the leading tech festival
for emerging markets



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step digital

STEP Digital tackles the latest global trends in digital marketing, brands, advertising tech, and content. Brand Managers, CMOs, Influencers, and digital gurus take the stage, host workshops, and network to also meet startups in the digital media space.

What We Cover

Brands & advertising
Stories from brands on staying relevant in the digital age with insights on the evolution of consumer behavior, and the use datasets in digital platforms.
Publishers & Platforms
Publishers moving from print to digital. How is technology enhancing readers experiences through backend technologies like AI.
Programmatic Ads & Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence development in the programmatic advertising space, debating the survival of agencies and their advancement.
Influencers & Content
Influencers collaborating with brands, and content evolving in formats and contexts. Discussing the importance to publicly disclose relationships, and the involvement of regulatory bodies in the process.
 

2020 Speakers

Zhenpeng
Chen

Palazzo Versace Dubai

Zhenpeng
Chen

Palazzo Versace Dubai

Zhenpeng oversees all marketing activities targeting the China market for the first Versace-designed hotel in the Middle East, Palazzo Versace Dubai. The hotel is stepped in classic Italian design with waterfront views, landscaped gardens and rooms and suites furnished with the Versace Home Collection, making it a very enticing destination for Chinese luxury travelers. Zhenpeng has been instrumental in a developing and implementing a content strategy across social media, digital and PR to attract the Chinese market to the hotel over the last year. He has over 7 years’ experience in managing the Chinese social media accounts of some of the most iconic hotels in Dubai.

Zahra
El
Zayat

OSN

Zahra
El
Zayat

OSN

Zahra Zayat has just joined as the SVP leading OSN’s strategy on Digital, OTT (currently named as WAVO) and Telco. Zahra has been awarded “Woman Media Executive of the Year for Broadcast Industry” by BroadcastPro. Previously, and under her leadership, YuppTV has launched in the MENA and has grown to become one of the largest OTT platforms serving South Asians in the region. Zahra is an experienced media executive with expertise in OTT, e-commerce, digital transformation, telco partnerships, market entry strategies, technology and Analytics. She is passionate about re-inventing the future of TV and revolutionizing the way TV is viewed across the MENA region. Prior to joining YuppTV, Zahra has held senior leadership roles at OSN and Deloitte.

Pawan
Setpal

Adform

Pawan
Setpal

Adform

With more than 15 years of work experience in media, I’m an established Sales and Management professional. I have over 10 years’ experience in Digital Media in the MEA region across both large multi-national and start up growth companies. I’ve a keen interest in AdTech and have previously held positions as Head of Business at C1X MEA – a full-stack AdTech company and as Commercial Director at Clique Media – a Media Sales House, where I helped launch their SSP product called Aftermarket and was responsible for all the commercial aspects of the business in the GCC liaising with all holding group agencies. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with Linkedin, Yahoo! and Maktoob earlier in my career, selling media solutions in various capacities.

Darelle
Paniora

OMD

Darelle
Paniora

OMD

An experienced digital & planning director with a career that spreads across 4 countries and several industries (Travel & Tourism, Tech, Retail, Beauty, FMCG). She has mastered her craft in communication strategy, digital & omni-channel planning as well as cross-agency integration to develop holistic campaigns that deliver brand level and business results. She has an interest in measurement advancements, tech/data, innovations, start-up solutions and travel.

Jonathon
Padron

dubizzle

Jonathon
Padron

dubizzle

Jonathon is a veteran of digital media and advertising. He served as Publishing Operations Manager for an NGO news site in Washington, D.C. where he managed technology and revenue. Before that he was a Senior Analyst at comScore, where he provided research and measurement to pharmaceutical clients. Currently, he is the Head of Ad Operations for dubizzle and its sister sites across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

XU
YANG

Bytedance/TikTok

XU
YANG

Bytedance/TikTok

ByteDance is a technology company operating a range of content platforms that inform, educate, entertain and inspire people across languages, cultures and geographies. Dedicated to building global platforms of creation and interaction, ByteDance now has a portfolio of applications available in over 150 markets and 75 languages, including TikTok, Helo, Vigo Video, Douyin and Huoshan. ByteDance’s platforms aim to help users explore and discover the world’s creativity, knowledge and moments that matter in everyday life, while empowering everyone to be a creator directly from their smartphones. We are committed to building a safe, healthy and positive online environment for all our users. Nicole Yang has more than 7 years experience in the ME region. Currently, she’s working at Bytedance / Tiktok ME HQ office for managing partnerships and new users growth. Before Bytedance, Nicole worked as BD manager for Seeniun media, the biggest Chinese media in UAE for managing brands want to target China market, and Chinese outbound visitors.

Charles
Schreger

NYU

Charles
Schreger

NYU

Former president of HBO Enterprises, currently marketing professor at NYU Stern School of Business, visiting professor at American University in Dubai and former staff writer at the Los Angeles Times.

Amer
Attyeh

Exponential Interactive VDX.TV

Amer
Attyeh

Exponential Interactive VDX.TV

Amer Attyeh is leading Exponential Interactive (VDX.TV) in the Middle East and North Africa. As Managing Director MENA, his focus is to expand the business in the region and build partnerships with clients and media agencies, aimed to assist Exponential’s partners in accomplishing their strategies in an ever changing complex digital ecosystem. Amer is a champion of Innovative Business Development Strategies that build brands and drive Growth.his outstanding success in Developing & Executing Business Strategies, Online Brand Communication, Audience Data and Analytics, Connected TV, Digital Video Advertising & Performance Marketing, passion for E-Commerce and innovative Digital Marketing Technologies with main focus on Digital Transformation and Fourth Industrial Revolution made him a strong leader in the industry.

Waseem
Afzal

OMD

Waseem
Afzal

OMD

Waseem has driven OMD’s digital agenda over the past decade, breaking down silos to demonstrate the importance of this medium early on. Thanks to his dedication, our clients have been able to benefit from a strong early-mover advantage. Waseem has also been behind several industry-firsts, including the integration of digital within offline teams to create a new hybrid planning system well before anyone else in the region. Since 2016, Waseem has been responsible in incubating & scaling all diversified services including the launch of Transact, a full-service e-commerce unit within the company. In his recent appointment as Deputy Managing Director at OMD UAE, he is responsible for delivering impact and business performance.

Nicholas
Mott

ADARA

Nicholas
Mott

ADARA

Nick currently runs the commercial P&L for Adara in MENAT. Adara is a travel data company that specialise in providing the travel industry with customer insights and data intelligence that fuels Machine Learning to allow businesses to engage in more personalised ways with their customers. His knowledge is a blend of his understanding of the ever changing digital ecosystem dynamics and being able to consult and then translate what this means for his customers to allow them to make fast decisions.

Bassam
Rizk

OMD

Bassam
Rizk

OMD

Bassam has championed achieving efficiencies and profitability through data & technology which is used to support strategic recommendations. He has enabled clients to apply various techniques such as attribution modelling, advanced segmentation, data-driven targeting strategies, dynamic creative optimization, CRM and Omnichannel analysis. He also focuses on enhancing ROI though marketing automation and predictive technologies that put the customer at the center of all marketing strategies.

T.J.
Nammour

DMS

T.J.
Nammour

DMS

TJ is the Strategic Publishing Lead at DMS (Digital Media Services), whose purpose is to ensure that DMS’s publishers remain competitive in the market and attractive to advertisers. Through study and analysis of ever-developing digital trends, TJ strives to offer his publishers the very best analysis and advice he can to help them grow and remain prepared for the future. TJ has also recently discovered a love of home-brewed coffee and uses his colleagues as taste testers.

Marco
Bertozzi

Spotify

Marco
Bertozzi

Spotify

Marco Bertozzi is VP of Advertising Sales, EMEA at Spotify, responsible for the streaming company’s advertising revenue throughout the region. He began his career as a TV buyer at Zenith Optimedia, where he rose to Head of Digital. Since then he has held various senior leadership roles at Zenith, Vivaki and Starcom, specialising in programmatic strategy, Audience On Demand, addressable media and performance marketing. A regular contributor to Campaign on programmatic-related topics, Marco joined Spotify in January 2017 and is especially excited about the opportunities for programmatic audio and data innovation at the company.

Zeeshan
merchant

OMD UAE

Zeeshan
merchant

OMD UAE

Zeeshan leads the People Team at Marketing and Media Services agencies OMD UAE and Annalect MENA, where he oversees the entire Employee Experience cycle, while always looking to strengthen the organization’s ‘Great Place to Work’ ethos. During his 12 years with OMD, Zeeshan has moved from an Account Management role to leading the People Team within the company, where he uses his industry experience and knowledge to form a Talent Development and Engagement strategy, with the aim of creating a fulfilling work experience for the workforce.

David
AbiDaoud

Expo 2020 Dubai

David
AbiDaoud

Expo 2020 Dubai

A senior leader with a successful track record in the marketing space with 20+ years of experience leading multi-disciplinary teams across a wide range of industry’s specializing in Digital.

Jing
Leng

QFPay

Jing
Leng

QFPay

JING LENG has more than 10 years of experience in Payment & Chinese Marketing as well as Retail, Jing is the Director of Business development Middle east and North Africa of QFPay International Limited. Prior to QFPay, Jing worked at The Dubai Mall Management Office for managing China market, UnionPay Middle East.

Huiming
Shi

Aviamost Magazine

Huiming
Shi

Aviamost Magazine

Huiming manages Aviamost Magazine Chinese version, region’s leading luxury magazine distributed to more than 110 luxury hotels in the UAE. The magazine focuses on luxury retail & experiences in the UAE, and it is also available on board of First and Business Class in all Emirates and Etihad flights from China to the UAE. Having lived in Dubai for over 7 years, Huiming has previously worked in the luxury retail sector that was essential for Aviamost. She curates and oversees the planning and conception of both written & visual contents to be featured in print as well as online portal. The magazine targets Chinese tourists & residents in Dubai, with information on business, fashion, luxury, lifestyle and hospitality.

Nagham
Akileh

OMD

Nagham
Akileh

OMD

Nagham has over 15 years of digital marketing experience across various disciplines and verticals, and is part of OMD Transact- the agency’s e-commerce unit. She is passionate about technology, analytics and creativity, often interweaving all three in her work, some of which has been awarded at industry festivals. When she’s not podcasting or tweeting her thoughts, you can find her following TV shows or expanding her shoe collection as part of her ongoing eCommerce research.

JOHANNES
LARCHER

SHAHID, MBC GROUP

JOHANNES
LARCHER

SHAHID, MBC GROUP

Johannes Larcher is an accomplished and versatile internet and digital media executive whose track-record spans a wide range of industry sectors, functional roles, and company types. Johannes has successfully managed P&Ls from first revenue to over $300m in both B2B and B2C environments. During his tenure at Hulu (2009-2013) – the premium video service owned by Disney, Fox, and NBC – where Larcher served as SVP International, Larcher was responsible for all of Hulu’s activities outside the United States. Since leaving Hulu, Larcher has served as a strategic advisor and interim CEO for major broadcasters, studios and private equity firms, for which he evaluated and launched various OTT Video services in Europe, the US, and Asia. Immediately prior to joining MBC Group, he served as CEO and co-founder of SubVRsive, an Emmy-nominated VR and AR Content Production start-up funded by WPP. Through this venture, Larcher worked closely with global brands, including: Ford, Google, Showtime, and Walmart to create immersive brand experiences through 360 Video and interactive VR and AR applications.

BIG
HASS

RE-VOLT

BIG
HASS

RE-VOLT

Hassane Dennaoui , a.k.a Big Hass is the radio host of “Yalla Home”, a Drive Time show on Pulse 95 Radio. & also is the founder of Re-Volt Blog & Re-Volt Magazine. He recently launched his YouTube show Buckle Up which is a series of interviews he conducts on the go. He believes in Music Liberation and takes pride in supporting local & regional artists. His passion is all about being true to Hip-Hop culture. He also founded THE BEAT in 2013 which is a series of events aimed to support local artists by having them perform live. He has interviewed the likes of LL Cool J, Russell Simmons, K’naan, Pete Rock, Dj Premier, Dj Kool Herc, Omar Offendum, Narcy, Outlandish, and many local & regional talent. Big Hass has recently relocated to Dubai to enhance his Autistic kid’s life since the awareness in the UAE is much better than KSA. He uses his platform/voice to state that Autism is not a disease but its a way of life.

Youmna
Borghol

Choueiri Group

Youmna
Borghol

Choueiri Group

With over 10 years of experience in data and marketing analytics and a PhD in social media analytics, Youmna’s career has been focused on data-driven marketing and communications strategies to solve real business objectives for advertisers. Today, she heads the Data department at Choueiri Group; where she oversees all aspects of the data team and data-related product solutions on both the buy and sell sides.

Ece
Inanc
Stepien

AppsFlyer

Ece
Inanc
Stepien

AppsFlyer

Ece is the regional sales manager for AppsFlyer’s Middle East and Turkey markets. She’s been in the mobile industry for 10 years with a wide range of experience in mobile marketing, mobile content, ad networks.

Allan
Lim

Boopin Communications

Allan
Lim

Boopin Communications

Allan is a result driven, creative and customer orientated Management Executive with over 20 years of experience covering Asia Pacific and China. Equipped with a strong acumen in Business Development, Integrated Marketing, Digital Marketing, Account Management and Events Management, Allan possesses superior interpersonal skills, proficiency in English and Mandarin and the ability to resolve multiple and complex issues. He is highly adaptable to changing environment and is never afraid to get my hands dirty whenever necessary.

Samer
Saad

Criteo

Samer
Saad

Criteo

Samer Saad is heading Criteo’s agency-related business in the Middle East and Africa. As Agency Partnerships Director, his focus is on building and expanding trustful partnerships with digital and media agencies, aimed to assist Criteo’s partners within agencies in accomplishing their set client strategies in an ever changing complex digital ecosystem. Samer joined Criteo as senior Sales Manager back in 2015 to lead the company’s sales efforts in the MEA region at the time of its first regional office opening in Dubai. Samer joined Criteo from Yahoo!, where he held account management and agency lead positions.

Raouf
Ketani

Adylic

Raouf
Ketani

Adylic

Raouf Ketani has over 18 years of web and digital media advertising experience, delivering and operating large scale web advertising projects for a wide range of global clients. His experience spans across ad agencies, web publishers and ad technology providers.

Ovais
Ahmad

Boopin

Ovais
Ahmad

Boopin

Head of Programmatic and Performance

Solange
El
Rassi

Al Aan TV

Solange
El
Rassi

Al Aan TV

Solange El Rassi is Head of Corporate Communications for AL Aan Television. Among her areas of executive oversight are global brand marketing, corporate advertising, global media relations, website and interactive, and employee communications. With more than13 years’ of experience in media, Solange has strengthened top global brands while cultivating talent and key relationships across MENA Region, her focus is on corporate reputation management, with extensive experience at the head of large global and regional teams in advertising; brand building and consumer engagement; executive communications; consumer relations; global talent development; sustainability communications; crisis communications and issues management. With storytelling as her core skill, she has built and executed global thought leadership and campaigns programs for both brand building and demand generation. Solange holds a Master’s in Journalism & Mass Communications from Lebanese University and she has a special interest in social media and Arab youth.

Omar
Othman

Al Aan TV

Omar
Othman

Al Aan TV

Omar is a Marketing and Commercial professional with 15 years experience in the industry. Omar is currently the Commercial Director at Al Aan TV and also Heads the Digital Technical team which has over the past year revamped the company’s digital / app presence. He has also lead the project of the development of Al Aan’s Citizen Reporting app, Khabbir. Prior to his time at Al Aan, Omar spent over a decade at MBC Group/Al Arabiya News Channel and also worked for OSN during the transition and revamp of Go Online TV to WAVO.

Saif
Kidwai

Digital Gurus MENA

Saif
Kidwai

Digital Gurus MENA

Saif Kidwai is one of the Founders of Digital Gurus, a specialist global digital recruitment agency based in London, Dubai & Sydney. Over the past decade he has helped work with and scale up businesses across agencies (WPP, Omnicom) high profile brands (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Careem) and in the start-up world. In 2016 Digital Gurus were acquired by the Rethink group, Saif joined the board and later moved to Dubai to look after our office across the MENA region. We’re now a business of over 200+ consultants with 10 offices globally. Pre-acquisition Digital Gurus were also awarded 1st place as the most socially engaged recruitment agency in EMEA region for companies between 50-500 employees by Linkedin, which shows the influence the brand has been able to create in the space. Working alongside some of the most innovative and forward-thinking businesses in the digital space, in an area where demand outstrips supply he’s been able to carve out a niche as an advisor and consultant when companies are looking to scale up but also retain staff.

TJ
Lightwala

Accenture Interactive Middle East

TJ
Lightwala

Accenture Interactive Middle East

TJ brings 16 years of industry experience, including mastery in digital products such as programmatic, data platforms, biddable solutions and digital innovations. Her career roster includes FedEx MEIA, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch as well as prior stint at Aegis Media, all in Boston. She currently serves on the board of directors at Mobile Marketing Association, MENA and measurement chair of the same, global jury at ICom Data & Creativity and Board of Directors, at TIE Dubai chapter.

Walid
Kanaan

TBWA\RAAD

Walid
Kanaan

TBWA\RAAD

With over 23 years of advertising experience across the Middle East and North Africa, Walid has worked on hundreds of multinational and regional brands and managed to create iconic campaigns with tremendous impact on the media scene. Walid’s trophy cabinet goes all the way back to 1992, combining a diverse collection of prestigious local and regional award shows: Gold at the Gemas Effie, a multitude of Grand Prix awards at the Dubai Lynx, “Creative Agency of the Year” at both the Dubai Lynx and Mena Cristal Festival, in addition to many notable wins at esteemed international award shows such as the Cannes Lions, Cresta, Epica, Sabre, New-York Festival and the London International Awards. Walid was ranked #1 Chief Creative Officer in the MEA region by the B&W Report 2018 Rankings.

Rami
Zeidan

TikTok

Rami
Zeidan

TikTok

Rami Zeidan is Head of Video and Creative at TikTok. Driving with a team of TikTokers a mission to inspire creativity and bring joy through nurturing a wider creative community across multiple content disciplines such as Food, Fashion, Sports, Comedy, Music, Education, and more. Rami is a marketer who has previously worked on building the Anghami Brand, the leading music streaming service in MENA and OMD before that, consulting for global brands like McDonald’s , Visa, Pepsico, and GE. Fun fact, Rami is a father of twin daughters, a DJ, and an avid offroader.

Jim
Louderback

VidCon

Jim
Louderback

VidCon

Jim Louderback is among the most respected figures in digital media with a 20-year history of leadership at the intersection of publishing, media and technology. He currently runs events business VidCon as an independent division of Viacom. Jim joined VidCon in 2014 as editorial director of the industry track, and took over as CEO in 2017. in early 2018 he led the sale of VidCon to Viacom. He is also a Venture Partner at seed investment firm Social Starts and recently did extensive consulting with a variety of top tech and media companies. He previously built and sold online video network Revision3 to Discovery, was editor-in-chief of PC Magazine and founding content lead for cable network TechTV.

Nadim
Habr

Designhubz

Nadim
Habr

Designhubz

Nadim Habr is the founder and CEO of Designhubz, a SaaS that enables e-commerce retailers to sell their products in 3D & Augmented Reality (AR) on their websites and apps. Designhubz’ Robotic Rigs enable instant digitization of physical inventories and its ‘XR Commerce platform’ allows selling the products in Full 3D and Web-based AR to let retailers run highly interactive online stores. Nadim was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Young Alumnus Award from the American University of Beirut (AUB). Prior to starting Designhubz, Nadim founded AutoTech in 2014, a boutique one-stop-shop for supercars that started designing its own electric supercar before being sold in 2015. After AutoTech, he worked for 4 years as a Business Development and Technical lead at a regional maritime company based in UAE where he developed accounts with Oil & Gas majors. Nadim holds a BE in Mechanical Engineering from AUB, and a degree in Automotive Technology & Advanced Systems from the Universal Technical Institute of Pennsylvania. He joined Mercedes-Benz USA in Los Angeles after his graduation.

Zeina
Akkawi

Paz Marketing Management

Zeina
Akkawi

Paz Marketing Management

– 20 years of experience specialized in Marketing, Events & PR management. Part of the StartUpSchool.me government initiative, a member at the Women Council and a Community Activist focusing on CSR in the UAE – A marketing and PR professional, speaker and mentor; specialized in training entrepreneurs, promoting brands/organizations; and assisting in developing corporate and individual image and identity – A brand consultant with a role to build Marketing platforms for companies – Board Member with the Arab Fashion Council – Mentor on Chatello App (Download Now on Android and Iphone) – Podcast Host and Founder of 30mn with Zeina

Amy
Jones

Augustus

Amy
Jones

Augustus

Amy is the Content Director at Augustus, known for Lovin Dubai, Lovin Saudi, SMASHI tv and its content studio ODEUM. She started her career in London, specialising in Entertainment marketing – working for clients including Sony Pictures, Paramount and Universal Music, before making the move to Dubai in 2018. As Content Director she oversees all content output across brands, both commercial and editorial.

Christian
Eid

The Duck Way

Christian
Eid

The Duck Way

A start-upper for over 10 years with a spanning a career across the Middle East and North America building brands that make us proud.

Shaheen
Al-Khudhari

Ajar

Shaheen
Al-Khudhari

Ajar

Shaheen AlKhudhari is the Founder & CEO of Ajar Online. Shaheen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Starting his career as an accountant, Shaheen now has over 10 years of experience working in a variety of fields including logistics, real estate, finance, and IT. In 2016, Shaheen founded Ajar Online to solve a personal frustration that he faced while paying rent through traditional means. Since then, he has grown Ajar Online to be the leading property management and rent collection solution in the Middle East.

Shams
Al-Attar

Augustus Media

Shams
Al-Attar

Augustus Media

Born and raised in New Zealand with a degree in International Business & Management, Shams has been in the UAE for 6 years working in Advertising, media and startups. She has a passion for the startup ecosystem and everything tech related. She loves connecting with people and is an advocate for youth empowerment.

Moe
Hamzeh

Warner Music Middle East

Moe
Hamzeh

Warner Music Middle East

Moe Hamzeh was appointed Managing Director of Warner Middle East in February 2018. The newly formed organisation, based in Beirut, covers all the MENA region. Moe began his career in the music industry in 1998 as a Label Manager with Warner Music’s regional licensee at the time Music Master, overseeing the marketing & distribution in Lebanon. He then founded Temple Entertainment, an independent label and publisher, before working for Virgin Megastores, as a Product Marketing Manager. In 2008, he joined Melody Music Group as a General Manager. In 2012, he took up the role of Head of Content form M.Media, a V.O.D platform for Lebanese and regional movies, documentaries and series.

Stephanie
Atala

Influencer

Stephanie
Atala

Influencer

Stephanie Atala is an actor and singer. The French and Lebanese artist is based in Beirut. In 2020, Stephanie is starring as Lina, the protagonist in the feature film Farah (psychological thriller) co-directed by Hassiba Freiha and Kenton Oxley. Her most recent TV appearance is on Hadeth Aleb where she leads as Samar. As for her most recent on stage appearance, she plays a main role in Georges Khabbaz’ theater production Bel Kawalis. Stephanie hosts an online weekly show Kazdoura where she enjoys two of her favorite things: Comedy and Food. Joining her passions, Stephanie took part in a trilogy of music videos: In circle in 2017. She sang, acted and danced starring as «Nadine» in the film directed by Rachel Meg and shot in Los Angeles.

Mike
Fairburn

Mike Fairburn

Mike
Fairburn

Mike Fairburn

Mike leads the company in a dynamic, fast growing region that spans a vast market comprising Egypt, Lebanon, the Gulf countries and Pakistan amongst others. The labels head office in Dubai drives creative innovation for MENA talent through world class A&R, Creative Marketing & Promotions, Streaming and Global Distribution, Brand Partnerships and Live. Prior to joining Sony Music, Mike spent six years as CMO at the region’s biggest entertainment company – FLASH Entertainment. Mike arrived in the UAE in 2007 after a number of years in music and entertainment in the UK. He was part of the teams that launched global music and lifestyle concepts for Coca-Cola, Diageo, Orange and LVMH, working in China, Europe and the US. Mike also provided music consultancy to Orange UK and France Telecom, and developed sports and festival sponsorships for Johnnie Walker, Motorola and more. Mike is a founder member and Vice Chairman of the Marketing Society Middle East.

Ralph
Haiby

Sikasok

Ralph
Haiby

Sikasok

Ralph is the co-founder of Sikasok. He heads the operations in Lebanon & UAE along with the value-chain from supply to distribution, MarCom, & business development. Prior to Sikasok, Ralph worked in management consulting on Asia Pacific & GCC – wide projects; his projects have spanned growth strategies, B2B client acquisition strategies, and e-commerce business model evolution. Ralph has gained valuable work experience in project management, finance, and management consulting across the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Sweden. He graduated from the American University of Beirut with a degree in Economics.

Aws
Alnabulsi

Gamiphy

Aws
Alnabulsi

Gamiphy

Aws Alnabulsi, Chief Executive Officer of Gamiphy. With over 10 years of technology entrepreneurship and experience analyzing, optimizing, and delivering products, adopting a data-driven approach in the different aspects of building a business. Founded Gamiphy in late 2017 to become the dominant customer loyalty and gamification provider.

Tala
Samman

Myfashdiary

Tala
Samman

Myfashdiary

Tala Samman biography Having grown up in Dubai, Tala Samman calls the city her home. Born in Chicago to Syrian parents, Tala graduated from the London College of Fashion, and started the first blog to come out of the UAE, myfashdiary.com while studying and working at the Tom Ford headquarters in London. Tala moved back home to Dubai to work for Conde Nast, and eventually left to focus on expanding her site and focusing on her love for music. Tala currently runs her blog and DJs. Having expanded from a fashion blog, to a lifestyle site – Tala shares her experiences and regimens when it comes to beauty, travel, fitness and food. A brand ambassador for Breitling, Tala has also partnered up with Net-a-porter, Bobbi Brown, Sephora and Pantene. She also serves as a content creator for thehuntr.com and Hello! Magazine. Focusing on her music, Tala opened for Dua Lipa and Lana Del Rey, and plays for high profile events across the GCC – from luxury events for Michael Kors, Tod’s, and Jimmy Choo to streetwear parties for Adidas, Puma, Off White and Sole DXB.

Zahra
Khan

Feya London

Zahra
Khan

Feya London

Chef Zahra Khan is 28 years old entrepreneur who made the bold choice of becoming the mother of two little girls while opening two cafes (@FEYACAFE) and a dessert shop (@DYCELDN) in less than two years. Restless mindful, ambitious, she is a role-model for all women who want to fulfil their entrepreneurial and motherhood dreams. Connect with her on Instagram @ChefZahraKhan

Hamish
McPharlin

BBC Global News

Hamish
McPharlin

BBC Global News

Dr Hamish McPharlin is Head of Insight at BBC Global News. His research team track the health and consumption of the BBC News brand worldwide, using the latest in analysis technologies and data visualisation techniques. In addition, his audience research programme assists in optimising advertising strategy on BBC World News and BBC.com. Prior to the BBC, Hamish was Director of Research at award-winning London-based research agency Decipher for 10 years. He has a Marketing Degree and a PHD in Communications Studies from Murdoch University.

Omar
Chihane

Englease.com

Omar
Chihane

Englease.com

Omar is the founder and CEO of englease.com the region’s most effective online English teaching platform. In less than 6 months Englease.com has signed on some of the region’s largest corporates, have had thousands of registrations and is the GTM lead partner of a Global handset manufacturer in 5 countries. Omar is a corporate veteran and growing social media personality with a deep understanding of building network power, having built a platform of over 1million followers across the MENA region in less than 11 months Prior to Englease.com, Omar spent years leading organizations both regionally and globally with Siemens, Nokia and most notably Microsoft where he led one of their consumer divisions globally Omar hold an MBA from London Business School and has been living in Dubai since 2008.

Erica
Kerner

ONE Championship

Erica
Kerner

ONE Championship

Erica Kerner is currently Sr. Advisor at ONE Championship – Asia’s largest Sports Media Property. She was formerly Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Tiffany & Co. Asia Pacific. In this role, she was responsible for all aspects of Tiffany’s marketing and communications planning, strategy and implementation across all retail channels and all Asia Pacific countries. She held a similar position at Ralph Lauren prior to joining Tiffany in 2013 and brings to her role more than 20 years of marketing experience in Asia Pacific, specifically Greater China. Working for Adidas as director of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, she was responsible for all aspects of the company’s marketing, sponsorship, licensing and business development activities. She and her team won China’s first-ever Cannes Gold Lion for the adidas Olympics campaign. Erica held the same role for adidas at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Before joining Adidas, Erica was Director of Marketing and Communications for Special Olympics China, helping to develop the program from 50,000 to 500,000 participants. In addition, as an account director at J. Walter Thompson Shanghai, she was responsible for creative advertising development, product development and retail marketing for DeBeers and PepsiCo. She also worked at Nike in various roles including director of international marketing for Nike Retail and Asia Pacific marketing manager. Erica started her marketing and advertising career at Bates Advertising in Taiwan working on multi-national clients. Erica graduated cum laude from Tufts University in 1989 with a degree in international relations. She is also a founding steering board member of The Marketing Society Asia and Chairman of the Marketing Society South East Asia.

Maaz
Sheikh

STARZPLAY

Maaz
Sheikh

STARZPLAY

Maaz Sheikh co-founded STARZPLAY, the subscription video on demand service that streams to 20 countries across the Middle East and North Africa. AS CEO, he has led the company’s corporate and operational activities since it was established in 2014, driving its continued growth and expansion across the MENA region.

Hande
Cilingir

Insider

Hande
Cilingir

Insider

A 1X Enterpreneur and currently one of the Co-founders and Chief Executive Officer of Insider, Hande Cilingir is responsible for running efficient operations, building a strong company culture, managing overseas growth, supporting sales and marketing teams, sharing and developing Insider’s technology over 24 offices globally.

Juan
de-Lascurain

Dream big

Juan
de-Lascurain

Dream big

Juan de Lascurain is a designer – entrepreneur from Mexico city. A former tenis player and triathlete who was encouraged to paint by a lady that saw him doodling on a napkin. He started the Dream big brand in 2008 with the purpose of inspiring people to follow their dreams. Today he travels around the world sharing his story. Commercializing his designs and doing collaborations with tourist destinations like the Burj Khalifa, Kleenex and many others.

Mohammed
Tayem

Entourage Marketing & Events LLC

Mohammed
Tayem

Entourage Marketing & Events LLC

As a career entrepreneur, Mohammed Tayem has always seen opportunities for value creation when others planned an exit strategy. Mohammed established live communication agency entourage during the global financial crisis in 2008 at a time when international networks were closing. The idea was to partner with brands and tell their story going beyond the SLA model. Today entourage serves Google, LinkedIn, Prime Minister’s Office of the UAE and more, with dozens of industry accolades over the decade. The success of entourage inspired expansion into different industries: f&b, production solutions, outdoor media locations supply, education and digital publishing.

Emre
FADILLIOGLU

Interceptd

Emre
FADILLIOGLU

Interceptd

After a global corporate career that started at PWC and continued at Oracle, Emre decided to become an entrepreneur. Emre has founded, managed and scaled-up 4 technology start-ups with the help of top tier accelerators such as 500 Start-ups, and Techstars. He also took part in Executive Leadership Program at UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business. Emre has more than 15 years of experience in sales, business development, marketing, mobile, enterprise software, product, and team building. Emre is obsessed with the company culture and proud of attracting great talents to App Samurai and Interceptd.

Eman
Hylooz

Abjjad

Eman
Hylooz

Abjjad

I’m Eman Hylooz, founder & CEO of Abjjad, the biggest social reading platform with a community of 1,000,000 members where they rate, review, and get unlimited access to Arabic eBooks.

Yasmine
Rasool

Sunny Isle Studios

Yasmine
Rasool

Sunny Isle Studios

Yasmine is a Tech Entrepreneur focusing on Arabian social apps including Waastaa, Halla Walla and Wain Waleed. As Co-Founder of Sunny Isle Studios, she and her team aim to create social apps for the Arab social future. Yasmine is also a Cultural Advisor for the last 8 years with a passion for Art, Music and Film, and is an avid member of the culture scene in the UAE, London and New York. She believes in supporting regional artists internationally, and do so through her cultural investment platform, Yellow. Throughout her travels she has an extensive network of museums, galleries and auction houses with whom she collaborates regularly. Focusing mainly on broadening her understanding of the field, stay up to date with developments and build her creative and cultural network. A regular attendee at International Tech and Art Fairs, Yasmine is social and loves to constantly connect with people from around the world through storytelling to broaden her understanding, spark development and build her creative and cultural network.

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