2019 Speakers

H.E. Omar bin Sultan Al Olama

Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence -

H.E. Dr Rauda Al-Saadi

Director General - Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA)

H.E. Dr. Abdulla Mohamad AlKendi

Executive Director of Technology & Policies - Abu Dhabi Digital Authority

H.E. Ali Hasan Alshebah

The Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing Sector - Department of Culture and Tourism

Eng. Sami Abdul Qader Alhashmi

Director of Integrated Planning Department - Department of Transport

Eng. Sami Alhashmi has more than 15 years track record of succesful experience in roads, transportation, traffic safety, parks, recreational facilities, infrastructure sustainability, & regulatory and policy instruments in Government of Abu Dhabi. Driving & empowering excellence in the work environment with 40+ awards & certifications. His efforts included developing a range of internationally recognized leading strategies in the emirate of Abu Dhabi to provide world class infrastructure such as: AD Lighting Strategy, AD Traffic Safety Strategy, Automation & Digital transformation, Stormwater & Irrigation Masterplans, Landscape Strategy, Tiling Strategy, Traffic Calming Strategy, Safety School Zone Strategy, Pedestrian Safety Strategy and AD sustainable road rating system.

Eng. Sami has also Introduced the concept of IoT in the context of infrastructure in ground. Creating a smart city framework that illuminate the management method of infrastructure components with IT & IoT in interconnected scenarios & solutions that requires the integration & collaboration of several bodies to insure the synchronizing between the different levels of smart city structure (physical level, communication, systems & AI engines, and the end user).

Eng. Ahmad Abdoulsamad Alhamadi

Director of Information Technology Department - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

Ahmad is an information technology expert with solid experience in digital transformation and emerging technologies. He has over 13 years of continuous work experience in the IT industry across the Government sector. Ahmad is currently holding more than one leadership roles across the Government of Abu Dhabi. He is the head of IT departments at Abu Dhabi Municipality and Dhafrah Region Municipality.

Since his appointment as the Director of IT at Abu Dhabi municipality, Ahmed was able to effectively lead the IT team to the successful execution and delivery of multiple transformational projects. He has made tangible contribution to the advancement of the organization through the successful projects delivered under his supervision. His strategic goals gear towards providing digital-Services, minimize service delivery time, enhance staff efficiency, and improve accuracy and authenticity. Driven by these strategic goals, the projects he focused on have delivered enormous impact and benefits for Abu Dhabi Municipality as well as for other municipalities.

Moreover, Ahmad has built new innovative incubating models, programs, communication channels, and high-end strategies including the smart city strategy, artificial intelligence and Blockchain. Ahmed is a holder of Master degree in crisis management.

LT. Colonel Eng. Salem Hashem Alhebshi

Director of Operations Department - General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Civil Defense

Director of Operations Department in General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Civil Defense. He is responsible for developing, implementing and assessing of all Fire emergency plans for all type of buildings and occupancies, he has been involved as an expertise in establishing various fire emergency planning and response management plans for critical structure and buildings,  he participated and attended  number of conferences and workshops and has participated in articles and monographs  discussing fire emmergency planning, safety and fire protection.

In addtion, LT. Colonel/ Eng. Salem Hashem had experience in handling complex fire and life safety issues in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, including inspecting, evaluating, , finals revision and  approving all kind of construction projects in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in line with local and international regulations and standards.

Salem Hasem hold a degree of Bachelor of Engineering, Architecture and Master of Business Administration,Certified UAE fire stations assessor, Authorized and Approved Fire & life Safety Instructor, Certified Fire and Life Safety Expert (judicial expert).

LT. Dr. Eng. Humaid Saif AlShamsi

Abu Dhabi Police -

Major Dr. Faisal Ahmed Al Kaabi

Deputy Director of Innovation and Future Foresight Administration - Abu Dhabi Police

Major Dr. Faisal has graduated with a PhD in Health and Safety from the University College London. He has an MSc in Health and Safety from the University of Birmingham (UK) and an MBA from Aston University (UK). Dr. Faisal has also completed a post graduate diploma in organizational leadership from the University Of Oxford (UK).  His current roles include supervising concerned Abu Dhabi Police’s department to achieve the Abu Dhabi Police 2057 plan, active participation in assessing and implementing innovative ideas from different stakeholders, supervise the main Abu Dhabi Police surveys which aim to measure the perception of the community, employees, service users, suppliers and corporate stakeholders. By leading and being part of multiple committees, Dr. Faisal has gained extensive knowledge and expertise in diverse topics.

Major Dr. Eng. Nasser AlSaedi

Head of Development & Change, and AI Consultant - Abu Dhabi Police

Dr Nasser received his PhD degree in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence from Cardiff University and his Master and Bachelor degree in control systems engineering from Sheffield University. He joined the Abu Dhabi police work force in 2004 and over the years has served in a number of entities in the Information Security Department.

He is a member in various research groups and centers such as the Social Data Science Lab and the Complex Systems Research Group in the School of Computer Science & Informatics at Cardiff University as well as the CAMeL Lab (Computational Approaches to Modeling Language) in the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD).

He has developed a reputation for data-driven, innovative, and interdisciplinary research that broadly contributes to the growing fields of data science, social computing, web science, machine learning and data mining. His contribution to social computing and web science is to bridge that gap between the use of “big data” and modern policing in order to maintain situational awareness and enhance public safety and decision making.

He has been awarded with several awards including; the UAE Minister of Interior’s Scientific Research Award 2015, top Emirati PhD Researcher for the 3rd year by the UAE Embassy in the UK in 2016 and the winner of the best PhD Project in Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics in 2016. Recently, he has been awarded with “Etidal,” or “moderation” Centre Award which aims to promote moderation and counter the spread of extremism using AI and new machine learning. He was also honored by His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Governor of Makkah Al Mukaramah Province.

He participated in a number of conferences and published a number of papers in famous scientific magazines and international conferences specialized in technology and AI such as ACM Transaction of Internet Technology.

Major Eng. Ahmed Surour AlShamsi

- Abu Dhabi Police

Eng Ahmed Al Shamsi holds a master in engineering system management from Birmingham university. My extensive career history has culminated in my ascension to the position of Head of Safe City dept. at Abu Dhabi Police GHQ. He has a proven track record of successfully leading a variety of initiatives which has resulted in: the development of workable technical solutions, introduction of new operational concepts/procedures and the expert management of human and technical resources. he has frequently engaged in high profile activities which have positively impacted organizational image and employee morale.
An IEEE member, the world’s largest technical professional origination dedicated to advancing technology for the benefits of humanity. A member of the youth future energy council at Masder institute.
He has been awarded the best Technical officer for 2018 in Abu Dhabi police GHQ. He Developed 20 Uses Cases for various type of smart systems implemented for safe city dept. that has impact on public safety and the policing workforce of the future.

Dr. Ammar Jarrar, PhD, PMI-PMP®, SAVE-AVS®, Green Flag Judge

Water & Irrigation Expert – Infrastructure Technical Support Division - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

Dr Ammar Jarrar is a Water Resources Expert. His recent work focused on managing programs aiming at addressing challenges facing sustainable water resources management and treated wastewater reuse. He has published several articles and reports in WRR Journal, IAHS, ASCE, and IAHR. He is the author and contributor to several reports and studies in the field of sustainability and water resources management and planning.

As a Performance-driven professional with more than 25 years of experience in the water industry both in Australia and Worldwide, Dr Jarrar has worked across all facets of natural resources management and smart city initiatives, from operations and project management through to board meetings.  He has solid experience working with water resources management, smart city management, greening and landscaping program management, water resources assessment and modelling, water quality, recycled water use, the nuances of cross-jurisdictional engagement, project management, value engineering, water & irrigation infrastructure projects, drainage projects, climate change impact and adaptation, socio-economic impacts and structural adjustments, strategic planning, environmental impact assessment, and rigorous evaluation of water sector reform implementation.

Dr Jarrar has a proven track record in developing and maintaining strategic policy advice on water reform programs; developing smart city strategic plan and implementation framework; developing water, wastewater, recycled water quality guidelines and impacts; designing and implementing successful irrigation, parks, landscape and water management initiatives; and delivering efficient and effective programs on sustainable water and smart city strategies, water entitlement framework, water markets, water pricing, water accounting, water registrar, desalination and water quality, irrigation and soil management, irrigation automation systems, multi-criteria decision research, and reporting on water issues affecting communities. Together with a strong technical background as well proven track record in research and project management, Dr Jarrar has driven several successful initiatives across the world leading to improved and sustainable water management programs.

Mohamed Abdullah Almadhani

Director of Data Management - Abu Dhabi Digital Authority

Mohammad (Abdulla) Al Madhani is Director - Data Management at the Abu Dhabi Digital authority and works in the intersection of business, technology and advanced analytics turning strategic government data into knowledge that solves complex problems and drives policy decisions. With over a decade of experience in the technology world, he is a “Big Data/Data Science” Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the ADDA, and also a member on numerous governmental committees related to applied technologies, Data Governance, and Decision Management Automation.

Eng. Saif Salem Bamadhaf

Director of IT and Smart Government Services - Department of Energy


Eng. Saif Salem Bamadhaf is technology professional holding a master degree in business innovation and a bachelor degree in Engineering.

Mr. Saif started his 20 years career as a network engineer at ADNOC HQ and moved on to lead the IT as Department Manager.  In 2014, Mr. Saif was appointed as the Chief Technology Officer at the Higher colleges of Technology managing the HCT enterprise and education systems across its 17 campuses in UAE.  In 2016, Mr. Saif was secondent to lead the Department of Municipalities & Transport in Abu Dhabi Government in the capacity of Chairman Advisor, Technology sector and lead the establishment of Abu Dhabi first Government Building Permit Ecosystem that was launched in April 16, 2017.

Currently Mr. Saif is holding the position of Director of IT and Smart Government Services at the newly established Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi.

Ali Mohamed Al Jaeedi

Acting Director - Technical Infrastructure Division, Technology & Transport Systems Sector - Department of Transportation

Responsible on Intelligent Transport System Infrastructure to provide innovative technical transport services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management and enabling Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Infrastructure to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and 'smarter' use of transport networks.

Eng. Rasheed Alrashdi

Director of Emergency and Business Continuity - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

Khawla Abdulla Al Fahim

Senior Manager Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) - Abu Dhabi Digital Authority

Khawla Al Fahim; Senior Manager of the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) department is responsible for leading and overseeing the AD-SDI program.

Since joining Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Center (ADSIC) in 2010, Khawla has managed to reshape the SDI program and enhance the strategic business planning process across the entire portfolio in support and alignment of Abu Dhabi Emirate vision. She has shifted the focus on innovation, leadership, capacity building and engagement.

Khawla has over 15 years of experience working in the government, she has also been a keynote speaker in many regional and international platforms; such as the UN Data Forum 2018 in Dubai, ESRI MEA User Conference 2018 in Dubai and ESRI User Conference 2017 in San Diego. Since joining, the Spatial Data Infrastructure it won several prestigious awards most recently the “Digital Transformation Award in GIS” at the ESRI UC in 2017.

Khawla holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Strathclyde - Scotland, and a Bachelor of Business Information Technology from the Higher Colleges of Technology at Abu Dhabi.

Chris Chi Lon Wan

Head of Design Management, Sustainable Real Estate - Masdar

 Chris Wan is currently leading the Design Management of the Sustainable Real Estate unit at Masdar, pursuing and adopting holistic approaches to sustainable design.

Combining integrated design processes with stakeholder collaboration, Mr Wan is exploring practical ways to optimise the balance between environmental, social and commercial requirements.

Mr Wan’s approach has contributed to realising a cluster of green buildings at Masdar City, including the Siemens Buildings, IRENA HQ, Masdar Eco Villa, and most recently the Etihad Eco Residence.

Mr Wan graduated from the University of Bath, UK and has worked as an architect in the UK and Hong Kong before joining Masdar in 2008.

Stephen Severance

Head of Management and Marketing Program - Masdar

Rashid Al Hosani

Commercial Director, Maqta Gateway - Abu Dhabi Ports

Rashid Al Hosani is the Commercial Director at Maqta Gateway, a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports and a central pillar of the company’s strategy to be at the vanguard of integrated, digital, global trade. As Commercial Director, he is responsible for developing and driving commercial strategies that will induce sustainable growth and enable Maqta Gateway to take its place among the top trade facilitation companies around the world.

Mr. Al Hosani is an experienced and focused leader, who brings to Maqta Gateway a wealth of Commercial knowledge and experience, with a particular focus on information and communication technology. Over the past decade, he served in a number of senior roles within the MENA region, which positions him well to help Maqta Gateway deliver on its core vision and corporate goals.

Specifically, as a Regional Director for Middle East and Central Asia at the Thuraya Telecommunications Company, he developed regional sales strategies for service partners and key stakeholders across diverse markets and geographies. Furthermore, he also served as a Commercial Manager at the Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) for over five years, where he headed a team of country mangers and oversaw business development activities in more than 20 nations in the African region.

Mr. Al Hosani began his career at Dubai World where, among other roles, he served as an Assistant Manager of Business Development. While at the company, he was responsible for designing and negotiating commercial proposals with government partners and agencies, which included maritime ports and free zones – an experience which gave him first-hand exposure to the maritime sector.

Vinisio González

Senior Technology Services Manager - Abu Dhabi Ports – Maqta

IT Manager with +28 years of total experience in IT industry. Main skills include Architecture design (Hardware & Software), Team Management, Deep Knowledge of the Port business.

Sr. Service Technology Manager Abu Dhabi Ports/Maqta from December 2016 until now and Managing three areas:

  • Software Development
  • Business Analysis
  • Operations

                - Service Desk
                - Level 2
                - System

Key projects:

  • MG PCS system
  • Transport Order System
  • MG Blockchain strategy (SILSAL)
  • Appointment system
  • Single Window System for Dhabi (MAMAR)
  • BI
  • Kizad Single Window (Industrial Zone) and mobile (MASAHA)
  • Track and Trace Mobile application (MANARA)

Pénélope Komitès

Deputy Mayor - Green Spaces, Nature & Biodiversity - City of Paris

Pénélope Komitès was first a teacher before working in event communication and then joining the associative world. From 1992 to 1998 she was the executive director of Greenpeace France : she namely conducted climate campaigns within the context of the Montreal protocol, campaigns on toxic waste within the context of Basel Convention, campaigns on biodiversity protection etc.

In 2001, she was elected representative in the 12th arrondissement. She was also deputy to the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, in charge of disabled people. She has especially committed in making municipal facilities accessible and improving autism management.

Since 2014, she is deputy to Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. She is in charge of green spaces, nature, biodiversity, urban agriculture and funeral affairs. She implements the commitments of the mandate throughout the creation, by 2020, of 30 hectares (about 74 acres) of additional green spaces, the plantation of 20 000 trees and the creation of 100 hectares (about 247 acres) of green roofs. In 2015, she launched the “greening licence” to allow Parisians to do some gardening in the public space. In 2016, she has launched the first call for projects “Parisculteurs”: it will allow to turn 5.5 hectares (about 12 acres) of Parisian roofs into spaces devoted to urban agriculture. In 2017 she has launched a new edition of “Parisculteurs” on a surface of 10 hectares.

Frans-Anton Vermast

Strategy Advisor and International Smart City Ambassador - Amsterdam Smart City & Chief Technology Office of Amsterdam

Since 2008 Frans-Anton Vermast MBA (1969) has been Strategy Advisor and International Smart City Ambassador for Amsterdam Smart City and Chief Technology Office of Amsterdam, winners of iCapital 2016.
He is a global expert in searching for opportunities for novel appliances and services that make cities and their regions an inclusive society and a more habitable place for people to live, work and play in pleasantly.
Next to a strategic and broad general knowledge and experience in this field for almost 20 years Mr Vermast specialises in citizens engagement and governance- and finance models to facilitate collaboration in a quintuple helix.
As the main question should be ‘What city do we want to live in?’ and cities are about “ECO systems and ego systems”1, he concentrates on helping cities facilitate their (digital) transitions via open innovation platforms as well as cross silo approaches.
“Innovation is about doing and learning by doing”2. Therefore, Mr Vermast is not afraid to share failures and lessons learned to prevent other cities making the same mistakes Amsterdam made.
His objectives are to facilitate social innovation and a sustainable-liveable environment to boost social and economic benefits based on open data and open algorithms. Ethics, gaining (back) trust of citizens and ownership of data to citizens are important topics he focusses on too. Mr Vermast is very interested to elaborate on these themes and to learn from others.
Furthermore, Mr Vermast has extensive Dutch, European and global knowledge and extensive experience in facilitating the participation of several local-, regional- and national governments in Europe, the Middle East, Peoples Republic of China, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and is frequent visitor to Australia.
In addition, the private sector regularly calls on Mr Vermast his opinion and advice; this includes big consultancy firms, communication incumbents and NGO’s, local SME’s and start-ups.
Mr Vermast had the privilege to be a jury member for the European Capital of Innovation 2018.
He is a visiting speaker at Leiden University and Radboud University Nijmegen and a guest lecturer at the Universities of Applied Sciences of The Hague and HAN. Mr Vermast is experienced in national and international training both professional and as a volunteer with political parties.
Mr Vermast is also a sought-after facilitator, moderator and day chair for conferences, strategy sessions and workshops.

Ahmad Al Montshri

General Manager for the Comprehensive Institutional Centre - Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs

Ahmad is a Certified Digital transformations professional, Certified System architecture professional with a Masters degree in information tech and Geographic Information System GIS.  With 15+ years experience in advanced Technology, Smart urban planning , Sustainble Enterprise GIS , mega Digital transformation, advanced Smart Cities and board management. Ahmad won the best Smart City Project Award for Data and Tech in the World in Barcelona. His expertise include Hi-End strategic planning, Goverments Digital development, orgnizations Business Continuity.

Working at the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu he was act.director for smartcity and digital transformation.

He is currently the General Manager for the Comprehensive Institutional Centre at Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs  in Saudi Arabia.

Michael Mulquin

Chair Smart Cities Systems Committee - IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission)

Using Smart City Standards & Good Practice
Michael has spent 25 years partnering with cities, rural areas, construction and technology companies to use technology to help neighbourhoods and cities work better.
He focuses on the development and implementation of smart and sustainable city standards. He works with international groups of experts to identify and describe the good practice that enables cities to take full advantage of digital technology.
He is Chair of the IEC Smart Cities Systems Committee, Chair of the IEEE IoT and Smart Cities Open Standards Committee and an active member of several ISO Working Groups developing standards for smart and sustainable cities. 
He is Principal Architect of the TM Forum’s Smart City Maturity Model and is helping lead their work on City as a Platform. He received the TM Forum Outstanding Contributor Award in 2017.
He is technical author of two British Standards Institution publications: PD8101 Smart cities – Guide to the role of the planning and development process, and PD8100 Smart cities overview – Guide. 
He is City Standards Associate with the Connected Places Catapult.
He works with cities and industry to enable them to benefit from those tried and tested global solutions that are relevant to their strategic requirements.

Mark Pittman

Founder and CEO - Blyncsy

Mark Pittman is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Blyncsy, a ventured funding traffic intelligence Company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mark studied at the University of Utah, where he earned a JD, an MBA and an MS in International Affairs and Global Enterprise. Mark completed a BS in Political Science, International Studies, and Economics.

Dr Philip O’Kane

Lead - Intelligent Surveillance Systems - Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), UK

Dr Philip O’Kane has over 20 years’ industrial experience in software development in financial and capital markets firms and the telecoms sector. During his career, he has engaged in all aspects of the software lifecycle and worked on embedded systems, client/server software, network discovery, automation, and control software. Philip has contributed to multi-million dollar projects as a principal engineer, architect, and technical team leader. Philip took his industry experience to academia and studied at Queen’s University Belfast/CSIT (Centre for Secure Information Technologies) for a PhD in Obfuscated Malware Detection and the reverse engineering of malware. He remains at Queen’s as a lecturer and director of the MSc in Applied Cyber Security and also researches malware detection at the CSIT.

Dr. Monica Menendez

Associate Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering - New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)

Monica Menendez is an Associate Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at New York University Abu Dhabi; and a Global Network Associate Professor at New York University.

Prior to that, Monica was the Director of the research group Traffic Engineering at ETH Zurich, and a Management Consultant at Bain & Company in the San Francisco office. She holds a Ph.D. and a M.Sc. from UC Berkeley, and has received more than 20 scholarships and awards.

Her research interests include monitoring, modeling, and control of multimodal transportation systems, with new technologies and data sources. Monica is the author of over 50 journal publications and over 150 conference proceedings and reports.

Eng. Majed Alkatheeri

Director of Abu Dhabi City Center Municipality - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

Eng. Ali Ammari

Director of Community Service Department - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

Eng. Omar Mohammed Al Hashimi

Head of Knowledge Management and Innovation Team - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

Omar Al Hashimi has a long standing career at Abu Dhabi Municipality. Having worked at ADM for the past 20 years Omar has made a tremendous contribution to the development of the municipality and the services it offers. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Architectural Engineering and a Master’s s degree in Public Administration Omar started his career in the Design Engineering department. Due to his passion to sharing his knowledge and always looking for innovative solution together with his valuable experience in the municipality has led to him being appointed Head of Knowledge Management and Innovation.

Eng. Hussain Alsaeedi

Director of Technical Operations Department - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

Eng. Mohammed Al Shatri

Head of Studies and Standards - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

Eng. Mohammed Al Shatri holds the position of Head of Studies and Standards at the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City.

The responsibility of supporting the sector's departments through conducting various specialized studies in order to support the design, implementation and development of the projects in general, as well as the development and updating of the technical and design specifications and standards and the maintenance and operation standards for all infrastructure assets on the principles of sustainability and smart cities. The Department has won numerous awards as a result of his efforts & initiatives.

Eng. Hamad Muhsen Abdulla

Senior Supervisor Engineering - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

UAE national with vast work experience. working in Abu Dhabi City Municipality as part of the Sustainable Infrastructure Standards & Specifications . Unifying the infrastructure design standards and specifications. Initiated and executed many ADM initiatives that services environment and sustainability of ADM infrastructure.

Holder of Master's degree in Project Management Engineering (2017). Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering(2015). diploma degree in Electronic and Communication Engineering (2001).

Nader Baghdadi

Regional Enterprise Director - Fortinet

Nader Baghdadi is the Regional Enterprise Director, managing the South GCC region consisting of UAE, Oman, and Pakistan – with dedicated team members focusing on managing strategic and key accounts across South GCC. Prior to Fortinet, Nader held sales leadership roles at Ruckus Wireless, Motorola, and Cisco.

Lobna Salah

Customer Happiness Expert - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

A veteran Customer happiness professional with extensive experience in managing and operating Customer Operations and Service platforms. Lobna Salah joined Abu Dhabi Municipality in March 2018 as a Customer Happiness Expert.

In her role working with the senior leadership at ADM, she is responsible for guiding the organization’s Customer and community happiness strategy to become a leader in delivering a world class service to the community and stakeholders.

Lobna has an accomplished career spanning over 20 years and a track record of achievements based on a thorough understanding of service-oriented business, Customer & Community happiness and strategic planning across a range of industries including Media, Real Estate, hospitality, government services and diversified businesses.

Prior to joining ADM, Lobna was Head of Customer Operations at Meraas Holding, responsible for all customer happiness platform, initiatives and projects

Prior to this Mrs. Lobna was Head of Customer Experience at TATWEER a member of Dubai Holding, During her tenure, she successfully established the Client Relation Center in one of Tatweer entities and was responsible for the entire CRC strategy and all related activities and functions.

Lobna Salah began her career with Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) – the leading Pay TV in the MENA region - moving up to become the Regional Customer Retention Manager where she implemented solid procedures, secured collection and developed strategic customer retention processes. She has a proven track record in managing customer retention and streamlining processes to maximize profitability.

Lobna graduated from Ain Shams University in Egypt with a Degree in Law.

Helmut Scholze

Partner - A.T. Kearney Middle East Ltd.

Helmut Scholze is a Partner in the Middle East office of A.T. Kearney where he is responsible for the Transportation & Infrastructure Practice. He joined A.T. Kearney in 2018 after having worked for more than 17years as lawyer and management consultant in Europe and the Middle East.

His clients are among the most respected leaders in the transportation, mobility and logistics industries in the region. He advises them on all major topics and across geographies. In his recent work, Helmut has focused on developing winning growth strategies, defining long-term investment plans, establishing strategic alliances, and implementing technology platforms for mobility services.

Through his work Helmut has continuously helped to shape the transportation landscape of the Gulf region by working on a wide variety of public and private sector projects. In addition to his professional engagement he is an active member of the start-up community in Dubai through a series of investor positions and advisory mandates.

Helmut studied law at the universities of Munich, Paris II and UC Berkeley and holds a German Master of Laws, a Master of Laws in European and International Commercial Law as well as a French Bachelor of Laws. He is a qualified lawyer and admitted to practice law in Germany.

Phil Zamani

CEO - Blocko MENA

Phil Zamani has over 30 years, in strategic business and IT development promoting leading edge disruptive technologies. Most recently he was Senior Vice President of Cloud Innovation, reporting to the board of Deutsche Telekom (one of the world’s largest integrated telecommunications firms) where he built the groups open source based cloud platform and business model. He is in an expert in software development, cloud computing, security, IoT, big data and distributed ledger technologies (such as blockchain). During this time he has helped many Fortune1000 firms move away from proprietary IT systems by developing and adopting new open source solutions.

During the early 2000s Phil built up the European/global business development efforts - for what have now become the leading firms in open source platform development - such as Red Hat, Suse and Vmware. He then became an IT innovation intrapreneur - working for global banking and telecomm’s firms such as Santander and DT. His disruptive approach to embracing open source in business for cloud computing platform was show-cased at CeBIT2012.

Phil holds a diploma degree in electronic engineering and a MBA from Warwick Business School. During his spare time he helps start-up entrepreneurs and businesses in the areas of sales/business development and strategy/customer adoption. He is an avid student himself and tries to stay up-to-date with all forms of emerging digital technologies.
Phil is now the CEO of Blocko MENA, a Samsung-backed blockchain technology firm originally based out of Korea that recently partnered with The Private Office of Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum to deploy high-security and high-scale blockchain solutions in the MENA region.

He is often invited to industry panels to provide an alternative perspective of how governments and business can lead their industries, by embracing disruptive new open source technologies, and not having to completely rely on the traditional large IT vendors they have worked with in the past.

Benjamin Piper

Principal and Partner - Killa Design

Benjamin Piper is a Principal and Partner with Killa Design with 18 years of professional experience in architecture (11 years in UAE). He is an experienced leader with an excellent ability to lead multidisciplinary teams in the delivery of building projects. He has held senior roles in a variety of global practices including Gensler, Halcrow, Atkins, Perkins+Will and Killa Design in designing hotel, residential and mixed-use developments in the Middle East, India, China, US and the UK.

Projects completed or under construction include 56-story VIDA Marina Branded residences and Hotel for Emaar, Dubai; 45-story BLVD Heights Residential Tower for Emaar, Dubai; 52-story Creekside Residence for Emaar, Dubai; 35-story commercial office building for Barwa Bank, Qatar; 280 Key Diplomatic Quarter Hotel Serviced Residences for Marriot, Riyadh; 300 Key Acacia Residences for Emaar, Dubai; 62-story BLVD Address 5-star hotel and serviced apartment for Emaar, Dubai; 60-story Namaste hotel for Starwood, Mumbai; 10,000 seat occupancy IT Offices for ITC, Bangalore.

Benjamin holds several technology patents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology based on his research into the field of computational design tools. He has an expert understanding of REVIT and other software that support the efficient production of fully coordinated design packages.  As a LEED Accredited Professional Ben is deeply committed to sustainable design and has implemented numerous energy, water and waste saving principles into his LEED Platinum rated design work. He is regularly invited to speak about his design work at major conferences and universities around the world.

Inaana Abboud

Digital Business Architect - SAP

Inaana Abboud is a Digital Business Architect at SAP with a focus on the Public Sector.  As an Advocate of Intelligent Government, she has been working with various levels of government across the Middle East.  She innovatively guides them in their end-to-end Digital Transformation journey to help them achieve greater value internally and deliver better social value to their citizens and residents.  Inaana specializes in the areas of tax, public sector budgeting and finance and is now focusing on supporting Public Sector entities to embrace the new Experience Economy.

Before joining SAP, Inaana was working for the Government of Canada, for over 11 years, most recently with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat where she led several initiatives with government departments around Analytics and Financial Management Transformation.  She graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Commerce, specialization in Management Information Systems and then proceeded to complete an MBA from Queen’s University.

Marc Nolla


With over twenty years’ experience, supporting SAP customers across industries in the automation and improvement of their business processes.  Leads the SAP Digital Transformation Office in EMEA South, a team of innovators engaging with top executives across the region to help them understand how disruptive technologies are transforming their industry. From the internet of everything to machine learning, from distributed ledger technology to the platform economy, find the business and social benefits of new technologies to help organisations move from inspiration to execution.

Ettiene Van Der Watt

Director - Business Development - Axis Communications Middle East & Africa

Ettiene is the Regional Manager for Business Development at Axis communications in the Middle East & Africa region. He has been with Axis for 8 years and has been based in Dubai for over 4 years. 
In his current role he manages the BDM department which covers industry specialisation, architects & engineers, future development, strategic partnerships, consultants and relationship management. Prior to joining Axis, Ettiene held various senior management positions within the security and education industries. His key interests include IoT, Artificial Intelligence and technology trends.
Ettiene has traveled extensively across the Middle East & Africa and has a strong understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing this diverse and exciting region. 

Hesse Almansoori

Head of Inspection Systems Development Division - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

Hesse Almansoori is a Head of Inspection Systems Development Division in Abudhabi City Municipality and a project Manger where she oversees on implementing  of the new Inspection Smart System 2020 while emerging the Artificial Intelligence techniques and methodologies.
With 12 years’ experience, helping large organizations set up and successfully execute their digital transformation strategies, Hessa represents the new generation of Emirati leaders who are bringing global best practices and knowledge to a region where Artificial Intelligence reshaping not only organizations but also The Whole society.
Hessa holds her Bachelor degree in Applied Science in Information Management, also she is a constant contributor to the field of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.Since May 2019, Hessa has been a certified programmer, where she is a certified Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Practitioner graduated from South Taxes Universities and Kaizen Institute.

Adib Rajji

Enterprise & Public Sector Manager, Gulf Region - Intel Corporation

Adib started his career at Intel 16 years ago and has held a variety of roles in Sales and Marketing Group, covering channel partners, resellers, system integrators and distributors in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.
At present, Adib is the Enterprise and Public Sector Manager covering mainly key strategic accounts in Oil & Gas, Energy, Transportation, Smart Cities & Security in the Gulf Region.
During his career at Intel, Adib lived in Algiers, Beirut, Munich and lately in Dubai since 2011.

Toufic Saad

Regional Director GCC - Techwan

Ram Ramachandran

General Manager and Head of Enterprise Business, Middle East & Africa - Tech Mahindra

Ram has been recognized by Forbes as a Top 100 Global Leader in Middle East for 4 years in succession (2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) and Top 50 Indian Executives in the Arab World in 2018.
Under his leadership the region has shown exceptional growth and today Tech Mahindra ranks amongst the largest IT service providers in the region. He is also a member of Tech Mahindra’s Leadership Council. He has over 18 years of experience and led consulting and value driven sales in diverse regions spanning Middle East, APAC & US.
Prior to joining Tech Mahindra he was with HCL for around 10 years and has also worked at SPIC. Ram got his PGDM in Information Management from SPJMR, Mumbai and his Bachelors in Engineering from VIT (Vellore Institute of Technology).

Eng. Anwar Al-Shammari

Director of Design Department - Ministry of Infrastructure of Development

Khalid Saddique Akbar

Energy and Sustainability, Senior Specialist - Department of Energy

Carlos Gasco

Energy Policy Executive Director - Department of Energy

Carlos Amaya

- Department of Energy

Mohammed Al Hadrami

Water Senior Specialist - Department of Energy

2021 Sponsors & Partners

2019 Sponsors & Partners