7 - 8 May 2018
Meydan Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Conference Day One: Monday, 7 May 2018

8:00 am - 8:50 am Registration and coffee

8:50 am - 9:00 am Welcome by IQPC

9:00 am - 9:10 am Chairman’s opening remarks

Michael Patrick Carroll, VP, Guest Experiences,North 25, Dubai, UAE

Michael Patrick Carroll

VP, Guest Experiences
North 25, Dubai, UAE

Strategic outlook on investment opportunities in the leisure and entertainment industry

  • Examining how the Middle East will achieve its ambition to become a global leisure and entertainment destination
  • Analysing the ROI on the development of stand-alone entertainment cities
  • Developing diverse offerings in existing entertainment locations to increase revenue – festivals, live shows
  • Maintaining culture in entertainment offerings in the region


H.E Rashad M. Bukhash

Company Architectural Heritage Society, UAE


H.E Ghanim Mubarak Al Hajeri

Director General
Zoo & Aquarium Public Institution, Al Ain, UAE


Ramzi Solh

Chief Executive Officer, Leisure & Hospitality Development
King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia


Ali AlSuwaidi

Chief Operating Officer
Global Village


John Lickrish

Flash Entertainment

9:50 am - 10:10 am Keynote Presentation: Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 prioritises the entertainment sector as an $8 billion opportunity

Eng. Loai Bafaqeeh, CEO,Saudi Arabia's Quality of Life Program
  • Generating hundreds of billions of riyals through comprehensive strategy execution
  • Investment opportunities for local and global investors in entertainment and ancillary services

Eng. Loai Bafaqeeh

Saudi Arabia's Quality of Life Program

Diversifying entertainment hubs to create a competitive edge and increase revenues

10:10 am - 10:30 am How Al Ain Zoo is creating an all-inclusive entertainment destination

H.E Ghanim Mubarak Al Hajeri, Director General,Zoo & Aquarium Public Institution, Al Ain, UAE
  • Creating unique experiences to attract visitors
  • Expanding beyond animals and tailoring experiences
  • Exclusive insights into the planned safari resort and Al Ain Boulevard

H.E Ghanim Mubarak Al Hajeri

Director General
Zoo & Aquarium Public Institution, Al Ain, UAE

10:30 am - 10:50 am Case Study: Jeddah Economic City development: Promoting Happiness through Master Planning

Fawaz Alharbi, Head of Master Planing/Project Development,Jeddah Economic Company
                    Outlining the contribution of Jeddah Economic City’s master plan to Vision 2030,
                    Positioning the development as an international and local hub of entertainment and tourism, through a unique urban offering,
                    How innovative design contributes to the developments beauty, attraction and quality of life of residence and visitors

Fawaz Alharbi

Head of Master Planing/Project Development
Jeddah Economic Company

Discover how cinemas can contribute to economic growth and job creation
Learn about creating unforgettable guest experiences through premium sight & sound, expanded food & beverage and guest engagement

Jason Cole

Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions and International Development
AMC Theaters, USA


Julian Stanford

Senior Director Business Development
Dolby Cinema


Syed Salim

Founder and CEO
OSR Group

11:10 am - 11:25 am Live Q&A

Using #themeparksme all delegates can post their questions at anytime and the chairman will read out the questions during this session

11:25 am - 11:45 am Speed Networking

This speed networking session will be a unique way to exchange business cards with colleagues at the event

11:45 am - 12:05 pm Networking break and morning refreshments

Leisure and entertainment as the catalyst for economic growth

How will cinemas convert these consumers into cinema attendees?

What is the social challenge, if any with lifting a 30 yr old ban? 
What is the long term economic impact on opening cinemas in KSA?

Sponsored by: Cinépolis


Ashish Shukla

Cinépolis GCC


Fawaz Alharbi

Head of Master Planing/Project Development
Jeddah Economic Company


Ayub Ansari

Senior Analyst


Debbie Kristiansen

Chief Executive Officer
Novo Cinemas

12:35 pm - 12:55 pm Cinemas, Beyond the Movies

Hamid Hashemi, Chief Executive Officer,iPic Entertainment, USA
Learn how design, food and beverage, and other amenities can change the theaters to an 18 hour a day destination. 
  • Discover how a theater can be a social destination of choice for the millennials and promote art and culture

Hamid Hashemi

Chief Executive Officer
iPic Entertainment, USA

12:55 pm - 1:15 pm The Transformation of Movie Experience

Serge Plasch, Chief Commercial Officer,Cinionic
How flagship laser projection boosts your movie experience? 
Join this session to find out!

Sponsored by: Cinionic


Serge Plasch

Chief Commercial Officer

1:15 pm - 1:20 pm Live Q&A

Using #themeparksme all delegates can post their questions at anytime and the chairman will read out the questions during this session

1:20 pm - 2:20 pm Lunch and networking break

2:20 pm - 2:35 pm Active Entertainment – It’s time to think bigger

Zlatimira Bancheva, Head of Sales,Walltopia Active Entertainment
Why Active Entertainment is a key trend?
Massive active entertainment stations provide unique experience to visitors in a completely new and engaging way by combining diverse top-selling products

Sponsored by: Walltopia


Zlatimira Bancheva

Head of Sales
Walltopia Active Entertainment

2:35 pm - 2:55 pm Yas Island 2022: A vision for tomorrow’s destination

Nazeel Juvale, Strategy Senior Manager, Strategy and Innovation Department,Miral, UAE

·         Defining the strategic vision for a leisure and entertainment destination in Abu Dhabi
·        Discover how Miral developed a plan to attract 48 million visits to Yas Island by 2022
·      Insights on rallying multiple public and private sector stakeholders around a shared vision

Nazeel Juvale

Strategy Senior Manager, Strategy and Innovation Department
Miral, UAE

Effectively developing strategic partnerships to boost expansion in entertainment destinations

2:55 pm - 3:15 pm Dolby Cinema: The Premium Cinema Concept

Julian Stanford, Senior Director Business Development,Dolby Cinema

Sponsored by: Dolby


Julian Stanford

Senior Director Business Development
Dolby Cinema

3:15 pm - 3:35 pm MGM Resorts International creating strategic partnerships through joint ventures

Rishi Kapoor, Senior Vice President International Development,MGM Hospitality, UAE
  • Establishing luxury offerings through management contracts
  • Developing integrated real estate to promote the companies’ initiatives

Rishi Kapoor

Senior Vice President International Development
MGM Hospitality, UAE

3:35 pm - 3:55 pm All about the experiences when developing an unforgettable family destination

Ismail Al Kamal, Director,AlKamal International
Having memories that last a lifetime is the goal of any destination developer. We'll talk about how to build an unforgettable destination by catering to personal experiences as well as family connections

Sponsored by: AlKamal International


Ismail Al Kamal

AlKamal International

3:55 pm - 4:55 pm Chairman’s closing remarks and Networking reception

The programme is correct at time of publishing. However, given the seniority of our speakers and the nature of their roles, speakers may subsequently substitute or remove themselves from the programme. This  always regrettable, and we will always try to replace speaker with a speaker with equivalent insight.