Conference Day One: Monday, 7 May 2018

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM Registration and coffee

9:15 AM - 9:30 AM Chairman’s opening remarks

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, Tourism & Hospitality Development
King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia

Bader Anwahi

Chief Executive Officer
Global Village

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Keynote Presentation: Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 prioritises the entertainment sector as an $8 billion opportunity

Dr. Hatem Samman, Advisor to CEO, General Entertainment Authority, Saudi Arabia
  • General Entertainment Authority (GEA) mission to develop and regulate the entertainment sector
  • Generating hundreds of billions of riyals through comprehensive strategy execution
  • Investment opportunities for local and global investors in entertainment and ancillary services


Dr. Hatem Samman

Advisor to CEO
General Entertainment Authority, Saudi Arabia

Diversifying entertainment hubs to create a competitive edge and increase revenues

10:30 AM - 11:00 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

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM Leisure and entertainment as the main driver of an urban development project

Mounib Hammoud, Chief Executive Officer, Jeddah Economic Company, Saudi Arabia
  • How Jeddah Economic City is poised to transform Saudi Arabia
  • How a strategic location near the Red Sea is a magnet to attract leisure and entertainment offerings
  • Increasing tourism by opening the world’s tallest observatory deck at Jeddah Tower


Mounib Hammoud

Chief Executive Officer
Jeddah Economic Company, Saudi Arabia

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Networking break and morning refreshments

Leisure and entertainment as the catalyst for economic growth

  • Learn how VOX, among the first to open a cinema in Saudi, is tapping into the $24 billion market
  • Gain insight into VOX’s successful expansion to over 350 cinemas in the region
  • Discover how cinemas are creating job opportunities for locals and contributing to economic growth


Cameron Mitchell

Chief Executive Officer
Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas and Majid Al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment, UAE

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM Case Study: Continuous growth – Constantly evolving entertainment and hospitality offerings

Mishal Al Hokair, Deputy CEO & GM of Entertainment, Al Hokair Group, Saudi Arabia
  • With two decades of operating a myriad of hospitality brands, discover how Al Hokair Group has remained a leader in hospitality and operating world-class brands
  • Outlining future plans for expansion and development of resorts across Saudi Arabia


Mishal Al Hokair

Deputy CEO & GM of Entertainment
Al Hokair Group, Saudi Arabia

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM The role of malls in creating a dynamic environment for cinemas

Mohammed R. Abaalkheil, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, Arabian Centres, Saudi Arabia
  • With more than 2000 screens expected to open in Saudi by 2030, malls remain a strategic location for cinemas
  • Discover how Arabian Centres are equipping malls and building new facilities for cinemas
  • Creating strategies to attract the young population and leverage on spending power


Mohammed R. Abaalkheil

Chief Digital and Marketing Officer
Arabian Centres, Saudi Arabia

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM Yas Island 2022: Vision and development plans

Nazeel Juvale, Strategy Senior Manager, Strategy and Innovation Department, Miral, UAE
  • Defining the strategic vision for a leisure and entertainment destination in Abu Dhabi
  • Attracting 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

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Lunch and networking break

3:00 PM - 3:30 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


Zlatimira Bancheva

Head of Sales
Walltopia Active Entertainment

Sponsored by: Walltopia

Effectively developing strategic partnerships to boost expansion in entertainment destinations

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM Creating a sustainable growth strategy for the leisure and entertainment sector in the Middle East

  • How can investors and companies successfully tap into the $3 billion hospitality, leisure and entertainment sector?
  • Identifying loopholes in feasibility studies and analysing opportunities for sustained ROI
  • How should existing entertainment facilities successfully diversify into more lucrative offerings?

4:00 PM - 4:30 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

4:30 PM - 4:30 PM Chairman’s closing remarks and close of day one

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.