PROGRAMME

MAIN STAGE
2020-11-24
09:00 - 09:10
Setting The Stage & Kicking off

Venue: Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai

Theme: Bird’s Eye View: 2020 And Beyond

Setting The Stage & Kicking off image
Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT
09:10 - 09:20
Bird’s Eye View: The Middle East Market In Perspective

We kick off with a helicopter view of the market and connect the dots between what is happening across the region. Fundamental to the change is the fluidity of customer behavior and our analyst will present highlights from the latest studies shedding light on the Middle East consumer and their changing behavior.

Bird’s Eye View: The Middle East Market In Perspective image
Mona Faraj
Founder & Managing Director
Insight | Out Consultancy
09:20 - 09:45
Founders’ Face-Off

One ventured into the Middle East from South-east Asia, another from India. With their different roots and approaches, both have made inroads into the region. We find out from two founders what lies ahead in their quest to grow their business in the Middle East, their vision for the future and the opportunities they see 2020 and beyond.

Founders’ Face-Off image
Ross Veitch
CEO & Co-founder
Wego
Founders’ Face-Off image
Stuart Crighton
Founder & CEO
Cleartrip
09:45 - 10:15
OTAs, Metas, Virtual Super Carrier – It’s All Up In The Air

Lines have blurred. Models are changing. No one is no longer just one thing anymore, as online intermediaries test new models and extend their products and services, and ancillary revenues. Are OTAs and Metas really partners or something else? How will the various online travel intermediaries evolve 2020 and beyond in a bid for differentiation and relevance, and who’s trying to tie it all together to offer the connected trip?

OTAs, Metas, Virtual Super Carrier – It’s All Up In The Air image
Lisa Katsouraki
Director, Strategic Planning and M&A
Etraveli Group
OTAs, Metas, Virtual Super Carrier – It’s All Up In The Air image
Oliver Dlouhy
Co-founder & CEO
Kiwi.com
OTAs, Metas, Virtual Super Carrier – It’s All Up In The Air image
Paulina Klotzbucher
Managing Director
Travelstart
OTAs, Metas, Virtual Super Carrier – It’s All Up In The Air image
Brett Dyason
Co-founder & CEO
Hepstar
10:15 - 10:45
Building for the Middle East customer

What are the differences in behaviours across markets? How do you build product and solutions in a fragmented, diverse market? What works? What does not? What mistakes have been made? What lessons have been learnt? We tap into the experiences of these local players.

Building for the Middle East customer image
Mamoun Hmedan
Managing Director, Middle East, North Africa (MENA) & India
Wego
Building for the Middle East customer image
Muzzammil Ahussain
Executive Vice President, Consumer Travel
Seera Group
Building for the Middle East customer image
Subramanya Sharma
Chief Strategy Officer
Cleartrip
Building for the Middle East customer image
Bader Al-Bader
Founder & CEO
Rehlat
10:45 - 10:55
Bird’s Eye View: The State Of Hospitality

To understand where the market is headed 2020 and beyond, one needs to get a big picture view of the landscape. Our analyst gives an overview of the hospitality market and shares the top trends driving change in this space.

Bird’s Eye View: The State Of Hospitality image
Philip Wooller
Area Director Middle East & Africa
STR
10:55 - 11:25
Coffee Break
11:25 - 11:40
Coffee Chat

In this session, we ask hard questions of a hospitality sales veteran who spent a large part of her career with Starwood, covering Asia Pacific, and is now leading the charge for Shangri-La Group in the region. We will examine sales and distribution in uncertain times, the changing role of sales in a digital world, her thoughts about sales, revenue management, and ecommerce, changes she’s seen in different markets and sectors, as well as recovery planning.

Coffee Chat image
Pippa Williamson
Senior Vice President, Sales MEIA & Source Market Strategy
Shangri-La Group
11:40 - 12:15
The Changing World of Hospitality

If anything, the new decade will bring even more confusion and complexity to hotel distribution, marketing and technology. Pricing remains a hot button topic – will it get better? The Marriott-Expedia agreement on wholesale rates – will that change everything or nothing? Direct bookings – will that always remain a pipe dream as OTAs increase their power? Loyalty – do consumers care? What will make them care more? We ask these questions and more in this panel of hoteliers.

12:15 - 12:25
Spotlight: WorldExpo Dubai 2020

It’s here. The big event. The game changer for Dubai. With the motto of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, Expo 2020 will run for 173 days and promises to offer visitors over 15 hours of daily entertainment, 190 country pavilions, more than 200 restaurants and 60 daily live shows. According to the organiser’s projections, Expo 2020 is expected to attract 25 million visits, with 70% of visitors coming from outside the UAE, “the largest proportion of international visitors in the 168-year history of World Expos”. How will it achieve this? What’s going on behind the scenes to deliver this mega event? We get an inside view.

Spotlight: WorldExpo Dubai 2020 image
Sumathi Ramanathan
Director, Destination Marketing
Expo 2020
12:25 - 12:35
Future Watch: Tech Trends and How They Will Impact Travel 2020 and Beyond

This technologist has been deeply involved in travel for the past decade and more. He led the digital transformation for Emirates Group, working on data and blockchain projects, as well as setting up the first travel incubator in the region at DTEC. Today, he’s head of IT for Jumeirah Group and professes a “passion for driving business transformation, change and outcomes with innovation and technology”. In this talk, he projects into the future of how current tech trends will shape travel to come 2020 and beyond.

Future Watch: Tech Trends and How They Will Impact Travel 2020 and Beyond image
Sanjay Sharma
Head of Information Technology
Jumeirah Group
12:35 - 13:05
Eye On The Sky: Airlines Shaking Up The Future

We assemble a panel of airline executives, each of whom are doing things differently, and we find out their plans for the future, as well as their outlook on how they see airline distribution evolving. This is also the year IATA has set a goal of having 20% of sales powered by NDC. Is this a reality? What’s the picture in the Middle East?

13:05 - 14:05
Lunch
14:05 - 15:05
Selling Dreams In A World of Social, Mobile and Influencers

It all starts with a dream – an aspiration to visit a place, a destination. How are destinations and brands in the Middle East creating inspiration in a world where even sunsets have become commodities on social media? How are brands building profile in a region with high mobile usage and strong influencers? We look destination marketing in the region and find out what players are doing to keep the dream alive, and ensuring the dream is delivered as well on the ground.

 

Moderator:

 

Craig Hewett
Co-founder
Wego

 

 

Panel:

Selling Dreams In A World of Social, Mobile and Influencers image
Saeed Al-Saeed
Director, Destination Marketing
Department of Culture & Tourism, Abu Dhabi
Selling Dreams In A World of Social, Mobile and Influencers image
Tricia Warwick MCIM
Director Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa
VisitBritain
15:05 - 15:25
The Last Mile: Delivering Experiences Online and Offline

Tours and activities have emerged as the hottest new space in travel. Valued at $183b, it is the third largest segment in travel, and it is going online as well-funded marketplaces aggregate and even create their own experiences in a bid to differentiate. We take a look at the last mile in travel and the players making a difference in this space in the Middle East.

The Last Mile: Delivering Experiences Online and Offline image
Julia Randow
Director Sales EMEA & APAC
GetYourGuide
15:25 - 15:50
The Consumerisation of Corporate Travel & How It Will Play Out

As we entered 2020, corporate travel was the segment to watch for online disruptors as the consumerization of this $300b market took hold. Travellers used to doing it themselves in leisure travel started demanding similar tools for their corporate trips and increasingly the lines between business and leisure are blurring. And let’s face it, this is a huge market – it is expected to reach $1,657b by 2023 (Allied Market Research), and the Global Business Travel Association predicts that global business travel spending will reach $1.7 trillion by 2022. Who are the players making moves in this space? We find out the trends at play in the Middle East and project into the future.

The Consumerisation of Corporate Travel & How It Will Play Out image
Balu Ramachandran
Senior Vice President
Cleartrip
The Consumerisation of Corporate Travel & How It Will Play Out image
Prashant Kirtane
CEO & Co-founder
Travelstop
The Consumerisation of Corporate Travel & How It Will Play Out image
Albert Dias
Co-founder & CPTO
Musafir.com
15:50 - 16:20
Coffee Break
16:20 - 16:50
Small Is Beautiful: Destination Singapore

It’s tiny compared to anywhere. It’s why it’s called The Little Red Dot. With a population of 5.6 million, this city state however has been able to punch way beyond its weight and has become a country that’s respected for its prosperity, stability and progress. Its water management policies are studied by world leaders, its social and economic model – how it went from fishing village to world city in less than 60 years – is talked about everywhere, its airport wins awards all over the world, and its tourism industry is lauded in how it has been developed, marketed and integrated into a place to work, live and play. In this panel, we put the spotlight on Singapore and key tourism players who will share what they are doing to further promote Singapore in the Middle East.

16:50 - 17:10
Spotlight: The Big & Burgeoning Business That is Hajj and Umrah

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has declared a target of 30 million pilgrims by 2030 in line with the Saudi 2030 Vision. Currently, KSA receives over 2 million pilgrims and issues 2.3m visas. How will it reach this goal and what’s being done to prepare for this special segment of travel? We speak to specialists to get their perspectives and insights.

17:10 - 17:25
Bird’s Eye View: The Payments Picture In the Middle East And How It Stacks Up Against The World

If there is one space that is being disrupted big-time, whether in South-east Asia or the Middle East, it is payments. Be it in the form of wallets or fintech companies tailoring their services to travel, it is the sector everyone wants to win in. After all, what could be closer to the customer’s heart than her wallet? Our speaker takes a global view on payments and compares it to what’s unfolding in the region, and makes a few predictions for 2020 and beyond.

Bird’s Eye View: The Payments Picture In the Middle East And How It Stacks Up Against The World image
Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo
Vice President, Business Development MENA
Checkout.com
17:25 - 17:45
Coffee Chat: Eye on Saudi Arabia

If there’s one thing that’s really shaking up the Middle East, it’s Saudi Arabia. We have a one-on-one interview with a leading figure in Saudi tourism to get the bird’s eye view on all the developments taking place in the kingdom as it opens its doors to tourism and we find what it is doing to prepare for a future that’s digital and sustainable.

Coffee Chat: Eye on Saudi Arabia image
Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Dawood
Board Member & Group CEO
Seera Group
17:45 - 18:15
Destination Spotlight: Saudi Arabia

We turn the lens on the different players in Saudi Arabia and find out what each of them are doing to transform their business for the future, as well as their plans to welcome more visitors to their destination.

Destination Spotlight: Saudi Arabia image
Haitham Mattar
Senior Advisor
Saudi Commission For Tourism
Destination Spotlight: Saudi Arabia image
Abdulrahman Mutrib
Executive Vice President & Group CTO
Seera Group
Destination Spotlight: Saudi Arabia image
Amit Taneja
Chief Commercial Officer
Cleartrip
Destination Spotlight: Saudi Arabia image
James Britchford
Vice President Commercial IMEA
InterContinental Hotel Groups
18:15
It’s A Wrap
18:30
Cocktails
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