The 12th Human Capital Forum MENA is the region’s leading HR platform dedicated to bringing together talent managers, business and thought leaders.

In the wake of the oil crash, organisations in the MENA region are faced with mounting pressure to decrease operational costs, increase productivity and better leverage their talent pool. According to recent research, 87% of HR professionals cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges, while 68% report they are now focusing on HR optimisation.

These recent market developments have shaped the agenda of the Human Capital Forum MENA, which will be held under the theme of “leading in the new world of work”.

Key topics that will be discussed include:

  • The white elephant in the room: Culture and engagement
  • HR transformation: A business perspective
  • The C-talk: Where is HR headed to?
  • Lean organisation: Getting rid of the fat

It’s been amazing. Just the diversity of people here, from different backgrounds, different companies – some very interesting questions were asked from the panel I was a part of. It’s been wonderful.

Yvonne Agyei, VP, People Operations, Google (UK)

A format designed to engage

Listen to some of the region’s most successful and renowned business leaders revealing critical strategies and drivers for growth in the HR function.

Get your questions answered by expert panelists as they share their viewpoints on some of the most pressing issues facing HR professionals in the region.

Choose from a variety of specialised workshops, each delivering practical knowledge through simulations, group exercises and case studies.

Gain insight into some of the region’s best practices through real-life examples.

A highlight of the forum, the awards acknowledge prominent individuals for a variety of skills and acumen. The highest quality entrants ensure strong competition.

Get to meet prominent, like-minded delegates in a focused, five-star environment. You can conduct meetings, share strategies and ideas, explore business opportunities and build profitable professional relationships.

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Listen to expert speakers from across Middle East and North Africa
tackling some of the most pressing issues facing HR professionals in the region.



Chief Human Capital Officer TECOM Group FATMA HUSSAIN ALMULLA View Profile


VP, People Operations, Google YVONNE AGYEI View Profile


CEO, Human Capital Institute (HCI) CARL RHODES View Profile


Executive GM – HR Strategy & Development, Mobily WALEED AL-ABDULSALAM View Profile


CEO and Founder MICHAEL LAHYANI View Profile


Managing Partner, CCM Consultancy EDWARD MATTI View Profile
Fatma Hussain Al Mulla is the Chief Human Capital Officer at TECOM Group. Fatma brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the Human Resources field with over 16 years of experience. In her role she is responsible for planning, leading and managing the execution of the Human Capital strategy to support the implementation of TECOM business plans and overall strategy.

Prior to joining TECOM, Fatma has worked with several reputed Private and Government organisations in the region and has in-depth experience in the areas of Performance Management, Total Rewards, Talent Development, Recruitment, Emiratisation, Talent Redeployment etc. She has also managed Quality Management and Business Process Improvement related projects in her previous organisations.

Fatma is a Senior Assessor with the Department of Economic Development in Dubai for Human Development Awards since 2005.

She also has many achievements and awards to her credit in the Human Resources & quality management fields. Fatma holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from a reputed university. She is a board member of the Alumni Association since 2013 and has completed a leadership programme from the Wharton Business School in USA.
Yvonne Agyei joined Google at its California headquarters in 2003 when the company was just over 1000 employees. She was promoted to Vice President in 2012 and became head of the newly-created International People Operations (iPOps) team in early 2015. Created in recognition of the growing complexities of uniting a working population of 55,000+ spanning 100 offices in 50 countries, the iPOps team is a task force of thought partners and program managers which gathers and leverages insights from across all of the company’s functions in order to support the unique Google culture and enhance the experience of Googlers in the smaller offices distributed all around the globe. Before leading this team, Yvonne spent nearly 6 years as the company’s global head of Benefits, overseeing the full range of core employee offerings alongside a host of other “Googley” initiatives such as wellbeing programs, onsite clinics and the take-out benefit for new parents.

Among other prior roles at Google, Yvonne has led the global university and other staffing programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stanford, an MA in psychology from Northwestern University and an MA in International Relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Mr. Rhodes is the Chief Executive Officer of HCI. Prior to joining the company in 2009 as its Chief Operating Officer, he was the co-founder and General Manager of Kairos Networks, and was a senior leader with CEB, where he specialised in developing and scaling new products and services for networks of senior executives in general management, strategy, IT and HR.

His work has been cited in the Harvard Business Review, the Economist and the Washington Post, among other media outlets. He started his career as a Professor of Methodology and American Politics at the University of Cincinnati. There, his work appeared in leading academic journals and in a volume compiled and edited by a Nobel Laureate, and was competitively funded by the National Science Foundation.

He holds a PhD from Rice University and BA from Colorado College.
A senior executive with more than 24 years of hands-on experience in the private sector, with a track record of leading and delivering operational excellence to enable growth and continued success.

Built credentials of articulating visions, building structures, teams and aligning efforts for optimal performance.

BS Electrical Engineering from KFUPM and MBA from the USA.
Currently Senior Vice President of Mobily – HR Strategy & Development in charge of:
  • HR strategic planning activities
  • HR Policies and Procedures
  • HR Transformation and Projects Management
  • HR Performance Management (Dashboard/KPIs)
  • HR Analytics and Optimization
  • HR Risk Management, Business Continuity, Audit and Compliance
  • HR Excellence, HR Development and Continuous Improvement
  • HR Budget Planning and Variance Analysis
  • HR Information Technology / Automation
  • HR Surveys design, rollout and analysis

Led intensive Human Capital Transformation projects within Mobily and Integrated Telecom earlier Past experience include heading functions such as: PMO, Marketing, Communication & PR, Business Excellence (Total Quality Management), and General Management
After gaining experience in working with print real estate listings, Michael recognized a gap in the market for online listings- and that’s when propertyfinder was born, soon becoming one of the most popular property portals in the region. Since the company’s launch in 2007, Michael’s effective business model for brokerage firms has since attracted high-profile local and international investors, enabling it to operate successfully across the MENA region, with offices in seven countries. In 2013, the company won the SMEinfo “Online Business of the Year “Award and the ‘Dubai SME 100’, an index of the Dubai Economic Department, twice in a row. Serving as a director on the board of various tech companies, Michael has become a regular speaker at the Harvard Business Conference. Prior to founding the company, Michael began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in his hometown of Geneva. He holds an MBA with a specialty in finance from HEC Lausanne, having completed an exchange program at UCLA in California.
As Managing Partner for CCM Consultancy, Edward Matti’s responsibilities put him in front of clients from all industries and with wide-spanning challenges. From effective talent management strategies to the design of complex progression models set to instil behavioural change, his team consults on end-to-end solutions for their clients. Edward is an experienced leader with over 17 years of leadership experience in Human Resource Development and Financial Services, where he has proven his ability to manage, motivate and influence others through strong and effective communication skills and a commitment to realising individual and team success. Prior to moving to Dubai to head up CCM Consultancy, Edward lived in Toronto and was Regional Director for Canada’s largest financial planning firm. An accomplished public speaker and TV commentator in Canada, Edward still meets with clients to consult on their issues, develop solutions and deliver riveting interventions. Edward and his team have helped clients in sales, management and leadership needs as well as branded culture and customer centric experiences.
Ahsan supports the Chief Executive Officer, Aerospace & Engineering Services (AES) to drive forward the strategic Human Capital (HC) vision and plans. Ahsan also advises all HC initiatives across the platform and portfolio companies. He sits on the Human Capital Board Committee and undertakes an advisory role for a number of UAE and globally based companies including: Strata Manufacturing, Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overall Center (AMMROC), YahSat, Injazat Data Systems, Khazna Data Centers, SR Technics and Piaggio Aero Industries. Ahsan is committed to developing best in class Human Capital Business Strategies support while enhancing talent and experience of UAE Nationals to enable the growth of next generation skilled professionals and business leaders for Abu Dhabi and the UAE Ahsan has over 22 years of global experience and has been based in the UAE since 2009.. Prior to joining Mubadala, he held a number of Senior HR roles within General Electric Canada, HSBC Bank Asia Pacific and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company. Ahsan works as a thought leader. His expertize includes performance management, talent management, development of business transformation and Emiratization Strategy. Throughout his time at GE and HSBC Ahsan gained significant experience in restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, union negotiations and establishing start-ups. Ahsan holds a Masters in Business Administration with HR specialization from University of Leicester – UK. He is a certified Green Belt Six Sigma from General Electric, a highly disciplined leadership program.
Joe Chalouhi was born in Sydney, Australia. He attended the University of Wollongong where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and in 1995, a Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Western Sydney. A registered psychologist, Joe began his career in Australia working with child and family protection and teaching at Sydney University. In 1995, he moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates and worked in one of its hospitals. Joe began his HR career with Schneider Electric in 1997 starting as the HR & Communications Manager based out of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and then as the HR Director for Middle East & Africa, based in Istanbul, Turkey. During his tenure with Schneider Electric, Joe was based out of a variety of locations including Riyadh, Cairo, Istanbul, Beirut, and at the company’s International Division Headquarters in Paris. From 2006 to 2008, he joined PepsiCo as the Organization & Management Development Director for Middle East and Africa based in Dubai and later in Cairo. In 2008, Joe returned to the Energy business with Areva Transmission & Distribution (now Alstom Grid) as the HR Director for the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. Joe joined GE Energy in 2010 as the Senior HR Manager for Middle East North Africa & Turkey (MENAT). In 2012, he was transferred to Global Growth and Operations and took on the role of Organization and Talent Development Leader. End 2013, Joe was promoted to become the Senior Human Resources Leader for the MENAT Region. Since 1st May 2014, in addition to his role of Senior Human Resources Leader for GGO MENAT, Joe took-on the role of Senior HR Manager for Oil & Gas in MENAT.
Dr.Habib obtained his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2001.Thereafter he returned to the UAE and worked in government hospitals and clinics for 9 years, during which he obtained further specialty degrees in family medicine and occupational health. In 2010 he was headhunted by the Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company (du) to establish an in-house staff clinic and a dedicated wellness department. As a result, the wellness department at “du” won a prestigious award by the government of Dubai in 2014 for the employee wellness program implemented in the company. In 2016, he was given the task of ensuring employee happiness in addition to their wellness. Dr. Habib is also the regional chair for the international association of worksite health promotion (IAWHP). He helped to promote wellness in the Arabian Gulf region via active participation in related webinars, seminars and conferences including employee wellness congress in Orlando in 2015. In addition, he chairs the wellness task-force at Dubai Chambers. Dr. Habib writes regular wellness-related articles in various publications around the country. He recently published a wellness-related book titled “the broken carpenter door” in Arabic which features insights into UAE health and lifestyle culture.
Frank is a seasoned Banker, a multi-qualified HR professional and a certified Co-Active Coach. A people-centered thought-leader with a passion for bringing out the best in people by creating and fostering a caring culture that motivates all levels of employees to give their best; someone who has first-hand experience of most levels of business together with the ‘helicopter vision’ to contribute to the strategy of combining functional excellence with sustainable results. With over two decades of combined HR and multi-vertical financial experience, Frank is a trusted advisor to C-suite executives and works with leaders at all levels to design and implement cutting-edge solutions in the field of performance management, talent & succession planning, job family frameworks; leadership, high-potential and graduate development. Over the past five years, his primary focus has been in delivering bespoke learning solutions that are transformational in nature, enhancing the product & service offering of his organization’s award-winning & internationally recognized Corporate University, reinventing culture and driving workforce engagement and performance through use of people analytics. When not trying to infuriate his HR colleagues with his views and thoughts on HR models and jargon, you will find Frank winding down with his gorgeous wife Meetu who has her own yoga practice, his beautiful 10-year old daughter Sarah and his energy-sapping Jack Russel ‘Jake’ who thinks he’s human like the rest of the family.
Cedric Betis is the Chairman of the Dubai Holding Wellness Committee – a global investment holding company with interests in 24 countries, employing more than 20,000 people from 121 nationalities. Dubai Holding is managed through two business groups: Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group (DHCOG) that contains the Jumeirah Group, TECOM Investments, Dubai Properties Group and Emirates International Telecommunications. Dubai Holding Investment Group (DHIG) that includes Dubai Group and Dubai International Capital. In his capacity, Mr. Betis is responsible for developing the group’s wellness strategy, pillars, mission and program components while ensuring alignment with the overall business strategy. Mr. Betis is also the Group Director of Wellness for the Jumeirah Group, the hospitality arm of Dubai Holding. He is heading Talise, the global wellness brand of the Jumeirah Group that regroups the Talise Fitness, Talise Spa and Talise Nutrition Divisions. Mr. Betis is also a Special Advisor to some of the most influential leaders in the private and governmental sectors in Dubai. Mr. Betis holds a Master’s Degree in Sports & Sciences with a Major is Sports Performance from Montpellier University – France.
Talat has over 28 years of experience, most of it in senior HR leadership positions in companies like British Airways, ABN AMRO Bank, British Petroleum, Glaxo Smith Kline, Abraaj Capital, Drake and Scull and Exeed Industries. In her long career, she has been a speaker at various forums on HR Leadership, strategy and the People proposition and is passionate about the HR Business partnership within a corporation. Within Abraaj Capital, as SVP HR, Talat worked with a number of portfolio companies to support their HR Functions and ensure that change management initiatives like mission statements and values were implemented through their HR functions so that the companies invested in were more aligned to the business objectives and gave a faster ROI.
Moustafa is the Dubai’s real version of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, after buying a one-way ticket to a life changing journey across India he eventually came back to launch several platforms dedicated to empowering people work & live passionately including Passion Sundays, the region’s only online talkshow dedicated to Passion & Happiness. Moustafa is acknowledged globally for his work on passion and its impact on leadership & employee engagement. Events by Moustafa are awaited eagerly by trendsetters and followers in numerous industries across the globe and have been commended by global leaders, including President Jimmy Carter during his recent visit to Dubai. Moustafa is highly Passionate and very inspirational, mixed with his entrepreneurial experience & world class qualifications in coaching his talks have been described as “ insightful, energetic and engaging” and “ exceeded our expectations” and are guaranteed to give you a dose of passion that lasts way beyond the event.
Hind’s 15-year Total Rewards career with Unilever, BNP, Barclays, Hewlett Packard and more, culminated with strategic HR positions such as Head of Rewards -Performance& HR Governance at Nakheel (Dubai) and Senior HR Advisor for at Musanada (Abu Dhabi). She is now the Head of HR for Gulf and EME (Emerging Middle east Countries) at Takeda pharmaceutical based in Dubai ; engaging and partnering with business leaders to deliver HR excellence services, aligning people strategy through Hr transformation with the business needs and ensuring a performance driven great place to work environment. In addition, spearhead the regional talent role and deliver on the people needs for current and future Takeda throughout the Gulf and Emerging Middle East countries (Levant, Iran and Yemen). She is known to be hands-on, using pragmatic approaches with her internal clients, ensuring that the projects will have immediate impact and business value and don’t remain “an idea on the shelf”.
Hind Al Mualla
creativity to build a more positive education sector with happiness at the heart of everything we do,” she said. Hind believes diversity is one of the most exciting aspects of her role. “We all share the same vision; to give students in Dubai a high-quality education. Everyone in education is passionate about what they do and keen to promote change and development.”
Abdulmuttalib (Talib) Al Hashimi is a UAE national entrepreneur, Nationalisation expert and founder of TBH Consultancy, the first Emirati Nationalisation Advisory firm in the UAE. He is also Managing Director and co-founder of Dubai based Recruitment consultancy Next Level which specialises in the recruitment of nationals. Through his work, Talib has helped several organisations in the UAE on their Emiratisation, Recruitment and Human Resources needs. He has been instrumental in advising senior managers on issues related to adopting the most effective ways to attract nationals, building a strong employer brand, engaging their local audiences and cultural integration in the workplace. Talib is also an Associate Partner with HR, Nationalisation and Research experts Oxford Strategic Consulting where he works along with a research team based in Oxford to identify critical issues in GCC Human Capital and recommend programs and strategies to tackle these issues. Talib’s pursuit has been to identify critical issues that face a minority local workforce and establish progressive and relevant frameworks and solutions to address these issues, hoping that his work on Emiratisation could serve as blueprint for other regions which face similar challenges. Abdulmuttalib continues to play an active role in society as he is a regular speaker in conferences, workshops and universities delivering a series of motivational speeches titled “10 Lessons I learned in 2009”. In addition to that Talib delivers public and in-house workshops in various topics. He is also a member of the advisory board for AIESEC, the International youth leadership organisation. He was also a columnist and writes articles for publications such as SME Advisor magazine, MBC Times and Gulf News. You can learn more about his thoughts and insights through his blog: and he is currently working on his first book.
As a senior HR professional with 15+ years of experience in HR, training, coaching, and consulting, leader in HR in the area of empowerment, organizational structure and development, with a reputation as an expert on work and organizations is based on my successful academic and professional career, Expert in organizational effectiveness and human resources management, implements competency-based corporate leadership programs and consults to senior management on how to select and develop key employees. Focuses on helping implement the steps necessary to better align their organizational culture with their business strategies, consulting to senior management on the selection and development of top talent, my experiences included HR Strategy Planning & Implementation, Learning & Development, I have gained enormous exposure to several areas including spearheading recruiting and retention, compensation management, conflict resolution, succession planning, organizational safety, change management, benefits administration and implementation of best practice programs. Specialist in Online Assessments of Personality and Ability, 360 Degree appraisal application and feedback, Development Centres (ideal for succession planning / training needs analysis, Assessment Centres (ideal for selection /recruitment), Appraisal Training, Competency Based Interview Skills Training, Verbal, Numerical, Abstract Reasoning testing, Competency Framework design, Job Family development, Psychometric Testing, Personality Profiling. A holder of MBA (HR), Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management and multiple certifications in areas of human resource management included Chartered FCIPD, from Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development CIPD UK and Chartered Fellow CMgr FCMI , from Chartered Management Institute – CMI UK, Master Certified Trainer (IRAS) – International Academy of Advanced Research and Studies – London, Certificated Verifier Trainer, from Edexcel UK, – London and CEB SHL UK as well , Certificated in Progressive Strategies for Talent Management and Global Mobility from CIPD UK. Strong leadership skills, developed from working at both a ‘grassroots’ and strategic level, which has led me to speak (Key note speaker and Motivational Speaker as well) at high profile events including Government Offices, French chamber of commerce events, Arab academy, and Egyptian television in different events and programmers, and social media professional. Dynamic ‘facilitator of change’ and positive role model during organizational change – in fact, my experience in this area is unsurpassed, led many teams through significant change initiatives including a re-engineering process. Currently functioning as Head of HR with American President Lines (global organization), I am involved in implementation of organization global restructure (Function Reporting Line strategy), recruitment process encompassing Occupational testing (OT), occupational personality (OPQ) and assessment/development centers. I have also been involved in setting up of local HR shared services to cater to 4 countries in the Middle East. My current and previous roles included Regional Responsibilities and projects in different countries, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Libya, Sudan, UAE, and Turkey , Responsible for the transformation program in Saudi Arabia/Bahrain and the overall country HR strategy and achieving the Saudization program, Leads and executes regional development and training projects and programs in Turkey, Libya and Saudi Arabia , Engaged in the Global HR system and the productivity matrix projects with The Global HR team in Singapore.
Akram is responsible for directing technology strategy, software development, and product delivery at since inception. Prior to co-founding, Akram had worked in consulting at Oracle and Andersen Consulting where he led the design, development and delivery of enterprise solutions to leading corporations and Middle Eastern governments. Akram is a graduate of Jordan University with a BSc. in Computer Science.
Moazam Ali Shah
Moazam Ali Shah is CFO at “Al Zamil for Industry & Trade”, one of the most successful and prominent family businesses operating in Saudi Arabia. The Company is head-quartered in Riyadh, and it specializes in Industrial Manufacturing and Contracting business. Moazam has previously worked for some of the blue chip professional firms across the world including United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, Middle East and Asia. He is an alumnus of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, New York. A licensed CPA from Colorado State Board of Accountancy in the USA, and a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Moazam also holds Fellowship in the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia & New Zealand. Aside from work, Moazam has participated as a key-note speaker in a number of professional forums and CFO conferences held across the Middle East & North America.
Tariq Qureishy is currently the CEO of MAD Holdings and Vantage. These are specialist organizations developing strategic international and local projects and platforms focused in the Media, Technology & Telecoms space with innovation and entrepreneurship at it score. He was Media Representative and Consultant, responsible for business development with Bloomberg Media (2010-2014) for the MENA Region. Prior to that he was CEO and Publisher of the Times & Sunday Times newspaper responsible for the launch in the Middle East (2007-2009). For twelve years (1987-1999), he was with Dow Jones Markets and finally as Regional Director EMEA. Tariq’s media and broadcasting experience includes being a motivational speaker, panellist, chairing and moderating specialised global conferences and events. His broadcasting experience includes radio and television. He has a degree in Economics and studied at Harvard Business School. He is also Founder of 100% MAD (“Make A Difference”), a UK based, not for profit Social Enterprise, a global millennial movement and a new social model using the power of the digital environment to democratize philanthropy.
Ravi Kumar
Ravi Kumar is the Head of Human Resources at Roche Diagnostics Middle East (RDME), where he is responsible for executing Human Resources strategy, in alignment with business goals, for over 400 employees across 16 countries in the Middle East. With over 20 years of professional experience across multinational organizations in the Middle East and India, Mr. Kumar’s key responsibilities include setting up a strong employee-engaging environment and a performance-driven culture, while leading a team of dedicated HR professionals. Starting his career as a management trainee at Larsen & Toubro in India in1997, Mr. Kumar joined Roche India in 2006, as Head of Human Resources to initiate and implement HR Strategies that would assist in above-market sales growth and market leadership in the IVD segment. With increasing responsibilities that led him to his current role, Mr. Kumar is currently in Dubai as Head of HR for the Middle East region. Mr. Kumar holds an MBA in Human Recourses from the Xavier Institute of Social Studies in India, and is a member of the Leadership Team responsible for driving Roche’s business in the Middle East.
Cordelia Henry
With over 32 years’ experience in retail finance for blue chip financial institutions in London, Asia and the Middle East, Cordelia provided solutions for an array of clients. She learned that many business owners lacked the skills of how to acquire new clients. Cordelia realised that filling this gap was where her true calling lay. Cordelia is now the owner of the Referral Institute’s UAE franchise. She shows business owners how to find their ideal clients, dramatically increase their profits by building business relationships with the RIGHT people! Cordelia leads a community of like-minded female entrepreneurs who believe in the power of building their business through referrals & business networking. She uses her skills as an Imago Facilitator to empower her clients to replace self-defeating traits with effective skills and create amazing business relationships. Combining these skills, Cordelia has a gift of connecting with people at an emotional and rational level. She is a confident speaker, facilitator and advocator of women in business and how to network effectively.
Masam Ali Malik
As a Consultant with CCM Consultancy, Masam works on the design and deployment of complex initiatives for clients in a variety of industry facing wide-ranging challenges. Along with the CCM Consultancy team, Masam provides end-to-end solutions to clients focusing on both process and people development. A Chartered Financial Analyst having held management positions with one of Canada’s largest banks prior to joining CCM Consultancy, Masam has spent several years in Corporate Finance, People Management and Financial Services. He moved to Dubai upon joining CCM Consultancy, bringing along Canadian corporate experience and a keen understanding of the Middle East & North Africa market to ensure practical application. Masam’s experience has helped companies with sales management, team building, and leadership enhancement. He has also assisted companies by designing (and delivering) engaging solutions that have measurable results and positively impact the organization’s bottom line.
Taj Elkhayat
Taj Elkhayat is the Regional Vice President for Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Riverbed Technology. His core responsibilities include expanding Riverbed’s penetration in new markets and industry verticals to grow its regional footprint, deepening engagement with channel partners, and securing the company’s position as a key technology provider for the hybrid enterprise. Having previously served as Riverbed’s regional General Manager and subsequently its Managing Director, Taj brings strong vision, leadership and passion to the team, where the focus is to sell solutions across the Riverbed Application Performance Platform™, and drive even closer engagement with customers. Taj has more than 15 years of regional sales, channel and executive management experience to Riverbed, and has played key roles in growing and scaling both emerging and Fortune 500 technology companies in the region. His prior experience includes senior leadership positions at Juniper, Microsoft, Compaq Computer Corporations and IBM in the Middle East and the United States. Taj graduated from the Jones Graduate School of Business from Rice University, whilst an undergraduate at the University of Houston.
James Vincent
James has been with ABK since 2015 and has operated globally for large blue chip companies including Barclays and HSBC. A commercially orientated HR Director with 16 years industry experience across Retail, Logistics, Environmental and Financial services.
As Managing Director of Edelman DABO Experiential, Lucy leads all concept creation and strategy for the live events and experiential marketing division of the business. Lucy brings with her fifteen years within the marketing and communications field, twelve of which were living in the Middle East. Lucy’s career evolved from a background in advertising & marketing since 1998, which she then transferred to dedicated event management. Prior to setting up DABO & CO in 2004, Lucy worked with advertising clients including Pirelli, BenQ, DSF, Dubai & Gold Jewellery Group and Unilever. Lucy then joined Streamline Marketing to head up their events division within which she managed the IMF and World Bank Meetings in Dubai on behalf of DIFC in 2001, the Formula 1 World Offshore Powerboat Racing Championships in 2002 and 2003, and the launch of the Lifestyles event in 2003. Lucy prides herself on working with some of the region’s most prestigious brands and high profile events. Highlights include organizing the Ferrari Mondiali World Finals at Yas Marina Circuit and working with UNHCR for their first conference within the Middle East in 2014, the grand opening of the JW Marriott Marquis in 2012, the annual Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge with HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein since 2005, launch of TV channels MBC Action and MBC Max, celebrity management for events and conferences like GM Style, OK! Magazine, Atlantis and GGICO, and the opening of offices for international finance players such as Julius Baer.
Coach and author of 'Managing the Matrix: How to Survive and Thrive in Your Organisation' Dawn Metcalfe, Managing Director of Performance Development Services (PDS) is an experienced coach, trainer and facilitator. Her first book, Managing the Matrix: How to Survive and Thrive in Your Organization was published in 2014 and will soon come out in Arabic. She regularly writes for various publications across the Middle East Training Magazine Middle East, Gulf Business, Explorer UAE and LinkedIn (with one article generating over 80,000 hits). Dawn also contributes to the Business Breakfast on Dubai Eye 103.8, speaking on various topics, and appeared at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature to discuss business writing. Dawn regularly advises C-Suite executives and high potential employees to develop and deliver their events, ranging from simply delivering 30 minutes on a specific topic or moderating a panel to developing and facilitating a week-long corporate event.
Communications and Leadership Development Trainer, NLP Business Coach and Executive Coach, Fiona Campbell Consultancy
Hamza joined ABK in 2002, with the responsibility for Human Resources. He is a seasoned HR professional with more than 34 years experience in the areas of manpower development, compensation, recruitment and training in the financial services industry. Before joining ABK he worked for the National Bank of Kuwait in the HR Division for 22 years. He is a graduate of Kuwait University with a Bachelor’s degree in Personnel Affairs, and has an MBA from the University of Scranton, USA.
Shane is currently the CEO of The Phillips Group in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Helping companies build championship leadership teams has been a tradition in the Phillips family for two generations. From assisting Fortune 500 companies acquire and retain top performing senior executives or advising leading Chief Executive Officers on developing their human capital, Shane has executed CXO assignments all over the world. His passion for helping people and companies develop leadership capability has driven him to engage the media, where he is now the host of the MENA Region’s number one Talk Radio Career show on Dubai Eye 103.8 called “Eye On Careers”. He is also the Host of one of the leading Asian business TV Shows called “Top Guns” on Zee TV, the leading South Asian television satellite channel. Shane holds an MBA from London Business School and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of British Columbia. He is a Non-Executive Board Member of Fortis Group Holdings. He is the founder of The Career Clinic and Risk Middle East Group. A former Executive Board Member of the Canadian Business Council, President of the Club for Canadians and a volunteer with the Families with Special Needs, the United Way and Young Achievers.
A seasoned and accomplished HR executive with more than 30 years in key HR positions with local, regional and international diverse organizations, in the Arab Region, and have led successful formulation and integration of HR programs, strategies, policies, and procedures. Winner of HR Awards from UK, India, USA, and one of the top 20 HR most international influential thinkers in 2014selected by Ashridge Business School, Open University and HR Magazine in UK, and winner of Peter F. Drucker in Management award, Panama.

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The forum also features the MENA HR Excellence Awards to recognise outstanding achievements
by individuals and organisations in advancing the HR function in their respective organisations.

The deadline to submit your nominations is Thursday, April 6th 2017

  • award categories

    award categories




    Individual Past Winners

    • HR Professional of the Year – Private Sector

      Nisha Nambiar

      HR Director for Gulf, Levant & AfME at Pfizer

    • HR Professional of the Year – Public Sector

      Younis Abdel Aziz Al Nimr

      Chief Human Resource Officer at Etisalat

    • HR Professional of the Year – Public Sector

      Ray Gammell

      Chief People & Performance Officer at Etihad Airways

    • Champion of Change – Public Sector

      His Excellency Mohammed Al Hadhari

      Security & Commodities Authority

    • Excellence in Employee Engagement


    • Excellence in Talent Management

      Thumbay Group

    • Best Nationalisation Initiative

      Etihad Airways

    • Employer of the Year – Public Sector


    • Employer of the Year – Private Sector


    • HR Team of the Year


    • Champion of Change – Private Sector

      Akbar Moideen Thumbay

      Director – Healthcare and Retail

    • Employer of the Year – Public Sector



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The summit gave us the opportunity to use the power of coming together to understand the challenges that we’re facing and come up with solutions by learning from each other. I think the openness and curiosity of my fellow participants from various companies was very energising, and the topics were spot-on in terms of what’s on our minds and our to-do-lists.

Group Head of Talent, Al-Futtaim Group


“ I feel such gatherings can really help us understand what others are doing in terms of HR management and confronting different challenges, and having different priorities and strategies.”

Group HR Director, MENA Business Unit The Coca-Cola Export Corporation


“ The event delivered an exciting and compact agenda, filled with valuable ideas. Meeting others in the industry really allows you to see that your challenges and opportunities are aligned. Great work!”

Managing Partner, CCM Consultancy


If you have questions about any aspect of the forum or require more information, please contact our team below.