Featured Speakers

James Hogan - President and CEO, Etihad Airways

James Hogan was appointed President and Chief Executive of Etihad Airways on 10 September 2006, bringing more than 30 years of travel industry expertise to the Abu Dhabi-based airline. He has overseen rapid growth of the UAE’s national airline, which now serves 111 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas operating a fleet of 105 modern environmentally friendly aircraft. In July 2008, he signed one of the largest aircraft orders in history for up to 205 aircraft worth approximately US$43 billion at list prices, to meet the airline’s ambitious long-term growth plans. This was followed in November 2013 with an order for up to 199 aircraft worth US$67 billion to make provision for the airline’s growth up to 2025. CEO Middle East Magazine named him Aviation CEO of the Year in 2008 and Visionary of the Year in 2010. He won the CAPA Airline Executive of the Year 2012 Award at the Centre for Aviation’s global awards for excellence and leadership. At the Airline Strategy Awards presented in London in July 2013, he received the Executive Leadership Award in recognition of his “influence on the aviation industry, outstanding strategic thinking, and innovative direction for growth.” In April 2014, he was inducted into The British Travel and Hospitality Industry Hall of Fame in honour of his “significant part in creating and developing the travel and tourism industry in Britain and globally”. James started his career in 1975 at Ansett Airlines, and subsequently held senior positions with bmi, Hertz, Forte Hotels and Gulf Air. At Hertz, his roles included directorships of the marketing, sales and operations divisions. In 1995, based in London, he joined the executive management committee as Vice President, Marketing & Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa. In 1997, James became service director for bmi British Midland, leaving in 1998 to join the Granada Group as worldwide sales director, where he sat on the board of Forte Hotels. He returned to bmi in 1999 as chief operating officer. There he was responsible for flight and ground operations, sales and marketing, commercial, cargo, engineering and handling service companies, and was a member of the Board. James moved back to his native Australia in 2001, where he was appointed chief executive of the Tesna consortium, which was created with the aim of acquiring Ansett Airlines from administration, before joining Gulf Air in 2002, where he served as chief executive for four years. James is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a former non-executive director, and member of the Board’s Audit Committee, of Gallaher Plc and the UBS Industrial Board. In 2010, he served as the Chairman of the Aviation Travel and Tourism Governors at the World Economic Forum. He currently serves as Vice Chairman on the Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Board of Governors. He serves as Vice Chairman on the Boards of equity partners, airberlin plc, and Jet Airways, and sits on the Board of Virgin Australia.

Richard Keys - Broadcaster

Richard Keys is an English sports presenter, with a career starting in 1976 when he moved initially to London. He has since worked for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Talksport, Al Jazeera, Fox Sports, ESPN Star Sports , BeIN Sports; and has presented over 4,500 football matches with Premier League games, World Cup Finals,[1] Champions League Finals, FA Cup Finals, UEFA Finals and League Cup Finals in England and Scotland among them.

Andy Gray - Broadcaster

Andrew Mullen "Andy" Gray is a Scottish retired footballer who played for several clubs in Scotland and England whilst also representing his country. He was the lead football pundit for Sky Sports until January 2011. Gray, along with former Sky Sports anchor Richard Keys, then signed for talkSPORT in February 2011. They now both work for beIN Sports in Doha.

Sarosh Zaiwalla - Senior Partner - Zaiwalla & Co.

Sarosh is the firm’s Senior Partner, overseeing all the firm’s activities. Over the years, he has been Involved in over 1,000 international litigations and arbitrations in the fields of Energy, Maritime and Construction either as solicitor, Counsel, Party-Appointed Arbitrator or Sole Arbitrator. Over his career Sarosh has acted for clients ranging from the President of India, the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Iranian Government to The Bachchan and Gandhi families in India. Sarosh is a former member of the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC, Paris, (1990 – 2002). He is also a CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) Accredited mediator. In 1998, Sarosh was made a Freeman of The City of London by the Lord Mayor of London. In October 2002, he was given India’s Annual National Law Day Award by the Indian Prime Minister for his outstanding contribution to the field of International Arbitration Law. In June 2008, he was appointed an Arbitrator to the Panel of Arbitrators by the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board. In 2011 he was appointed as Representative of the Union of Comoros to the International Maritime Organisation. Zaiwalla is currently appointed as Arbitrator for various international commercial disputes.

Dr. David Nott OBE - Vascular Surgeon

Based at the Chelsea and Westminster, St Mary’s and Royal Marsden hospitals in London, for the past 20 years David Nott has also volunteered for the Red Cross, travelling to war zones including Bosnia, Iraq, Gaza and Syria. David Nott gained his medical degree at Manchester University. He later attended the Royal College of Surgeons in London to become a Consultant Surgeon in 1992. He has been a Consultant Surgeon at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital for nearly 15 years. Mr Nott is also specialised within vascular surgery and is an authority in laparoscopic surgery - in particular AAA repairs and distal arterial bypasses. He is the first surgeon to combine laparoscopic and vascular surgery.

Andrew Neil - BBC TELEVISION PRESENTER, AND CHAIRMAN, ITP GROUP

Andrew Neil is a newspaper editor, publisher, broadcaster and business consultant on media matters working out of London, New York, Edinburgh and France. A veteran television presenter, he has fronted both The Daily Politics show on BBC Two, and This Week on BBC One since January 2003. His varied career has included stints as a political advisor, as UK editor of The Economist, editor of The Sunday Times, executive chairman of Sky Television, executive editor of Fox Television News of America and an anchorman on British political television. Neil remains chief executive of The Spectator and chairman of ITP Group, the publisher of Arabian Business. A Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, Neil has honorary degrees from Napier University in Edinburgh, and the University of Paisley. In the autumn of 1999 he was elected Lord Rector of the University of St Andrews, UK, which is recognised as one of the world’s oldest and most distinguished universities. On stepping down from that post in 2002 he was made a Doctor of Laws by the university.

Munib Masri - Chairman, Edgo Group

Munib Masri hails from the West Bank town of Nablus. Masri, who was once a close confidant of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (who offered him the premiership three times), made his fortune in oil and gas. When the Oslo peace process kicked off Masri helped set up the Palestine Development and Investment Ltd. (PADICO), the largest private investor by initial investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which he chairs. The holding group controls over 30 companies across various industries. Today, however, Masri is more of a fire fighter as he was in the 1970s when helped bring about an end to clashes that took place in Jordan when Palestinian guerillas challenged the authority of King Hussein. Much of his time has been dedicated to reconciling the Palestinian Hamas movement with President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah group, in addition to trying to foster dialogue among Israelis and Palestinians who aspire to live in peace within the context of a two-state solution.

Gary Watts - Partner, Regional Head of Corporate Commercial, Al Tamimi & Company

Gary is head of Al Tamimi & Company’s Regional Corporate and Commercial Practice. Gary is a highly experienced corporate lawyer who has practised in both advisory and transactional settings for more than 20 years. In Australia, Gary was the senior corporate partner for a regional Australian law firm (Fisher Jeffries) serving corporate and institutional clients. Gary served as Chairman of the Law Council of Australia’s peak technical committee on corporate law matters. Gary was also a member of the statutory advisory committee advising the Australian Government on the reform of corporate and securities law, and in that capacity was one of the co-authors of an official report on the reform of Australian insolvency law entitled “Rehabilitation of Large and Complex Enterprises in Financial Difficulties” (October 2004). Gary has extensive experience of cross-border insolvency and was principal legal advisor on asset recovery of The Duke Group, the most successful large liquidation ever conducted in Australia (recovery of AUD 100 million from an asset base of AUD 1 million) following litigation in Australia, Gibraltar and the UK. Gary has practised in the UAE since 2006. His experience in the Gulf region includes major acquisitions (Coca Cola acquiring USD 1 billion stake in Aujan, Empower District Cooling (government entity) acquiring Palm District Cooling for USD 500 million, Qatar First Investment Bank acquiring Emirates National Plastics), IPO’s (Air Arabia, Deyaar Development and Drake & Scull), due diligence enquiries, corporate restructurings and complex private equity agreements.

Melissa Coakley - Senior Associate, Clifford Chance LLP

Melissa is a banking and finance lawyer specialising in cross-border restructuring and insolvency, and has been based in the Dubai office since early 2010. Prior to that she spent 6 years with Clifford Chance in London, working on various pan-European restructurings during the global credit crunch. Recent experience includes advising the liquidators of a DIFC regulated entity on its complex cross-border insolvent liquidation, advising a listed Saudi company on $1.2bn debt settlement arrangements relating to an Asian subsidiary, six prominent local banks on the restructuring of a UAE manufacturing company, Dubai Holding in relation to the restructuring of Dubai Holding Investments Group and Dubai Drydocks in respect of its $15bn restructuring. Melissa was also part of the team advising company-side on the Nakheel, Dubai International Capital, Limitless and Dubai World restructurings. Melissa has also recently co-authored several articles (and a chapter for an upcoming Dubai Economic Council publication) relating to the proposed new UAE bankruptcy law.

Waleed Esbaitah - Chief Executive Officer, DURISE Real Estate Brokers

Waleed Esbaitah is the CEO & founder of DURISE. Born in Kuwait, and educated in Switzerland and the US, Waleed is a cosmopolitan entrepreneur with an international outlook. He graduated from George Washington University in the US with a degree in finance and a mission to make his mark on the world. After interning with real estate consulting and capital management firms in the US and the UAE, Waleed’s entrepreneurial spirit could not be quelled much longer and he began his own startups, some of which received considerable success and external funding. These include http://bubbl.me/ , a project based on the concept of microblogging through snipping videos from the web, and http://www.studentinternnetwork.com/ , a network aimed at connecting students to internships. By 2014 Waleed had already established DURISE, a concept he had been researching for some time. For Waleed there is no line between business and pleasure. Real estate and technology are both passions of his so the transition from amateur enthusiast to full time entrepreneur in these two areas was natural.

Craig Plumb - Head of Research MENA, Jones Lang LaSalle

Craig has over 20 years experience providing clients with quality advice on real estate market conditions in the UK, Asia Pacific and Middle East. With a background in urban economics and spatial planning, he has particular expertise in the areas of property market research, development consultancy, transport related infrastructure projects and corporate real estate. Since moving to the UAE in 2006, Craig has authored over 30 articles / research reports on different aspects of the MENA real estate market. He has also provided market research and consulting services to major investor, developer and government clients and has appeared as an independent real estate expert before the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC). Craig holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics & Geography from Lancaster University and an M.Phil in Environmental Planning from Reading University (UK).

Adham Saleh - Managing Director, eZayed

Born and raised in the UAE, Adham Saleh is a seasoned entrepreneur. While at the University of Manchester (UK), he started his own event management and promotions company, which he eventually sold. Adham would graduate with two Masters degrees: one in business and the other in pharmacy. Adham’s brief foray into corporate life included being headhunted by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline’s Dubai office, for the role of Marketing Manager for Dermatology in the Middle East and Africa. However, with the entrepreneurial flame still burning deep inside, Adham decided to pursue two of his long held passions – real estate and eCommerce. After assessing and experiencing first-hand the real estate market in the UAE, Adham was adamant that changes were needed – and so eZayed was born. As Managing Director and Partner of eZayed, Adham oversees the running of the business from A-Z, including teams in both the UAE and India. His day-to-day responsibilities include finding the most in demand properties and presenting them at auction, as well as identifying and attracting the most suitable buyers using an array of advanced online marketing techniques. In addition, he continues to develop eZayed’s business model and technology to ensure it is always at the forefront of the industry.

Tamas Klenoczky - Managing Partner, Flat Reviews

Tamas is the managing partner and co-founder of FlatReviews.com. He was born and raised in Hungary and has been successful at his own business ventures since his years at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. During his masters training to become a mechanical engineer, he has started his own company in Hungary, which attracted international clients earning itself an excellent reputation in the field of technical translation. After moving to Dubai in 2010 and spending 2 years in the real estate business, yet again he has come up with an entrepreneurial idea of creating a business that is a first of its kind: FlatReviews.com. From his experience in the unique real estate market of Dubai, he recognized a need for a platform where tenants and owners share living experiences, hence giving first hand information on communities. The website has been newly launched and has been received very well, growing from strength to strength with many further developments in the pipeline.

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