Mansour Salameh has been working as Facebook’s client solutions manager for retail & e-commerce clients in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan since 2012. During this time, Salameh has been at the forefront of helping top retail, online and e-commerce companies including SOUQ.com, Namshi, Dubizzle, Careem, AWOK.com, Alshaya, Al Tayer and Landmark Group, among others, achieve their marketing objectives and scale their business through Facebook. Prior to that, Salameh spent nine years working in traditional media and creative advertising, managing blue-chip brands across various industries.
A cultural entrepreneur, Alexandre Teodoresco, is the man behind some of the ground-breaking and award winning concepts in Dubai – such as Street Nights, Food Truck Jam, Truckers DXB and Street Food Market DXB – fostering local talents through a series of food truck and destination events. Teodoresco encourages the community to support home-grown concepts, while living and loving an authentic lifestyle. He envisions to lead the food truck revolution and intends to continuously innovate ideas for Dubai residents, expatriates and tourists to explore.
With almost three decades of experience behind her, Luma Bourisly brings a rich, diverse background to her role as founder and vision creator of KOOOT.com – an online shopping and lifestyle destination for modern Middle Eastern women. She is also the founding member and general secretary of Kuwait Business Council for Dubai and Northern Emirates. Bourisly’s career began in 1990 as the head of media department in Kuwait Information Centre in Cairo, where she was responsible for assuring adequate coverage of the Gulf War across international media channels. She then moved to the research industry working with Australia-based Reark Research in 1992. She also worked with First Gulf Bank in Ajman and the ENOC Group. In 2005, she was a member of the launch team of Emirates National Development Programme at the Executive Office. In 2006, Bourisly joined du – where she was one of the founding team members – where she held several leadership positions during her 10-year tenure.
With over three decades of experience in the fashion retail industry, Mark Tesseyman has made his mark as an experienced successful retailer across GCC, North Africa, Russia in addition to Europe and the UK. Tesseyman was appointed CEO of LIWA Trading Enterprises in 2015 to restructure and grow the organisation. A key focus has been to target specific market sectors and evolve a retail strategy in line with shifting global trends. He has driven the change management agenda placing the customer first, improving performance and transforming the way the company operates. Tesseyman has extensive international experience, developing and implementing best practice retail management systems and working for industry-leading international companies, including Next Retail, Matalan Ltd, The Peacock Group and Alshaya. Prior to his current role, he held key senior positions at both large corporate PLC companies as well as family-owned organisations. He is also familiar with private equity-backed businesses.
UAE national Mahmoud Bartawi is the co-founder of Under500, a Dubai-based healthy café concept. Observing a gap in the market for nutritious food concepts that are affordable and tasty, Bartawi set out to develop a business around his belief of healthy living and eating. Since the inception of Under500 in 2016, the company has now expanded to three restaurants across popular areas of Dubai, with plans for future expansion. Bartawi believes in contributing to the UAE’s 2021 Vision, through his business that will help to facilitate change, and is keen to see obesity rates lowered, life expectancy increased and the happiness factor go up. His vision is to develop Under500 commercially and financially to rank among the top three healthy food brands in the region. Bartawi holds a Business Degree from the American University of Sharjah and a Masters in International Business from the University of Wollongong in Dubai.
Stevi Lowmass is the founder and owner of The Camel Soap Factory – an award winning natural soap manufacturer in Dubai. She worked in the IT and electronic payments industries for many years, but after the birth of her daughter in 2005 became increasingly obsessed with the idea of creating a business built on her passions. A trip to Australia in 2008 when she visited an amazing olive oil soap factory cemented the idea in her head of creating a company selling natural soap made with local camel milk. She studied soap making with Melinda Coss in London – the author of ‘The Handmade Soap book’ – and started a small business. Rapid growth entailed obtaining an industrial licence and establishing a factory in the UAE. The company is now based in Al Quoz, Dubai and ships across the GCC and worldwide.
Stephen Graham Holbrook
Stephen Graham Holbrook directs the clothing division for the Kamal Osman Jamjoom (KOJ) Group, comprising four brands with a cumulative annual turnover running into the billions of Dirhams. He joined KOJ in 2013, with over 20 years’ of apparel industry experience, directly managing or partnering with global brand names such as Playtex, Wonderbra, Marks & Spencer and Victoria’s Secret. Prior to moving to the region Holbrook spent time working in Europe, the US and Asia, as well as holding non-executive positions with a number of SME businesses. He holds an MSc from the Cranfield Institute of Technology as well as a number of professional qualifications from the London Business School. Holbrook loves the cultural diversity and opportunity travel affords and is fascinated by the ever-changing social fabric of the world.
Tahir Shah is the founding partner at Moti Roti – the region’s first Pakistani soul kitchen pop-up and food truck. Born in Doncaster to Pakistani parents, he grew up in a household rooted in a rich food culture where roti or flatbread was shared at the table every night. Graduating from Hertfordshire University he spent over 10 years working for Nokia in IT, moving to Dubai midway through his career. Here, lamenting the lack of quality quick food options for office workers – and being inspired by a fast-food trend from the US known as fast casual – he decided to change the face of Pakistani food. He believed it should be fresh, cool, accessible and represent the true style of Pakistani mums’ food. In 2012, he left Nokia and started Moti Roti.
A later in life entrepreneur, Ian Ohan has lived, worked and created in the Gulf region for the past 18 years. Today Ohan is the CEO and founder of Freedom Pizza – a UAE-based, all-natural carry-out and delivery pizza chain with over 250 employees, an airline packaged product division – developed initially for Emirates Airlines and soon for VOX Cinemas – and six locations in the UAE. Freedom Pizza is part of KRSH Investments, an F&B investment platform, also owned by Ohan, which is in the process of developing additional home-grown food concepts in the healthier fast and fast casual food sectors. In 2006, Ohan joined two partners and established a real estate and hospitality investment advisory firm RSP Group, which was sold to Jones Lang LaSalle in 2009. In the past, Ohan has held senior positions in KPMG, Arthur Andersen’s Real Estate and Hospitality Group and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
Mohamed Galal is the president & CEO of Tasweeq Shopping Malls in Egypt. Galal has been in the Egyptian market since 2009, and has contributed to several successful mall developments, and retail launches with primary focus on the development of hypermarket-anchored mall developments in the secondary cities of Mansoura, Assyut, Zagazig, Banha, Tanta, Port Said and Mahallaa. Galal started his career in mall management with Majid Al Futtaim Misr launching Maadi City Centre and Alexandria City Centre. Dandy Mega Mall was his next success story acting as the CEO for the Dandy Development Company. Then he launched Capital Zayed, a strategically located mixed-use project as executive director for Dorra Group Egypt, which was followed by the successful launch of Sodic Egypt – unique commercial projects of Eastown & Westown allied with Solidere International. This was followed by the award-wining residential golf-anchored luxury compound Allegria and Katameya Plaza, Autoville the Strip and The Showrooms now Desigopolis.