Skift Take

The Skift Global Forum East 2023 in Dubai will be a who's who of decision-makers and thought leaders in the Middle East.

Series: Skift Global Forum East

Creating connections at the center of global travel. Join us in Dubai December 12-14, 2023.

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The most powerful decision-makers from across the region’s travel and tourism landscape will be attending the Skift Global Forum East over the course of three days. The event kicks off tonight (Tuesday, December 12), with an invite-only networking event at Atlantis The Royal’s panoramic Cloud 22 venue. On Wednesday and Thursday, the Diamond Ballroom of the Atlantis will set the stage for two days of thought-provoking panels and discussions with the greatest minds in the Middle East.

Whether you’re attending for one day or all three, here is a list of some of the speakers you should try and meet, or at least learn something from.

See all the speakers at Skift Global Forum East.

H.E. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Tourism

Issam Kazim is the CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), which was established in December 2013 as an affiliate of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). Having built and developed DCTCM’s team from the ground up, as well as its large network of international offices, Kazim leads all activities vis-à-vis the branding, promotion and marketing of the emirate of Dubai. He is instrumental in negotiating and facilitating global partnerships and plays an integral role in the development of relationships with industry stakeholders, partners and investors that contribute to the overall growth in visitation to the city. He also regularly acts as a key media spokesperson and the face of DET for events, presentations, interviews and visiting VIP delegations, influencers, public personalities and government bodies. Kazim is also a member of the Board of Dubai Media Council.

H.E. Raki Phillips, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

As CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), Raki Phillips is tasked with growing the destination’s tourism infrastructure and sustainability investments. With a vision to position the Emirate as the ‘Destination of the Future’, Phillips aims to elevate Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism contribution from 5% to one-third of its economy, and drive over 3 million visitors to the destination by 2030. Raki has led hotel and project developments across the Emirate, with the goal to drive industry performance and enhance the quality of life for all of Ras Al Khaimah’s residents. He namely secured the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ras Al Khaimah to date – the USD $3.9 billion deal with Wynn Resorts to develop a 1,500-plus-key integrated resort on Al Marjan Island.

Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline

Adnan Kazim leads Emirates’ Commercial Operations across the airline’s vast network of nearly 160 destinations in 86 countries including major departments in Dubai such as e-Commerce, Retail & Contact Centers, the Emirates Skywards loyalty program and Emirates SkyCargo. He also heads the airline’s Strategic Planning and Revenue Optimization teams, which are critical functions and his teams play an integral role that support the airline’s commercial success. Adnan joined Emirates in 1992. His career graph rose quickly, and he went on to successfully lead the airline’s commercial regions being appointed in senior management roles that included Senior Vice President Gulf, M.E. & Iran and Senior Vice President Africa.

Katerina Giannouka, CEO, Jumeirah Group

Katerina Giannouka is a recognized professional in the international hospitality industry, with over 20 years of experience in business leadership, operations, hotel development, asset management, and strategic advisory. Her passion and expertise lie in building and empowering resilient teams, fostering an inclusive culture, and driving organizational change to accelerate growth and deliver stakeholder value. She joined Jumeirah Group having spent a decade in Asia, working for ultra-luxury Rosewood Hotels & Resorts as well as Radisson Hotel Group, where, as President of the Asia-Pacific region, she led the execution of a comprehensive 5-year business transformation plan, delivering unprecedented growth for the company.

Philippe Zuber, CEO, Kerzner International

Philippe Zuber is Chief Executive Officer for Kerzner International, the owner of the iconic Atlantis Resort and Residences and ultra-luxury One&Only Resorts brands worldwide. Philippe spearheads the Company’s strategic expansion plans for the growth of the portfolio and drives the successful operation of the existing collection of award-winning, globally renowned resorts. uber leads the evolution of Kerzner, expanding the company beyond the much-loved Atlantis and One&Only brands. In 2021, Kerzner introduced SIRO, a new, immersive lifestyle resort experience conceived with fitness and wellbeing at the core. Blending the boundaries between hospitality, fitness, and wellness through a fresh perspective and energizing experiences, SIRO will create a collective global community of like-minded individuals who live a high-performance lifestyle passionate about driving achievement and living their fullest potential. Rare Finds was announced in 2022, a collection of hotels and resorts that brings the essence of the destination to the fore, celebrating soulful experiences and journeys of discovery.

Join Skift and the travel industry’s most effective leaders for the top creative business events in the global travel industry.

Learn more about future events and see our schedule at Skift Live.


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Photo credit: Atlantis The Royal, the venue for Skift Global Forum East.

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