Adel Belcaid
Adel Belcaid
Partner - AT Kearney Middle East

Adel Belcaid is a partner with AT Kearney’s CMT practice, based in Dubai. Belcaid has over 18 years of strategy and operational experience acquired through various engagements in the Middle East, Europe and the US. He advises corporations, regulators and government agencies in telecommunications and media, and more recently in digital transformation, both market-facing (distribution, e-commerce) and structural (operating model, supply chain). Belcaid has led numerous engagements in the areas of strategic planning, sales & marketing, go-to market, new product development, supply chain strategy and organisational development. He is a prolific author/speaker and is regularly featured in leading regional/international publications and audio-visual channels. He holds a MBA from MIT Sloan, USA and M.Eng in Computer Engineering from ENSEIRB, France. He is a Fulbright Scholar and holds a patent in telecommunications.

Alia Khan
Alia Khan
Chairwoman - Islamic Fashion and Design Council

Alia Khan is the founder and chairwoman of Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC), an organisation established for the development of the Islamic fashion and design industry worldwide. In record time, Khan has rapidly brought IFDC to being the world’s leading fashion and design organisation representing the Islamic economy and its stakeholders. Known as one of the leading authorities in the Islamic economy, Khan’s vision is to establish a narrative unlike any other in a creative space that most would have been overlooked. Her efforts through IFDC has brought global attention to Islamic fashion. Khan has had the privilege of working with experts from around the world and is a recognised industry expert and speaker. She has also partnered with top business forums, conferences, and events. Khan features on the DXB 100 list. She is also on the most influential Muslims list published by ISFIN annually.

Armin Jamula
Armin Jamula
Co-founder & CEO - ItsHerWay.com

Armin Jamula is the co-founder & CEO (or SheEO) of ItsHerWay, a platform that supports and empowers passionate and creative business driven women in the region. the platform’s mission is to enable and accelerate financial independence of women who have a passion and want to make profits from it. ItsHerWay not only supports them through the community built together but also through actual commerce driven channels where they can sell their products, services and skill. It is a social enterprise formed by women for women to excel and become more independent and confident human beings. Jamula and her business partner Alita Rodrigues believe that the more women they can empower, the more they contribute towards breaking the gender barriers to create a better world one step at a time. Through ItsHerWay’s commerce channels – including ItsHerStore.com and ItsHerSkill.com –a sustained income is ensured to the #shepreneurs through sale and scale of the individual microbusinesses.

Ashish Shukla
Ashish Shukla
CEO - Cinépolis Gulf

Ashish Shukla is the CEO of Cinépolis Gulf. In his role, Shukla is responsible for adapting Cinépolis International best practices in cinemas under the banner ‘Cinépolis Gulf’, which commenced operations in Bahrain and Oman in 2019 and will soon launch in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. With his expertise and experience, Shukla brings on board an extensive first-hand experience in film exhibition, hospitality, retail and real estate. He is adept at technological integration with rich experience in selection, application of relevant and emerging technologies in pursuit of exceeding business goals. With hospitality roots and over two decades of experience, Shukla has successfully established multiple businesses from start-up phase to full-blown scalable businesses in his professional journey viz. Cinépolis India, Bharti Retail (Walmart India), PVR Cinemas. Shukla is always enthusiastic to think creative, providing unique concepts and innovations to the projects he is associated with.

Carole Moawad
Carole Moawad
Co-founder - M’OISHÎ

Born and raised in Lebanon, Carole Moawad has a degree in chemistry, and is the co-founder of M’OISHÎ, UAE’s first and only home-grown mochi ice-cream manufacturer. It was during her visit to Beirut that Moawad first came across mochi ice-creams at a Japanese restaurant, and instantly fell in love with everything about this unique dessert. She began to lay the foundations for her ‘dream project’ soon, working on launching M’OISHÎ, alongside her hectic 9-5 insurance job. From preparing and experimenting with a variety of flavours and recipes at her own home to carrying out photoshoots at her partner’s house and partnering with a start-up agency in Lebanon for all branding material, the initial few months of M’OISHÎ were incredibly difficult and challenging. In March 2017, Moawad opened her first M’OISHÎ store in City Walk, Dubai. Today, there are 13 M’OISHÎ cafés across the UAE and one franchise in Saudi Arabia, with the aim to soon expand the Japanese café concept to Europe, North Africa and the US.

Dana Al Sharif
Dana Al Sharif
Founder - Urban RetrEAT

Dana Al Sharif is the founder of Urban RetrEAT, Abu Dhabi’s new food incubator located in Yas Mall. Hailing from Amman in Jordan, Al Sharif moved to the UAE in 2008 to follow her foodie passion and pursue a career in F&B. She received a degree in agri-business from the University of Jordan in 2008, which was a platform for her career in marketing in the F&B industry. In 2013, she began the Calle Tacos food truck in Dubai, which has been nominated for the BBC Good Food Award two years in a row. Al Sharif is a true foodie at heart and is passionate about promoting home-grown food talent, which drove her to start Urban RetrEAT. The mission behind Urban RetrEAT is to promote local food businesses and give them a platform to launch their career in the competitive UAE food market.

Geetanjali Kaul
Geetanjali Kaul
Co-founder - TurtleCard

A young mother with over a decade of marketing experience across a number of different industries, Geetanjali Kaul felt daunted by the task of raising a toddler and keeping him suitably engaged in various social, physical and developmental activities. This led to the launch of TurtleCard, a kid’s activity booking app. Kaul has since gone on to win first prize at the Pitch Rising finale hosted by Mompreneurs Worldwide in December 2018 and reached the top three at the competition hosted by Step Conference 2019 in February 2019. TurtleCard has been selected by Dubai Chamber of Commerce as one of the top three start-ups that will be showcased under their education pillar to schools and universities. The app continues to go from strength-to-strength working on their first round of investment in 2019. TurleCard was also in the top 50 start-ups at Smartpreneur 4.0, which was conducted by Dubai Startup Hub at Dubai Chamber of commerce, competing with over 350 start-ups.

Hathal Saad Alutaibi
Hathal Saad Alutaibi
CEO & Board Member - Alandalus Property Co.

Hathal Saad Alutaibi is the CEO and board member of Saudi Arabia-based, public listed company called Alandalus Property Company. He is also a board member of Hamat Real Estate Company and West Jeddah Hospital Co – the company that owns Dr. Suliman Alhabib Hospital in Jeddah. In his role, Alutaibi has led the company’s businesses and its super-regional malls transformation to a customer centric and shopper engaging destinations. Alutaibi holds a master’s degree in finance, post graduate diploma and bachelor degree in marketing.

Ibrahim Abudyak
Ibrahim Abudyak
Co-founder - The Smash Room

Ibrahim Abudyak is a serial entrepreneur and a strategist. He excels at creating systems and processes, which guarantee businesses to thrive and operate at maximum profitability and customers’ satisfaction. He is the co-founder of Dubai’s ultimate de-stress destination, The Smash Room. Having quit the corporate world after over eight years of experience in sales, marketing, operations, CRM, customer service and business development and management, Abudyak still serves as a consultant for a number of businesses especially in the automotive industry and start-ups ecosystem. He has led his team of young entrepreneurs to top the Techstars’ 2017 Dubai Startup Weekend competition and continues to support young and aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and fulfil their passion. He enjoys building projects, systems and companies from scratch and going through the thrill of a new venture whilst leading them to thrive and grow at the same time. Abudyak’s work has been featured in a number of local, regional and international media and entrepreneurial authorities.

Kunal Kapoor
Kunal Kapoor
Founder & CEO - The Luxury Closet

Initially sales manager at Louis Vuitton in Mall of the Emirates, Kunal Kapoor noticed how the brand never went on sale, as coveted as it was by many. This brought him to think of ways to democratise luxury and sell items at a lower price, which lead to him founding his own company. The Luxury Closet is a marketplace for new and pre-loved luxury items for top designer brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier and Rolex. The company that started in his own apartment, now has close to 80 employees, across the UAE, KSA and India. The company raised over $18 million from leading regional investors like MEVP, Wamda Capital and Precinct. The site now features the largest luxury catalogue in the region with 22,000+ unique styles and customers from over 40 countries each year.

Mahmoud Gao
Mahmoud Gao
Founder & CEO - Mr. Draper

Mahmoud Gao is the founder and CEO of Mr. Draper, a curated shopping service that leverages data and technology to provide a convenient and personalised shopping experience. Prior to launching Mr. Draper, Gao started his career in the US at one at Accenture, working in management and strategy consulting. Wanting a complete change of pace, he left the US for Dubai to start his career at one of the region’s leading luxury retailers, Chalhoub Group. It was at Chalhoub Group that Gao acquired a taste for fashion and luxury, which he would soon leverage to launch Mr. Draper. Born in Syria, Gao grew up in the US and holds two degrees from West Virginia University in finance and accounting. Mr. Draper is an Arabnet top 10 start up to watch, a portfolio of San-Francisco based VC 500 start-ups and winner of the Sheraa Series A programme.

Mark Tesseyman
Mark Tesseyman
CEO - LIWA Trading Enterprises

With over three decades of experience in the fashion retail industry, Mark Tesseyman has made his mark as an experienced successful retailer across the 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. The organisation’s key focus has been to target specific market sectors and evolve a retail strategy in line with shifting global trends. Tesseyman has driven the change management agenda placing customers first, improving performance and transforming the way the company operates. He 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, Tesseyman 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.

Mohamed Galal
Mohamed Galal
CEO - Dar Al Osool

Mohamed Galal is the CEO of Dar Al Osool Real Estate Company. A real estate veteran, he was the President & CEO of TSM CRENOVATIONS Egypt, a leading real estate retail mall management consultancy firm with focus on retail shopping malls development and mixed-use residential management. TSM CRENOVATIONS has been in the Egypt market for 10 years with success stories of 47 active shopping pavilions and centres, 7 regional retail and hypermarket launches in Cairo in the principal secondary cities of Egypt. Over two decades Galal has contributed to the launch of major players in the Egypt market with his debut as Majid Al Futtaim Misr country head, followed by DANDY Transworld Egypt, DORRA CAPITAL Group and SODIC Egypt.

Mohammad Iqbal Alawi
Mohammad Iqbal Alawi
Chairman - SAHAT Property Management Co.

Mohammad Iqbal Alawi is the chairman at SAHAT Property Management Co. in Saudi Arabia. He has more than 25 years of experience in managing and operating properties, assets, facilities, mixed-use buildings and commercial centres with some of the most prestigious companies in Saudi Arabia and the GCC. An industry veteran, Alawi wears many hats; he is chairman & partner at Saudi Sand Souvenir Co and B&T Brands and Trade Services Middle East DMCC. Being well-versed in operations and marketing, Alawi has created two epic retail shopping centres in Saudi Arabia – Hera Community Mall and Red Sea Mall in Jeddah. He also carries in his career a portfolio of eight other shopping malls, which were developed during his tenure with Savola. Alawi has also been part of Al Amoudi, Majid Al Futtaim and SKAB. He is a member with the promotions and events committee at JCCI and a member with the National Saudi Tourism Board in Riyadh.

Mona Ataya
Mona Ataya
CEO & Founder - Mumzworld.com

As the CEO and founder of Mumzworld.com, Mona Ataya has proved to be one of the Middle East’s most prominent women entrepreneurs. Beyond leading a successful and growing SME, and inspiring her employees and communities, Ataya is on a mission to change the region – one mum at a time. A transformational leader and a change agent in every sense of the word, Ataya has managed to grow Mumzworld from a business plan on paper to an enviable brand reaching more than two million mothers across the region in seven years. Founded in 2011, Mumzworld has pioneered a revolutionary and gold standard e-commerce shopping experience for all things mother, baby and child in the Middle East. Under Ataya’s leadership, Mumzworld has seen tremendous growth – with six rounds of funding, great investors on board and a solid business plan – and successfully established itself as the regional leader in the mother, baby and child vertical space.

Naim Maadad
Naim Maadad
Chief Executive - Gates Hospitality

Naim Maadad come with over 38 years of experience in the hospitality world across Australia, Asia and the Middle East in various senior management roles. He has launched and operated some of the world’s best hotels, resorts, spas and lifestyle F&B concepts. During his stint with international hospitality groups, Maadad was instrumental in nurturing sound relationships with owners, securing the best-possible locations, negotiating and formalising contractual agreements and appointing teams to infuse and reflect the ethos of the brands. Being based in the Middle East over the past 20 years, Maadad has witnessed tremendous industry growth, gained a deep cultural understanding and has been endorsed by principals & organisations alike. In 2010, he established Gates Hospitality, a home-grown hospitality company representing F&B brands, including Ultra Brasserie, Reform Social & Grill Dubai, Folly by Nick & Scott and Publique, to name a few. Maadad’s philosophy and approach are simple – connecting like-minded investors, operators and brands to define concepts, successful portfolios and continue to shape the hospitality industry.

Rumana Nazim
Rumana Nazim
Founder & CEO - The Edit

Born and raised in Dubai, Indian-origin Rumana Nazim founded The Edit in a bid to offer the modern women of the region a one-stop shop that serves up curated options ranging from art, fashion and even specialty coffee. Nazim studied law in London (at SOAS and BPP College of Law) and worked as an in-house lawyer for an FMCG company until August 2018. Through her many travels and observations of the fast-paced and ever-changing retail landscape all over the world, Nazim found a gap in the Dubai market for a lifestyle space that would efficiently deliver an interactive yet relaxing environment. Creating a home away from home where customers can shop unique pieces, enjoy a cup of coffee and also visit an art gallery and workshop space all under one roof eventually became the end goal for Nazim as she temporarily closed the chapter on being a lawyer. Nazim’s interests and personal style are showcased through the statement finds at The Edit.

Timothy Earnest
Timothy Earnest
Group Director/CEO - Al-Futtaim Malls

In his current role, Timothy Earnest manages a range of assets including super-regional iconic destinations in Qatar, the UAE and North Africa under the Festival City Malls brand, totalling 70 million visitors, 1,300 retailers and two additional assets under development in Dubai and Morocco. Earnest’s passion and expertise is building and executing an organisation as a preferred business partner, generating sustainable growth and long-term value creation while delivering exceptional stakeholder experiences that produce safe, exciting and enriching shopping environments. He is a seasoned executive with a solid 30-year career within the Simon Property Group in the US where his last role was executive vice president – property management, responsible for the regional malls portfolio, where he managed day-to-day operations for over 200 malls, 5,000 employees, $3.2-billion in EBITDA, $1.3-billion in expenses, $100-million in OPEX and $350-million in development. Earnest brings a thorough understanding of retail dynamics and shopping mall management in addition to relevant best practice capabilities.