PROGRAMME

November 25, 2020

*All times are shown in UAE Time (GMT+4)
Travel Zero.O: Reboot
14:00 - 14:05
Setting The Stage & Kicking off
Setting The Stage & Kicking off image
Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT
14:05 - 14:25
Reboot Aviation: Middle East’s Place In A Covid-Coloured World

No one has a better aerial view of aviation than Peter Harbison, chairman emeritus of CAPA. And at no other time is it more important for us in travel to have a truly global overview of aviation, and how the biggest crisis to hit aviation will impact global hubs like the Middle East. In a global world gone local, how do carriers in the Middle East make it out alive and what’s their role in a post-Covid landscape, when we get there? A one-on-one conversation that gets under the skin of the airline industry.

 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 

 

Reboot Aviation: Middle East’s Place In A Covid-Coloured World image
Peter Harbison
Chairman Emeritus
CAPA - Centre for Aviation
14:25 - 14:40
Reboot: What Travel Recovery Will Look Like In the Middle East?

Since joining the Middle East office 10 years ago, Margaux Constantin has kept a close eye on topics she says she is passionate about in the Middle East and beyond. In this session, she gives an overview of what travel recovery will look like for the region and how Covid will influence its future.

Reboot: What Travel Recovery Will Look Like In the Middle East? image
Margaux Constantin
Associate Partner, Dubai
McKinsey & Company
14:40 - 15:10
The Battle For Online Travel: Winner Takes All Or Room For Four Or More

A competitive market just got more competitive with the entry of India’s leading OTA, MakeMyTrip, into the region. What are the trends that have emerged during Covid and how are these major brands positioning themselves for recovery and to be in a stronger position to play the long game in a dynamic and changing region.

 

Moderator:

 

Stephan Ekbergh
CEO
Travelstart

 

 

Panel:
The Battle For Online Travel: Winner Takes All Or Room For Four Or More image
Rajesh Magow
Co-Founder & Group CEO
MakeMyTrip Limited
The Battle For Online Travel: Winner Takes All Or Room For Four Or More image
Subramanya Sharma
Chief Strategy Officer
Cleartrip
The Battle For Online Travel: Winner Takes All Or Room For Four Or More image
Ross Veitch
CEO & Co-founder
Wego
The Battle For Online Travel: Winner Takes All Or Room For Four Or More image
Muzzammil Ahussain
Executive Vice President, Consumer Travel
Seera Group
15:10 - 15:20
The Hospitality Weather Report: Still Stormy Or Pockets of Sunshine?

How are those lines behaving? Going down or inching up? Or bouncing around? We get a leading analyst to give us her weather outlook for hospitality in the region.

The Hospitality Weather Report: Still Stormy Or Pockets of Sunshine? image
Sarah Duignan
Director, Client Relationships
STR
15:20 - 15:50
Weathering The Storm: Hoteliers Managing In A Sea of Uncertainty

How are hoteliers on the ground managing in this stormy, slippery landscape? How do you forecast when historic data has been blown up? How do you build back up especially in key segments such as corporate travel and the MICE business?

 

Moderator:

 

Puneet Mahindroo
CEO & Founder
Rev-Mantra

 

 

Panel:
Weathering The Storm: Hoteliers Managing In A Sea of Uncertainty image
Michael Leong
Vice President Marketing
Dusit Hotels & Resorts
Weathering The Storm: Hoteliers Managing In A Sea of Uncertainty image
Pippa Williamson
Senior Vice President, Sales MEIA & Source Market Strategy
Shangri-La Group
Weathering The Storm: Hoteliers Managing In A Sea of Uncertainty image
Hozaimah Hosain
Area Director of Revenue
Yaz Plaza Hotels, Abu Dhabi
15:50 - 16:00
The Changing Consumer and How That’s Transforming Payments

One thing’s for sure, Covid has accelerated the digitization of payments with consumers becoming more comfortable with online payments. How will this period change the payments landscape and how will travel providers have to evolve? We get a big picture perspective from one of the region’s leading players in payments.

The Changing Consumer and How That’s Transforming Payments image
Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo
SVP, Business Development, MENA
Checkout.com
16:00 - 16:15
Break
16:15 - 16:35
Middle East & Africa Aviation Outlook

There is no doubt that aviation has been hard hit across the world, but how is the situation in the Middle East and Africa? We get an update on what’s happening in the air at a time when most airlines remain grounded.

Middle East & Africa Aviation Outlook image
Kashif Khalid
Regional Director, Africa & Middle East
International Air Transport Association (IATA)
16:35 - 17:00
Product Watch: Tech Trends And Impact on Product, Loyalty and Customer Experience

In Covid times, product has taken centerstage as the downtime gave travel companies a chance to dig deeper into product development and fix weaknesses exposed by Covid. At the same time, investments are being made to prepare for the future as technology opens new opportunities to rethink user experience, loyalty, engagement and monetization.

 

Moderator:

 

Paulina Klotzbücher
Group Chief Commercial Officer
Travelstart

 

 

Panel:
Product Watch: Tech Trends And Impact on Product, Loyalty and Customer Experience image
Sanjay Sharma
Head of Information Technology
Jumeirah Group
Product Watch: Tech Trends And Impact on Product, Loyalty and Customer Experience image
Mamoun Hmedan
Managing Director, Middle East, North Africa (MENA), and India
Wego
Product Watch: Tech Trends And Impact on Product, Loyalty and Customer Experience image
Ronnie Varghese
Senior Director, Digital
Almosafer, part of Seera Group
17:00 - 17:15
Destination Spotlight: Saudi Arabia

2020 became year of domestic tourism in a kingdom that had been preparing to welcome inbound visitors and set ambitious targets to grow its tourism industry. How has this pivot worked and how will it hold the kingdom in good stead to achieve its dreams, long after Covid has become a bad dream? How has it been using the time to prepare itself for the longhaul?

 

Interviewer:

 

Arnie Weissmann
Editor in Chief
Travel Weekly

 

 

Destination Spotlight: Saudi Arabia image
Haitham Mattar
Senior Advisor
Saudi Ministry Of Tourism
17:15 - 17:45
Preparing For Expo 2020 & Marketing Dreams In A Covid World

In this session, we get into the re-strategising for Expo 2020 in Dubai – what does it take to plan for a mega event in which 190 countries are participating, when the world has changed dramatically? We discuss the thinking and technology being explored, and the acceleration into a hybrid world. Plus, we look at how destinations are adapting their selling and marketing in a different world?

 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 

 

 

Conversation with:

 

Sumathi Ramanathan
Director, Market Strategy & Sales
Expo 2020

 

 

Followed by:
Preparing For Expo 2020 & Marketing Dreams In A Covid World image
Tricia Warwick MCIM
Director Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa
VisitBritain
17:45 - 18:05
Through The Covid-Coloured Lens Of An Investor

How has Covid changed the perspectives of investors in the Middle East? Is travel a no-go zone for the immediate future? What’s keeping them excited at this moment in time when so much has been accelerated and so much thrown into turmoil?

 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 

 

Through The Covid-Coloured Lens Of An Investor image
Amin Ismail
Managing Director
Certares, Dubai
18:05 - 18:25
Coffee Chat: Transformation Of A Travel Group

Founded in 1979, it is the region’s oldest and largest consumer travel group. In 2019, it rebranded from Al Tayyar Travel Group to Seera, in anticipation of the change to come when Saudi Arabia would open its doors to inbound visitors. All that was disrupted by Covid (of course) but the group has taken the opportunity to strengthen itself with investments in tech and talent. We find out the inside story behind the transformation of Seera.

 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 

 

Coffee Chat: Transformation Of A Travel Group image
Abdullah Al Dawood
CEO
Seera Group
18:25 - 18:45
Coffee Chat: Con Korfiartis, CEO, flyadeal

A catch-up with an aviation veteran who launched the SAUDIA Group’s low cost airline in 2017. Celebrating its third anniversary in September this year, the airline operates 62 daily flights linking 11 destinations across the kingdom. Reflecting on the milestone, Korfiatis said, “Despite the difficulties we face today, they will eventually pass. The Kingdom is committed to the growth of tourism and travel in the run up to 2030 and we will do our part to realise that potential. In our fourth year of operation, we plan to commence international services and add several aircraft to our fleet so that we can provide our customers with even more opportunities to fly for less. There are better and brighter days ahead for our customers and our industry.” Let’s find out what those plans are and how the airline has managed and adapted during the biggest storm to hit aviation.

Coffee Chat: Con Korfiartis, CEO, flyadeal image
Con Korfiartis
CEO
flyadeal
18:45
It’s A Wrap
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