Speakers

Raki Phillips

Raki Phillips

CEO

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority
Fawaz Al Harbi

Fawaz Al Harbi

Director of Urban and Master Planning

Public Investment Fund

Fawaz just concluded a 7 years journey as the Senior Head of Master Planning at Jeddah Economic Company, with responsibility to oversee the urban planning and design activities, including, the Smart City program, and other initiatives related to Jeddah Economic City development. Recently he joined the Public Investment Fund as a Director of Urban Planning utilizing his expertise in a much broader way,

He has over 20 years of practical experience which allowed him to obtain a diverse range of skills in his varied design, planning, leadership, management and supervision roles. He was trained as an architect and urban planner, and has worked in both public and private sectors, which gave him the insight and the know-how to bridge the gap between them.

Fawaz holds a B.S. Degree in Architecture from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Mineral, and a Master’s Degree from University of Cincinnati, USA, in Community Planning with a focus on Economic Development and Urban Design.

Sanjiv Khosla

Sanjiv Khosla

Deputy Chief Visitor Experience Officer, Visitor Experience

Expo 2020

Sanjiv Khosla has been the Vice President for Research & Analytics at Expo 2020 since 2017 and is responsible for understanding where the visitors to Expo are going to come from and helping inform strategies to attract the visitors to the Expo.

In addition, Sanjive is also responsible for Marketing and Ticketing and using a data driven approach to market Expo to its target audiences and drive ticket sales.

Prior joining Expo he was Senior Vice President for Strategy at Dubai Holding since 2009. He was responsible for the Strategy Function and the Corporate Governance Framework of Dubai Holding. He was also involved in leading the transformation of Dubai Holding into an Investment Holding Company.

Hans-Peter Betz

Hans-Peter Betz

Director

The International Association of Hotel General Managers
Khalid Anib

Khalid Anib

CEO

Abu Dhabi National Hotels
Nijat Aliyev

Nijat Aliyev

Owner’s Representative

Sofitel The Palm

Nijat Aliyev, Board member and Managing Director and Owners’ Representative of Sofitel The Palm Resort, a dynamic and result-oriented hotelier with over 10 years of resorts and city hotels experience in world class international hotel brands.

Nijat has strong analytical, work ethics and problem solving capability combined with solid understanding of financial plans. His unique mix of sheer hard work, dedication, legal knowledge and absolute attention to detail make him great leader and phenomenal person.

He has fantastic business intelligence and great judgment sense using his several years of international qualitative and quantitative experience. A result & quality oriented individual.

He is always dedicated to continuous process improvement in the face of rapidly evolving markets with his complete loyalty and passion, and proactive in finding revenue driven initiatives and cost-effective solutions. A significant player in strategic planning for hotel development, very reliable and trustworthy individual.

Rishi Kapoor

Rishi Kapoor

Senior Vice President- International Development

MGM Hospitality

Profile to be updated shortly

Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor

Managing Director

Team Leisure

Phil Taylor is the Managing Director of Team Leisure, a specialist leisure-consulting firm based in the United Arab Emirates. Team Leisure offers market analysis & feasibility studies, including concept idea research; project development services; and operational services to the owners, developers and operators of leisure businesses worldwide.

Prior to founding Team Leisure in 2007, Phil worked in executive director positions at several companies, including Ski Dubai, the London office of Economics Research Associates (now part of AECOM), The London Eye and as the New Business Development Director for The Tussauds Group from 1995 – 2000 (now part of Merlin Entertainment Group). The Tussauds Group’s worldwide portfolio of attractions included Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Port Aventura in Spain, Warwick Castle and Thorpe Park, which Phil acquired for the Group in 1998, The London Eye and Madam Tussauds.

Lennard Francois Otto

Lennard Francois Otto

Chief Executive Officer

IMG Worlds

In his current role, as CEO of IMG Worlds of Adventure, Mr. Otto is working closely with the owners and leadership of the Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari Group to deliver the world’s largest indoor theme park to Dubai.

Widely recognized for his vision and leadership abilities, Mr. Otto has over a decade of experience in managing large international hospitality and leisure destinations, including resorts, outdoor and indoor waterparks, beachfront developments, theme parks and adventure facilities. Prior to joining IMG Worlds of Adventure, Mr. Otto was responsible for the pre and post opening phases of some of the most iconic entertainment properties across South Africa and the Middle East, including Wild Wadi, Atlantis the Palm, Wahooo! Waterpark, John Buck International and Wadi Adventure

Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson

Managing Partner

Godwin Austen Johnson

With more than 40 years of regional experience to his name, Brian’s influence on modern Middle Eastern architecture is undeniable. His body of work comprises some of the region’s most recognisable and prized buildings. Among them is the Dubai Creek Golf Club, widely recognised as one of Dubai’s first architectural icons – so much so that it features on the 20 dirham note. Recognised as one of the most distinguished architects in the region, Brian is credited with having set in motion a countrywide trend in the UAE to incorporate traditional Arabic and Islamic themes into modern architecture.

His distinctive style and uncompromising resolve for design excellence has made Brian and GAJ a preferred partner for many distinguished projects and has resulted in the firm winning an array of architectural awards

Isobel Abulhoul

Isobel Abulhoul

CEO

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

Isobel is the CEO of the Emirates Literature Foundation and the founder of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the Arab World’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, bringing people of all ages together with authors from across the world to promote education, debate and, above all else, reading. The Festival won the Best Festival title at the Middle East Event Awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and in 2016 was declared Best Family Friendly Day Out at the Time Out Dubai Kids Awards and Favourite Festival at the What’s On Dubai Awards.

In 2013, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and also the Festival patron, issued a Decree forming the Emirates Literature Foundation, naming Isobel as one of the trustees on the Board. In addition, Isobel also holds the position of CEO of the Foundation.

Isobel has received several awards and accolades over the years, including Cultural Personality of the Year by Dr. HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah in 2010 and an OBE by HM Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 2012. In 2016, Isobel accepted the UAE Pioneers Award for Best Non-Governmental Organisation for the Emirates Literature Foundation’s work in promoting reading initiatives during the UAE Year of Reading. This year, Isobel was chosen as one of the 100 Smartest People in the UAE by Arabian Business magazine.

Jean Hanna

Jean Hanna

Former Operation Director

Burj Fountain