Eddie Taylor

ITIC Speaker
Eddie Taylor
Editorial Director
Arabian Business

Eddie Taylor is Editorial Director of Arabian Business and is a journalist and editor with more than 25 years’ experience.

He has deployed his skills in a number of tourism-related fields, from editing the inflight magazine for Royal Jordanian Airlines for almost a decade to, helping to articulate a new strategy for the Jordan Tourism Board and overseeing a major content project for Emirates.

Doris Greif

ITIC Speaker
Doris Greif
Managing Director & RVP Operations
Europe & Middle East Langham Hospitality Group

Education, Qualifications, Memberships:

  • Graduate (1981)
    Wirtschaftsaufbau Schule Friedrich List Munich – A – Level

  • Graduate (1982)
    Hotel School Kermess in Munich

  • Apprenticeship at Munich Hilton with graduation at Chamber of Commerce and Industry Munich (1982 – 1985)
    Hotel Administration and Management
    German Hotelkauffrau

  • Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
    Various leadership and technical trainings during 1992 – 1995 With Hilton International

  • CDI – Hilton Career Development Institute (1996)

  • Asset Management and High Perfomance Financial Course(2006) Cornell University

  • Owners Relationship and Asset Management Programme January 2017 – Presented & Conducted by Cornell University

  • The Enabling Leader Program by Myles Downey, Executive Coach – July 2017

work experience

  • August 2020 – Present   THE LANGHAM, LONDON
    Managing Director & Regional Vice President – Operations Europe and Middle East

  • April 2018 – August 2020   Sheikh Suroor bin Mohammed Al Nahyan Private Office
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Hotel Asset Manager for 7 Hotels in his portfolio 5 Rotana properties in UAE, Jordan and 2 Hotels Managed by Jumeirah Group UAE.

    Responsible for 1.4 Billion AED annual Revenue And various refurbishment Projects in a value of 120 Million AED

  • Since February 2018   Dussmann Co&KGaA
    Member of the Board of Trustees

  • September 2016 – February 2018   JUMEIRAH GROUP
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Senior Vice President Operations – MEASA

  • October 2014 – September 2016  JUMEIRAH GROUP
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Regional Vice President – Europe
    General Manager, Jumeirah Frankfurt

  • February 2010 – September 2014  JUMEIRAH GROUP
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    General Manager
    Jumeirah at Etihad Towers – Abu Dhabi

  • August 2008 – January 2010   DIFC Investments LLC
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Chief Operating Officer – City Operations

  • September 2007 – April 2008  JUMEIRAH GROUP
    Shanghai, PRC
    General Manager
    Jumeirah HanTang Xintiandi

  • April 2004 – August 2007   JUMEIRAH GROUP
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    General Manager
    Jumeirah Emirates Towers

  • August 2003 – March 2004   JUMEIRAH GROUP
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    General Manager Operations

  • August 2000 – August 2003   JUMEIRAH GROUP
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    General Manager
    Jumeirah Beach Club Resort and Spa

  • January 1999 – August 2000   JUMEIRAH GROUP
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Executive Assistant Manager in charge of Rooms
    Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

  • 1996 – 1999   HILTON INTERNATIONAL
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Area Director, Front Office
    Operations Middle East & Africa
    Dubai, UAE

  • 1990 – 1996   HILTON INTERNATIONAL
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Director of Front Office & Sales Operations
    Dubai Hilton and Hilton Beach Club

  • 1982 – 1989   HILTON INTERNATIONAL
    Munich, Germany
    Various Front Office roles

Benjamin Clifford

ITIC Speaker
Benjamin Clifford
Founder & CTO of

A digital leader with 20+ year experience in designing technology systems for hospitality at scale. Founder, and currently Chief Technology Officer at Nevaya—leading the architecture of the company’s hospitality cloud platform; and defining its technology and innovation strategy. Nevaya is the hospitality SaaS platform for Casting, TV, WiFi & Mobile; and Cloud based technology for hotels & hospitality.

Built and created the case for cloud technology in hospitality, and continues to build solutions that require minimal capital expenditure. Pioneered, designed, developed and launched the first cloud native IPTV system for hospitality in 2009.

Responsible for a number of white label hospitality projects for large industry household names in America, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Australia — from International & Regional luxury Hotels and Hotel Chains to exclusive Boutique.

A few highlights include the first ever (and currently only) cloud native Google Chromecast platform for hospitality, an entirely cloud based IPTV system for hospitality, hospitality gateways to enable previously silent systems to communicate, an HSIA product for Amazon’s kindle.

Previously, responsible for Nevaya’s own custom Linux distribution for hospitality. Enjoy solving complex problems and am happy to engage at board level all the way through to bits and bytes.

About the Summit



After the resounding success of our first face-to-face Tourism Investment Summit last Wednesday 19 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, we are now organising our virtual summit in partnership with ATM on Thursday 27 May, targeting a global audience and for those who could not attend the in-person summit due to travel restrictions. The focus will once again be on ‘Invest-Rebuild-Restart the tourism industry in the Middle East to drive this week’s Virtual Summit.

Tourism decision-makers, professionals and investors will discuss the challenges, issues and opportunities, and above all, the way forward as the tourism landscape of the Middle East is being reshaped positively in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This summit will explore in depth how to rebuild the industry and focuses on the following critical issues:

  • 1. Economic Outlook: An overview of the Middle East changing economic landscape
  • 2. One-to-one Interview with Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Tourism
  • 3. What hotels of the future will look like?
  • 4. Presentation of a successful sustainable tourism development by the RED SEA DEVELOPMENT
  • 5. Promoting gender equality in the Middle East tourism industry
  • 6. Public-Private Investment initiatives in Sustainable Tourism Projects in the Middle East
  • 7. China-Middle East cooperation in the Travel and Tourism
  • 8. Analysing the impact and challenges of digital transformation in the Travel and Tourism industry
  • Putting sustainability at the heart of the future development of the tourism industry of the Middle East will be crucial to respond to the growing expectations of both local and international travellers.

    The Opportunity
    It provides an excellent opportunity to increase the visibility of your brand and to connect with investors and heads of multinationals in the Travel and Tourism and Financial Services industries, procurement teams and industry specialists from across the globe. The Summit is the vital meeting place for the Travel & Tourism industry and investors to expand their professional network and develop new concepts, partnerships and ideas that will transform the growth and commercial development of their business.

    Who will attend?
    With over 3000+ (100++ for the In-person Summit with social distancing measures) international decision-makers, tourism leaders and investors in attendance, the Summit will propel your brand into top of the mind for those who count especially when procuring the services and products which you offer. Our audience represents billions of USDs in investment and expenditures, making this event a great opportunity to establish and nurture relationships and business opportunities that you can only achieve by being an active partner of this exclusive and unique ITIC event in partnership with WTM. ITIC will give visibility to leading industry entities and emerging destinations in their policy orientation by pairing specific tourism strategies with investment solutions, thus acting as a catalyst and an engine for inclusive growth and sustainable economic development.

    View our Past Conferences
    Our Virtual Events 2020

H.E. Dr. Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim

ITIC Speaker
H.E. Dr. Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim
Former President

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has been the Managing Director of the Centre International de Développement Pharmaceutique (CIDP) Research and Innovation as well as Professor of Organic Chemistry with an endowed chair at the University of Mauritius. Since 2001, she has served successively as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Pro Vice Chancellor (2004- 2010). She has also worked at the Mauritius Research Council as Manager for Research (1995-1997).

Ms Gurib-Fakim earned a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Surrey (1983) and a PhD from the University of Exeter, UK (1987). During her academic journey, she has participated in several consultation meetings on environmental issues organized by international organizations. Between 2011-2013, she was elected and served as Chairperson of the International Council for Scientific Union – Regional Office for Africa, and served as an Independent Director on the Board of Barclays Bank of Mauritius Ltd between (2012-2015).

As a Founding Member of the Pan African Association of African Medicinal Plants, she co-authored the first ever African Herbal Pharmacopoeia. She has authored and co-edited 30 books, several book chapters and scientific articles in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. She has lectured extensively across the world; is a Member of the Editorial Boards of major journals, has served on Technical and national committees in various capacities. Elevated to the Order of the Commander of the Star and Key by the Government of Mauritius in 2008, she has been admitted to the Order of the Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Palmes Academiques by the Government of France in 2010 and is the recipient of 5 DSc (s).

Elected Fellow of several academies and societies, Ms Gurib-Fakim received several international prizes including the 2007 l’Oreal-UNESCO Prize for Women in Science, the African Union Commission Award for Women in Science, 2009.

On 05 June 2015, she was sworn in as the 6th President and the First Female President of the Republic of Mauritius and served in that capacity until March 2018.

She was elevated to the Order of GCSK by the Government of Mauritius, and received the Legion d’Honneur from the Government of France in 2016. In 2017,

she received both the lifelong achievement award of the United States Pharmacopoeia-CePat Award and the American Botanical Council Norman Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award. In 2018, she received the Order of St George at the Semperopernball, Dresden, Germany. In 2019, she received the ‘Trailblazing award for political leadership’ by the World Women Leaders Council in Iceland. In 2020, she was elected Honorary President of the International and Engineering Institute and received their 2020 5th IETI Annual Scientific Award. She also received the IAS-COMSTECH Ibrahim Memorial Award from the WIAS in Jordan. In 2021, she received the Benazir Bhutto Lifetime Achievement Award and appointed Distinguished Professor at the John Wesley School of Leadership at Carolina University, USA.

In June 2016, she was in the Forbes List for the 100 ‘Most Powerful women in the world’ and 1st among the Top 100 Women in Africa Forbes List 2017, 2019. She is honoured as one of Foreign Policy’s 2015 Global Thinkers.

Sumaira Isaacs

ITIC Speaker
Sumaira Isaacs
World Tourism Forum Institute

As a destination expert and influencer, with over 25 years’ experience, I bring immense international knowledge and ‘art of international insights and best practices’ on how to establish and grow a destination, within the tourism industry. I have been fortunate to have worked along with several Tourist Boards, Associations and Local Governments in Africa, Middle East, India and north America.

My expertise and body of work over the years, comprises of tourism and destination strategy development and action planning – supporting some of the most prolific “winning tourism destinations” such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, Canada, USA and most recently South Africa and Pakistan, to name just a few.

Currently, I serve as CEO of World Tourism Forum Institute is the international institute, based in London, UK. As a tourism Think Tank, our focus is on ‘Reshaping Economies Through Tourism’.

Our activities support and contribute to developing countries’ three high priority objectives; to invite tourism related investment projects, to create jobs, and drive diversity and sustainability – all eventually helping to increase foreign direct investment into a country. We support governments, where tourism is the overarching cornerstone of their economic development agenda.

Maribel Rodriguez

ITIC Speaker
Maribel Rodriguez
World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

Maribel Rodriguez joined WTTC in 2014. She has built an extensive network within the Travel and Tourism industry public and private sector, accumulating over 20 years of sales, marketing, communication and commercial experience in Europe and Latin America in airline and hospitality industry.

She was an Executive Commercial Director and Board Member for Travelodge Hotels Spain from 2008 to 2014. Prior she spent 11 years in the aviation industry, gaining extensive experience in all aspects of commercial aviation managing among others the introduction of low cost airline operations into the Southern European market for: Virgin Express, Go-Fly, EasyJet and Ryanair.

She also worked for British Airways for Spain, Portugal and France. Maribel has an Executive MBA at ICADE Business School, Degree in Industrial Psychology from University of Salamanca and holds a Senior Executive Program for Travel & Tourism at IESE & JSF. She speaks fluent English, Portuguese and good level of French and Dutch.

Dr. Sanjay Nadkarni

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Dr. Sanjay Nadkarni
Director of Research & Innovation
The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management

Dr. Sanjay Nadkarni’s domain interests are in the convergence space of Analytics, Digital & Sustainability in the services sector.

His portfolio comprises of applied research, advisory and consultancy assignments for corporate, government and multilateral agencies, in addition to his pedagogic practice which includes visiting professorships at premier academic institutions in Asia and Europe.

He is also a verified Dubai Futures Research Contributor. Dr. Nadkarni’s focus is on developing and co-creating applied research and capacity building practices that have tangible impact on industry and society- an antithesis to the conventional academic ivory tower legacy.

He is passionate about leveraging Industry 4.0 and democratizing data science to benefit small and micro-businesses and enjoys mentoring in social entrepreneurship.

Darren Dunn

ITIC Speaker
Darren Dunn
President & Co-Founder
Zartico Inc.

Darren has a passion for bringing technology and tourism together creating a better destination experience for residents and visitors alike. New tools like Artificial intelligence and machine learning will create the final mile for true destination stewardship.

Prior to Zartico, he served as SVP of Destination Strategy at ADARA for 7 years, most notably conceiving and launching Impact, their highly successful destination analytics platform. Darren brings over 20 years of industry leadership experience working for FarePortal, Orbitz, and Expedia/Trip Advisor as part of Interactive Corp (IAC). The diversity of travel companies allowed him to gain valuable experience in destination, air, and hotel businesses across the globe.

Zartico is two years old and is the 3rd company Darren has co-founded.