digital marketing roles internationally (France, UK and UAE) for major global brands with a focus in creating seamless customer journeys. He thrives on new challenges and enjoys the learning process involved that comes with working in a fast-paced environment. His specialties include, online marketing strategy, insights, web analytics, Email marketing, search marketing and user experience.Twitter:@zelou
Stephan Degenhart is the Managing Director and Associate Partner for Drees & Sommer Middle East. Stephan has been working with Drees & Sommer for 18 years, starting his career with the company as a project manager in 2000 and quickly advancing to Director/Project partner in 2005, being made Managing Director in 2016. He has a wealth of experience in the field of real estate development consultation, with skills covering negotiation, value engineering, cost management and contractor and design management.
Stonly Baptiste is the co-founder of Urban Us, the leading early stage venture platform built to serve startups re-imagining city life. He's also an entrepreneur who had two exits under his belt at the ripe age of 27, and a former hacker. Stonly helped create and co-teaches the urban entrepreneurship course at the University of Chicago Booth School and helps run BMW/Mini's URBAN-X accelerator in New York.Twitter:@stonlyb
Tammer’s goal is to turn everyone he meets into an angel investor. He’s also Vice President of Private Equity at Waha Capital, a diversified investment company based in Abu Dhabi with assets of c.$3 billion. Prior to joining Waha, he worked with UBS and HSBC in New York and Dubai, respectively. Tammer previously worked with the Office of Presidential Personnel at the White House in Washington, D.C. He serves on the Board of Directors of Addax Bank in Bahrain and of the Yale Arab Alumni Association.Twitter:@tqaddumi
As the Founder and CEO of insydo, Tanaz used her background in marketing, finance and tech to build an undercover city guide to Dubai. The search-centric product gained a following of over 500,000 unique visitors per month since its launch. In 2017, Tanaz launched her second company, Brand Ripplr, a micro-influencer marketplace. She was the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Omnicom Media Group and led philanthropic and artistic projects for the Elephant Parade and START.
Todd has spent the past 20 years helping companies globally move the needle on customer traction and revenue growth. His experiences include sales and marketing, Saas for enterprises and predictive analytics, IoT, Big data and smart connectivity. Todd has worked for Dell, RackSpace and privately invested in and launched many start-up ventures where he had some successful exits. Todd thrives on change and proactively addresses challenges with a creative flare.Twitter:@ToddOBrien3
Tom MacDonald is a market intelligence practitioner and business consultant specializing in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and other emerging marketshas l. He’s led dozens of assignments for many of the world’s most successful financial services and technology companies. Currently Managing Consultant and Financial & Business Services Practice Lead at the research and advisory firm Global Growth Markets, Tom leads the company’s work on digital payments, e-commerce and payments investment advisory. His work has been cited in publications including the China Daily.
Over 17 years in retail banking, Tony B Graham held leadership positons in Asia Pacific, North America and the Middle East. He served as Head of Retail Banking in Lebanon, Qatar and the UAE and currently leads retail banking advisory in MENA for EY. Tony has worked with both global and local banks and has extensive experience in strategy and business transformation.
Walid has more than 15 years of experience in Venture Capital, strategy, corporate finance and engineering within the digital, telecom, software and new media industries. Previously, Walid was a lead associate at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and a strategy manager at the UAE’s Prime Ministry Executive Office. He worked on setting-up entrepreneurship related programs and developing incubation in the Arab World through initiatives such as the Mohammed Bin Rashid Foundation. Prior to that, Walid worked at Booz & Company as a consultant covering telecom & media.Twitter:@WalidGMansour
Waseem has driven OMD’s digital agenda over the past decade, breaking down silos to demonstrate the importance of this medium early on. Thanks to his dedication, clients have been able to benefit from a strong early-mover advantage. Waseem has also been behind several industry-firsts, including the integration of digital within offline teams to create a new hybrid planning system well before anyone else in the region. Waseem has been recently promoted to GM-Transact, where he’s helping brands build their e-comms structure.Twitter:@wasswass
Youmna Borghol has over 10 years of business experience with a solid background in data and marketing analytics. She started her career at National ICT Australia as a Data Scientist specializing in data, analytics and predictive models for social media. She then moved to Mediacom Australia as the Director of Business Science. Today, she heads the Data department at Choueiri Group, where she oversees all aspects of the data team and data-related product solutions on both the buy and sell sides.Twitter:@yborghol
As the VP of Corporate Development, Zach coordinates Careem’s M&A, strategic partnerships and investor relations efforts. Prior to joining Careem, Zach was a co-founding member of Lumia Capital where he led or worked on investments in Careem, OpenDNS (acquired by Cisco), Xtime (acquired by Cox Automotive), Mulesoft (NYSE: Mule), Kabbage, Procore, and others. At Lumia, Zach completed investments across six different countries and was named 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital by Forbes Magazine in 2016. Zach was an investment banker with Citi's Global Technology, Media and Telecom group.Twitter:@ZFinkelstein
Zubair Ahmed is a Harvard Alumni with 25+ years of IT and financial industry experience. He spent nearly 2 decades in challenging leadership roles, at the heart of the Finance Technology industry. As the Chairman of the UBF IT Committee, Zubair leads the technology agenda for banks, enabling collaborations and advisory with the regulators. He’s the author of the book "Power to Kids" which serves as a guide in applying quality and management principles to parenting. Zubair is regularly featured in conferences around the world.