2017 Middle East Conference Speakers

Tariq Qureishy

CEO and Founder
MAD Talks

Tariq is currently the Founder/CEO of MAD Talks, a storytelling platform and media brand for the emerging world. This TED like platform captures stories shaping the future, of leadership & innovation, entrepreneurship and breakthrough thinking, in video and audio digital platforms.

He has worked in leadership roles with top global organisations including;

  • Bloomberg Media - Media Representative and Advisor/Consultant MENA, (2010-2014).
  • The Times & Sunday Times newspaper, CEO/Publisher in the Middle East (2007-2009).
  • Dow Jones Markets, Regional Director EMEA. (1987-1998).

Tariq's media and broadcasting experience includes being a keynote motivational speaker, panelist, chairing and moderating global conferences, radio and television.

  • He specialises in talks about the future, breakthrough thinking, the brain, innovation and creativity, moon-shot thinking, always with practical business solutions that can be applied immediately in your environment.
  • He has worked with BBC World, Dubai Eye, Dubai TV & has appeared in international broadcast & print media

He is also Founder of 100% MAD ("Make A Difference"), a UK based, not for profit Social Enterprise, a global millennial movement using the power of the digital environment to democratize philanthropy.

He has a degree in Economics and studied at Harvard Business School.


Colin Abercrombie

Managing Director
Abercrombie Training & Management Consultancy

Colin Abercrombie is a very experienced, passionate and entertaining facilitator based in Dubai. He has a unique ability to connect with people regardless of their age, sex or nationality, which allows any natural resistance to new ideas and change to be addressed openly and honestly. Colin has extensive experience of working at all levels within national and multi-national organizations throughout the Middle East, Europe and Asia. He speaks fluent French and German and holds a Master degree in Applied Coaching with the University of Derby. He is a Certified Practitioner and Master Practitioner of NLP, Time Line Therapy and Hypnosis as well as an ICF certified Professional Coach.


Samir Abi Frem

Corporate VP of IT
Rotana Hotels Management Corporation

As CVP IT of Rotana Hotel Management PJSC, Mr. Samir Abi Frem is responsible for all information and communications technology functions within the organization. He has more than 17 years of experience in Information Technology for the hospitality industry including 12 years at Rotana, where he built up the company vision in technology and formed a very energetic and professional team. He ensures that Rotana’s use of IT contributes to its competitive advantage by maximizing revenue and customer satisfaction and minimizing operating and ownership costs. He is responsible for the IT Strategy, new developments, Brands and Standards and the Centralized IT Services function. Achievements: Mr. Abi Frem acquired a remarkable multinational experience in In-room Technology, Systems Automation and Integrated Internal process in the service industry. With an extensive background in hotel and Information Technology management, he enforces high IT standards that are essential to successful hotel management. Since November 2013 he is a member of the organization's Board of Governors at Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), the membership association that unites the world's hospitality companies and technology innovators to solve industry challenges. Projects in the Pipeline: In addition to the Rotana aggressive expansion Plans in MEA region, a number of large projects are currently being implemented; Such as Customer Information System, Consolidated Private Cloud Infrastructure, Next Generator Mobile Platform, Business Intelligence Tool, Revenue Management System and many other technology enhancements projects.


Zalikha Al Bastaki

Group Director, Innovation and Enterprise Solutions
Jumeirah Group

Zalikha Al Bastaki is the Group Director for Innovation and Enterprise Solutions at Jumeirah International. Zalikha joined back Jumeirah in August 2015 after leaving another government sector Dubai Media Office where she held the role of Head of IT Department. In Jumeirah she is responsible for architecting, developing, implementing, and supporting innovative enterprise wide solutions that produce tangible benefits. Also she facilitates technology research for innovative products and solutions that provide value and competitive advantage.


In her past experiences prior to joining Jumeirah Zalikha held the SAP Project Manager role in Dubai International Financial Center. Her responsibility was to oversee and manage the SAP implementation across different functional departments. After leaving DIFC she joined Dubai Capital Group and help the IT VP role, where the experience required knowledge and expertise in bringing technology into investment industry. Her role required strategic input in migrating DCG to APX system for portfolio management, maintaining and supporting traders Reuters infrastructure including user workstations and Bloomberg terminals.
Zalikha earned a BA in Business Information Technology from Dubai Womens’ College of HCT. While pursuing her degree, she took part in the Daimler Chrysler Top Talent Camp where it focused on getting experience and insight into how large organizations operate in international markets.


Stephen Barratt

Technology Projects Director
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Stephen has worked in both hospitality and retail for over 20 years and brings both operational and technical experience. After gaining a BA Honours in International Hospitality Management from the University of Brighton he went on to work in Food and Beverage Operations at a senior management level. It was during this time that he was assigned the role of co-ordinator for the installation of a new PoS system and the rest is history. Moving into training and consultancy for a UK vendor he later returned to hotels as a Project Manager for Hilton UK and Ireland before branching off on his own as a Consultant, only to return to Project Management with one of the UKs leading PoS providers where he moved through the ranks and worked with some of the country’s largest leisure and holiday providers. A spell in Retail helped with additional technical exposure and helped cement the long held belief that despite the difference in function there are some huge crossovers between retail and hospitality technology. Having joined Mandarin Oriental in August 2013 he has experienced the challenges that come with managing the end to end provision of IT into two recently opened properties in two different countries and cultures. The hands on management of these projects keeps Stephen’s understanding and knowledge of the constantly changing world of technology into hotels up to date and relevant. He continues to work on major development and technical projects in the EMEA region.


René Beil

Managing Director
Beaufort Global Partners LLC

René Beil, Managing Director of Beaufort Global Partners LLC, brings a seasoned history in hospitality management, operations, finance, investments, asset management and business development to the group. He has led business development and growth initiatives on multiple continents as prime driver of investments, asset management, and new business development for Sovereign Wealth Funds, Government, Public & Private Companies, Royal Families, High Net-Worth Individuals as well as Family Offices. His past appointment as Vice President Asset Management of Dubai Investment Group & currently is President of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association MEA (HAMA MEA). Beaufort Global Partners is a private boutique Investment, Asset Management & Development Firm specializing in hospitality real estate and public market ownership with a focus on hotels, commercial buildings, residential projects, and industrial complexes. The firm is based in Dubai, UAE.


Floor Bleeker

Chief Information Officer
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Floor Bleeker joined Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in 2013 in the position of Chief Information Officer. As a member of the company’s Executive Committee, he is responsible for IT strategy, program development and implementation across the group. He also oversees the IT shared service organization covering Mövenpick Group, Mövenpick/Marché Restaurants, Mövenpick Fine Food and Mövenpick Wine. Prior to joining Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Floor worked with the Jumeirah Group in Dubai, UAE for over twelve years, where he most recently held the position of Vice President Business Solutions responsible for the IT team looking after IT strategy, solution development, project management, portfolio management, international expansion, SBU operations and digital marketing. Floor brings over fifteen years of international hospitality technology experience to Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. He started his career with the Rezidor Hotels & Resorts Group (formerly known as Radisson Hotels & Resorts) in Belgium and has worked in IT positions in the USA, the Caribbean and the Middle East. The IT team at Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts comprises over 100 specialists and has won several regional and international awards in recent years including the Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) award for an in-house developed rapid response platform in 2013. In support of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts’ growing portfolio of upscale hotels, a number of large IT enabled programs are currently being implemented including PMS, CRS, Web, Distribution, digital guest experience and ERP projects. Floor holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) with a Marketing specialization from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), and a Bachelors (BSc) degree in Hospitality Administration with a Finance specialization from the Hotel School The Hague. He serves on the Board of Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), the world’s leading hospitality technology trade association, and holds a number of advisory board positions for other organizations. Floor, who is Dutch, lives in Dubai with his wife Anne and daughter Lauren.


Donald Bremner

Director
Stirling Capital Management

Donald Bremner is Director at Stirling Capital Management. Mr Bremner has over 20 years of global experience in two of the world’s leading hotel companies: InterContinental Hotels Group and Jumeirah International. Prior to joining Stirling Hospitality, Mr Bremner was a hotel manager for Jumeirah where he was responsible for all aspects of the opening and operation of this luxury branded hotel. His first role at Jumeirah was as Director of Development Planning as well as Director of Rooms for Jumeirah Essex House in New York City. Mr Bremner also held the position of Asset Manager in Longwing Asset Management (part of Dubai Investment Group). Prior to joining Jumeirah, Mr Bremner spent 11 years with InterContinental Hotels and Resorts where he held the positions of Director of Food and Beverage in Manhattan, Front Office and Revenue Manager in Puerto Rico and Operations Analyst for the East Coast Region, USA. Mr Bremner graduated from InterContinental's Hotel Graduate Program and has a Bachelor of Science degree from Aberdeen University.


Stuart Etherington

Director Hospitality Asset Management
Dubai Properties Group

Stuart Etherington is the Director of Hospitality Asset Management of Dubai Properties Group – a Dubai Holding Company, one of Dubai’s leading real estate development organisations with approximately 3,540 hotels rooms and more than 35,000 residential/retail leasable units either in operation or development in Dubai. He is responsible for the company’s hotel assets strategic direction, operational asset management, growth and performance. Previously, Etherington served three years as Director Hospitality Development of Omran, Oman’s tourism development company where he oversaw a network of renowned accommodation developments and operations. Prior to joining Dubai Properties, Etherington spent 20 years in various leadership positions, as Vice President of Kempinski Hotel Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean, Global Hospitality Consultant of Woods Bagot Australia and Development Director for Sir Terrance Conran, London. Etherington started his career as a Hotelier in global upscale and luxury hotel chains based throughout Europe. Etherington is a serving member of HAMA - Hospitality Asset Management Association and the Institute of Hotel Management.


Ted Harrington

Executive Partner
Independent Security Evaluators

Ted Harrington serves the HTNG community as co-chair of the Door Lock Security working group. He drives thought leadership initiatives for Independent Security Evaluators, the elite organization of security researchers and consultants widely known for being the first company to hack the iPhone. Mr. Harrington was recently named 40 Under 40, where he was both one of the youngest inductees in the class as well as the only honoree from the field of information security. He is one of the lead organizers of SOHOpelessly Broken, the first ever router hacking contest at esteemed security conference DEF CON, and one of the lead organizers of the popular new hacking event concept IoT Village at DEF CON. He holds a bachelors degree from Georgetown University.


Fraser Hickox

General Manager
The Conceptual Group

Until recently the General Manager of the Peninsula Group's research Lab in Hong Kong, Fraser in retirement remains a consultant to Peninsula and other companies around Asia and in the Middle East as well continues to develop specialised electronics for different companies. A keen advocate of HTNG and the participation of hotelliers within this organisation for a common good. Fraser was inducted into the HFTP Hall of Fame in 2008 and is the recipient in December 1993 of the Personnalite de Lannee Distinction International Hotellerie. He holds a number of degrees in Engineering and Sciences and has had a diverse career spanning broadcasting, civil aviation, banking and manufacturing.


Ted Horner

Managing Director
E. Horner & Associates Pty Ltd

In 1989, Ted Horner launched a consulting practice specializing in technology consulting to the hospitality industry. He is now widely respected as Australia's leading consultant in this area. In 1996 he launched Australia’s first dedicated hospitality technology exhibition and conference. Today this event is still going, and it is now called Hotel Operations Technology (HOT). In 2002 he was a founding member of HTNG and today he is an Executive Advisor to HTNG. In 2004 he was the first non-US person to be elected to the HITEC Technology Hall of Fame for his contribution to the advancement of technology in the hospitality industry. Since the early 90s he has travelled extensively throughout the world to speak at many hospitality technology conferences and has written many articles on technology that have been published all over the world.


Harry Johnson

Chief Asset Management Officer
Omran

 


Amro Khoudeir

Director of Digital Strategy
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Amro Khoudeir is a Digital Strategy and E-commerce professional with over 8 years of experience in digital marketing, operations and development. Prior to joining Mövenpick, he successfully delivered a number of high value digital business solutions and marketing strategies for Jumeirah Group, with a proven track record of generating positive return on investment. Since joining Mövenpick in June 2014, Amro has redefined the company’s digital development and enhancement roadmap, implemented a variety of new digital solutions and has most recently launched movenpick.com’s new responsive mobile site. In his current role, Amro manages all areas of Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts’ digital and ecommerce strategy on global and regional level.


Kevin McCarthy

Program Director Commercial Systems
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Kevin is responsible for the deployment of a new suite of software solutions for Mӧvenpick Hotels & Resorts of which the chains 2020 business vision is based upon. The main component is Opera Cloud (V9) PMS and sees Kevin as the first Director to lead the deployment of the solution worldwide. Kevin directly manages the installation/project teams and coordinates all corporate/regional/global working groups. Kevin’s experience includes Director Hotel Systems at Kempinski Hotels, Head of technology for Individual Collection by GHA and for over 7 years progressed from senior support to EMEA HQ application management roles at the then Micros Systems now Oracle Hospitality. Kevin has a unique blend of experience for hospitality technology as he is not of IT background, Kevin began his career as a Duty/Hotel Manager at 4* properties in Ireland before recruitment by Micros. Kevin holds Diplomas in Project Management and Hotel Business Management from the Fitzwilliam and CMIT Institutes, Ireland.


Monika Nerger

Chief Information Officer
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Bryan Steele is the Founder and Managing Director of Jireh-Tek Limited, an IT consultancy with specific expertise in the hospitality sector. He has over 20 years of international IT and business experience. For the last two years Bryan held an interim role as the Director IT at the Royal Automobile Club, a prestigious private members club, where he oversaw an extensive IT transformation programme which addressed infrastructure, applications and data architecture, a digital transformation programme including a new mobile responsive website and building an IT team to deliver and provide ongoing support of the systems and users. Since 2014 Bryan has been a Governor or Executive Adviser to HTNG’s Board. Also, he is a Director of HOSPA, the Hospitality Professionals Association, and chairs its IT Committee and is a member of HFTP’s HITEC Advisory Board. Previously, Bryan was the Director of IT at Thistle & Guoman Hotels, and a founding member and chairman of the Micros Fidelio Opera User Group.


Bryan Steele

Managing Director
Jireh-Tek Limited

Bryan Steele is the Founder and Managing Director of Jireh-Tek Limited, an IT consultancy with specific expertise in the hospitality sector. He has over 20 years of international IT and business experience. For the last two years Bryan held an interim role as the Director IT at the Royal Automobile Club, a prestigious private members club, where he oversaw an extensive IT transformation programme which addressed infrastructure, applications and data architecture, a digital transformation programme including a new mobile responsive website and building an IT team to deliver and provide ongoing support of the systems and users. Since 2014 Bryan has been a Governor or Executive Adviser to HTNG’s Board. Also, he is a Director of HOSPA, the Hospitality Professionals Association, and chairs its IT Committee and is a member of HFTP’s HITEC Advisory Board. Previously, Bryan was the Director of IT at Thistle & Guoman Hotels, and a founding member and chairman of the Micros Fidelio Opera User Group.


Nancy Wolff

VP Information Technology - Hotel Systems
Jumeirah Group

Nancy has over 20 years in the technology industry, including over 12 years specific to hospitality. As Vice President, Hotel Systems, Nancy works to support all technology system solutions for Jumeirah and is focused on enhancing the guest and colleague experience globally. Her prior roles include leading multiple large scale enterprise technology projects in Washington DC working as an Enterprise Architect with the US Federal Government and large multi-national firms; as well as CIO for a large hotel management company. She established best practices and governance programs that analyze and improve IT capabilities as the Director of a large Enterprise Architecture and IT Portfolio Management practice. Nancy has worked with organizations to identify critical deficiencies and recommend technology solutions and architectures specific to business needs. She developed key system initiatives and technology standards to improve IT and business performance, and has established all necessary governance measures to ensure organizations are move effectively implementing IT solutions. Nancy holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Nova Southeastern University, and a Bachelors in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.