Abhinav is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the Manufacturing, telecom, and information technology and services industry. Skilled in Negotiation, Business Planning, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management.
Atul is a hospitality technology and business visionary with executive as well as hands-on technical experience in opening and managing multi-billion dollar enterprises. He has strong track record of successes in creating robust IT architectures and infrastructures.
Prior to joining HSMAI in 1995 (in an executive capacity), Gilbert was the vice president of marketing for Richfield Hospitality Services, Inc., the largest hotel management company in the world, where he oversaw the corporate marketing support for all Richfield hotels, which included product from every price tier in the industry. Gilbert holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and has been a member of HSMAI since joining the student chapter at Cornell.
Carl is the VP of Enterprise Solution forAcentic. He has a strong background in Complex Hardware, Software and Cloud Solutions Sales within Hospitality, Telco, Data and Gaming Industry since 1993. Before joining Acentic he was working for Hoist Group.
Emilio joined m3connect in 2001 and he has more than 20 years of experience in the IT and Wi-Fi industry. Prior to this he was responsible for network design and deployment at The Cloud Networks and Mobilcom Systems. Under his direction m3connect became one of the most sophisticated Wi-Fi network provider in Europe. His main goal with m3connect is the development and the delivery of smart guest facing technologies and innovative network solutions. Moreover, his passion for disruptive technologies makes him to an expert for any upcoming technologies in Wi-Fi business. One of his focus areas right now is 5G and business models in licensed and unlicensed spectrum and their impact on the hotel market.
Fraidy is the Area IT Director - Middle East & Turkey at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. He is responsible for IT Project management, Support/Guidance on IT operations & Regulatory compliance for Carlson Rezidor Hotels in the Middle East and Sub Saharan Africa. He completed his BSc computer Science and physics from Goa University and then went on working with top brands like Leela and Radisson before moving to Carlson Razidor.
Fraser Hickox is an Executive Director of the exclusive conceptual group, serving as a Director of both the unique conceptual hotel and specialist conceptual hospitality services where he is also a principal consultant.
The former Group General Manager of Research and Technology for The Peninsula Hotels is a noted hospitality technologyvisionary, innovator and pioneer. Across 3 decades with The Peninsula Hotels, he has been behind the introduction of a number of hotel industry technology innovations since the mid-1980s - from the first hotel with a computer and internet access in every room, to sophisticated and intuitive bed-side panels, among various unique in-room technologies that complement rather than compete with the design and ambiance.
His unique laboratory, a hotel industry first, and Fraser’s out-of-the-box approach led to his affectionately being dubbed ‘Q’ by his peers (a reference to the character made famous in so many James Bond films, a scientist at MI5’s R&D lab who seemingly has invented a gadget for every eventuality secret agents may encounter).
Frederick Sabty, Vice President, Hospitality Worldwide
Fredrick Sabty is the Vice President, Hospitality for Avaya worldwide. An experienced veteran of the communications, hospitality and business services industry, Frederick is responsible for delivering industry-specific solutions to the world’s hospitality providers, and is a member of the core leadership team for Avaya’s global business in his vertical.
Frederick joined Avaya in early 2007, contributing more than a decade of experience in hospitality-specific consultancy. He has been working in the Middle East since 2000 and prior to his role at Avaya,he was the Director of Information Technology for the JumeirahGroup Burj Al Arab. Frederick has been a key implementer of integrated solutions for hotels in the Middle East and around the world, and is a spokesperson for both business and technology-driven innovations in the industry. Frederick has a degree in Interior Architecture from the Haute Écoled'Artet de Design de Genève in Switzerland.
Frederick’s work empowers the hospitality industry, and his portfolio includeshospitals, hotels and other tourism-related enterprises Avaya customers worldwide. 9 out of 10 luxury hotel brands in the world are customers of Avaya, and Frederick enables them to enhance their customer experiences through communications, software, and networking solutions, developing their competitive advantage.
Frank Wolfe, CAE joined Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) in March 1991 as the association's director of education. He became executive vice president/CEO of HFTP in 1994, and at that time was one of the youngest association CEO's in North America. As HFTP’s CEO, Wolfe oversees the association’s operations, as well as represents the association worldwide at industry events, on industry boards and committees and via the news media.
As the spokesperson for HFTP, Wolfe frequently speaks on hospitality finance, technology, social media and travel issues to varied audiences and has presented in more than 25 countries. He is also a regular columnist for Hotel Management magazine – "Tech Watch" is Wolfe's monthly column. He has been featured in association, conference and industry publications including Convene magazine, Association Management magazine, MeetingTech Online and Hospitality Upgrade magazine. He has appeared on several television network interviews and programs including CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, TVAsia and Bloomberg.
Wolfe's current & previous director positions include:International Hotel & Restaurant Association; American Hotel & Lodging Association; Dean’s Advisory Board at Hilton College - University of Houston; Texas Society of Association Executives. Wolfe's been an instructor for the Academy of Assn. Management on topics including assn. law, finance & technology.
Greg Simon is the CEO and Co-Founder of Loyyal, a universal platform for the loyalty and rewards industry using blockchain and smart contract technology. Greg has been involved in the Blockchain industry since early 2013 and believes behaviorincentification is the application to unleash the latent value in all things and relationships. Prior to discovering blockchain Greg was in investment banking for 12 years. He is a member of the Dubai Global Blockchain Council. He has an MBA From Columbia University. He is a CPA and a CBP (Certified Blockchain Professional).
Iftikhar Hamdani is currently working as Cluster General Manager to lead three Wyndham Hotels in
Ajman. Hamdani is also currently engaged with his hotel group expansion and working as VP
Development and Acquisition of R Hotels. Hamdani carries 22 years hospitality experience in
different hospitality brands in different positions.
A well-driven person demonstrated superb management and leadership skills overseeing business
development, overall operations, sales strategic planning, etc. He consistently retains Ramada
Ajman as the top-performing hotel in the Northern Emirates for past five years and reduced the
staff turnover from 65% down to 2%.
He has revolutionised the hospitality industry with his commitment to carry projects on
environment, community and charity work. Known as the initiator of green programmes in the
emirate of Ajman, he has definitely made his mark to engage hoteliers in CSR. He is known for his
notable ground-breaking environment initiatives like launching Zero Landfill Project in 2012 – a
waste management system and Urban Farming at Ramada Ajman. Hamdani has been recognized
as the “Brand Ambassador of Wyndham Hotel Group in year 2012”, named as “Hospitality Excellence
- CSR Champion of the Year 2015” and “General Manager of the Year 2016” by the Hozpitality.com,
received the “Wyndham Hotel Group EMEA President’s Award for CSR 2016”.
Email id and mobile number – firstname.lastname@example.org +49 171 645 188 2
After having studied computer science at the University of Dortmund, Ingo Dignas co-founded protel together with Manfred Osthues in 1994. Today, as Managing Partner of protel he has well over 20 years of experience in hotel information technology. Ingo’s passion is in revolutionizing hotel IT by using mobile devices and cloud computing technologies.
Currently Chief Technology Officer at Red Planet Hotels, Jai oversees the entire technology stack both internal and guest-facing. Jai was responsible for architecting and implementing the end-to-end guest experience as part of Red Planet’s rebranding in 2015 and continues to drive innovation in that area.
Jai began his career at an entrepreneurial incubator in 2006 where he pioneered business concepts combining online and offline media into social entertainment experiences. In 2007 he was responsible for steering Siam2you, Thailand’s largest mobile content business at the time, back into profitability. Following that he founded Monster Media, one of Thailand's first digital interactive media firms. Jai most recently founded and ran Zodio, a Bangkok-based regional tech startup focused on Asia.
Lyle Worthington, CHTP is a hospitality technology executive, CIO, advisor, and world-renowned technology consultant with over 20 years of diverse technology experience ranging from software developer to CIO of several hospitality companies. Lyle is the current President of HFTP Global, has served on and chaired several boards, committees and councils specific to the hospitality industry, and has been an active voice for technology in Hospitality for over 10 years. He regularly speaks at industry events and has written numerous articles for global hospitality technology printed and digital publications.
Jyoti is a business leader with 20 years of senior leadership positions in the hospitality industry. She has a formidable track record for product and service innovation. She is currently a partner in Wayfare Ventures, an early stage fund, aimed at investing in travel tech opportunities. Prior to that, she was the Chief Operating Officer of Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces, India and the Global Head of Marketing for the Taj Group. The Taj group manages a large and varied portfolio of 122 hotels spread across 5 continents.
Her contribution led her to be recognized as the most powerful woman in the travel industry worldwide. She is India Co Chair for Women Corporate Directors, the largest and most influential global membership organization of women on boards. She has an MBA in Finance and is an alumni of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard.
Recognized as the most powerful woman in the travel industry worldwide by Travel Agent, a leading US trade weekly
Jonathan comes to you today with a wealth of commercial experiance across the world. he has worked in the Oil and Gas supply chain looking at siemic data issues and the effect they have on the supply chain.
"Data is the story of every business and controls the future management of Business". Jonathan now CCO of Forcive Software believes that Data is changing the mechanics of Human interaction and is making Artificial Intelligence a reality of how business will need to adapt. From his understanding of how the creative Industry uses data to how background checks are spearheading health and safety to the way the hospitality industry now needs to adapt Jonathan will be able to put a definitive line in the sand on how your organization moves forward from his experience in a number of sectors.
Laurent A. Voivenel is the Senior Vice President, Operations & Development for Middle East, Africa & India for Swiss-Belhotel International, spearheading the group’s expansion in the region. He holds over 30 years of extensive international hotel and asset management experience with some of the world’s leading and most prestigious hospitality brands including Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
Prior to joining Swiss-Belhotel, Laurent was the Chief Executive Office of HMH – Hospitality Management Holding for over three and a half years and was the primary driving force behind repositioning HMH as the Middles East's largest and most credible operator in the dry segment while setting in motion aggressive expansion.
With a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Laurent has a proven track record in areas of corporate mergers and acquisitions, hotel development and investment, multi-brand operations, as well as outstanding management experience across Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
Being based in the Middle East for the last 17 years,Laurent also has a deep understanding of the region's unique business dynamics and culture that has resulted in a solid network and close ties with hotel owners, developers and investors.
An experienced hospitality IT professional with over 25 years of experience, Lijo is the Corporate Director of IT at Emaar Hospitality Group. He is driving the technological evolution of the organization with a mandate capitalizing on technological innovation to improve the guest experience and drive efficiency.
Lijo provides leadership for the continued development of an innovative, robust, and secure information technology environment for the group. With digital transformation progressing across the business, he focuses efforts on continually staying abreast of technological advancements and integrating them into our state of the art systems.
Establishing agile digital operating models, he supports efficiency, productivity and profitability of the organization by driving automation, transformation and intelligent integrations. Advanced data analytics and digital processes are applied to revolutionise the hotel operations.
Lijo joined Emaar in 2008 from Micros Fidelio Singapore, where he was in charge of the regional professional services team. He was instrumental in driving the team in major IT projects for multi property hotels and resorts across the Asia Pacific region.
Chief Information Officer for the Habtoor Hospitality, with over 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry, combined with over 25 years of experience in IT and project management. Mr. Kamal is a leader in adopting new IT tools and services such as cloud appliances and virtual environments.
He has held many executive IT positions within the Middle East,mainly in Lebanon and UAE, has contributed and managed the ICT opening for more than seventy 5stars Hotels inthe region. He has worked in many reputable international hotel chains such as IHG and Banyan tree, as well as managing and developing the Fidelio-Opera operation in Lebanon over the span of 12 years.
In addition to his current position, Mahmoud is chairing the advisory board for all ITprojects for Al Habtoor Group.
He holds a diploma in Data Management from Jordan University and a diploma Hotel Management,and has been a certified professional for most of the hospitality systems from front office to food and beverage.
Marwan Al Ali is currently the Group Chief Information Officer of Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hospitality company and a member of Dubai Holding. Marwan’s responsibility range from being a business enabler, deployment of IT cross functional solutions in this Digital age with a special focus on innovative strategies, customer centricity and driving business profitability.
Marwan’s previous role was Senior Vice President of Operations for the Middle East, where he was instrumental in opening more than 10 new hotels within the region.
Prior to joining Jumeirah Group in 2007, Marwan held various management positions in Information Technology in some of Dubai’s most successful organizations including Dubai Holding, Dubai Aluminum and Emarat Petroleum. He brings with him vast experience having worked in a number of different industry sectors throughout his career.
Upon graduating from IHMI, worked for various international hotel chains including Sonesta Hotels and NH Hoteles all over the world. As Vice-President of Operations, he managed large portfolios of hotels. Michael also worked for SynXis, where he started and headed the European office. Owning his own hotels and venturing upon a new hotel chain, Michael Levie is currently a partner and CEO of citizenM hotels. It is all about people and caring for them, in combination with creativity.
As the Production Director of multinational business facilitator Naseba, Naveen leads project managers and event teams that are responsible for Naseba’s commercial and leadership services divisions. He supervises all aspects of event(s) and training(s) including conceptualisation, market research, strategic planning, production, content writing, stakeholder acquisition (speakers, trainers, partners and sponsors), marcom, event execution and post event reports.
Fostering knowledge sharing and networking amongst decision makers, key stake holders and vendors across different industry verticals, with a special emphasis on facilitating market penetration, deal flow and business partnerships, are amongst the many aspects he’s very passionate about.
Naveen has led projects under the endorsement of the likes of the Kings, Rulers, Crown Princes and Ministers across the MEA & Asian region.
He is a Computer Science Engineer by qualification and Events Director by passion.
Nicholas was the first employee hired at Naseba in 2003.
He has been responsible for opening several of Naseba’s regional offices – including Europe, India, Africa and United States.
In October 2008, he was promoted to the position of Sales Director.
Under his tenure, the team grew to over 100 sales staff worldwide. He has forged partnerships with leading organisations such as Dubai International Film Festival, The International Telecoms Union, Yesser E-Government Program and several emerging market government partnerships including the Ministry of Civil Aviation in Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Qatar, Czech Republic, Morocco and Malaysia.
In 2012, Nicholas was promoted to Managing Director leading the company’s technological evolution for a new digital world. Since then, under his leadership the company has grown its database tenfold, connected sales and marketing teams and enriched our understanding of client needs.
Prior to joining Naseba, Nicholas graduated with Honours in BSC Visualisation. An avid fitness enthusiast, Nicholas currently resides in Dubai with his wife and 2 children.
Prakash is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of general management, finance, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Prakash is a managing partner with seed firm Solarex LLC (family office). Before that he was a partner with HGM asset management (PE fund) and was a 2013 advanced leadership fellow at Harvard University. He served as senior vice president and CIO of TAJ group of hotels from 1999-2012.
With a background in some of the industry's most venerable corporations- Unisys / Sperry and IBM, Prakash has provided solutions for numerous corporations and financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Paine Webber and Solomon Smith Barney. In addition, Prakash was an early investor and a board member of Speech & Software Technologies (a Tata promoted company), TravelGuru (Sequoia funded India centric travel portal sold to Travelocity) and Transerv.
Prakash is a graduate of Rutgers University with degrees in electrical engineering and English, and New York University with a master's degree in computer science. He attended the advanced management program at Harvard Business School and was 2013 advanced leadership fellow at Harvard University. He was an active board member of HFTP and has served on HTNG's board. Prakash was inducted into HFTP "International Hall of Fame" for his contributions to hospitality industry, and has served on Microsoft hospitality advisory board.
Nigel joined Marriott in April 2017 and Starwood in 1993. After moving to the UK in 1996 and holding several management positions in hotel operations, Nigel moved into hotel IT and relocated to Dublin as part of a pre-opening team. In 2002 he join the Starwood divisional office as Senior manager IT EAME and completed several large project including a network & communications restructure and the Le Meridien brand integration. In 2006 he relocated again, this time to Dubai in the role as Regional Director of IT for the Middle East where he opened more than 22 new hotels across 8 brands including 4 conversions / re-branding projects. In his current role with Marriott, Nigel manages a team of 4 Senior Managers and 90+ Hotel based IT associates. Together they work on more than 35 concurrent hotel opening projects. Nigel is a keen golfer and is married with 2 daughters Nina & Bianca.
Richard joined MICROS in 1999 focusing on Fidelio installations before being a key member of the product team involved with the launch of OPERA in the UK. Since then Richard became the Hotel Product Manager for the UK & Ireland operation with responsibility for over 2,500 hotels using OPERA & legacy products. He was the lead for the first ever integrated PMS and CRS installation in 2003 with Thistle Hotels and has worked on large scale projects with budget brands such as Travelodge through to luxury groups such as Dorchester Collection. Since the acquisition of MICROS by Oracle in 2014, Richard has moved roles into Pre-Sales and is now Senior Director of Sales Consulting for Hotels in EMEA, heading a team dedicated to working with customers and sales during the sales cycle and tailoring product offerings to suit customer needs with a particular focus on Cloud based applications for hotel operations. The EMEA role is particularly challenging due to legal and fiscal rules across all 130 countries and is a great challenge to grow Cloud!
Prior to joining MICROS, Richard studied Tourism Management at Birmingham University in the UK and worked in hotel operations and management for IHG & Forte
SaadKabbani has over 10 years of experience in the hotel segment and currently represents Schneider Electric across the region to provide his customers with the latest and greatest in energy management solutions. With the growing number of hotel projects in the region Saad's challenges are to ensure these high energy consuming buildings are efficiently monitored and controlled without interfering with over all guest experience. Saad is passionate about guest facing technology, evolutions in the travel industry has lead to higher expectations from the guests, from checking in to checking out.
Profile:As CVPIT of Rotana Hotel Management PJSC, Mr. Samir Abi Frem is responsible for all information and communications technology functions within the organization. He has more than 18 years of experience in Information Technology for the hospitality industry including 13 years at Rotana, where he built up the company vision in technology and formed a very energetic and professional team. He ensures that Rotana’s use of IT contributes to its competitive advantage by maximizing revenue and customer satisfaction and minimizing operating and ownership costs. He is responsible for the IT Strategy, new developments, Brands and Standards and the Centralized IT Services function.
Achievements:Mr. Abi Frem acquired a remarkable multinational experience in In-room Technology, Systems Automation and Integrated Internal process in the service industry. With an extensive background in hotel and Information Technology management, he enforces high IT standards that are essential to successful hotel management. Since November 2013 he is a member of the organization's Board of Governors at Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), the membership association that unites the world's hospitality companies and technology innovators to solve industry challenges.
Projects in the Pipeline:In addition to the Rotana aggressive expansion Plans in MEA region, a number of large projects are currently being implemented; Such as Customer Information System, Consolidated Private Cloud Infrastructure, Next Generator Mobile Platform, Business Intelligence Tool, Revenue Management System and many other technology enhancements projects.
Organization Profile:Rotana Hotel Management Corporation PJSC is a hotel management company in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe region. It has a portfolio of over 100 properties in 26 cities and operates five sub brands which include Rotana Hotels & Resorts, Centro Hotels by Rotana, Rayhaan Hotels & Resorts by Rotana, Arjaan Hotel Apartments by Rotana and The Residences by Rotana.
Shyam Shah is the CEO of Loyalty Juggernaut, Inc., a next-generation loyalty and customer engagement solutions enterprise, helping brands re-imagine their loyalty initiatives in the era of highly informed, influential and instinctive customers.
A recognized visionary and thought leader in Loyalty and Customer Experience Management (CX), Shyam has worked with industry leaders in Travel and Hospitality on transformational customer loyalty initiatives. A regular speaker in industry events and writer in best-selling loyalty publications, Shyam led Industry strategy for Travel and Transportation, and Customer Experience solutions at Oracle, prior to co-founding Loyalty Juggernaut, Inc.
Sanjay Nadkarni (Ph.D.) is the Director of Research & Innovation at the Emirates Academy of
Hospitality Management. His areas of interest include tourism & hospitality analytics, digital
strategy and development studies. His portfolio comprises of academic and applied research,
advisory and consultancy assignments for corporate, government and multilateral agencies in
addition to his pedagogic practice which includes Visiting Professorships at Ecole hôtelière de
Lausanne (Switzerland), Institute of Systems Science of the National University of Singapore
(Singapore) and Faculty of International Tourism Management of the City University of Macau
(China). He is passionate about leveraging open data and open source platforms for the benefit of
small and micro-businesses and enjoys mentoring students in engaging in digital
In 1989, Ted Horner launched a consulting to the hospitality industry. He is now widely respected as Australia's leading consultant in this area. In 1996, he launched Australia's first dedicated hospitality technology exhibition and conference. In 2004, he was the first non-US person to be elected to the HITEC Technology Hall of Fame for his contribution to the advancement of technology in the hospitality industry. Since the early 90's he has travelled extensively throughout the world to speak at many hospitality technology conferences and has written many articles on technology that have been published all over the world.
A technology veteran Yazan Sabelaish has over 17 years of hospitality experience.
Born in Jordan he has developed his career in the Middle East having spent the last 17 years in Dubai, Amman and Doha
A recognized leader with extensive international industry experience in Technology management. Experienced in leading the information technology team to run complex IT environment, IT projects, budgets and applying IT standards with Luxury industry’s best practices
When not working (aka when offline) Yazan enjoys the beach, friends and playing Chess.