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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series speakers

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

Alexander Kjerulf

Alexander Kjerulf

Founder and Chief Happiness Officer, Woohoo inc. Alexander Kjerulf View Profile
Paul Lalovich

Paul Lalovich

Organizational Effectiveness Consultant, ENEC Paul Lalovich View Profile


Chief Human Capital Officer TECOM Group FATMA HUSSAIN ALMULLA View Profile


VP, People Operations, Google YVONNE AGYEI View Profile
Natalie Sejean

Natalie Sejean

Chief HR Officer, VFS TasHeel International and Vasco Worldwide Natalie Sejean View Profile


Executive GM – HR Strategy & Development, Mobily WALEED AL-ABDULSALAM View Profile
Alexander Kjerulf
Mr. Kjerulf is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Woohoo Inc. and one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work. He is an author and speaker, presenting and conducting workshops on happiness at work at businesses and conferences in over 30 countries. His clients include companies like Hilton, Microsoft, LEGO, IKEA, Shell, HP and IBM.

He holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern Denmark, and was a co-founder of the Danish IT company Enterprise Systems. Mr. Kjerulf is the author of 4 books, including the international bestseller “Happy Hour is 9 to 5 – How to Love Your Job, Love Your Life and Kick Butt at Work”. The book has been well-received globally and is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Vietnamese, Farsi, Indonesian and Chinese.

His work has been featured in CNN, The New York Times, Times of India, The Times, BBC, Financial Times and many others.
Paul Lalovich
A Strategic HR E xecutive with a track record of helping organizations move people strategy from the boardroom to the marketplace.

Human Resources professional with proven ability to develop forward thinking culture, attract and retain great people while excelling in the delivery of people strategies. A change agent who successfully supported rapid growth, turnaround, organizational excellence programs (EFQM Model) and right-sizing initiatives. Helping organizations to understand and actively manage their headcount, employee productivity and total cost of the workforce (TCOW) by making the most out of Organizational Design, Workforce Analytics and Strategic Workforce Planning.

In the past worked extensively in the emerging markets of Europe and The Middle East for large public and private companies (du, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co, Gazprom NEFT NIS, Norconsult and Global Medical Solutions , an EIAG Company, Sadara Chemical Company and more recently with Mercer). Prior to this, during his career in anada he worked with many companies on the Fortune’s list “100 Best Companies to Work for in America”.

Currently, Paul is Organizational Effectiveness Consultant working at Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation in Abu Dhabi. He is serving as a strategic partner to executive management and supporting the leadership team in driving the corporate strategy through Organizational Design, Strategic Workforce Planning and overall Organizational Effectiveness.
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.
Natalie Sejean
Natalie Sejean comes from the UK and has been passionate about her work in human resources for the past 25 years. Ms. Sejeans's HR background in the UK has included in-house HR for major hospitality and retail organisations and regional L&D and HR roles. Resident in Dubai since 1999, Natalie has supported such organisations as Spinneys, Dubal, Department of Economic Development, Tecom and is currently the global head of human resources for VFS Tasheel. Challenges in this current role have included starting operations in 30+ countries globally whilst at the same time building a strong and consistent culture for the organisation.
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
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.
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.
Suraj Padmanabhan
Mr. Padmanabhan brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the Human Capital Management field with over 13 years of experience. He is a dynamic, optimistic, innovative, result-driven professional with proven credentials in strategic planning and implementing organisational vision in the field of Human Capital Management across diverse industrial segments.

He is experienced in designing and implementing successful HR strategies and in leading, motivating and developing people across diverse cultures and in multi-lingual environments.

Mr. Padmanabhan also has many achievements and awards to his credit in Human Resource, Quality Management and Business Excellence. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management (MBA) from a reputed University (CMR IMS). He also holds a Certificate in Strategic Human Resource Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad (IIMA), is a Certified Human Resource Manager (CHRM) & Certified Learning & Development Manager (CLDM) from Carlton Advanced Management Institute (CAMI / ACI – USA) and a certified NLP Master Practitioner.


• HR strategy formulation based on business strategy, action planning & implementation
• HR policy and procedures
• HR transformation and project management
• HR process improvement including shared services design and implementation
• HR budget planning and budget variance analysis
• HR BCP, audit and center of excellence
• Talent acquisition and total rewards
• Executive coaching, leadership development, domain certification and communities of practice
• Learning and Development (DAP/Contact HR/ SABA/ ELMS/ CEGOS / Event Management)
• Knowledge management
• Talent management
• Employee management – Measurement using Gallup, DMAIC & RACI
• HR – People happiness
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.

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Oracle offers an integrated array of applications, databases, servers, storage, and cloud technologies to empower modern business. For most companies, flexibility is critical. Oracle provides a wide choice of software, systems, and cloud deployment models - including public, on-premises, and hybrid clouds - to ensure that technology flexes to the unique needs of a business.

Oracle Cloud is a complete, integrated stack of platform, infrastructure, and application services. With advanced scalability and security, Oracle Cloud enables technical agility across the enterprise, connects people to information for clearer insights, and fosters efficiency through simplified workflows. More than 420,000 customers across 145 countries have harnessed Oracle technology to accelerate their digital transformation.

Oracle Systems
Building No. 6
Dubai Internet City
Dubai, UAE

T +971 4 3909000
Shepherd was founded in 2004 by a group of entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and technology experts who have been providing custom solutions to a range of multinational companies.

Built on its foundation, Shepherd operates globally and offers revolutionized solutions that aim to transform the way enterprises operate and do business.

They offer their users an end-to-end cloud-based talent management solution that enables organizations to connect, engage, manage and develop their workforce. From talent acquisition & development, to the core of human capital, Shepherd is driving engagement, retention, productivity and performance while improving efficiency.

As a key player in the talent management international market today, they operate with the highest technology standards to date and continually follow up on technological trends. With an ever-growing team, they have officially touched ground in several continents and continue to expand as their client list prospers.

Shepherd Technologies

4695 MacArthur Ct. Suite 1100
Newport Beach, CA, 92660
United States
T +1 949 302 3624

208B-777 Bay Street
Toronto, ON, M5G 2C8
T +1 949 208 1973

One JLT 5th Floor, Suite 11B
JLT, Dubai
United Arab Emirates
T +971 4 429 5827
Thumbay Group is an international conglomerate headquartered in Dubai.

The group has diversified into 18 different sectors with over 20 brands since its inception in 1998, and employs approximately 5000 people.

Aside from their core businesses of education, healthcare and research, they have an established presence in diagnostics, pharmacy, retail optical, wellness, nutrition, hospitality, real estate, publishing, health communications, trading, marketing and distribution, medical tourism, events, media and technology.

Thumbay Group plans to expand internationally and aims to develop 420 new establishments by 2022. The Thumbay academic hospital network will have a total of 1000 beds in the UAE, 1500 beds in India and 750 beds elsewhere in the Gulf and Africa, by 2022, taking the total number of hospitals to 15 worldwide.

The Gulf Medical University – Ajman, is soon to become a full-fledged University with Engineering and Management courses in addition to Medicine. The Group also plans to open 3 new University campuses in 3 different countries. By 2022, Thumbay Group plans to add 25 Thumbay labs, 100 Thumbay pharmacies, 40 Zo & Mo Optical outlets, 100 Blends & Brews coffee shops, 25 Body & Soul health clubs, 50 Nutri Plus Vita stores. The group hopes to employ 20,000 staff, by 2022.

Thumbay Group
Dubai International Financial Centre
P.O. Box 415555
Dubai, UAE

T +971 4 298 5555
F +971 4 298 9555
The Flower Market is a floral artistry studio with a passion for flowers and design. Our signature creations combine the uniqueness of each flower, their contrasting textures and organic elements in an arrangement that defies the traditional and embraces the contemporary.

We continuously evolve our style with new ideas and play with unique packaging and accessories. We design bouquets for personal gestures and floral arrangements for weddings, events and businesses.

Our studio is located in the bustling Dubai Healthcare City and boasts an inviting industrial rustic feel full of a whole load of gorgeous colours and fresh scents. Come in and talk to us about a wedding design, a bridal shower or a corporate event.

MENA HR Excellence Awards

  • award categories


    award categories


    Rewards an organisation for its commitment to supporting employees at all levels through talent retention, employer branding, learning and development, CSR activities, health and safety, and diversity and inclusion.


    Rewards a government agency for its commitment to supporting employees at all levels through talent retention, employer branding, learning and development, CSR activities, health and safety, and diversity and inclusion.


    An HR team that truly functioned as a business enabler within their organisation will be recognised. Judges will look at the team’s strategy, planning and implementation, relationships with other functions, results achieved and how they were measured.


    Recognises an organisation for its excellence in talent management. Criteria for evaluation include effective employee onboarding, ongoing training and development, coaching and mentoring, assessing and developing leadership capabilities, monitoring talent and measuring talent management, designing effective
    compensation and recognition systems.


    Honours an organisation for specifically focusing on engaging employees through fostering a corporate culture, employee engagement surveys, onboarding, flexibility, transparency, recognition and team building.


    Rewards a company for successfully increasing and retaining the number of nationals through effective implementation of a Nationalisation initiative. All organisations except government agencies are eligible for this category.


    Recognises a private sector HR Leader for exceptional performance in the last 12 months. Criteria for evaluation include aligning the HR function with the organisation’s strategic direction, promoting a people-centric culture, implementation of innovative programmes, engagement of employees in CSR activities and a focus on the overall
    wellbeing of staff.


    Recognises a public sector HR Leader for exceptional performance in the last 12 months. Criteria for evaluation include aligning the HR function with the organisation’s strategic direction, promoting a people-centric culture, implementation of innovative programmes, engagement of employees in CSR activities and a focus on the overall
    wellbeing of staff.


    Recognises a C-level non HR executive for his/her contribution to the HR function of his / her organisation. Nominees are required to provide examples of their leadership, strategic thinking and key management decisions.


  • past winners


    past winners

    • Best nationalisation initiative


    • Champion of Change

      Ahmad Hanandeh, CEO, Zain Jordan

    • Employer of the Year – Private sector

      Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK)

    • Employer of the Year – Public sector

      Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Bahrain

    • Excellence in Employee Engagement


    • Excellence in Talent Management

      Banque Saudi Fransi

    • Excellence in Talent Management

      Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB)

    • HR Professional of the Year – Private sector

      Suraj Padmanabhan, Thumbay Group

    • HR Professional of the Year – Public sector

      Adil Abbood, Royal Saudi Airforce

    • HR Team of the Year

      National Bank of Fujairah


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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.