F&B AND MANUFACTURING
A member of the prominent Alesayi family of Saudi Arabia, Abdulwahab is a successful entrepreneur in various family owned businesses in the Middle East as well as internationally. These businesses cover various sectors such as automotive, real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, technology, and F&B. He has over 55% market share in the Saudi carbonated and energy drink industry and is currently exploring opportunities in the UAE market. Among many other initiatives of the family businesses is also their Mekkah Company where they have provided over 2500 buses for Omra, Hajj and schools in Saudi Arabia.
As a Senior Advisor to The Office of Sheikh Sultan bin Abdullah Al Qasimi, Abdulwahab’s vast expertise in his fundamental business sectors, interest in Manufacturing and Technology has brought him to further aspirations to invest and venture in multidisciplinary verticals.
DR. TABASSUM KHAN
HEALTHCARE & EDUCATION
Dr. Tabassum Khan, a physician with a doctorate in Health Economics, and an MBA in Finance, is the founder and president of Stratgurus Group of Companies.
Stratgurus Marketing and Management Consultancies is the flagship of the group, an organisation known for its strategic guidance.
Dr. Khan believes success can be accomplished in any domain, with passion and commitment to the field of interest. His philosophy afforded him success across a diverse portfolio that includes pharmaceuticals, vaccines, bio-economy in the healthcare industry, followed by Halal economy development, professional development and education, fashion and e-commerce, media, music and entertainment.
Vera Futorjanski is a highly experienced innovation and ecosystem expert, with a track record of over 7 years in the Venture Capital and Venture Building space. She now advises governments and corporates on innovation and impact investing and helps them build thriving ecosystems.
Most recently, she was Director of Innovation for the global Venture Capital firm 500 Startups in charge of corporate innovation and ecosystem building in the Middle East and Russia. Prior to joining 500 Startups, Vera was with the Dubai Future Foundation, where as well as being the head of global communications, she was also a core member of the Dubai Future Accelerators, an initiative of Dubai Government to accelerate innovation and diversify the economy.
Before joining the Prime Minister’s Office, Vera was the Founder of a German tech startup in MENA. Prior to her time in Dubai, Vera was based in Berlin and ran the global communications for Rocket Internet during the IPO, the largest tech IPO in Germany in a decade.
She is also a strong supporter of female empowerment initiatives and a social impact advocate. She serves as a Global Ambassador and Mentor for Vital Voices, a Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright NGO that works with women leaders.
Before her career in the tech and innovation world, Vera completed her MSc at the London School of Economics and worked as a political consultant in the European Union in Brussels.
Vera has lived in 10 countries and is fluent in five languages. Her 6th language and goal for 2020 is to learn Arabic. Inshallah.
DR. ENG. SUAAD ALSHAMSI
Holding a DBA in Aviation Management from American Academy for specialized studies, a MBA in Aviation Management from Coventry University, a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Hertfordshire University and a Bachelor’s degree in aviation management from Coventry University in the UK.
Dr. Eng. Suaad Alshamsi was granted an honorary Doctorate for her role of women in leadership in aeronautical engineering from the American Academy of specialized studies in Egypt.
She embarked on her journey in the aviation industry when she joined many leading companies as a part of her training in aircraft engineering field such as Messier Bugatti, Honeywell, Kunz, Airbus and Boeing.
She joined Emirates Airlines as the first female aircraft engineer in the UAE and has been working in the maintenance field for over a decade and currently is a Senior Manager and Technical Advisor for one of the biggest aviation projects in the UAE [midfield terminal project] which is Abu Dhabi’s new airport with Etihad Airways.
She is an alumni member of the emirates association in the UK, and a member of IEEE. She Co-founded the Women in Aviation Organization Middle East chapter and serves as the CEO of L2L [learn to live] consultancy and as Ambassador of the international union for technical education in UAE.
She represented the United Arab Emirates Female image in Shanghai Expo 2010 and was a jury member in the Stars of Science program.
She is mentioned in creative women in the UAE Wikipedia by HH Sheikha Shamsa, wife of Sheikh Khalifa.
SAEED HAREB AL DARMAKI
BLACKCHAIN AND CRYPTO
Mr. Saeed is Managing Director of Alphabit Digital Currency Fund and Chairman of eGovern blockchain consultancy company. He was also previously Managing Director at Binary Financial. He sits on boards of entities such as DEX, RealEx, MENA Fintech Association, BeMobi, Jahani & Associates and Kenzi Wealth. These roles have given him tremendous insight into the crypto/blockchain spac and enabled him to develop a key network of contacts which has helped him grow his knowledge of the market exponentially. Saeed started his career at ADIA in October 2009 as an operations specialist then from May 2013 became a Fixed Income & Treasury Specialist. In June 2018 he decided to leave ADIA to focus on the crypto/blockchain industry.
DR. GHANIM KASHWANI
Academic Researcher – Civil Engineering/ New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)
Dr. Ghanim Kashwani, UAE National, who got his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, UK, is the first Emirati to be Chartered Civil Engineer (CEng) (MICE) from Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), UK. Additionally, as academic-industrial professional, Kashwani is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) (MSSE) and a Chartered Manager (CMgr) (MCMI), where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from American University of Sharjah (AUS). Kashwani has an industrial experience with major companies as he works as Team leader in Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for several years. Moreover, as Chartered Scientist (CSci), UK, Kashwani publishes many papers in international journals in which his research interests include construction materials, safety engineering, and fire engineering.
DR. MAZIN GADIR
He is the Senior Consultant and Advisor at The Executive Office for Organizational Transformation, Dubai Health Authority with responsibility for Health strategy development, implementation, execution and Transformation. Prior to that, Dr. Mazin Gadir led Healthcare Strategy Transformation and Digital Health Innovation at PricewaterhouseCoopers PwC Middle East, Abu Dhabi Healthcare Services Co. SEHA, Cerner UK and ME accumulating 17+ years of experience in the field of Healthcare, innovation and transformation. As a management consultant, he accumulated a depth of experience covering many global organizations in the UK, France, UAE, KSA, GCC, Australia, India and the USA.
As Group Chief Experience Officer at the Saudi German Hospitals – MEAHCO, Monalisa Watfa has over 15 years’ experience in healthcare operations, strategy development and patient experience management. Currently leading Patient experience operations and aims to integrate process design, patient flow and organizational culture at Saudi German Hospital Group. She began her career as a pharmacist, owning and managing a profitable pharmacy business, before moving on to roles with the International Medical Center in Jeddah and Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi. An avid learner at heart, Monalisa has a doctorate in pharmacy, and an MBA from the world-ranked IE Business School. She is currently working on group-wide projects to concretize the Saudi German Hospital group’s patient experience model. Born and raised in the UAE, Monalisa considers the UAE her home and is always keen to give back and contribute to this country’s achievements. She is particularly enthusiastic about doing her part to bring the UAE’s national wellbeing strategy to realization.
SAEED KHALIFA AL FUQUEI
HOSPITALITY AND BUSINESS SETUP
Mr. Saeed Khalifa Mohammed Al Fuquei Al Ali is the chairman of Shuraa Group. He is a renowned entrepreneur in the United Arab Emirates, and currently runs several successful businesses across sectors such as hospitality, real estate, retail, advertising, and business consulting. He is also an active mentor to many leading businessmen in the UAE.
He established Shuraa Business Setup in the year 2001 to help entrepreneurs easily form their companies in the UAE. Under his leadership, Shuraa Business Setup has formed more than 25,000 businesses in the UAE.
After successive years that saw Shuraa Business Setup grow by more than 100%, they are now extending their reach beyond the UAE. They now have oﬃces in major cities across the world.
SIR ANTHONY RITOSSA
Sir Anthony Ritossa is Chairman of the Ritossa Family Office which represents the distillation of 600 years of history—of a grove, a family and a region. The gnarled roots of the Ritossa olive groves have persevered through war and natural disasters, through changes of climate and country, and under the rule of warrior princes, wealthy merchant kings and modern despots.
The Ritossa Family Office is known for its contrarian and thematic investments. These include the US Subprime Crisis, the European Sovereign Debt, Banking Crisis, strategic PE, RE and blockchain allocations.
Sir Anthony has over 30 years of international financial markets and investment experience. Before his family office role, Sir Anthony is recognised for his distinguished Wall Street career in New York. He has held senior executive positions at Nomura, Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, and Bankers Trust (acquired by Deutsche Bank).
Sir Anthony is a frequent speaker at various International Investment Conferences and sits on several advisory boards.
The Ritossa Family Office is host to The Global Family Office Investment Summits.
The Summit Series has made global headlines as the world’s largest and most exclusive gathering of private wealth of all time. 600+ Elite Family Offices, Prominent Business Owners, Sheikhs, Royal Families, Private Investment Companies, Sovereign Wealth Funds & industry professionals from around the globe convene representing more than $4.5 trillion in wealth.
Edoardo Magnotta is a senior marketing executive with experience in Luxury, Private Equity Industry, and P&L responsibility, with a focus on Digital Transformation. Having an MBA at LUISS Business School in Rome, where he also served as Head of Marketing & Communication, Edoardo moved to the consultancy industry delivering numerous successful projects in leading organizations & SMEs with sustainable growth strategies in diverse environments. With his proven ability to a wide use of events, strategic partnerships, design and execution of digital marketing & social media strategics, Edoardo has recently launched his blog about the digital transformation & will soon publish a book about digital disruption in Marketing & Communication through 4 case histories.
DENISS DE ROND
BRANDING AND DESIGN
Founder of Dutch Design Center and Skyne – creative visionaries, an international independent branding and design company with over fifteen years of experience in the MENA region. Holds a master’s degree in graphic design and Art Direction, and Worked in leading positions for international branding and design agencies (London, New York, Amsterdam). He is a passionate believer in the power of creativity with more than 10 international awards for his outstanding work, and has successfully delivered high scale projects for multiple international brands, government entities and private organizations.
Gulneet has been involved in Strategic HR for almost 15 years in industries like retail, publishing, e-commerce, manufacturing, oil & gas advertising and events, healthcare and government entities. She specializes in change management and culture transformation and strongly believes in ABC (Always be Cultivating) philosophy for employees and attracting potential talent. As a technologically inclined HR professional, she has made significant contributions towards AI in Recruitment in some of the biggest names in the region. Founder of GC Consulting, Gulneet is focused on assisting organizations to cope with critical business issues that involve critical business cases, human capital, performance optimization, and work-life culture. As a prominent figure in HR in the region, Gulneet is an active member in seminars, Government events and a speaker on topics revolving around disruptive HR and thinking outside-the-box. She has also regularly featured in Gulf News and other popular publications for her views on employee well-being and personal branding. Gulneet is also a LinkedIn Influencer and has collaborated with one of the biggest brands on HR, Business Strategy and transformation.
Maya is the Chairwoman of the board of governors and the director of planning for Dubai Carmel School. She is the first PhD scholar to research Emotional Intelligence and its effect on leadership. A certified trainer on soft skills in the UAE government. Having trained around the country in all the seven emirates. She is also a motivational speaker and a social media influencer on all social media platforms. She just became a Tedx speaker in the year 2019 on tolerance, also, she was given the title “Ambassador of Knowledge” for the UAE Red Crescent for the years 2017 and 2018 for her contributions as a volunteer speaker. Lastly, she was given the Nobel title “Tolerance Knight” under HH Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Humeid AlNuaimi. Her role is to raise awareness on tolerance in the year of tolerance through societal initiatives.
ACCOUNTING AND AUDIT
Manya is currently heading the Corporate Advisory department of Crowe UAE which has been serving clients in the UAE with a long lasting legacy of 40 years. Crowe UAE forms a part of a large network of Crowe Global which is 8th Largest Audit and Advisory firm in the world with more than 760 offices around the world.
She is currently serving her clients and provides Transaction Advisory, Business Plans and Risk Management Advisory. She has assisted clients in several business sectors like Legal, Financial Services, Technology, Advertising and Healthcare. Manya has over 18 years of experience in Corporate finance and Advisory roles and has held senior roles in finance department multinational companies and conglomerates and an established advertising business in UAE.
She has multiple qualifications including Chartered Accountant from India, Certified Public Accountant from USA, Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) , Masters in Business Administration (MBA with double specialization), just to name a few and is always on a quest to learn more.
Founding Partner of Eight Creative Technology | SVP, Media Intelligence & Innovation at Mubadala | Mentor | Entrepreneur | Digital Business Transformation Expert
Taghrid is the founding partner of Eight Creative Technology, a creative hub for digital innovation founded in 2015 and based at TwoFour54 Abu Dhabi Media Free Zone. Eight Creative Technology is a Khalifa Fund’s first initiative focused on digital innovation and creativity. Eight helps empower brands and individuals to excel in today’s digital world through developing digital platforms and solutions, integrated campaigns and training programs for professional and future young business leaders.
Taghrid started her professional career as a teacher assistant in “Human Factors in Computer Information Systems” at Marymount University, VA, USA in 2000. She also ran her freelancing business in Multimedia and web-development serving regional airlines, personal security companies and personal users in VA, USA. Taghrid was also trained in Washington DC at Nortec Communications, Microsoft Gold Partner, in Web Programming and Graphic Design in 2001. In 2003, Taghrid worked at Trivision Studios in marketing and media communications in VA, USA.
In 2005, Taghrid worked as a web-engineer at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank where she helped in initiating the first online Islamic banking services in Abu Dhabi. In 2006, she moved to one of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s subsidiaries, Burooj Real Estate, and established their sales and marketing division. In 2004-present, Taghrid established and joined new entrepreneurial projects in the private sector. In 2008, Taghrid took a new role at Aldar properties in the sales and marketing division leading redevelopment of Aldar’s brand strategy and visual identity. Taghrid was the e-marketing and communications manager in Aldar and won several international and regional awards such as PropertyFinder Award for best online marketing campaign in 2010. In 2011, Taghrid started her job in Mubadala’s development as a special project manager and was then appointed as the head of digital communications and Infrastructure in 2012. In 2015 Taghrid Was appointed as SVP of special projects at Mubadala group communications where she took the lead on multiple projects such as Mubadala media intelligence, senior communications advisor at Cognit, JV of IBM and Mubadala, Executive Director of Special Olympics World games in Abu Dhabi and project director under the Executive Office of Abu Dhabi Government.
Among being a board member and advisor of several real estate developments and investment funds, Fadi Nwilati is the CEO of KAIZEN Asset Management and brings over 14 years of investment and real estate experience within the Middle East. His vast experience extends to the commercial and residential sector and includes development management, project management, and investment management within the property sector.
Fadi is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of Colorado and certified by George Washington University in the fields of Financial and Economical Feasibility Analysis and Real Estate Development Analysis. Thanks to Fadi’s forward thinking vision, dedication, and agility in the marketplace, he has earned a reputation for being an inspirational figure in the real estate industry. Fadi’s commitment to excellence, quality and implementing international best practice standards, has allowed for KAIZEN Asset Management to emerge as a competitive player within the UAE market, with an asset management portfolio valued at $3 billion.
Avinash Babur is the Founder and CEO of InsuranceMarket.ae™ the largest retail insurance platform in the UAE offering a digital-first service to individuals and companies to compare and buy all types of personal insurance (like car, health, home, travel and life insurance) and business insurance (group health, property, liability, marine and motor fleet insurance) through a seamless process. InsuranceMarket.ae™ has a Google Rating of 4.9 stars out of 5 with over 13,000 reviews, over 150,000 policyholders and a dedicated team of over 400 employees.
The firm behind InsuranceMarket.ae™ is AFIA Insurance where Avinash holds the position of Group Chief Executive Officer. AFIA has been a leader in the UAE insurance industry since 1995.