Advisory Board

A key success factor to Arabian Travel Market is its ability to anticipate industry developments and trends and ensure these are reflected in the backbone of the event’s strategic development.

The ATM Advisory Board plays a important role in this, bringing together industry leaders from across the globe that reflect regional interests and those of our key global stakeholders including exhibitors, buyers, visitors and research agencies.

Reed Travel Exhibitions appreciates and values the industry insight and contribution the ATM Advisory Board Members offer in reflecting on key strategic issues and uses this forum to help shape and develop the event for the future.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates Airline

Chief Commercial Officer

Adnan Kazim is currently the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer reporting to the President Emirates Airline. He is a member on the Board of Emirates Airline Foundation, a non-profit charity organisation which aims to improve the quality of life for children.

Adnan joined Emirates in 1992 as a Management Trainee starting his career with the Group as a ground handling agent at dnata. He then went on to successfully lead the airline’s commercial operations in major markets such as the UAE, Switzerland, Pakistan and East Africa transitioning into a leadership role to shape the airline’s growth vision in the strategic areas of fleet planning, market expansion and governmental relations.

As Chief Commercial Offer, Adnan holds responsibility for Commercial Operations, E-Commerce, Emirates’ Loyalty Programme (Skywards) and Emirates SkyCargo functions. In addition, Adnan is responsible for Strategic Fleet Planning, Network Planning and Market Research functions as well as Revenue Optimisation including product pricing and Airline Partnerships.

Al Mohannad Sharafuddin, Arabian Falcon Holidays

Founder and Chairman

In 2003, Mohannad was awarded a key contract for Arabian Falcon as exclusive UAE sales and marketing agent for Royal Club at Palm Jumeirah (RCPJ) - the first Dubai based timeshare resort. The same year, he also received the award for “Outstanding Industry Performance”. His pride was the opening of his 1000 sq.m purpose build sales center, spanning an entire floor in Oud Metha Tower in the heart of Dubai.

Being the Founder and Chairman of Arabian Falcon, Al Mohannad Sharafuddin aims to make Dubai the next Orlando by making the Shared Ownership Industry a main player in the beautiful city Dubai.

Anita Mehra, Dubai Airports

Senior Vice President of Communication & Reputation

Anita Mehra is the Senior Vice President of Communication & Reputation at Dubai Airports – the entity that owns and manages the operation and development of Dubai’s airports – Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), slated to become the largest airport in the world.

In 1996 Anita was seconded from Dubai Duty Free to set up the Marketing and Corporate Communications Division of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation, the government entity which owned Dubai International and Dubai Duty Free. She headed this division until 2007 when the newly restructured Dubai Airports was created and she was appointed Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications.

Her career in the aviation industry started in 1986 when she was hired by Dubai Duty Free to set up their marketing division. She headed the Dubai Duty Free Marketing & Media Relations department for 10 years developing their marketing strategy and pioneering international promotional events such as the Dubai Tennis Open ATP Tour and the Finest Surprise Car Draw which helped put Dubai on the world map.

Antoine Medawar, Amadeus

Senior Vice President - Retail, Middle East & Africa

Managing Director - Middle East & Africa

Antoine was appointed Vice President Middle East & North Africa in November 2009. The role of VP MENA included the leadership of 500+ resources located in 21 countries in MENA including Iran and Pakistan. As of July 2018, Africa came under the leadership of Antoine and he is now the Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa regions. On top of this role, Antoine is also now the Senior Vice President for the Retail segment of the business, for Middle East and Africa. Middle East and Africa is a vast region of over 70 markets, 700+ resources and a robust year-on-year growth.

Previously, Antoine was the Managing Director within the Hospitality Business Group. In this role, he was responsible for Amadeus' worldwide hospitality business, covering Distribution and IT solutions such as Property Management Systems, Central Reservation Systems and Revenue Management Systems. The Amadeus Hospitality Business group is comprised of over 400 professionals across 5 continents, dedicated to delivering a unique set of specialist hotel IT solutions and expertise - combined with the power of the Amadeus global distribution system.

In 2005 Amadeus acquired Optims, a leading European provider of hospitality IT solutions. Antoine was the founder, President and CEO of Optims which was originally created by a Management Leveraged Buy-Out from Accor in 1986. Antoine grew the company from €1m to nearly €32m revenues by the end of 2004. He was integral to successfully launching Optims on the Paris Stock Exchange (Nouveau Marché) in 2000. Prior to founding Optims, Antoine was in charge of the IT strategy and implementation at Accor hotels from 1982 until 1986, and has also worked in the hotel industry in various management roles. A French citizen of Lebanese origin, Antoine holds a degree in Hotel Management and a DESS in Finance and Information Systems from Sorbonne University in Paris. He speaks fluent French, English and Arabic.

Antonio Fellino, dnata Travel

Vice President of Retail & eCommerce

Antonio Fellino holds the position of Vice President of Retail, & eCommerce for dnata Travel in the UAE, and leads the retail and online teams, driving business development and managing trading performance. He joined dnata Travel in 2014. Prior to his time with dnata Travel, Antonio worked at Thomas Cook where he was responsible for overseeing the performance of 57 UK and Irish websites, and managed teams across eCommerce trading, website optimisation, website management, customer services, website analytics and design.

Antonio holds an MsC in Marketing Management from Aston University, a BA (Hons) in International Business and Economics from Manchester Metropolitan University and a Laurea in Economics from the University of Padova.

Bassel Al Nahlaoui, Careem

Managing Director - Gulf

Bassel is the Managing Director for Careem in the Arabian Gulf, leading the company’s operations in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. One of the key things that Careem does is working in conjunction with local governments, and Bassel has led the way is creating a company strategy for the region. Prior to this he the Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations, looking after strategic partnerships, corporates sales across the region while working closely with Governments to develop favourable regulatory frameworks to grow Careem’s business.

Bassel holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the Purdue University, USA. Having advised and worked with firms across the Middle East and the United States in the past, Bassel brings over a decade of experience in management consulting and investment management.

Chris Newman, Emaar Hospitality Group

Chief Operating Officer

A veteran global hospitality professional with over 17 years of experience, Chris Newman is Chief Operating Officer at Emaar Hospitality Group. He is mandated with driving the strategic growth of the organisation through new ventures, expansion, and partnerships, and achieving the highest standards of operational efficiency across all touch-points.

Chris is responsible for the strategic operations of all three hotel brands of Emaar Hospitality Group including The Address Hotels + Resorts, Vida Hotels and Resorts and the Rove Hotels together with Emaar Hospitality Group’s Leisure Clubs and Lifestyle Dining Division. He will also drive the growth of the company to new markets in line with the strategic vision of Emaar Properties, the holding company of Emaar Hospitality Group.

With proven skills in visionary and macro thinking, strategy development, commercial & relationship management, and people, processes & talent management, Chris has previously worked on large-scale hospitality projects for leading international brands in several global markets including Egypt, Nigeria, The Gambia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Malawi, Guyana in South America, West Indies, Bahamas, Greece, London and Switzerland.

Over the years, he has created a sustainable operations model for greenfield ventures, including pre-opening support, as well as developed operational protocols to maximise revenue and profitability for established projects. He has also championed a number of corporate social responsibility initiatives. Chris holds a Higher National Diploma in Hotel, Catering & Institutional Management from the Westminster School of Catering, London, and a Certification in Hotel Real Estate Investments & Asset Management from Cornell University, New York. He holds a number of industry certificates in Group Training Techniques, Managing Sales Platforms, Management Communication Skills and High Performance Financial Management for Hotels, among others.

Chris is fluent in English and French. He is interested in scuba diving, kite surfing, yoga, saxophone and motorbikes, and is a competitive triathlete and cyclist.

Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi, Oman Ministry of Tourism

Undersecretary

Her Excellency Maitha AL Mahrouqi was appointed Undersecretary at the Ministry of Tourism, Sultanate of Oman, effective October 2011. As such, she assists His Excellency the Minister in the overall management and overseeing of tourism in the country. 

Simultaneously, Her Excellency has direct responsibility over major projects, such as the new long-term vision of the tourism strategy for Oman, as well as the implementation of the tourism projects which stemmed from the Tanfeedh initiative, for the enhancement of economic diversification of the Sultanate. Earlier, Her Excellency spent more than a decade in the aviation industry. Working at Emirates Airlines in the Kingdom of Bahrain first, she had accountabilities in the sales and marketing functions, then became the Corporate Executive at Emirates Airlines, being in charge of all the airline’s corporate accounts in Bahrain. As the Business Development Manager of Gulf Air in Bahrain, she developed the business strategy in that market. Upon her return to Oman, she was appointed General Manager of Gulf Air in the Sultanate. Her Excellency then moved to Oman Air as the Country Manager for Oman. With the rapid airline expansion plan, she managed the crucial Muscat hub.

Haitham Mattar, SCTH

Senior Advisor

Haitham Mattar, former CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority from 2015 - 2019, where he successfully repositioned Ras Al Khaimah to become one of the fastest growing destinations in the world, exceeding the target of one million visitors in the first three years and winning a number of global travel awards and personal accolades.

Now Sr. Advisor to the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage, Mattar is contributing to the realization of the National Tourism Stategy, applying his expertise in developing destinations, product and markets.

With more than 25 years of experience in global destination and hospitality management and marketing, Mattar has also held senior roles with leading global brands including Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and Hilton Worldwide.

Mattar’s cross-continent experience and valuable global insights allowed him to effectively lead Ras Al Khaimah’s destination growth strategy, through capturing existing and emerging source market movements and international tourism trends. He was also instrumental in the concept and delivery of globally recognized tourism demand generators in the emirate including Jebel Jais Flight: the world’s longest zipline and the region’s first Via Ferrata.

In 2017, Mattar was elected as Vice Chair of the UNWTO Board of Affiliate Members as well as being appointed as a member of the steering committee for the UNWTO 2017 International Year for Sustainable Development in Tourism. Mattar was also named a full-time advisory board member of the Global Thinkers Forum (GTF) in 2018, and an Advisory Board Member of Al Marjan Development. Mattar is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economy and was appointed in 2018 as a member of the Arabian Travel Market Advisory Board by Reed Travel Exhibitions. In August 2018 Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority joined WTTC as a member, being represented by Mattar.

Named ‘Tourism Promotion CEO of the Year’ at the Global CEO Excellence Awards, Mattar was featured in the Arabian Business ‘most powerful Arabs’ list, in addition to being named ‘Leisure and Tourism CEO of the Year’ at the prestigious CEO Middle East Awards and ‘Business Leader of the Year’ at the Hozpitality Excellence Awards in 2018. Mattar recently stepped down from his role as CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority to embark on a new venture. He will continue on the board of directors, providing guidance on future tourism strategy for the emirate.

A Lebanese-born American citizen and Arabic speaker, Mattar holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida, USA, and a MBA in Marketing from the University of Liverpool, UK.

Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism

Advisor

Harold is WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, he puts together the flagship Responsible Tourism programme at WTM London which attracts 2000 participants each year and the programmes run at WTM Africa, WTM Latin America and Arabian Travel Market. Harold has worked on 4 continents with local communities, their governments and the inbound and outbound tourism industry. 

He is Managing Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership and chairs the panels of judges for the World Responsible Tourism Awards and the other Awards in the family, Africa and India. Harold works with industry, local communities, governments, and conservationists and undertakes consultancy and evaluations for companies, NGOs, governments, and international organisations. He is also a Director of Responsible Tourism ar the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he is an Emeritus Professor, and Founder Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism promotes the principles of the Cape Town Declaration which he drafted.

Ian Albert, Colliers International - MENA

Chief Executive Officer

Ian has an extensive background covering over 32 years in the real estate industry working for both real estate companies and real estate consultants.

Over the years he has acquired a solid foundation of multi-disciplinary skills, including; investment analysis and strategy formation, acquisitions, disposals, corporate alignment consultancy, property management, operational review performance enhancement, leasing strategies, valuations, and feasibility studies.

Requested frequently to give his thoughts at international conferences Ian also appears on radio and on numerous print and online media. Aside this the research group at Colliers produces a number thought provoking and insightful research papers that Ian is proud to be a part of.

Ian has worked extensively throughout the; United Kingdom, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) including the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the Levant, North, Southern and West Africa.

Over the last 25 years, Ian has been in the MENA region, firstly as an Associate Partner with a consultancy firm, then as the General Manager of a UAE focused Real Estate Investment Company. For the last 20 years Ian has led the MENA valuation and consultancy teams at Colliers International and is now leading the firm as the Chief Executive Officer, leading our offices in the UAE, KSA and Egypt. The combination of his experience has given him an acute understanding of the mechanics, investor demands and operating systems of the industry.

Issam AbdulRahim Kazim, Dubai Tourism

Chief Executive Officer

Issam Kazim is the CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), which was established in December 2013 as an affiliate of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

Having built and developed DCTCM’s team from the ground up, as well as its large network of international offices, Kazim leads all activities vis-à-vis the branding, promotion and marketing of the emirate of Dubai. He is instrumental in negotiating and facilitating global partnerships and plays an integral role in the development of relationships with industry stakeholders, partners and investors that contribute to the overall growth in visitation to the city. He also regularly acts as a key media spokesperson and the face of Dubai Tourism for events, presentations, interviews and visiting VIP delegations, influencers, public personalities and government bodies.

Kazim’s accomplishments since taking up his post at DCTCM in February 2014 include developing innovative destination tools and dynamic digital platforms to enhance the visitor experience in Dubai. He has also played a pivotal role in facilitating high profile broadcast productions such as Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour, as well as other initiatives that have helped showcase Dubai as a ‘must-visit’ destination. Kazim has also initiated collaborations with A-list celebrities including an award-winning #BeMyGuest campaign featuring Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

Kazim previously worked as Director of DXB Live and Commercial at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), and successfully launched strategic live events including Dubai Music Week.

John Northen, NEOM

Executive Director - Hotel Division

John has extensive experience managing large teams across various geographical markets.He has an in-depth knowledge of the hospitality industry as well as the healthcare sector. In his capacity as Executive Director at NEOM, he is head of the Hotels Division. He is in charge of planning the development of hotels in NEOM.

Previously, as a member of the Shangri-La Group’s senior leadership team, he was responsible for the oversight of operations management and business performance for Shangri-La Group’s Middle East, Indian and Indian Ocean region and driving top-line revenue. He also participated in the development of corporate strategies including financial planning and management, as well as expansion and new developments.

Prior to this, he served as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Columbia Asia Healthcare. With over 30 private hospitals and clinics in Southeast Asia, India and East Africa, he was directly responsible for aligning and consolidating the group in addition to managing fund-raising, investment and development projects.

John has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry including 25 years with Marriott International, his most recent roles being Area Vice President and Market Vice President for South East Asia and the Middle East and Africa Region. His overall experience spans four continents across Europe, Africa, The Middle East and Asia.

Mark Willis, Accor Hotels

Chief Executive Officer - Middle East & Africa

Mark Willis holds an MBA in International Business from Oxford University in the United Kingdom and has completed a number of senior management programs at Cornell University, New York. Previous to his appointment, he was the President for the Asia region with Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, a very dynamic area with a robust expansion strategy to open 30 properties by 2020.

With a career spanning over 30 years with leading hospitality companies, including IHG and Sun International, a large portion of his professional life was spent with the Radisson Hotel Group (formerly Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group), where he held a number of senior leadership positions, including Senior Vice President Middle East, Africa & Turkey. It was in this role that Mark oversaw all brands within a portfolio of 85 hotels with over 80 hotels in the development pipeline.

Marks brings with him a wealth of operational experience alongside an intuitive knowledge of the Middle East and Africa, a region that he has worked in for over 12 years.

He joined the Group Executive Committee in September 2018, when the Group finalized the acquisition of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.

Mohamed Awadalla, TIME Hotels

Chief Executive Officer

Mohamed Awadalla is an international hotelier with over three decades of experience with leading global hospitality brands.

After completing his studies in Hotel Management in 1985, Mohamed began his career with Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. Building his career from General Manager to Area Vice President, in 2012 he co-founded TIME Hotels where he took up the position of Chief Executive Officer.

Today, with overall responsibility for the company’s Resorts, Hotels, Hotel Apartments, Express Hotels, Residences and Motels, Mohamed’s remit is to spearhead future development and drive the commercial success of TIME Hotels’ rapidly expanding portfolio across the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Aviation Group

Chief Operating Officer

Mohammad Al Bulooki was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Etihad Aviation Group in July 2018, leading all operations of the core airline business as well as Etihad Airport Services.

Mohammad previously held the role of Executive Vice President Commercial of Etihad Airways since January 2017, leading global sales, marketing, partnerships and guest experience. He joined Etihad Airways as Vice President UAE Commercial in 2015, responsible for all UAE sales, retail operations, tourism research and partnerships.

Mohammad has held several leadership posts in Abu Dhabi’s aviation sector, including Chief Commercial Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports Company. He began his career at Etihad Airways Engineering as an Apprentice Engineer Trainee in 1998.

Mohammad holds a BEng in Air Transport Engineering from City University in London as well as a Diploma in Aircraft Engineering from Abu Dhabi Men's College.

Mona Faraj, Insight-Out Consultancy

Founder & Managing Director

Mona is a true business activist; her unrelenting energy and passion are the fundamental driving forces behind the Insight Out team. Mona is extremely well respected in the industry for her over 25 years’ experience, foresight and profound professional research. Her management knowledge is all embracing, ranging from her passion for hotel opening and start-ups, commercial management, to her in-depth market understanding across the Middle East.

With a far-reaching network of key industry leaders, Mona is admired for her forthright opinions and desire to provide real, honest and productive feedback and work. Insight Out was established following an extremely successful hotel career with Hilton and Rotana, where she established the Global Sales Network, central reservations systems and led the groundwork and framework for the brands distribution strategy.

With her intuitive understanding that the region required real ‘hands-on’ support for rapidly evolving industry across all commercial disciplines, Insight Out quickly became the go-to consultancy with an agility that outstripped the traditionally larger, established companies.

Among her many accolades, Mona holds a Degree in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut with a Total Quality Management certification from Cranefield University, UK. Mona is also the Managing Director of HSMAI ME, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.

Neal Jones, Marriott International, Inc.

Chief Sales & Marketing Officer - Middle East & Africa

Neal Jones has been Chief Sales & Marketing Officer – MEA, since August 2013; he is responsible for providing strategic leadership of the Brand Management, Marketing, e-Commerce, Sales, Reservations, Revenue Management, Loyalty, Communications and Consumer Insight functions for all Marriott International Brands and Hotels, while supporting aggressive hotel expansion across the Middle East and Africa Continent.

Neal began his Marriott International career in 1995 as Senior Account Manager where he was responsible for managing a portfolio of key accounts on behalf of the Marriott-branded hotels located throughout the UK. From there he moved on to Director of Sales and Marketing positions at Marriott's Hanbury Manor Hotel & Country Club and then opened the new JW Marriott Hotel Cairo, Egypt before becoming Market Director - London Sales. In July 2008, he was promoted to Vice President of Global Sales for Europe, responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction to the Global Sales Organisation deployed across 40 countries. In August 2011, his responsibility expanded to also include the Global Intermediary segment and organisation, within the Americas and around the world.

Neal graduated from the Hotel School The Hague, located in The Netherlands and is currently based in Marriott International‘s Dubai regional office.

Pierric Duthoit, Google MENA

Sector Lead Branding - Middle East North Africa

Pierric is Industry Director at Google MENA, based in Dubai. He spent all of his career in various internet companies, from start-ups to Google. He has been at Google MENA for the past 2 years, following 3 years at Google Russia. At Google MENA, he runs the teams in charge of various industries (FMCG, Automotive, Technology, Telecoms, Tourism Boards and Governments). His team specializes in digital marketing solutions for brands and companies willing to address the whole marketing funnel, from awareness to purchase.

Raki Phillips, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

Chief Executive Officer

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) since June 2019, brings a wealth of industry experience to aid the continued growth of Ras Al Khaimah as one of the fastest growing destinations in the world. Phillips is an award-winning hospitality veteran and serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience working with some of the world’s most renowned brands including Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Universal Studios Orlando. He was recognized & published by Hotelier Middle East as “Top 20 Most Powerful Arab Hoteliers in 2012”. Phillips, an American national and a fluent Arabic speaker, has a great understanding of the region having worked in the Middle East since 2005 and specifically in the UAE since 2007.

Phillips joins RAKTDA from the Dubai based International Hospitality Consulting Group INHOCO, where he was Senior Partner and Senior Vice President of Development. In this role he developed hotel project pipelines exceeding $5 billion in assets and negotiated multimillion-dollar hotel deals for global luxury brands in 12 countries and 26 markets. As well as launching and developing hotels globally, Phillips is one of the Co-Founders of Earth Hotels a sustainable, tech-forward and design centric hotel concept.

Phillips is also an expert in the food & beverage sector and was behind several successful concepts including Hard Rock Live Orlando and Noire the Middle East's first Dinner in the Dark restaurant. He is also the Co-Founder and CEO of SugarMoo Desserts, Dubai’s first online dessert delivery bakery that has expanded from a home grown UAE concept to a popular regional brand in multiple countries including KSA & Oman. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and an MBA in Organizational Management.

What do visitors gain?

Looking for an opportunity to network and attend sessions from industry leaders about travel trends and innovations?

Thinking about exhibiting?

Display your country’s culture and gain exposure. Find out more about becoming an exhibitor at ATM.