Invited Speaker – Arabnet Digital Summit 2013, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 24-26, 2013.


Smartphone penetration and usage in the Middle East, and especially the GCC countries, matches and often exceeds Western markets. As mobiles and tablets increasingly become the primary point of connection to the internet, the summit will explore opportunities in this rapidly-growing sector through discussions on:

  • Mobile Advertising
  • Augmented Reality
  • Mobile Consumption Habits
  • The Changing Role of Telecom Operators


Digital has changed the way users consume and interact with media and advertising, and has placed demands on content producers, distributors and agencies to create new models for reaching their audiences. The conference will shed light on these new models by looking at:

  • Performance Advertising
  • Designing Integrated Digital Campaigns
  • Women’s Content and Branded Content
  • The Future of Digital Video

Social Media

Social media has become a vital part of every brand’s online strategy; from acting as customer service mediums to tools for converting clients and selling products, social platforms can no longer be considered secondary in digital business. The event will investigate the social media turn through sessions on:

  • Social Advertising
  • Social Media Case Studies and Research
  • Social Media Listening/Engagement Tools


Online sales are growing rapidly in the MENA, where the market is estimated to be as large as $15B. Users are becoming increasingly comfortable buying over the Internet, especially as more convenient payment and shipping options become available, and as big retailers establish e-commerce portals. The Summit delves into the latest developments in eCommerce through segments dedicated to:

  • Payments and Gateways
  • Big eCommerce Portals
  • eCommerce Verticals
  • eRetail
  • Collaborative Consumption


Over the past 4 years, the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Middle East has grown exponentially; innovation is palpable among up-and-coming startups across the region, with influential international investors more keen to engage in the Arab World. The conference surveys progress in regional entrepreneurship through sessions highlighting:

  • Investing in Technology
  • Angel Investment
  • Crowdfunding
  • Acceleration and Incubation
  • The ArabNet Digital Showcase a series of 5-minute presentations and an exhibition for promising young businesses


Web and mobile developments are driving a revolution across major traditional industries, creating new opportunities and avenues for creativity for institutions to seize. The event will investigate how digital is disrupting industries across the board through sessions on:
  • Disrupting Recruitment
  • eEducation
  • eHealthcare
  • Travel Commerce
  • Digital Classifieds and Real Estate
  • Digital Banking
  • An Overview of Developing Digital Markets, including Singapore, Pakistan and Iran


Abdulla F. Al Khuzam

Information Technology Director, Dasman Diabetes Institute


Abdulla AlKhuzam is the Director of Information Technology at Dasman Diabetes Institute (DDI). AlKhuzam‘s experience and background were initially in the banking and telecommunications industries, with an emphasis on infrastructure implementation and operations. AlKhuzam joined DDI in 2010, bringing his knowledge from mature service sectors to the maturing highly specialized health sector. The Information Technology team at DDI provides all the necessary support for the institute’s services, including clinical, laboratory, educational, research, and administration services. Information technology is an enabler for national health projects undertaken by DDI in partnership with the Ministry of Health and international collaborators. Projects that make use of real time clinical information and integration provide insight for patients, health providers, researchers, and policy and decision takers.

Abdulrahman Tarabzouni
Head of Emerging Arabia, Google
Abdulrahman Tarabzouni is in charge of shaping Google’s investment in emerging markets in the Middle East. He is responsible for working across Google teams to establish, incubate, and grow Google’s core and emerging businesses while fostering the Internet ecosystem in the region. Prior to Google, he led different bets at Blueprint, Oracle, Morgan Stanley, and Atos Origin, and held a seat on Microsoft’s Board of the Future. Tarabzouni is the co-founder of number of tech ventures: Honeybee Tech Ventures, Syphir,, and PopOver Games, and is currently an angel investor in a number of the MENA’s fastest growing startups. He sits on the boards of multiple organizations and was named by the MIT Technology Review as a TR35 Pan-Arab Innovator and by both Arabian and Gulf Business in their 30 under 30 lists. Tarabzouni was the first recipient of MIT’s ASO Science and Technology Achievement Award.

Adil Zghaoui
Executive Manager, ME, Buzzman


Adil is the Executive Manager of Buzzman Middle East, one of the region’s leading digital agencies. He joined the agency in 2012 to set up and run the Middle East operations of Buzzman, which had been voted by Advertising Age in 2011 as the “Best International Small Agency.” Prior to this, Adil spent over 7 years as a marketing manager at Nestle and Reckitt Benckiser across the Middle East and North Africa.

Ahmed Khatib

Founder, CEO, MarkaVIP

Ahmed Al Khatib is the Founder and CEO of MarkaVIP, a private sales website that focuses on the Middle East. After working in Silicon Valley for 10 years, Ahmed moved to the Middle East in early 2010 and founded MarkaVIP in Jordan in November of that year. Earlier in his career, Ahmed was worked at a number of exciting e-commerce businesses, including eBay, Amazon and, where he developed the worldwide content-delivery of’s e-commerce application platform. Ahmed posses a wealth of expertise in developing business and technology solutions, and applying them to augment, improve, and transform e-commerce environments.

Alexander McNabb

Director, SpotOn PR


Alexander McNabb is director at Spot On Communications, based in the agency’s Dubai headquarters. He has worked with information technology, media, and communications in the Middle East for over 27 years. With a background in Middle East publishing, Alexander manages Spot On’s strategic counsel and communications and the agency’s key business relationships. He has spent the past seventeen years developing marketing strategies and communications programs for leading global brands in the Middle East. In addition to consulting work with a number of Arab governments, he has built strategies and managed national and regional communications campaigns for operators, regulators, and legislators in the region’s telecommunications markets. Alexander is an experienced presenter and public speaker as well as conference moderator, MC, and workshop leader. He is a regular commentator on marketing and communications issues as well as emerging technology and communications trends. In his spare time he writes novels. He blogs at Fake Plastic Souks and at

Alexandra Tohme

Community Manager, Marketing & Commercial Outreach, Nabbesh


Alexandra Tohme has spent the last 15 years working in the UK, UAE, Qatar and Lebanon doing sales and marketing across different industries including financial services, automotive, retail, and business information for companies such as Barclays, Avis, JD Williams, and During the last 7 years, she has been based in the Middle East and has been focusing specifically on digital content and communities; she now works with startups. Currently, Tohme is the Community Manager at, the fastest growing regional skills marketplace, and is also the Founder of, an online lingerie store. Tohme writes regularly for various trade and news publications, and speaks at conferences on ICT and entrepreneurship.

Ali Matar

Head of Talent Solutions, LinkedIn


Ali Matar joined LinkedIn Middle East in 2012 as Director of Hiring Solutions. Based in Dubai, Ali will be responsible for growing an in-house sales team and taking LinkedIn’s suite of Hiring Solutions to clients across the Middle East & North Africa. An experienced sales professional with close to a decade of experience, Ali has held senior regional roles at SAP where he last served as a Sales Director. Ali has proven expertise in identifying business leads, growing C-suite client relationships and talent acquisitions and development. Ali began his career in the construction industry before moving to Oracle as a regional sales consulting manager for the GCC countries A native Arabic speaker and citizen of Lebanon, Ali is a qualified Civil Engineer, a certified supply chain consultant and holds an MBA in Strategic Management the Lebanese American University in Beirut.

Amer Halabi

Regional Manager MENA, Hotels Combined


Amer has over 17 years of experience in tourism, e-commerce, and business development with various international companies. He has deep knowledge in the Middle East & North Africa markets. He established presence and branches of international brands and companies in almost all cities in the region. In 2013, he was appointed the regional Manager for the MENA region for hotelscombined. In this role, he is responsible to manage the existing relations and affiliates and to develop the affiliate business with key strategic partners. Amer holds an MBA in Marketing and has great experience across media and marketing platforms.

Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh

Managing Partner, Conovi


Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh is the Managing Partner of Conovi, an incubator of digital startups in the Farsi-speaking world. In partnership with Pars Online, the largest private internet service provider in Iran, the company was launched in June 2012 in order to introduce online models and offerings that have been proven successful in worldwide markets. Since inception, Conovi has launched Chimigi, the first online research panel in Iran, and released a localized version of the popular online MMO game, Imperia Online.

Twitter: @whiteboxamir

Angus Paterson
Partner, General Manager, STC Ventures (Iris Capital)

Anthony Cashin

Foundation Director of School, Ajman Academy


Anthony Cashin is currently the Foundation Director at Ajman Academy. His previous experience has taken him form Australia to Japan, Denmark, Thailand, Oman and now the United Arab Emirates. During this time, he has achieved great success as Foundation Principal of Ascot International School in Bangkok, and more recently as Principal of The Sultan’s School Oman. Ajman Academy was built around a conceptualisation of teaching and learning for our ‘digital natives’ and no expense has been spared in order to offer the best of what is available. One of the core attractions to the school is the 1:1 iPad programme, a state-of-the-art, built-to-purpose, school building, and a commitment to the success of every child in becoming the best that they can be. Anthony has been instrumental in developing the school’s vision to ensure cutting-edge educational technologies are transferred into a fully integrated IT school for progressive twenty-first century learning.

Ayman Itani

Founder, CEO, Think Media Labs


Ayman Itani is a forward-thinking Digital Media Strategist who helps clients bridge the gap between established Media and emerging types of digital and social media in the Middle East. He lectures and gives workshops on communication, media, user interaction design, history of technology, Internet architecture, and the social web. He fully takes advantage of the industry shifts incubated by the Internet, specifically on content generation, consumption, distribution, and commercialization. He uses his powerful combination of creative vision and rigorous analysis in the media to help build, restructure, and transform companies. He is also the founder of Think Media Labs, a premier digital and social media agency that helps enterprises and international brands targeting the MENA region thrive by drawing on Internet and mobile platforms to capture their customers and audiences digitally.

Baris Aksoy

Director, Intel Capital


Baris Aksoy is a Regional Director at Intel Capital focusing on technology investments in Turkey, Middle East and N Africa regions. Most recently, Baris was based in Intel Capital – Silicon Valley focused on making and managing global investments in the rapidly-growing Internet and Media segments. Prior to joining Intel Capital, Baris was an investor at University Venture Fund and was an early employee of Calix (NYSE: CALX), where he held product management and development roles. Earlier in his career, Baris started and grew the West Coast sales office for Alcatel’s semiconductor subsidiary. Baris serves on the Board of Advisors for Yetizen Accelerator, and actively mentors young entrepreneurs for SeedCamp, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, TurkTechNet, StepOne, and entrepreneurship classes at various universities around the world. Also, Baris is a Kauffman Fellow, and holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and also a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University.

Benedict Evans
Strategy Consultant, Enders Analysis

Boye Balgoun

Regional Head Of Digital, Mindshare


Boye Balogun is Regional Head of Digital at Mindshare MENA, leading the development of Mindshare’s digital offerings and teams across the region. Balogun has a wealth of digital marketing experience, having worked on both the agency and client side over the past 10 years. He has been the digital lead on major clients such as Visa, Orange Telecoms, Danone, and Lloyds Banking Group. Balogun was also a founding member of the digital performance arm of Profero, where he led the HBOS International and Esure accounts. He is a regular speaker in the MENA digital circuit, sharing insights on digital innovations, disruption strategies, and data intelligence.

Burak Buyukdemir

Co-founder, CEO, Etohum


Burak is the founder of Etohum, leading accelerator and seed investor organization in Turkey. Etohum selects 40 startups every year, trains, mentors and seed invests startups every year. Etohum has already invested 25 of startups in Turkey. Etohum organizes ‘Startup Turkey’ event, where startups pitches to investors and high networking with Turkish internet ecosystem. He is also working as a part-time lecturer in Istanbul Technical University. Additionally after working at financial and technology firms for 10 years, Burak wrote a book depicting the founding stories of internet startups in Turkey.

Caroline Faraj
Dubai Chief Operations Director / CNNArabic Editor, CNN
Catherine Moelker
Country Manager – UAE, Effective Measure

Charbel Fakhoury 

VP Sales, Marketing & Services – Middle East and Africa Region , Microsoft


As Vice President for Microsoft Middle East and Africa of Sales, Marketing, and Services, Charbel Fakhoury’s responsibilities span across one of the most vibrant and diverse regions in the company. Fakhoury joined Microsoft in December 1998 as the Business Development Manager for the East Mediterranean region. In 2003, he was promoted to a Subsidiary General Manager of Eastern Mediterranean countries. Prior to joining Microsoft, Fakhoury worked as a Sales Manager for Sun Microsystems in the Levant region. Previous to that role, he was the Sales and Marketing Manager at Automation and Computer Technologies in Lebanon. Fakhoury received a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from the Lebanese American University. In 2006 he attended Executive development program at Wharton University Pennsylvania in 2006. In 2010 Arabia computer news, voted him as the #1 most powerful executive among the top 25 in the Middle East.

Twitter: @charbelf

Chris Vezey

Sales Director, SiteCore


Chris started his career with computers in the days of punched cards and paper tape. Since those early days dropping his Fortran programmes Chris spent an extended period with Lotus/IBM in various sales and marketing roles. An early internet evangelist for Lotus in the mid ’90s Chris has been engaged with digital marketing ever since (except for a period teaching English in the mountains in Venezuela). Now, as Sales Director for Sitecore UK and ME, Chris is passionate about communicating the possibilities and benefits of agile digital marketing and customer experience management solutions built on the Sitecore Customer Engagement Platform.

Christopher Thomas

CEO & Co-Founder, Eureeca


Chris Thomas is CEO and co-founder of Eureeca, the first global crowdinvesting (or equity crowdfunding) marketplace. Chris began his career in 2001 in London working for an investment bank. He advanced within two years to Vice President Sales and Marketing Middle East. Chris has over 10 years’ experience in setting up and running businesses. He exited his last major business—an FSA regulated online brokerage with 60 staff in 12 countries delivering a quality tier of service to the retail FX and CFD markets in the Middle East —in 2010. The latest venture in Chris’ portfolio of entrepreneurial ventures is Eureeca, the brainchild of Chris and his business partner and former investment banker, Sam Quawasmi. A Law LLB (Hons) graduate from Brunel University, Chris also holds financial industry international qualifications from FSA Securities, Derivatives and Regulations and the Chartered Institute of Insurers.

Christopher Tyrrell

Board Member, Australian Small Scale Offering Board


Chris Tyrrell has over 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship, financial law, technology and capital markets, having managed and founded two private technology companies and been involved in over $20 billion of financing transactions. As an attorney, he specialized in asset-based finance at the Wall Street law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Currently, Chris serves as manager of Nehemiah Investments, a venture-focused family office in Princeton, New Jersey. Chris is global advocate for crowdfunding. He is chairman of CrowdFund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA), the leading advocacy organization for securities crowdfunding industry participants in the U.S. He is a non-executive board member of the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board (ASSOB), the oldest and largest online small equities platform in the world. Chris is a graduate of the University of Texas and the University of Virginia School of Law. He and his wife Susanne have eight children.

Dany El Eid

Founder, Managing Partner, pixelbug


A technology savvy entrepreneur, Dany pioneers in fusing online and offline technologies that create buzz and drive sales. This has been true ever since his marketing role with PUMA Middle East where, early on, he devised premier social media strategies to generate positive word-of-mouth about the brand and its offline activities. Since then, Dany’s creativity and lateral thinking attracted the attention of several entrepreneurial outfits seeking his skills to get crucial input in regards to generating sales through innovative digital strategies and tactics. Today, with the region’s only patent in augmented reality technology through his groundbreaking work with the Qatar Foundation’s Stars of Science initiative, Dany is set to become one of the region’s leading figures in the digital and online technology industry.

Dany Farha

CEO, BECO Capital


Dany Farha is a successful serial entrepreneur and investor with many exits from ventures in a variety of industries. Farha co-founded and exited, the Middle East’s largest job site; Butlers, the UAE’s biggest commercial laundry company; and Intercat, one of the leading catering companies in the UAE. Farha was a seed investor in Gonabit, a daily deal website focusing on the Middle East and acquired by Living Social in 2011. He currently sits on the boards of several portfolio companies.

Darren Westlake

CEO, Crowdcube


Darren is the CEO and co-founder of Crowdcube. Crowdcube was the first equity crowdfunding website in the world and continues to be a world leader in the field. Since launching in February 2011 Crowdcube has raised almost £9m in over 50 deals and has over 35,000 registered investors. Crowdcube is authorised by the FCA. Prior to Crowdcube Darren founded and exited 2 businesses in the field of Voice over IP. Based on his experiences and frustrations in raising money for companies Darren came up with the idea for Crowdcube and founded the company.

David Butorac

CEO, Orbit Showtime Network – OSN


David Butorac has been CEO of OSN, the MENA region’s premier Pay TV platform, since October 2010. With over 30 years’ experience in some of the world’s most successful broadcasting and multi-channel television companies, his career to date has included the positions of Head of Operations and Station Manager at BSkyB, Group Chief Operating Officer at Astro—Malaysia’s largest broadcasting and cross-media company—as well as President at the News Corporation’s Star TV in Hong Kong. Prior to joining OSN, David was Managing Director of WIN Corporation, Australia’s largest regional cross-media company. David was included in the inaugural Advance Australia list of the 100 most influential Australians living outside Australia and was named Media and Marketing Business Leader of the Year at the 2012 Gulf Business Industry Awards.

Diego Lofeudo

Sr Director of Market Management for MEA, Indian Ocean and Eastern Med, Expedia Travel

Diego Lofeudo is Sr. Director of Market Management for Africa, Middle East, Indian Ocean and Eastern Med for Expedia, Inc., the world’s leading online travel service and the largest seller of travel worldwide. Diego oversees strategy, sales and contracting for all the region. Prior to joining Expedia in 2001, Diego spent 10 years in the travel industry working for various retailers, franchises, wholesalers, incoming agencies and e-commerce companies. His experience includes; consulting for Atinera Ltd, a joint venture between Amadeus and Fourth Dimension software, consulting for, casino – hospitality group, and as a fulfilment partner Manager for a company with investment by CNN, AOL and LVMH. Diego, 43 and from Argentina, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Travel Industry Management from Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires – Argentina and post graduates studies in International Management for the Travel Industry – 2 year degree from Ecolle Suisse de Tourisme, C.D. Tur and Universidad Politecnica de Madrid.


Dimitri Metaxas 

MENA Executive Regional Director – Digital, OmnicomMediaGroup


Dimitri is Omnicom Media Group’s Executive Regional Director – Digital, leading on the setting and implementation of OMG’s digital agenda. A digital marketer with over 10 years of regional experience overseeing 2,000 campaigns across 40 of the world’s leading brands. Dimitri has been at the forefront of the digital marketing industry in the Middle East since 2001. During this tenure he has launched & led numerous successful agency brands and has been an active proponent of Internet and emerging technologies for the wider marketing/media industry. Dimitri regularly speaks at regional & international events and continues to develop the industry by educating marketers about the unique opportunities available in the digital space.


Dirk Henke

Managing Director Eastern Europe, Criteo


Dirk Henke is Managing Director Eastern Europe at Criteo since October 2012. Before, he has been based in Criteo’s headquarter in Paris, having been responsible as Vice President Business Development for the publisher business of Criteo in whole Europe as well as for the development of new markets focusing Asia. Before joining Criteo, Dirk Henke has been Head of Publisher Network at Microsoft Advertising. Another station in his career was Yahoo! There, he led the Publisher New Business at Yahoo! Germany and established Yahoo! Search Marketing in South-East Asia.


Elaine Gold

Director of Organisation & Strategy, Silatech


Elaine Gold is Director of Organisation & Strategy for Silatech, an innovative social enterprise which focuses on developing increased options for Arab Youth in the MENA Region in areas of Employability, Entrepreneurship and Engagement. Prior to joining Silatech in 2011, Elaine spent over 20 years in International Consultancies focusing on Organisational Change and Leadership Development. Originally from the UK, Elaine has also worked with many organisations and networks focusing on SME Development. Silatech has launched a number of new initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship in the region, including the launch of the SILA Angel Network in 2012. Elaine has been living in the Gulf since 2007 and has two children in the UK.


Elie Youssef

Managing Partner, pixelbug


Elie’s passion for projection technology dates all the way back to his Engineering degree where he researched the effect of varying electrical currents in LEDs. Upon completing his master’s in Computer Science from the University of Bath in the UK, Elie moved to Dubai to pursue a career as a business analyst, helping to implement the Oracle ERP system for Nissan’s dealership. It is there that Elie honed his ability to re-engineer enterprise business processes and build them into actual tools that added value and optimized user experiences. A marketeer at heart, Elie’s technical background and business acumen led him to a role with Kassab Media, where he led the development of the Metro advertising project from conception to execution. Elie went on to pioneer the design and procurement of Dubai’s first LED screen built directly over Sheikh Zayed Road, on the Mall of Emirates Metro footbridge.


Ellen Van Meerend

onkStrategic Solutions Director, Yahoo!


Ellen Van Meerendonk is the Head of Strategic Solutions for Yahoo! Maktoob, where she is responsible for the delivery of best-in-class commercial solutions for Yahoo! Maktoob clients and for the design of campaign strategies through trend analysis and industry insights. Ellen is a well-rounded marketing communications professional with 15 years of experience across Europe and the Middle East. Before joining Yahoo! Maktoob, she spent 9 years at adidas Middle East and Africa. In that capacity, Ellen lead the development of the brand marketing strategy for adidas in the Middle East and Africa across ATL advertising, media buying, digital, PR, and experiential marketing. Between 1998 and 2003, Ellen worked for Davilex Games BV, a global developer and publisher of video games based in the Netherlands. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Arts in audiovisual media and a master’s degree in European media from the Utrecht Academy of the Arts in Holland.


Eric Edge

Head of Marketing Communications for EMEA, Facebook


As head of marketing communications for Facebook in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Eric leads Facebook’s business marketing efforts in the region. He and his team focus on engaging both marketers and agencies by creating marketing programs at scale. Before joining Facebook, Eric was the Global Chief Communications Officer of ad agency Havas Worldwide (formerly Euro RSCG Worldwide). He was responsible for the agency’s communications efforts globally, spanning 235 offices in 75 countries. His success in this role led him to be named one of PR Week’s “40 Under 40” in 2010.

Fadi Salem
Director and Fellow – Governance and Innovation, Dubai School of Government


Faris Al Rashid

CEO, OqalFaris I.


Alrashed Alhumaid is the President of Nal Investment Company, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a family business company in real estate, equity, and private equity. Faris is a member on the Boards of Directors of Qassim Cement Company, Dallah Health Care, and Ibrahim AlRashed Alhoumaid Sons Company. Previously, he was the General Manager at Riyadh Steel Company, the main supplier of small and medium-size flat bars in Saudi Arabia; General Manager at Dwalej Technology Company, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Teacher & Chief at Buriydah Technology College, Saudi Arabia, where he helped develop a special software system, college network systems, and a new electronic publishing center for the college. He was a member of Saudi Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Program (Oxford University, UK) and Entrepreneur development program, Sloan School of Management (MIT, United States). He holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.


Fawzi Rahal 

Founder, Managing Partner, Gamutt


Fawzi Rahal has over thirteen years of experience in the digital field in the Middle East. He has recently founded Gamutt, a strategic digital consultancy, focusing on setting world-class web, social, mobile and content strategies for brands in the Middle East. Previously, Fawzi headed Digital at Grey MENA for nine years, during which he helped launch, rebrand and manage online channels for the world’s leading brands including Nokia, Visa, P&G and Danone. Fawzi has a creative background and solid strategic and marketing experience in telecom, blue chip, nutrition and FMCG. A typographer and designer by training, Fawzi has helped his clients establish online identities and strategies across web, mobile and social media. When he’s not stuck in traffic, he might be found tinkering with gadgets, ranting online or scheming to make the web a more user-friendly place.


Fayez Abu Awad

VP Middle East and Africa, Airpush


Fayez Abu Awad is the pioneer of digital marketing and advertising in MEA. Having sold his first Internet banner campaign early in 1996, Fayez came back to pioneer the sale of media on mobile Internet property as well as mobile campaign design. Currently leads Airpush in the Middle East and Africa. His previous role was at Boost Communications in the Middle East & Africa. Prior to that, Fayez was part of Nokia Interactive in the Middle East and Africa. He also served the strategy process and insights team of Nokia Middle East and Africa. Starting with brown fields, he conceived, sold and managed interactive mobile advertising campaigns in the Levant, the GCC, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Benin, Angola, Kenya, South Africa and others. Fayez holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and a Master of Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is also an entrepreneur currently developing solutions to enable equal participation in Web 3.0.


Fida Slayman

Communications Manager, Knowledge & Human Development Authority


Fida Slayman has a love for people, technology, writing, and connecting. As Communications Manager at KHDA, she has overseen the launch of the organization’s internal and external social media presence. With the support of her colleagues, she has ensured that KHDA’s internal and external messages are no longer the preserve of the media and communications teams. Her goal is to make all colleagues at KHDA take ownership of and pride in its community engagement activities. She has many years of experience in the education sector in the Middle East, both as a teacher and journalist. She has lived in Hungary, Lebanon, Japan, the UK, Australia, and the US. She holds degrees in journalism and international relations from Australian universities, but cites Twitter as her most relevant and practical source of learning.

Fraz Chishti
Chief Innovation Officer, Noor Islamic Bank


Fredrik Bernsel

Sales Director EMEA + LATAM Partners, LinkedIn


Fredrik Bernsel joined LinkedIn in 2011 and currently serves as Commercial Director EMEA + LATAM (Latin America) Partners. Experienced in general management, sales, online media and business development, Fredrik’s responsibilities include sales, strategy and general management across 46 countries as well as new market development. Having spent 15 years working with print and online media, Fredrik enjoys a deep understanding of customer and client needs. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Fredrik worked in the publishing industry in various leadership roles such as Editor-in-Chief at PC World, Publisher at Biotech Sweden AB and Vice-President Sales at IDG Sweden. Fredrik is based in London and has an MBA from INSEAD Business School. He speaks Swedish, English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Gareth Deera
Content &Technology Research Director, MEAP, Ipsos


Gourav Chindlur

Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Vizury


Gourav co-founded Vizury after realizing that the performance of display advertising can be improved dramatically by studying user micro behaviour. He oversees Operations and Products and is responsible for product management at Vizury. Earlier, Gourav was a part of the Business Value Group at Trilogy, Inc where he was involved in developing customer acquisition strategies for Auto manufacturers and Telecom operators across US & India markets. He has also worked with the mobile apps development team at Motorola. Gourav is well versed with internet related technology and data analytics. He is Computer Science Engineer from RVCE, Bangalore, and has an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. He also holds a patent in the field of radio communication.


Graham Thomas

Co-founder, Radical Company


Having been Vice Chairman at Saatchi & Saatchi and founder of Radical and other digital start-ups, Graham has an outstanding reputation for building some of the best-known and loved brands globally – a reputation that has been rightly and widely recognized with awards including Ad Age International Agency of the Year, Proctor & Gamble’s Robert V Goldstein Award for global advertising excellence, and a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts. He set-up Radical as a hot-bed of digital innovation; it now creates digital products and experiences for a wide range of businesses. Since being launched three short years ago, Radical has grown to be one of the UK’s top digital agencies reflecting its ability to deliver new thinking and true innovation.

Gups Jutla
Head of Business Development ME, CyberSource


Hany Al-Sonbaty

Co-founder, Flat6Lab


sA Middle East venture capital pioneer. Prior to co-founding Sawari Ventures and Flat6Labs, Hany was a Partner at EFG-Hermes Private Equity heading their TMT and Venture Capital business. Whilst at EFG Hermes, he managed over USD 200 million of TMTrelated investments and was involved with many of the region’s pioneering technology companies including, LinkdotNet, ITWorx, Raya and NextMedia Holdings. He was also instrumental in the creation of IdeaVelopers – EFG-Hermes’ venture capital arm – and the formation of its Technology Development Funds I & II


Harvey Bennett

Director, RBBi Performance


Harvey Bennett and the team at RBBI are here to raise the bar in the Middle East. With over 5+ years of experience in London, Harvey moved to Dubai to progress his career with UM MENA, which allowed him to gain a considerable understanding of the local and the regional market. Equipped with a deep technical knowledge of performance marketing and proprietary analytics tools and methods, Harvey moved on to create and pioneer the performance business within RBBi. Harvey’s focus on introducing industry leading technology and excellence in client servicing to the agency’s digital partners has carved out some unique opportunities. With industry leading technology including Addictive Mobility (social mobile ad network), Quantdeck (DMP and analytics), and Tobii (gaze plotting technology), Harvey and the RBBI team are challenging the market to lift its digital game. Follow Harvey on Twitter @harveybennett or find out more about RBBI at


Hasan Haidar

CEO, Tenmou


Hasan Haider is currently the CEO at Tenmou, the first Business Angels organization in Bahrain. Incorporated in May 2011, Tenmou’s objective is to invest and support high-potential start-up Bahraini entrepreneurs. Tenmou has invested in 13 seed stage startups with a total investment portfolio of USD 1 million to date. Sixteen of the biggest family groups and companies in Bahrain have invested in this new initiative, as well as partnerships with Microsoft, Ernst & Young, BDO Bahrain, UNISONO, and others. Hasan started his entrepreneurial activities by launching FILM2GO, an online DVD rental service. Hasan also has several years of investment experience. He has a BSc in Economics with honors from University College London (UCL) and is a CFA Level 2 Candidate. Hasan is currently Chairman of Reload IT Consulting, Pankooshi’s Weight Loss Centre, Live Gaming, Reality Animation Studios, Artealus, Doocan, and Ringco.


Hassan Mikail

Global Director, E-Commerce, Aramex International


Hassan Mikail is the Global Director of E-Commerce at Aramex, one of the leading global logistics and transportation solutions providers, and the first company from the Arab world to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Having started his career with Aramex in 2008, Hassan has worked in several positions including the Regional Marketing Manager for Online Services which led to his current position managing e-commerce globally. Hassan has been driving Aramex’s e-commerce activities worldwide, in line with Aramex’s Global Growth Strategy. He held a number of senior managerial positions within the marketing communications industry, where he managed the teams of internationally renowned agencies such as Grey Advertising and LOWE MENA among others. Hassan earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Middle Tennessee State University, USA and has undertaken a number of executive education programs, including IMD’s highly acclaimed Advanced Strategic Management, Switzerland.

Hatem Bamatraf
Executive Vice President, Enterprise Business, Du


Herve Marchet

Group CTO, GEMS Education


Hervé Marchet is the Group Chief Technology Officer of GEMS Education based in Dubai ( Hervé Marchet is an international figure in the application of technology for better learning outcomes. He held an executive leadership position for 12 years at Apple Computers, where he led the sales & marketing activities as well as business development of the Europe, Middle East, India & African educational market segments, a $1.5 billion business unit. During his tenure with Apple, he was instrumental in the Education department becoming number 1 in Europe and the market share value multiplied by 5 times. Before joining Apple, Hervé was Managing Director of the newly created Latin American division of Packard Bell NEC, which within 4 years became a $100 million profitable business. Previous to his work at Packard Bell NEC, Hervé managed the “Just in Time” strategy for Zenith Data Systems Europe. Hervé earned an Executive MBA from the top ranked business school “HEC” in Europe.


Ibrahim Elbadawi

Strategic Planning Specialist, UAE Federal eGovernment


With over 10 years of experience in UAE and the region, Ibrahim’s key passion is to enable government innovation and sustainable development with focus on technology as a key enabler. His experience has a unique mix of research work and field practice with government and non-government institutions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Arab region. Throughout the past few years, Ibrahim has been focusing on social media and other new trends such as open data. He was the initiator and team leader of UAE open government data initiative, and he was the mastermind of the plan that boosted UAE’s position on the UN eGovernment Index 2012 to 28th rank from 49th as per the 2010 report. Ibrahim is the Co-Founder of, the first online service dedicated for professional copy-editing and proofreading service for Arabic language.


Ihsan Jawad

Partner, Honeybee Tech Ventures


Ihsan Jawad is an internet entrepreneur based in Dubai. After founding and exiting to Thomson Reuters in 2012, he went on to co-found HoneyBee Tech Ventures, an incubator and venture capital firm set up to seed consumer based internet startups. Before entering the internet space, Ihsan worked in investment banking first at Merrill Lynch and later with Schroeders (now Citigroup) in the City of London. Ihsan received a B.Sc. and Masters in Physics from Imperial College, London.

Ismaeel Makdissi
CEO , Intigral


Ivan Robert Nurgberg
General Manager – Regional SmartTV Business, LG Electronics

Iyad Kamal
COO, Aramex International



Jan Rezab

Founder, CEO, SocialBakers


Jan Rezab is the CEO and Co-founder of Socialbakers, a company focused on social media marketing and measurement. Jan’s role is to actively push Socialbakers’s global strategy. Prior to joining the social media marketing world, Jan Rezab was CEO and Founder of a mobile company called Redboss for 8 years that operated in the mobile content/games/services business.


Jason Best

Co-founder, Crowdfund Capital Advisors


Jason has been a member of the executive leadership teams of three software companies in San Francisco, CA where he has lived and worked since 1998. The most recent firm, Kinnser Software was twice named as one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States by Inc Magazine. Jason co-authored the crowdfund investing framework used in the JOBS Act to legalize equity based crowdfunding. He has provided US Congressional testimony on crowdfunding and attended the White House ceremony when President Obama signed it into law on April 5, 2012. As a co-founder of Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA), Jason works with VC firms, governments and NGOs including the World Bank to create successful crowdfunding strategies. Jason co-founded the UC Berkeley Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance and also currently as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UC Berkeley at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. He earned his master’s degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.


Jason Ried

Director, FuzzyLogic


Jason Ried spent 10 years as a Producer in the UK video game industry for both Disney and Eidos Interactive. He developed big budget—almost $20 million—AAA quality console games such as Split/Second, Disney Universe, and Championship Manager, before starting Fuzzy Logic, an iOS and Android developer based in South Africa. Our goal at Fuzzy is to bring the level of quality, polish, and design from console gaming onto mobile and tablet devices. Using iterative game development methodologies, we constantly strive to create apps that are simple to use, whilst also cutting edge in functionality, appearance, and design. We’re very proud that we were nominated for awards in the European AR Awards for the 2nd year running. Alongside the AR Developer 2013 nomination, we can also now include Most Innovative Use of AR 2013. These nominations prove we’ve found the right balance between art, design, and functionality.

Jean-Francois Thomas
CEO, Orange Jordan
Jeffery Kim
Associate Director, Communications Technology, Mubadala


John Andrews

Chairman and CEO, IORMA (International Omni Retailing Members Association)


John has a long career history in the retail distance selling industry with major enterprises such as the United Kingdom’s Royal Mail, Great Universal Stores plc (Burberrys, Experian, Yodel Home Delivery, and the UK’s leading catalog and online operation, now Shop Direct) along with advisory roles with the UK Government. IORMA is new Association for Members globally who have interest and/or involvement in the Global Omni Retailing Industry and its future. IORMA is progressively introducing a wide range of products, services. IORMA Members will include: Retailers, Manufacturers, and Organisations concerned with Banking, Payments, Finance, Logistics, Technology, Consultancy, Market Research, Town and City Planning, Consumer Interest Groups, Governments, Academia or individuals … IORMA is guided by its Members and managed by a highly experienced team from Industry and has a particular interest in OMNI Retailing Developments in the UAE and MENA Regions.


Jonathan Labin

Head of the Middle East and Africa, Facebook


Jonathan Labin is Head of Global Marketing Solutions for the Middle East & Africa and leads the Facebook office in Dubai. Prior to Facebook, Jonathan was VP, Head of Ad Sales, Emerging Markets at MTV Networks and responsible for maximizing advertising revenues across all brands and platforms in the region. During his tenure at MTVN, he also held the positions of interim General Manager for MTVN MENA and Strategy & Business Development Director for MTVN International and played a key role in strengthening MTVN’s position across multiple lines of business and regions. Jonathan holds a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia Business School in New York and bachelor degrees in International Business from Universidad Pontificia Commillas in Madrid and the European School of Business in Reutlingen.


Karim Khalifa

Founder, CEO, A Digital Republic


With over 14 years experience, Karim Khalifa’s expertise lies in all that is digital. He has been a pioneering figure in mobile Internet from its inception in 2000 with Vodafone Global in London, and managed the delivery of the first Egyptian 3G network with Vodafone in 2007. Notably, Khalifa championed the creation of the mobile advertising industry in the Middle East, launching the first comprehensive mobile ad portfolio in the region in 2008. In 2009, he founded Digital Republic, a leading digitally inspired, creative ad agency based in Cairo and Dubai. He has also been elected as Co-Chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) in the Middle East and has held senior positions worldwide in Vodafone, Lucent, Maersk, Hilton Group, and SODIC Real Estate.  Khalifa is a UK Chartered Electronic Engineer (CENG), a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and a Member of IEE (MIEE). He holds a MSc. from the University of Leeds.

Kenneth Seymens
Managing Partner, Medica IQ
Kevin Schoepp
Director, Educational Effectiveness, Zayed University


Khalifa Alforah

Chief Digital Services Officer, Etisalat


Mr. Khalifa Al Shamsi was appointed Chief Digital Services Officer of Etisalat Group in May 2012, having previously held the position of Senior Vice President Technology Strategy for Etisalat Group. Mr. Al Shamsi joined Etisalat 19 years ago, which he has held various senior managerial positions within Etisalat UAE, including senior vice president of marketing – consumer in 2009. Prior to his most recent appointment, Al Shamsi held the position of Senior Vice President Technology Strategy for Etisalat Group since joining the Group in 2010, leading the Group’s foray into the Digital Space. Mr. Al Shamsi’s remit includes leading the division’s focus on various industry verticals such as Machine-to-Machine (M2M), cloud services, commerce, digital advertisement, etc… and aims to boost the Group position in the digital eco-system and driving innovation and advanced services. Mr. Al Shamsi graduated from the University of Kentucky, USA in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.


Kieran O’Sullivan

Regional Managing Director, MENA, HeathWallace


Kieran leads digital for JWT & Heathwallace across the Middle East and Africa regions. With over 15 years’ experience in digital in Australia, the UK and the middle east Kieran brings his passion and experience for all things digital to communication & customer experience challenges for his clients. With a business degree, diploma in interactive design and having worked as a designer for 6 years, Kieran brings an unusual mix of design, user experience, project management and strategic consulting services to the table with his clients. Kieran is an advocate of bank 2.0 and works with banks in the region to create their bank 2.0 digital strategies and implement the solutions with Heathwallace. Category experience in banking covers some of the leading banks in the region such as: HSBC, NBK, NCB, Barclays, al khaleeji, IBQ & ADCB. Other category experience includes: telco, tourism, automotive and FMCG working across clients such as; Emirates Airlines, Ford, CJD, Unilever, Pepsi, HP and Nestle.


Lara Setrakian

Founder and Executive Editor, News Deeply


Lara Setrakian is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of News Deeply. She spent more than five years as a foreign correspondent, covering the Middle East for television, radio, and digital platforms; and reporting for ABC News, Bloomberg Television, the International Herald Tribune, the Business Insider, and Monocle Magazine. She has since focused on the fusion of news and technology; the launch of her first platform, Syria Deeply, launched in December 2012 to wide acclaim. Lara has served as an inaugural fellow with the Peter Jennings Program at the National Constitution Center and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She was also dubbed one of the Top Women of 2012 by Marie Claire Magazine. Prior to joining ABC News, Lara worked as a business analyst with McKinsey & Company, focused on finance and corporate strategy. Lara graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University.

Laurent Wakim
Head of Sales & Business Development, MENA, PayPal


Lippe Oosterhof

CEO, LiveStation


Lippe Oosterhof is CEO of Livestation. The London-based web company is the leading aggregator of live streaming TV news channels and played a pivotal role during the Arab Spring by broadcasting TV news online to Arabs across the Middle East and around the world. An expert in the business and technology of online video Lippe has led business development at several VC-backed video and news businesses across Europe. Lippe started his career developing new digital products and markets for ABN Amro and Dun and Bradstreet for nearly ten years. During this time he also co-founded Nerve Wireless, an Amsterdam-based virtual collaboration platform which worked across mobile devices.


Louis Lebbos

Founding Partner, AstroLabs


Louis is passionate about economic development and technology. Before starting Astrolabs, Louis co-founded Namshi where he led the marketing, content, and human resources teams. Before Namshi, Louis was a consultant at the Dubai office of McKinsey & Company, focusing on growth strategy projects in the telecom, banking and healthcare sectors in the Middle East. Previously, Louis was part of a general management development program at a US Fortune 200 multinational. Louis studied for his electrical engineering degree at North Carolina State University where he participated in the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. An aspiring travel photographer and self-professed geek, Louis spends all his free time reading and researching his next trip.


Maryse Thomas

CEO, PokeWare


Founder and CEO of Pokeware, she was in charge of maximizing the potential of e-commerce solutions + innovation in service for creating effective digital advertising programs. Her principal focus is to generate, support, and develop a platform. Since founding Pokeware in 1997, as the CEO, she has nurtured the company’s growth from inception, on a path towards being a global leader in technology. Under her guidance, Pokeware has diversified its product and anchored itself as a pioneer. She is an adjunct lecturer at Princeton University and has graduated from University of South Carolina with a Biology degree. She is affiliated with Harlem United, and has run the ING New York Marathon for four consecutive years, raising close to 1 million dollars for pediatric AIDS research and treatment. An IFR rated pilot and aviation enthusiast, Thomas incessantly pursues novel challenges. Among her current objectives is learning Italian, and running the 2012 NY Marathon in under 4 hours.

Twitter: @pokeware


Matt Cooper

Vice President – Enterprise & Business Development, oDesk


Matt circles the globe speaking to companies and professionals on talent management and the future of work. Currently the Vice President of International and Enterprise at oDesk, he provides counsel to businesses small and large on how to leverage online work. He has spoken at TechWeek, eAsia and Startup Weekend New York, and has been featured in The New York Times, Staffing Industry Analysts’ blog, and on Good Morning America. Prior to oDesk, as a member of the executive team at Accolo, Inc. — a recruiting services and technology firm — he grew the business from one employee into one of the top 50 companies on the Inc 500 list. He also co-founded a boutique strategic consulting firm for ramping early-stage companies, and started his career in investment banking at JPMorgan Securities. Matt holds an MBA and Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, both from Vanderbilt


Matthias Krampe

CEO, Explore Engage MENA


Matthias Krampe is an international business professional and hands-on investor with extensive and diverse industry experience. His current focus is on building up the Middle East’s first dedicated augmented reality company that specializes in developing augmented reality and digital media solutions, in addition to having a division dedicated to building the world’s first augmented reality headwear. Previously, Matthias was the Managing Director of a marketing communication agency in Qatar, as well as a successful Business Development Director for various major 3rd party logistics providers across Europe and the Middle East. Prior to getting his MBA at the Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands, he worked as Marketing Manager for a multinational corporation in Hong Kong and USA. He also has a BSc in Mass Communication from Boston University, USA.


Maud Moawad

Managing Partner, Maddict


Maud is strongly equipped with a decade experience in mobile technology. She headed for four (4) years the quality of service team in the technical area at Alfa telecommunications, one of two leading mobile operators in Lebanon. Maud led the acceptance and quality assurance of all major projects in the technical area including the network expansion, the network optimization, and the introduction of 3G services. She is currently positioned as the Managing Partner of Maddict International, a leading premium mobile Ad network in the Middle East that she founded in 2011. Maddict International is pillared in three (3) major cities; headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon with offices in Dubai, UAE, and Riyadh, KSA. Maud holds a bachelor of engineering in Computer and Communications and a Masters degree in Economics, both from Notre Dame University in Lebanon. Her current focus is to be a major player in the mobile advertising industry in the region.


Meredith Tuqan

Head of Social Media, OmnicomMediaGroup


Meredith leads OMG’s specialist social media division, developing social media solutions designed to put brands in close contact with their key audiences. Meredith brings 360-degree experience in marketing communications, which she has gained over the past 14 years, in the APAC and MENA regions, the UK and Europe. 2002 marked Meredith’s first foray into social media, working with specialist forums to further brands’ objectives. Since then, social media marketing has become an area of specialty. Meredith’s experience is supported by strong TTL marketing and communications skills, developed in national and regional marketing communications roles and benefitted by brand management, event production and traditional media publishing experience. Meredith has been a UAE resident for five years. In this time, she has worked on local, regional and global social media and communications activities with organisations such as PepsiCo, Vodafone, Henkel, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi, Laureus World Sports Awards, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Rezidor Hotel Group.


Michael Layhani

CEO & Founder,


Michael Lahyani is the Founder and CEO of the largest online property portal in the UAE – – which was established in 2005. Two years after it was set up, Lahyani sold 51 % of the company to the REA Group of Australia, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. In 2009, he regained 100 % control of the business. Early in 2013, Michael closed a series A with high profile investors securing funding for his international expansion. The business is now operating in UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Lebanon. was recently ranked in third place in the ‘Top Dubai SME 100’. Prior to, Michael launched Equestrio Magazine, a high-end publication covering equestrian sports and lifestyle with editions in Switzerland, France, Italy, UAE, China, Russia and USA. Earlier in his career, he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Geneva, his hometown. He received his MBA with a specialty in finance from HEC Lausanne and spent a year in UCLA California.


Mike Pomerance

Vice President and Managing Director MEA, Cerner


Mike Pomerance, vice president and managing director of Cerner Middle East, is responsible for supporting Cerner’s clients in Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, from the company’s Dubai office. Pomerance has shown a high level of diligence in his attainment of business goals. He joined Cerner in 2002. During his tenure at Cerner, he has built a strong, cross-functional reputation through his roles. Previously, he was a national sales manager for radiology, a client services executive for the North Atlantic CinC, an operations executive with SolutionWorks, and a client results executive. In 2004, Pomerance’s organization was recognized as the Best in Cerner for Organizational Excellence. Before joining Cerner, Pomerance was general manager for the radiology business unit of Dynamic Healthcare Technologies. Prior to working in health care, he developed two successful start-up companies where he held positions as founder and CEO. Pomerance received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Emory University.

Milad Sebaaly
Managing Director, Global Learning International


Mohamed Megahed

Commercial Director, ConnectAds


While Connect Ads is reaching the summits of success, Mohamed Megahed has been a solid pillar, strongly contributing to its growth and development! Starting off as an Account Executive at Connect Ads in 2005, Megahed has devoutly managed a big group of salespeople, client services and business development teams, taking Connect Ads to its current status of fame and positively contributing in turning it into one the regional leaders in digital advertising. A vibrant and pioneering member of Connect Ads, Megahed today is there to see it becoming the Middle East Launchpad for Digital Innovations. An asset to Connect Ads, Megahed carries upon his shoulders long years of experience and some of the highest academic degrees, starting with a BSc. in Science Technology and Maritime with high honors, and recently crowning it with an MBA, Marketing Communication specialization.


Mohammad Al Harthi

Editor-in-Chief, Sayidaty & ArabNews


Holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and has a Master’s Degree in International Journalism from UK’s City University. He began his career at Asharq Al Awsat International Arabic Daily then joined Arab News in 1992 as a correspondent. In 1997, he became the editor in chief of Arrajol magazine in London and received the Gulf Excellence Award in 2002 on Arrajol’s huge success. In 2004, he became the editor in chief of Sayidaty and Al Jamila Magazine and oversaw the transfer from London to Dubai Media City. He has played a leading role in the efforts to bring out a number of specialized issues of Sayidaty such as Sayidaty Décor, Sayidaty Mother & Baby and Sayidaty Fashion. He was a founding member of the Arab Youth Leaders Forum at Davos Middle East conference, a member of Gulf 2000 project at Columbia University in New York and holds also memberships of the Journalists Union in the UK.

Mohammed AlModhayan

Managing Partner, The Marketing Department

Mohammed AlModhayan @Modhayan is the Managing Partner & Online Marketing Accounts Director at The Marketing Department (TMD). TMD, an online marketing agency based in Saudi Arabia serves multinational brands across the Gulf region such as Domino’s Pizza, Google Inc., Florida’s Natural, Haagen-Dazs and Saudi-based brands as well such as and Nada Dairy. Certified Google AdWords Professional, Mohammed specializes in search advertising, and has been developing and managing brands reach among online communities since 2008. In his research, Mohammed mainly revolves around (1) finding and optimizing ROI (return on investment) for regional small and medium online businesses, and (2) understanding the both sociological landscape and the psychological behavior of internet users through social media and online advertising. Prior to establishing TMD, Mohammed co-founded and was the head of Marketing & Product development department at, a Saudi based online financial services company.

Mona Ataya


Monis Rahman

Founder, CEO, ROZEE.PK


Monis Rahman launched ROZEE.PK in 2006 which is today Pakistan’s most powerful recruiting platform. With over 50,000 employers and 10 Million professionals using the job portal, the company exceeds a 64% placement rate amongst its over 100 daily job postings. ROZEE.PK was visited by half of Pakistan’s Internet population in 2012 and has experienced 18 consecutive quarters of growth. The site has won the coveted Brand of the Year Award for the past two years from the Prime Minister of Pakistan. He currently sits on the Board of Governors of TIE Lahore, the Lahore chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), where he also served as past President. He is on the Advisory Board of Acumen Fund and Board of Directors of Kashf Microfinance Bank. He has also served on the Central Executive Committee of the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA).

Twitter: @monispk


Mostafa Kamel

Managing Director, LinkOnLine


Managing Director of LinkOnLine ( since 2010, one of the largest Arabic online publishing companies in MENA region, delivering content, platforms, and online services for over 12 million unique users every month, through its large portals such as,,,,, a company that enjoys double digit growth year over year in tough and competitive markets such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. Mostafa has been mixing Business with Technology for over 14 years entirely focused on the web and the internet industry, and acclaimed multiple roles in the industry from Technical Manager of MSN Arabia In 2001, Service Operations Manager of over 20 online properties, Consulting for Connect Ads (the MENA region largest Digital Agency) since its inception, and has developed a substantial experience in intuitive online business models, content acquisitions and licensing of Digital Media for VOD, IPTV, Online Retail and E-commerce operations, publishing platforms for Online content and Online Journalism.


Muhammed Mekki

Founding Partner, AstroLabs


Muhammed caught the entrepreneurial bug while studying for his MBA at Stanford University and working with the founding team of a Silicon Valley tech startup. As an Iraqi-American, he has always been interested in bridging ideas and people between the US and the Middle East. After relocating to Dubai, he co-founded Namshi in 2011 and served as Managing Director until 2013 when he left to launch AstroLabs, a platform that educates, connects, and helps fund entrepreneurs in MENA. Muhammed is a former McKinsey consultant with clients across the GCC, and was featured in Gulf Business among Arabia’s most powerful “30 Under 30.” He studied economics at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Fulbright Scholar with expertise in Islamic Finance. Muhammed is an avid traveler, having visited over 60 countries and is always looking for his next adventure.


Namek Zu’bi

Founder & Managing Director, Silicon Badia


Namek is a Founder and Managing Director at Silicon Badia, a global accelerator program and a group of venture capital funds based in Jordan and the United States. Across its various vehicles, Silicon Badia invests in and accelerates businesses from the Middle East region while also investing in promising startups in Silicon Alley and Silicon Valley in the US. Namek’s broad experience ranges from technology development, project & product management, business development, enterprise sales and global venture investing. Namek started his career on Wall Street where he held several technical positions at Deutsche Bank AG & UBS AG, and then went on to become the Founding Principal of an early stage venture capital fund based in NYC. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors and distinction from Carnegie Mellon University and currently between New York City and Amman.

Twitter: @namekz


Nancy Anis

Head of Consumer Connection & Digital Marketing, Danone Baby Nutrition


Nancy manages the digital, CRM, and content channels at Danone Baby Nutrition. Backed by over 20 years of experience in Customer Engagement Management, she was behind the creation of numerous content portals and customer service channels for brands including Pfizer Nutrition, Showtime and RCI. From business plan to action plan, she specializes in devising large-scale regional content and loyalty programs for ethical and nutrition brands.


Narain Jashanmal

General Manager – NPP, Books & OCS, Jashanmal National Co


Narain holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts from New York University. He joined the Jashanmal Group in 2004 and is presently the General Manager of the group’s Print Media, Bookstore and Courier businesses. He is also responsible for Corporate Communications and has piloted the group’s eCommerce and digital marketing initiatives and is a frequent panelist and public speaker on topics related to retail, technology and the print media sector. He is the cofounder and Principal at WNDR Media a new media company based in Dubai that publishes a the magazine We Are Here as well as developed several mobile applications. He has recently invested in and advises Growl Media a Dubai based digital publishing startup. Narain consults with Portland Design on developing strategy for companies seeking to deploy technology into retail environments.


Nina Curley

Editor-in-Chief, Wamda


Nina Curley works as the Editor-in-Chief of Wamda, an enabling platform for entrepreneurs whose media arm is the leading startup news site in the Arab world. She also spearheads Wamda for Women, an initiative that fosters online and offline discussions about the challenges facing female founders in the Arab world. Based in Beirut, she sits on the Advisory Board of Tomorrow’s Youth Lebanon, an organization that promotes women’s empowerment, and she independently serves as an angel investor in women-led companies. Before she was a tech journalist, she used to study the neuroscience of economic decision-making. She holds a BA with honors from Stanford University and an MA in Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience) from New York University.


Noah Khan

Head of Digital Arts Network, TBWA\RAAD Digital Arts Network


Noah Khan has worked in the digital space for over 18 years, having lead global organizations to reach their digital, and social potential across online and mobile with a focus on innovation and ground breaking solutions. He has played a key role in defining the digital landscape of the region through solutions that have elevated the regions content delivery infrastructure. He has worked globally with organizations such as ITV, BBC, Turner Broadcasting, Trinity Mirror Group and Channel 4. He works in partnership with global digital organizations like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo in evangelising and growing digital services through the region. He has most recently led the latest WPP digital agency across the MENA region. With a core belief that companies which create great experiences, and deliver the most value to their customers, are those that will succeed in their marketplace. He holds an MBA a BSc in Software Engineering.


Omar Christidis

Founder, CEO, ArabNet


Omar Christidis is the Founder of ArabNet, the premier conference for the Arab web/mobile industry. In 2011, the ArabNet Digital Summit brought together more than 1,000 attendees and 100 speakers from more than 22 countries and featured 20 pitches from promising entrepreneurs. He is also the Vice President of the family-owned business, IBAG, which has 15 years of experience in organizing corporate events, and which manages ArabNet. Omar co-founded and serves as a Board Member of the Yale Arab Alumni Association (YAAA), a community of over 200 Yale alumni and affiliates with an active interest in the Arab world. Born and raised in Lebanon, Omar holds a BA and MBA from Yale University and has a background in consulting (Booz & Co) and finance (private wealth management – family office).


Omar Kassim

Founder, JadoPado


Omar Kassim is the Founder of JadoPado, an instant gratification e-commerce experience for the Middle East. Omar runs the business from a strategic and operational level and immerses himself across all aspects of the business to ensure JadoPado continues to build itself as an industry standout. Omar is a self-taught customer experience enthusiast and takes a keen interest in learning and understanding the various components that make a business tick. He believes in doing things really well or not doing them at all. Omar is also the CEO of al bogari Holdings, JadoPado’s parent firm. Omar was raised in Dubai. Growing up, he attended Dubai College, a premier British curriculum school in the UAE. He later went on to receive his BSc in Electronics Engineering and Business Studies from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Omar is a keen Apple enthusiast and has a soft spot for technology start-ups.

Omar Koudsi
CEO, Co-founder, Jeeran


Omar Soudodi

Managing Director, PayFort


Omar is the Managing Director of PayFort one the leading online payment service providers in the Arab World. Prior to PayFort Omar successfully launched in Egypt to become one of top 30 most visited sites and number one e-commerce site in Egypt. Prior to Omar co-founded the first online loan origination website in the Middle East in late 2005 and sold majority of company to ORASCOM Development in 2006. Omar started his career in the US in various capacities in Banks to include consumer banking, business banking, International banking and commercial banking for Bank of America, California Bank and Trust and Sunwest Bank after studying Financial Management at California State Fullerton and obtaining a Financial Advisor Certification from the NASD. Omar is actively involved the Arab World business community serving as an advisory board member for American University in Cairo as well as a mentor at FlatSixlabs and Injaz Middle East.


Omar Tahboub

VP of Product,


Omar Tahboub leads the development of products and in this role is responsible for defining the product strategy of and leading the product development team to manage implementation. Omar’s team has launched in recent months several key initiatives on that re-define the way in which job seekers and employers interact. Omar has long experience in managing software development teams and projects. Omar comes to from Oracle Corporation where he took on several senior roles within the Oracle Applications product development organization, such as: Director of Applications Development in Financials, Director of Global Strategy and others. Omar started his career at Andersen Consulting where he led the development and implementation of software projects for clients in the financial and securities sectors. Omar is a graduate of University of Jordan with BSs in Electrical Engineering, and has an MBA from Santa Clara University


Patrick Attallah

Founder, CEO, Social4ce


Patrick is the CEO and Founder of social4ce, French/Lebanese leading social business strategist and social media thought leader, he is a digital entrepreneur at heart. With 20+ years’ experience in media, marketing and organizational change, he has successfully developed and run technology-based businesses and delivered globally digital professional services as well as community solutions for the telecom and audiovisual industries. For the last 4 years, he mainly focused on developing social media business consultancy services in Europe and the Middle East, managing multilingual teams and global accounts such as Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Honda Europe, France Televisions, KSA Ministry of Labor, Byblos Bank, SBG and many others. As an active speaker at social media events, he regularly contributes to sharing on the impact of social media technologies on businesses, brands, organizations and customer experiences, hence on how becoming a ‘social business’.

Pedro Cardoso
Head of Multichannel & CRM, Emirates NBD


Prashant K. Gulati (PK)

CEO, Optimistix Ventures


Prashant K. Gulati (PK) is an entrepreneur, angel investor, startup evangelist, mentor, idea accelerator and writer with interests in innovation, startups, entreprenueurship, technology, mobility, wireless, intelligent buildings, online media and digital life. An “international citizen” based in Dubai and traveling often to India, the Middle East, the US and around, PK has served in numerous leadership capacities including as Trustee on the Global Board of TiE, President of TiE Dubai, Founder of SmartStart Fund, CEO of Optimistix Ventures, Chairman of Gulfcom Group, Chairman of Prokraft Group-India and Board Member for Indian Documentary Foundation, Dubai Enterprise Centre etc. He has been associated with startups like Customer First Services now Aegis BPO), Communicate 2 (now a part of Aegis-Dentsu), PairGain Technologies (later ADC, now TYCO), The Hatch Incubators,, CloudAppers, GapJumpers, Umundo Corp., among others.


Pru Ashby

Head of Partnerships, Tech City Investment Organisation


Pru Ashby is Head of Partnerships at the Tech City Investment Organisation, the team set up by the UK government to support Tech City, the fastest growing tech cluster in Europe. Pru has been a regular visitor to the Gulf for many years and joined the Mayor of London’s delegation to the UAE in March. Pru is a tech specialist with an extensive network of connections within the tech community in London and globally. She spent 5 years with London & Partners, The Mayor’s official promotion organization for London, where she developed a strong reputation in supporting North American companies in their set up and growth in London. Key clients include Twitter, Google, Microsoft, and Yammer. Pru studied engineering and worked in Australia, New Zealand, and China for 13 years in the utilities and events sectors.


Racha Mourtada

Research Associate, Dubai School of Government


Racha Mourtada is a Research Associate with the Governance and Innovation Program at the Dubai School of Government, where she studies the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on societal and government transformation in the Arab world. She has an MA in Communication Policy Studies from City University and a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University. She is the lead author of the Arab Social Media Report series, and her research has focused on social media, Gov 2.0, and ICT & innovation. Ms. Mourtada has previously worked as a Researcher in the ICT division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia in Beirut, where she managed ICT for Development projects, organized international conferences, and contributed to writing several UN reports and publications.

Ramez Shehadi
Partner & Vice President, Booz & Company
Rami Saad
Head of Digital, Starcom MediaVest Group


Rasha Abdelhadi

Anchor, CNBC Arabia


Rasha Abdulhadi has been working in the media industry for more than 16 years, including 9 years in the digital industry. In her previous position as the GCC Business Development Director of Orascom Telecom Ventures, she was involved in developing the corporate digital business, with an emphasis on identifying the needs of potential clients and new prospective business hubs. Earlier, Rasha had worked for more than 7 years as the GCC Sales Director for MSN network and Facebook Me at OTventures, where she developed a profitable online advertising unit within a very competitive market. Following her passion, Rasha decided to take a career shift towards TV presenting back in February 2013 when she joined CNBC Arabia as a business anchor. Rasha had started her career at Emirates Airlines in 1996 in the VIP Sales Department. In 2000, Rasha became the Media Manager at Microsoft Media Agency.


Rashid AlBallaa

CEO, National Net Ventures N2V


Rashid Al Ballaa is the founder and CEO of N2V, one of the largest internet holding companies in Arabia investing in ecommerce, Social networks, online payment solutions and online advertisement. N2V portfolio includes NetAdVantage, OneCard, StartAppz, HawaaWorld, EcommerceSea and many other online companies. Rashid is also a board member of National Technology Group (NTG), MENA’s largest ICT conglomerate and key provider of Financial Technology and Services. NTG annual revenue grew to over US$ 700 million through 20+ subsidiaries and JVs in the MENA region. Before N2V, Rashid founded and managed Mubasher Financial Services (MFS), MENA’s first STP e-brokerage company and the only provider of DMA to MENA equity markets. Rashid now serves on the board of MFS. Rashid holds a B.Sc. in Computer science with honors degree from King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Rick Van Sant

Vice President e-Learning International, BlackBoard


Dr. Rick Van Sant is the Vice President E-Learning International for the Blackboard Corporation. He is considered a global expert in the evolution of technologically enhanced teaching and learning. He is a full tenured professor of education and has served as an Associate Provost, Dean of Education, Director of E-Learning and Faculty Development at universities on three continents. He led the national education reconstruction effort for El Salvador at the end of their fourteen-year civil war and has previously consulted with the governments of Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Mexico, and the United States on issues of online learning. Today he works with governments and universities around the globe to develop and implement e-learning and mobile learning strategies.

Rishi Saha

Regional Director, MEA, India and Turkey, Hill & Knowlton

Rishi Saha is a senior digital communications advisor to governments, brands, and NGOs across the Middle East. He was formerly Director of Digital Communications at the UK Prime Minister’s Office, serving the Coalition Government led by David Cameron. Rishi led a 15-person team with responsibility for digital policy development, communications strategy, e-participation initiatives, open data, and the development of open source technical solutions. Prior to entering Downing Street, he was the multi award-winning Head of New Media for the UK Conservative Party, leading all aspects of digital strategy, communication, and engagement between the 2005 and 2010 General Elections. In 2010-11, Wired magazine rated him the 6th most influential person in Britain’s digital economy for his pioneering work in political communications and government campaigns.

Roman Bach

Business Development & Global Marketing,

Roman Bach started working in the Internet industry in 1995. He began by creating one of the first big consumer sites in Germany and worked on many well-known brand sites. Bach´s first real venture was an investment in an online toyshop in 2000 that later sold to METRO-Group. Since then, he has helped build Internet startups or manage the path to profitability for later stage startups. Currently, Bach is working on Germany’s leading eco-shop Avocado Store and is mostly active driving the social travel revolution through – Europe’s first peer-to-peer-rental website. 9flats was founded in December 2010 and went live only three month later. Today, it is Germany´s best-known brand for social travel.

Ronaldo Mouchawar


Roy Jugessur

Head of EMEA, Shoutlet


Roy Jugessur is a proven leader in Digital / Pre-IPO / Growth Businesses with an ability to create, articulate, own, and drive social and digital visions to completion. He is currently Head of EMEA at Shoutlet, the leading independent cloud-based social marketing. In his role, Roy is responsible for overseeing and expanding Shoutlet’s presence in the European market. Prior to joining Shoutlet, Roy was the Head of Global Enterprise Accounts for Bazaarvoice, a company dedicated to the intelligent integration of social commerce, conversation, and analytics. Roy also served as part of the leadership team for Experian CheetahMail. Roy has been fortunate to plan, execute, and lead both Commercial and Enterprise, pan-European teams into new client partnerships over the last 8+ years with organizations such as: Samsung, LG Electronics, Sky, Electronic Arts, Virgin Atlantic, Channel 4, Adidas, Avon Cosmetics,, Estee Lauder, T-Mobile, Prime Location, Emirates Group, TUI, RBS, GE Money, IPC Media, Lloyds TSB, Mulberry, 02, Siemens, and T-Mobile.

Twitter: @rjugs


Rupesh Chatwani

Technology VC, ERBD


Rupesh has been working with fast-growing technology companies for 20 years. Before joining the EBRD in 2012, Rupesh was an advisor to and angel investor in numerous start-ups. Prior to that, Rupesh was an Investment Director at Add Partners, a €175 million European venture capital firm focused on technology investments and a Vice President at Broadview International, a technology-focused M&A advisory firm. Rupesh has also worked as a software engineer at Cadence Design Systems and as a hardware engineer at Data General

Sami Guzel
Partner, CEO, Modanisa


Sherif Nassar

Founder, CEO,


Sherif Nassar holds a BSc in Computer Science from the American University in Cairo. Nassar spent part of his employment career working at IBM Middle East in Dubai as Regional Marketing Manager for the PC division covering the Middle East, Egypt, and Pakistan region. After his return to Egypt, he joined Lenovo as General Manager for Lenovo Egypt. In 2008, Nassar decided to start his own project and founded Web Technology Company, which owns and operates, the first comprehensive e-commerce website in Egypt. Now has more than 28,000 products in over 150 categories. In 2011, has attracted an investment from Ideavelpers – the leading technology Venture Capital in Egypt. Nefsak was built following the model and is capitalizing on the huge internet population in Egypt. Driven by his focus for achievement, Nassar aims to take the company to international frontiers over the coming few years.


Stephan Ekbergh

Founder, TravelStart


Born 1960 in Sweden. Married to Anette 4 children. Lives in Llandudno South Africa. Self employed since matriculation Pioneered the disco scene in Sweden late 70’s as professional DJ until late 80’s. Active in the travel industry with many different star ups under his belt. Founded One of Europes first online travel companies Went on to start Travelstart group companies which he runs to this day, now with headquarter in Cape Town South Africa. Travelstart is an online travel company focusing on frontier and emerging markets. Stephan frequently speaks at conferences on entrepreneurship and customer service. Also: Benefactor for non profit organisation Thembalitscha Foundation to aid the poor and dying from AIDS. Bible reading runner and yogi. Collector of contemporary art. Loves South African wines, music and good designs.


Steve Crompton

CSM, Yammer Inc.


Steve Crompton is a Customer Success Manager at Yammer in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA), where he is responsible for helping organizations to improve internal communications and business effectiveness. Steve is passionate about coaching organizations to realize business value by being more open, agile, and collaborative beyond hierarchal silos. Organizations can then realise the benefits of Enterprise Social Networking, encompassing elements of community collaboration, open and transparent culture, and social learning. Steve graduated with a BA in Business Management and Finance from Durham University. His research analyzed the productivity gains as a result of enterprise social networks and is now used as a white paper by a leading US Consultancy.


Sultan Al Qassemi

Commentator on Arab Affairs,


Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is a UAE based columnist whose columns have appeared in publications within and outside the Arab Gulf region. His columns have appeared in The Gulf News, The National Newspaper, The Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Open Democracy, The Globe and Mail amongst others. Sultan Al Qassemi is also non-resident Fellow at the Dubai School of Government, and an active presence on Twitter at @SultanAlQassemi.


Tajdine Filali

Founder, CEO,


Tajdine is the founder and CEO of, the first and most popular classifieds site in Morocco. Tajdine is an internet business veteran with 17 years’ experience in the industry. He left a successful import/export business to focus on the web. Tajdine founded in his living room back in 2000.

Talal Alzeid
Executive Manager Internal Communications, Corporate Communications & PR,, Mobily KSA


Tarek Sadi

Managing Director , Lebanon, Endeavor


Tarek has 16 years of experience in entrepreneurship, corporate finance and direct investments. He is the Managing Director of Endeavor Lebanon, an Economic Development non-profit focused on growing outperforming entrepreneurs. Prior to Endeavor Tarek was co-founder and Managing Partner at MEVP, a Beirut-based Venture Capital fund, that invests in early opportunities in the Middle East. Before MEVP, at the Emerging Market Private Equity fund of Dubai International Capital, he invested in growth companies in the Middle East and Asia. He was a Partner at Access Advisory, a London-based venture partner firm, and before that was part of Merrill Lynch’s Mergers and Acquisitions team in London, focusing on the TMT sector. He also co-founded, two ventures in mobile content and automotive services in Mexico. Tarek has a BS in Political Science and Economics from Georgetown University (USA), and an MBA from London Business School (England). Tarek is also a Kauffman Fellow.


Terry Kane

Director of Digital Strategy / Head of Digital Brand & eCommerce, Jumeirah Group


Terry Kane is Head of Digital Strategy for the Dubai-based international luxury hotel company, Jumeirah Group. In his role, Terry is responsible for digital and distribution strategy that delivers the brand promise of “Stay Different,” sales, and all online communications. Terry has more than 14 years’ experience in strategy and marketing in large national and international organizations. Prior to joining Jumeirah in 2008, Terry held positions with the New Forest National Park and STA Travel. During this time, Terry developed an expertise in digital and distribution disciplines including brand and strategic marketing development, global channel operations, and technical development to ensure that organizations maximize the equity potential from a multitude of diverse and often fragmented channels. Terry holds an Executive MBA from London Business School, a BA in International Tourism and Hospitality from Bournemouth University, and a Higher National Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management from the University of Ulster.

Thair Soukar
Head of Digital Strategy, SkyNews Arabia


Usama Fayad

Chairman, Oasis500


Dr. Usama Fayyad is Executive Chairman of Oasis500. Until September 2008, he was Yahoo! Chief Data Officer and EVP of Research & Strategic Data Solutions. He also founded and managed the Yahoo! Research organization globally. Yahoo! Research is the premier scientific research organization to develop the new sciences of the Internet, on-line marketing, and innovative interactive applications. Prior to joining Yahoo!, Fayyad co-founded and led the DMX Group, that was acquired by Yahoo! in 2004. In early 2000, he co-founded and served as CEO of digiMine Inc, a data analysis and data mining company that built, operated and hosted data warehouses and web analytics for some of the world’s largest enterprises. From 1989 to 1996 Fayyad held a leadership role at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where his work garnered him


Ved Sinha

Vice President, Elance


Ved helps businesses to easily find and hire skilled online freelancers by launching and growing the skill categories (such as mobile development or marketing) available on the Elance platform. Prior to this role Ved built and led the Elance Product Management team and the Online Marketing team. Ved joined Elance at the company’s inception and has helped grow the business from zero customers to over $750 million in total online payments. Prior to Elance, Ved was a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton and a systems engineer with Oracle Corporation. He holds a MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA in Computer Science from Wesleyan University (with a second major in Philosophy).


Vinnie Lauria

Managing Partner, GoldenGate VC


Vinnie Lauria is a founding partner at Golden Gate Ventures, an early stage fund for internet startups in Southeast Asia. Prior to that, Vinnie built two startups in Silicon Valley: Meetro, a location-based chat service that shut down in 2007 with many lessons learned, and Lefora, a hosted forum service which grew to tens of millions of users and was acquired by CrowdGather (CRWG) in 2010. Vinnie also spent four years within IBM, helping to shape how IBM was approaching social software for the enterprise. Vinnie’s best year was spent traveling around Asia. Some highlights included spending 10 days driving an auto-rickshaw (tuk tuk) over 1,000km across India. Venturing 4,014km high to the tallest city in the world, Litang , China. Rocking out to Beijing underground hip hop and exploring the jungles of Borneo and Laos. Taking a 10 day vow of silence to learn Vipassana meditation, and spending 2 weeks living at a Buddhist monastery.


Wael Quader

CEO, Noqoush Mobile Media Group


Wael Quader has more than 14 years of experience in the software and mobile industry across Levant and the GCC. In 2010, and with a first round of funding of 3million dollars, he co-founded Noqoush Mobile Media Group, a leading Arab company that specializes in Mobile Media Monetization through AdFalcon. Wael is currently the CEO at Noqoush and responsible for guiding the strategy and the performance of the company. Prior to Noqoush, and as a Director of Professional Services at major software houses in the region, Wael was responsible for guiding and monitoring the overall operations related to a wide variety of services, overseeing the delivery of multiple multimillion dollar projects for the region’s top enterprises. Being a speaker at many conferences and events, Wael has been effective in promoting awareness towards the mobile industry in the region. Wael holds a BSc in Systems Engineering and an MSc in Information System Management from Richmond, The American International University in London.

Walid Hanna
Managing Partner, Middle East Venture Partners


Yousef Tuqan

CEO, FlipMedia


Yousef Tuqan Tuqan is one of the region’s most experienced and respected digital marketing experts, with a diverse agency career in the UAE that spans over 15 years. Throughout this time Yousef has led the digital strategy and delivery of some of the Middle East’s most iconic brands. Yousef is the most outspoken and visible evangelist for the role of digital marketing in the region. He is a regular university lecturer & keynote speaker, and is a frequent contributor to regional and international publications. As CEO of Flip Media – the region’s largest digital agency – Yousef has been at the forefront of the digital industry, leading a global team of 120 staff across four offices worldwide. Yousef is a member of the international branding think-thank, Medinge and a Board Member of the International Advertising Association’s UAE Chapter. He is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the charity Gulf For Good, an avid marathon runner and an aspiring chef.


Yuksel Dibekoglu

Director, iLab Ventures


Yuksel Dibekoglu has 15 years of investment banking experience. Yuksel joined iLab Ventures in 2003, a leading Venture Capital firm in Turkey. While at iLab Ventures he led several buyouts and investments, predominantly focusing on web businesses: the LBO of Olgun Celik – an automotive components manufacturer, buy-out of, investment in, buy-out of, investment of, and, and exit of to eBay Inc. Prior to iLab Ventures, Yuksel served for 5 years at Alternatif Yatirim as an investment banker. He performed a broad range of investment banking activities. At Alternatif Yatirim he undertook key roles in projects such as the initial public offering of Yazicilar Holding, a dual listing on Luxembourg and Istanbul Stock Exchanges. Yuksel holds a BS degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Dokuz Eylul University, and an MBA degree from Koc University in Istanbul. Yuksel is a CFA charterholder.


Yunus Güvenen

Founder and Managing Partner, Digitouch Performance Media Group


Yunus Güvenen is the Founding Partner of the Digitouch Performance Media Group, Turkey’s leading provider of performance marketing services. Güvenen founded the company in 2008 with the sole mission of initiating and developing media services that drive better ROI for advertisers and publishers in Turkey and neighboring regions. Currently, the Group owns the leading affiliate network in Turkey (GelirOrtaklari) and a performance agency; it has recently launched its real time bidding network. Güvenen is a guest lecturer in digital marketing and e-commerce at Bilgi and Bilkent Universities and has initiated, along with the Group, the Performance Marketing Days. He received the prestigious Endeavor Entrepreneur merit in Palo Alto, California and acts as a mentor and angel investor to several Turkish web startups. Güvenen graduated from Tufts University in Boston with a degree in Electrical Engineering and is a well-known music producer with over 20 releases.

Zafer Younes
Co-founder, CEO, The Online Project


Ziad Khammar

Strategy and Development Director, DMS, Choueiri Group

Ziad Khammar’s passion for digital media was ignited in 1999, when he helped launch a friend’s e-commerce supermarket website. By the turn of the millennium, Khammar had been appointed as General Manager of eworks—Publicis’ dedicated digital agency—leading digital marketing initiatives for a host of world-class advertisers, including Nestle, British Airways, and HP. In 2007, Khammar’s career became aligned with EMAP’s $24 million acquisition of AME Info, which would recruit him as the portal’s new General Manager and where he would engage in spearheading operations, overseeing editorial, sales, marketing, and web development. By 2010, Khammar ventured out again to launch Madison Digital, an independent digital agency focused on delivering consultancy services. His 14+ years of intensive experience across the digital media arena led him to his current role within Choueiri Group, where he serves as Strategy and Development Director for the Group’s digital media arm,bDigital Media Services (DMS).


Ziad Matar

Head of the Middle East & Central Asia, Qualcomm


Ziad Matar is currently senior director and head of the Middle East and Central Asia region for Qualcomm. Ziad joined Qualcomm in 2010 as Director of Business Development in the Middle East. Prior to that, Ziad spent more than 10 years at Ericsson in numerous technology, marketing and sales positions across the Middle East and West Africa. Ziad holds an MBA from Notre Dame University and a BE in Computer and Communications Engineering from the American University of Beirut.


Zoya Sakr 

Co-Founder and Group Editor in Chief, 2Pure


Following her successful participation in beauty competitions around the world, Zoya Sakr began her career as a TV presenter and later a producer at ART and FTV channels, before moving to FMS (the media house of FTV) as an Account Director. Zoya’s impact on the digital landscape in the region started during her appointment at Al Aan TV in May 2006. In March 2010, Zoya took on the role of Managing Editor of, she launched the first Arabic online portal from Zahrat Al Khaleej magazine under ADM, overseeing its editorial, operations and strategic planning. Zoya joins her husband Rudolf as the co-founder and Group Editor in Chief at 2 Pure e-publishing. She sits at the helm of and and the luxury female website and manages the team of and business website Zoya studied psychology at university and received a B.A. degree in Human Sciences (Psychology and Sociology) from USEK.

ArabNet Digital Summit 2013


This is a preliminary agenda, please check back soon for updates.

Day 1  Day 2  Day 3

08:00 LOGISTICSRegistration Finalization
09:00 LOGISTICSOpening Ceremony
10:00 PANELWhats Hot in Web and Mobile PANELAcceleration
11:00 BREAKCoffee Break
11:30 TALKSupporting MENA Innovation and Entrepreneurism in the Digital Economy PANELVenture Capital TALKPayFort Press Conference
11:45 WORKSHOPAugmented reality
12:30 PITCHINGDigital Showcase
12:45 PANELE-Government
13:30 BREAKLunch
14:15 TALKE-commerce Trends in MENA TALKEndeavor Entrepreneur Network
14:30 PANELBig E-commerce PANELAngel Investing WORKSHOPSiteCore Workshop
15:15 PANELPerformance advertising TALKDigital Clusters
15:30 TALKDubai School of Government
16:00 BREAKCoffee Break
16:30 TALKInternet Consumption Habits PITCHINGDigital Showcase
16:45 PANELDesigning Integrated Digital Campaigns
17:00 PANELCrowdfunding
18:00 PITCHINGOasis500 Angel Pitching Event
End of Day
08:00 LOGISTICSRegistration Finalization
09:00 PANELDisrupting Recruitment, Transforming Work PANELPayments and Gateways
10:00 BREAKCoffee Break
10:30 TALKCollaborative consumption TALKSurviving in the world of Digital Banking
10:45 PANELTransforming Business Through Enterprise Social PANELBanking Solutions
11:30 BREAKCoffee Break
12:00 PITCHINGDigital Showcase – Ecommerce TALKThe Global Digital Economy… the New Oil?
12:15 TALKJashanmal
12:30 TALKFacebook PANELClassifieds/RealEstate
12:45 PANELDigital Strategies for Telecom Operators
13:00 PITCHINGDigital Showcase
13:30 BREAKLunch
14:30 INTERVIEWSocial Media listening & engagement PANELDigital Health WORKSHOPAstro Labs Workshop
15:00 TALKSultan AlQassimi TALKDigital Education
15:15 PANELFuture of News
16:00 BREAKCoffee Break
16:30 TALKe-Iran in Perspective TALKBig Data WORKSHOPAstro Labs Workshop
16:45 TALKe-Pakistan in Perspective PANELTravel Commerce
17:00 PANELSocial Advertising
End of Day
08:00 LOGISTICSRegistration Finalization
09:00 LOGISTICSIntro to the Day and Dev Champioship
09:30 PANELFuture of Video COMPETITIONRound 1 DISCUSSIONGrowing Digital & Mobile Ad Spend DISCUSSIONOffice Hours 1
10:30 BREAKCoffee Break COMPETITIONRound 1 : Grading BREAKCoffee Break
11:00 TALKEnders Analysis DISCUSSIONFostering Angel Investing DISCUSSIONOffice Hours 2
11:15 PANELE-commere verticals
11:30 COMPETITIONRound 2
12:00 BREAKCoffee Break BREAKCoffee Break
12:30 PRESENTATIONDeveloper Tournament Announcement
12:45 PITCHINGDigital Showcase COMPETITIONRound 2 : Grading
13:00 DISCUSSIONIncreasing Trust in Online Transactions DISCUSSIONOffice Hours 3
13:15 PANELMobile Advertising
14:00 BREAKLunch
15:00 PRESENTATIONDeveloper Tournament Announcement
15:15 TALKEffective Measure COMPETITIONRound 3
15:30 TALKResearch and Case Studies in Social Media DISCUSSIONBuilding Relations between Operators and OTT players
16:30 BREAKCoffee Break
17:00 TALKAre we facing a content crisis? COMPETITIONFinal Grading
17:15 PANELWomen Content, Branded Content
18:00 LOGISTICSAwards Ceremony
End of Day

Home Online 

Speakers Online / PDF

Agenda Online / PDF 

Leave a Reply