Descriptions - Middle East Conference 2018


Blockchain and Hospitality

The last 24 months has seen blockchain move into the mainstream. Industries from financial services and logistics through to art, music and travel have begun to explore the potential impacts of distributed ledger technology. This session will explain the basics of blockchain, expand on the latest developments and explore what blockchain could mean for our industry.

Reinvigorate your Executive Committee

Chances are that your executive committee is made up of experienced professionals who have been around the block (maybe more than once) and that’s because experience and leadership are important.  However, experience can also make us experts in what is not possible and block innovative solutions. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts acknowledged this problem and tackled it by creating a second executive committee that is made up entirely of a diverse group of Millennials (born after 1985).  Take home some ideas from this session about how your company can shake up your team, your thinking and prepare for the future.

VAT Implementation in the Middle East

This is day 23 of the Value Added Tax (VAT) implementation in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with four other countries in the region scheduled to go live in 2018. This session, designed for technology leaders, will give an overview of the new tax, the status in each country, and tips on systems configuration issues you may be encountering.  Our two expert speakers from the Dubai office of Deloitte will leave time for your questions at the end of the presentation.

Aligning HTNG with Industry Priorities (Hotelier & Consultants)

As technology is ever-evolving, so are the challenges and opportunities we face. To ensure HTNG is addressing the current and next generation priorities, HTNG has been surveying members around the globe to identify the focus areas that are receiving the greatest attention to support organizations' and leaders' goals. This interactive session will give hoteliers the opportunity to review HTNG's strategic pillars and discuss how we can leverage these priorities to build upon today for success tomorrow.

The AI Age: How Will Machine Learning and Intelligence Impact Travel and Hospitality?

The first conference on artificial intelligence was held in 1956.  More than sixty years later, computing power has caught up with vision and is now becoming reality.  Kanishka Agiwal, Association Partner with the Travel and Transportation group at IBM will give us a glimpse into the near future and how it will affect our industry.

Case Study: Using AI and Machine Learning to Improve the Guest and Employee Experience

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are turning the corner from concepts to reality. The first meaningful applications of these technologies are starting to emerge. In this session, Michael Mrini, Director of Information Technology at Edwardian Hotels London, will tell about a two year-old, in-house developed solution that uses mobile technology as well as AI chat bot and machine learning to revolutionize the guest experience and increase both guest and employee engagement. 

IT Leadership Panel

Top-level hotel IT executives will share how they see technology evolving in hotels in coming years. The panel will also discuss their biggest challenges, issues and concerns.

Are you Ready for GDPR?

The implementation date for the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is only four months away. Are you ready? There is little to fear if you are compliant with the 1995 EU Directive. But are you? The stakes are much higher now with severe penalties being imposed. Richard Chudzinsky of PwC will provide a high-level overview of the new regulation. For more details, attend this afternoon's breakout session where you will have a chance to ask questions and dig in to the topic.

GDPR Drill Down and Q&A

Following this morning's overview on GDPR, Richard Chudzinsky will dig into more details and answer questions from the audience.