The 20-member council met at Jumeirah Group’s headquarters in preparation for HITEC Dubai, the region’s largest hospitality technology showcase
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®), the world’s largest hospitality technology conference brand, will be coming to Dubai, UAE on November 14-15, 2017 at the Conrad Dubai. Produced in partnership by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), the only organization producing nonprofit hospitality events at an international level, and Naseba, HITEC Dubai is set to be the region’s largest hospitality technology showcase hosting over 500 leading hospitality decision makers and technology vendors. HITEC Dubai is an extension of HFTP’s tremendously successful HITEC, which just completed its 45th year.
To plan the event’s educational program, an advisory council of experts with over 200 years of combined industry experience has been formed. The council met on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at the Jumeirah offices in the Dubai Design District to discuss and design an agenda that is most relevant to the Middle East’s challenges, needs and upcoming hospitality technology trends.
Nancy Wolff, senior vice president of technology at Jumeirah Group is the chairwoman of the HITEC Dubai advisory council, and spearheaded the kick-off meeting. The other members of the council are senior executives from leading local and global chains, and the solution providers segment:
- Nigel Hattersley, senior director of IT MEA, Marriot International
- Radi Karnib, senior director of IT MEA and Turkey, Hilton Worldwide
- Iftikhar Hamdani, cluster general manager, Ramada Hotel & Suites
- Laurent Voivenel, senior vice president of operations and development for MEA & India, Swiss-Belhotel
- Mahmoud Kamal, CIO, Al Habtoor Group
- Md Amirul Islam, HFTP Dubai Chapter president, Dubai Parks and Resorts
- Mohamed Rizwan, IT director, JW Marriott
- Yazan Sabelaish, director of IT, Four Seasons Hotels Dubai
- Emilio Dragas, CEO, m3connect
- Naveen Bharadwaj, production director, Naseba
- Angela Dowell, meetings and events manager, HFTP
- Nicholas Watson, managing director, Naseba
- Frank Wolfe, CEO, HFTP
- Khushru Siganporia, director IT, Taj Hotels
- Fraidy Pinto, area IT director of Middle East & Sub Saharan Africa, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
- Jai Govindani, CTO, Red Planet Hotels
- Lijo Mathew Kankapadan, corporate director, Emaar
- Linda Griffin, group GM, Jumeirah Group
- Samir Abi Frem, corporate vice president, Rotana Group
- Sanjay Nadkarni, director of research and innovation, Emirates Academy of HospitalityManagement
“The Middle East hospitality industry is one of the fastest growing in the world,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. “Combining HFTP’s 65 years of hospitality finance and technology education, regional expertise from an industry advisory council and Naseba deal facilitation will create the ultimate hospitality information exchange that the region has experienced thus far.”
Some of the most important topics identified include: bandwidth and HSI, power of data analytics and intelligence, intuitive technologies, sustainable technologies and the future of management systems. There were also deliberations on the use of robotics, ethical implications of AI, blockchain and the rising risk of cyber-attacks.
Production Director of Naseba and HITEC Dubai, Naveen Bharadwaj noted: “Dubai is the regional leader of hospitality and an epitome of innovation. By bringing HITEC to Dubai and working with the expert advisory council, HFTP and Naseba aim to facilitate knowledge sharing, networking and deal flow amongst hoteliers and hospitality technology providers.”
HITEC Dubai will feature an expo floor for exhibitors to showcase their latest solutions; and a summit floor for panel discussions, tech talks and pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings between pre-qualified hoteliers and cutting technology providers.
So far, over 40 sponsors and exhibitors have confirmed their attendance at the event. With more than 500 hospitality stakeholders in attendance, the event is set to be the Middle East’s largest hospitality technology showcase and deal flow platform.