Speakers

International Experts

His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama

His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama

Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications

His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama has been appointed as Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence in October 2017, and then was appointed as Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications in July 2020.


His responsibilities include enhancing the government performance levels by investing in the latest technologies and tools of artificial intelligence and applying them in various sectors.
His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama is Spearheading UAE efforts to be positioned as a global leader in Digital economy, With the focus to enhance UAEs digital economy contribution to the GDP.
His Excellency is also focused on strengthening the UAE’s position as a global reference in remote work applications.
His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama is currently the Managing Director of the World Government Summit. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation and Deputy Managing Director of the Foundation. He is also Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital economy.
In November 2017, the UAE government announced selecting HE. Omar Al Olama as a member of the Future of Digital Economy and Society Council at the World Economic Forum.
During his work in the Future Department at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, His Excellency participated in developing the UAE Centennial 2071 strategy that aims to position the UAE as the best country in the world. He also participated in developing the UAE 4th Industrial Revolution Strategy that aims to promote the UAE’s status as a global hub for the 4th Industrial Revolution and develop a national economy based on knowledge, innovation and future technologies. Prior to his appointment, His Excellency worked on developing the UAE’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy, making it the first such strategy of its kind globally.
His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama worked in several sectors including the banking sector, telecommunications, private enterprises and government. H.E. also worked on developing and executing strategies, risk analysis, change management and scenario planning.
His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama holds a Diploma in Project Management and Excellence from the American University of Sharjah and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the American University of Dubai.

His Excellency Dr. ani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi

His Excellency Dr. ani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi

Minister of State for Foreign Trade

H.E Dr. ani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, was appointed as Minister of State for Foreign Trade in July 2020 to oversee the development of non-oil foreign trade and the expansion of global trade partnerships and increase Exports.
In addition to supervising the portfolio of retaining and attracting the best talents and competencies serving the strategic orientation of the UAE, His Excellency also leads the eorts to enhance the UAE’s investment climate in order to achieve the country’s economic interests and strategic goals, thereby strengthening its position as a prime destination for business and investments at both regional and global levels.


Prior to his appointment as the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, H.E held the position of Minister of Climate
Change and Environment and supervised the implementation of the country’s strategies at the domestic level,
for environment and climate action, agricultural development, animal husbandry and fisheries, in addition to
combating desertification and preserving biodiversity leading to enhance the sustainability of natural systems,
food diversity and the transition to a green economy.
rough diverse Global participation, HE led the UAE’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to the repercussions of
climate change, and protect the country’s natural ecosystem by developing and implementing a set of effective
policies and initiatives to achieve sustainable development at both regional and international levels and by
strengthening existing and new partnerships with the government and private sectors that are capable of
increasing the contribution of environment, agricultural, livestock and fisheries sectors to ensuring food security
and biosafety in the country as well as increasing the quality of national production.
Previously and after he served as the Director of the Department of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry
of Foreign Aairs and International Cooperation, H.E Al Zeyoudi was appointed as the UAE’s Permanent
Representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as extraordinary Ambassador.
Minister Al Zeyoudi started his career as an oil engineer at the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company
(ADMA-OPCO), and then moved to Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), where he worked on the
development of renewable and clean energy technologies and solutions, and also played a key role in the success
of the UAE’s 2009 campaign to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in
the capital City, Abu Dhabi.
In 2020, HE. was chosen by the Davos World Economic Forum to become a member of the Young Global
Leadership Council affiliated with the Forum, recognizing his outstanding international efforts in the field of
environment and climate. In 2015, Dr. Al Zeyoudi received the first award for Excellence from the Cooperation
Council for the Arab States of the Gulf in recognition of his pioneering eorts in the field of renewable energy.
H.E Dr. ani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of
Tulsa, an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology, an MBA in Project Management from the British
University in Dubai, and a PhD in Strategy, Program and Project Management from Skema Business School in
France.

Amin Al Zarouni

Amin Al Zarouni

CEO of Sahab Smart Solutions

A visionary at the forefront of Sharjah’s digital transformation, Amin Al Zarouni, CEO of Sahab Smart Solutions, has a proven track record of success in empowering the emirate’s public entities with innovative, personalized data-driven, and people-centric digital solutions.


Al Zarouni’s strong commercial acumen and operational success has consistently enhanced the performance and digital capabilities of Sahab’s public sector clients by enabling them to offer fast and transparent services to people, as well as collect data to further improve efficiency. Under his leadership, Sahab has grown to become Sharjah government’s trusted technology partner in just a few years since the company’s inception in 2018.
Amin serves as a member of the Higher Committee of Digital Transformation of Sharjah, and a member of the Consultative Committee at the College of Engineering in American University of Sharjah (AUS). Prior to joining Sahab, he served as the Director of Public Services at SAP; Head of Information and Communication Technology at Bee’ah; and Business Intelligence Team Lead at Dubal.
He has a Masters degree in Engineering Management from the University of Wollongong, and a Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering AUS.
Amin has won several awards including the SAP Quality Awards 2014. He is also a three-time winner of CIO of the Year. His outstanding leadership skills has been recognised by the Sharjah Leadership Programme.

Stan Chen

Stan Chen

CEO & Co-Founder at RecycleGO

An eco-entrepreneur, Stan’s passion for sustainability along with 20+ years of experience in the recycling industry has provided the knowledge needed to design and develop ever-innovative solutions for the recycling industry, the economy, and the environment. 

Dirk Fransaer

Dirk Fransaer

Managing Director at VITO

Dirk Fransaer is the Managing Director of VITO since 2001. He graduated as a civil engineer at the University of Ghent (Belgium) in 1980 and as a biomedical engineer at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) in 1985.

VITO is a not-for-profit research and technology organization in Belgium, focusing on today’s major societal challenges. From climate change and food security to sustainable energy and resource scarcity, VITO’s research agenda focuses on helping governments and companies around the world initiate societal transitions in line with Agenda 2030 and its associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dirk Fransaer has been standing at the forefront of technological innovation for sustainable development for almost two decades. Dirk Fransaer’s vision and leadership has made VITO one of the leading technological research institutions around the world.

Rose Mwebaza

Rose Mwebaza

Director at Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)

Rose Mwebaza is the Director of the CTCN and brings 20 years’ experience providing policy advice on a wide range of climate change, environment and sustainable development issues.

She has previously served as Chief Natural Resources Officer at the African Development Bank and held leadership positions within the UN Development Programme. Mwebaza was a Lecturer at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, for 10 years, serving as the Head of Department for Commercial Law and Deputy Dean of the Law School.
Mwebaza holds a PhD in environment and natural resource governance from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, a master’s degree in international comparative law (with a Certificate of Academic Excellence) from the University of Florida, U.S.A and a bachelor’s degree in law (LL.B, Hons.) from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Jan Mertens

Jan Mertens

Chief Science Officer at Engie

Jan Mertens is ENGIE’s Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), responsible for co-building ENGIE’s long-term vision on technologies, identifying key international research players in selected emerging technologies and initiating partnerships.

His research activities cover topics related to life cycle assessment, emissions monitoring, carbon capture, carbon use and water footprinting, and he is the author of over 50 international peer-reviewed publications.
Since 2019, Jan has also been Visiting Professor at the University of Ghent, working in the domain of sustainable electricity generation.

Walter Eevers

Walter Eevers

Director of Research & Development at VITO

Walter Eevers is Director of Research & Development at VITO, a leading Belgian research institute focussed on sustainability.

After obtaining a PhD in electrically conductive polymers from Antwerp University, Eevers joined Nitto Europe. Initially responsible for R&D and business development, he went on to become General Manager of Techno-Marketing, a role involving global technology sourcing and marketing which saw him set up multiple collaborations with universities and research institutes.
In 2012, Eevers became a founding father of the Nitto Denko Europe Technical Centre in Lausanne, a facility dedicated to research activities in medical devices.
Walter Eevers acts as an external Expert and Vice Chair on innovation programmes and projects for the EU Commission, Conacyt (Mexico) and the Qatar Foundation. He is Vice-President of CO2 Value Europe, an industry association promoting and stimulating CCU, and also Chairman of the Board of EnergyVille, the sustainable energy research collaboration between KU Leuven, University of Hasselt, Imec and VITO.
In his current position at VITO, Eevers has stimulated and held board positions for several spinoffs. As a visiting professor in the area of polymer chemistry at University of Antwerp, he seeks to guide research activities in biobased polymer developments.

Hicham Bouzekri

Hicham Bouzekri

Director of R&D and Industrial Integration at MASEN

Hicham Bouzekri received his Engineer diploma in electronics and communications from the Ecole Mohammadia d’Ingénieurs in 1995.

After two years working as a microelectronics industrial process engineer for SGS-Thomson in Casablanca, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 1997 to join the Master’s of Science program of the University of Florida, Gainesville from which he graduated in 1998. He obtained a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station in 2002. After graduating, he was among the pioneers who started STMicroelectronics’ Rabat Integrated Circuit Design center, a first in Africa. He held several management positions within STMicroelectronics and ST-Ericsson while concurrently holding an adjunct faculty position at Al Akhawayn University.. He has co-authored a number of scientific publications and industry standards in wireless communications over the span of his 24 years of experience and was elected IEEE senior member. In 2013, he joined Mascir management team, a Moroccan non for profit foundation conducting market oriented R&D in Microelectronics, Biotechnology & Nano-materials, where he served as its Chief Executive Officer until 2016. Between 2017 and 2019, he has consulted with multiple national and international organizations on establishing innovation and knowledge economy ecosystems including the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) and the United Nations – ESCWA. He currently serves as MASEN’s director of R&D and Industrial Integration.

John Kamara

John Kamara

Director of Machine Learning, Institute of Africa & Co Founder, Ada Lab

Delivering an ambitious plan to train young engineers in Africa in AI and ML to increase Africa’s share that currently stands at 5% to support future societies; Developing one of the largest AI startup hubs across East and West Africa.

Founder of Ada Labs. Also heavily involved in business growth and building new markets for various companies who have partnered with Ada Labs. We are a smart technology( AI, Blockchain, IOT ..) focused fusion lab with a social impact and collaborative mandate to build the next generation of social impact and commercially driven entrepreneurs who will change the world from Africa. We are unique because we house our startups for 1 year and actively work with them to develop their product, go to the market and also prepare them for scalability funding. We develop our entrepreneurship program with key partners as part of the service we provide for our start-ups. We also run our own in-house outsource and management team in smart technology. We also have our training and partnership arm where we develop training models and innovation projects for partners across multiple sectors. One of our goals is to be renowned as one of the top AI training partners in Africa.

Abdurrahman (Aba) Khalidi

Abdurrahman (Aba) Khalidi

Chief Technology Officer at GE Gas Power EMEA

As the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of GE Gas Power Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Aba leads various engineering teams in product service, application and requisition, repair, performance, project engineering, new product innovations (NPI) and plant solutions.

Aba began his career with GE as a Senior Mechanical Engineer at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, New York in 1999. He moved into progressively senior leadership roles, most recently holding the position of CTO of GE Gas Power MENA and South Asia, before moving into his current expanded role in 2021.
Aba has worked on a variety of technologies in medical systems, aviation, oil and gas, wind turbines and power systems. His work concentrated on dynamics & vibration, design and motion control of mechanical systems and he has more than 20 US patents in various fields of technology.
Aba received his Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University in 1996 and a PhD from Cornell University in 2001.

Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi

Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology

Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology in the United Arab Emirates, is a senior Emirati official with a vast experience in the Emiratisation policies in vital supplies chains, such as supporting private sector In Country Value initiatives, diversifying the national economy, and strengthening the regional and global competitiveness of the UAE, most notably through strategic partnerships and major investment and development projects in the energy sector.

Al Suwaidi manages a set of plans and initiatives to support, enable and advance Emirati industry, increase its contributions to the national economy, encourage innovation, employ advanced technologies to enhance industrial systems and solutions, promote cooperation and integration between relevant national authorities, consolidate national content and empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).
Before MoIAT, Al Suwaidi worked in leadership positions at the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), including Director of the Commercial and In-Country Value Directorate, Director of the Executive Office, Director of the Gas Management Directorate, Deputy Director of the Strategy and Coordination Directorate, Manager of the Onshore Activities Exploration and Production Division, Board member in several ADNOC companies & Etihad Rail, and chairman of the corporate social responsibility committee.
Al Suwaidi holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in geological engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in the US.

Dr. Juan Sanchez

Dr. Juan Sanchez

Provost and Chief Academic Officer

As Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Juan Sanchez sets AUS’ overall academic priorities and has management responsibilities for academic affairs at the university, colleges and school. In his role of Chief Academic Officer, he works with the deans and the faculty to sustain and advance the highest standards of scholarly achievements at AUS, and to ensure the success of our students through the delivery of high-quality academic programs.

Prior to joining AUS in January 2019, Dr. Sanchez served as Vice President for Research at the University of Texas at Austin for more than 16 years, where he was also appointed as a Temple Foundation Endowed Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Before joining the University of Texas at Austin, he served as Assistant, Associate and Full Professor at Columbia University in New York. As an educator, he has supervised 17 PhD and 7 MS students at both Columbia University and at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Sanchez’s research interests and expertise are in computational materials science and engineering, with a focus on alloy theory and on the modeling and simulation of materials properties from first principles. He has contributed extensively to the scientific and engineering literature in materials science and engineering. He holds a PhD and Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina.

Najla Ahmed Al-Midfa

Najla Ahmed Al-Midfa

Chief Executive Officer of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa)

Najla Ahmed Al-Midfa is Chief Executive Officer of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), a government-supported entity launched in January 2016, with a mandate to build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sharjah, and support entrepreneurs as they build and grow innovative startups that will contribute positively to the region’s economy.

To date, Sheraa has built a portfolio of over 100 startups, which have raised over $70m in investment, created over 1300 jobs, and generated over $80m in cumulative revenue. Sheraa also hosts the annual Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF), a gathering of over 4000 entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and ecosystem supporters from around the world.
In her previous role as Senior Manager at Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Najla led a team of business counselors through the due diligence process of selecting ventures for financing.
Prior to joining Khalifa Fund, Najla was a senior associate at McKinsey and Company’s New York office, primarily serving clients across the financial institutions sector. Her experience also includes roles within PricewaterhouseCoopers and Shell.
Najla is a board member of United Arab Bank and Emirates Development Bank. She is Co-Chair of Innovation and Fourth Industrial Revolution Working Group in UK-UAE Business Council, Vice-Chairperson of Young Arab Leaders, a member of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Schools Establishment, and a board member of Endeavor UAE.
Najla is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Leadership Initiative, as well as an Eisenhower Global Fellow.
Najla holds an MBA from Stanford University.

Yulia Stark

Yulia Stark

president of the European Women’s Association, international keynote speaker, board member and a serial entrepreneur.

Over the last 15 years Yulia focused on building ecosystems and business bridges, establishing strategic mutually beneficial partnerships globally.

Her early career lies in private banking, where she managed investment portfolios of her high net-worth clients.
She is a Senator for Belgium at World Business Angel Investment Forum WBAF, an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI.
Living in the heart of Europe (Brussels), offers strategic opportunities, connecting East and West. She has developed a strong network of investors, business leaders, entrepreneurs and technology partners in her network.
She is the connector to business opportunities in commodity sector in Eastern Europe.
Active in the startup and scale up scene, connecting founder to Business Angels and Venture Capitalists.
As the president of the European Women’s Association she strongly believes in economical empowerment of women through education, entrepreneurship and Gender Lens Investment (GLI) approach.

Majid El Bouazzaoui

Majid El Bouazzaoui

President of OFEED, Morocco.

President of the organizing committee of the Innovation Week IWA international event.
Executive Committee Member at the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations IFIA, Geneva, Switzerland.

Jury board member in several international invention and innovation events including: MIT Solve® challenges USA, MIT Elevate® prize USA, Archimedes (Russian Federation), iCAN (Canada), IEI/WIIF (China), ISIF (Turkey), SLIC Sri Lanka, Asian Invent Singapore, Indonesia Inventors Day (IID), Taiwan, China, HongKong SAR China.
More than 60 international awards including more than 30 gold medals and:
• Order of “National Recompense” from His Majesty the King Mohammed VI, Officer class, Morocco
• Order of “Pride of the Nation” of the International Inventor Prize (IIP), Taiwan, China
• Order of “Wide contribution to the development of science and technology”, Archimedes International Club, Russian Federation
• Order “For Science and Innovation”, Officer Class, Romania
• Order of “Leadership Awards”, Officer class, UK
• “Future Award” from World Genius Convention, Japan

ROBERTO CROCI

ROBERTO CROCI

MANAGING DIRECTOR OF MICROSOFT FOR STARTUPS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA REGION

With over 20 years’ experience working for the likes of Microsoft and Google, Roberto Croci’s passion lies in innovation, startups and PEOPLE.
Relationship-driven, he has bridged the gap between corporates and startups across more than 20 countries, helping them develop real solutions that solve real-world problems.

A leading innovator in developing ecosystems where startups thrive, Roberto’s expertise and candid approach have kept him in demand with major tech companies throughout his career.
In his current role as the Managing Director of Microsoft for Startups, Roberto is building Microsoft’s new division from scratch, including spearheading its expansion and innovation strategy, with the vision to foster a collaborative startup ecosystem to create a better, brighter future for people around the world. Connecting the dots between startups, government agencies and private sector organizations, Roberto helps organizations adopt the innovation mindset and leverage the technology and nimbleness that startups provide. With an ability to cut through the noise, he works directly with startup founders and encourages them to “think differently” and to “be more curious.”
Roberto is passionate about mentoring young people, helping them develop an entrepreneurial mindset to search for solutions to problems they see in their community, country, or across the globe. He regularly speaks at prominent universities, including Abu Dhabi University and Zayed University, as well as within local school systems, such as the GEMS schools. His vision is to inspire 1 million students and entrepreneurs to build homegrown tech startups that evolve to become global Unicorns.
An in-demand international speaker, Roberto speaks about authentic and creative leadership, employee engagement, mental health, innovation and digital transformation, funding and startups.
In his personal world, Roberto enjoys reading hardcover books, hiking, running, and spending time with his family. He has summited K2, the second highest mountain in the world. He enjoys building relationships with passionate, driven people from all sectors, cultures, and walks of life.

Ghada Elkeissi

Ghada Elkeissi

Head of Professional Services, Public Sector covering Middle East and Africa region, Amazon Web Services

She leads a team who work closely with Government, Healthcare and Education Customers helping them embrace digital transformation through cloud adoption with focus on cloud migration, modernization and innovation.
She is a technology leader with​ 20​ years of experience in IT, leading both pre-sales and large-scale project delivery in multiple regions.​


She has started her technical career journey in 2003 by joining IBM as a Software Engineer. She worked closely with sales teams and customers C-Level executives to build sales pipelines for the organization and secure winning profitable projects. In 2015 Ghada was identified as top technical woman talent for IBM Middle East & Africa region. She was nominated for one year assignment in the US to join IBM Corporate Headquarters and be part of IBM Corporate Technology Evaluation team. Ghada has also played an important role in leading projects related to setup and launch of the IBM Watson IoT Headquarter located in Munich.
Ghada has​ then​ joined GE Digital on June, 2017. She led​ a team of software engineers, data science, and analytics to develop global repeatable business solutions that can accelerate go to market and delivery​ in power industry.​ The solutions were​ focused on industrial internet of things​ (IIoT)​ platform, connecting to assets, collecting data and applying AI & advanced analytics to provide operational and business optimization.​ In September 2018, Ghada was promoted to be the Global Senior Director of the GE Power Digital Technology Services organization. Ghada led a global team of industry experts, software engineers, and data scientists to focus on delivering GE Power Plants Operation Performance Management platform.
Ghada is an Open Group certified Distinguished Architect. She has patents and publications. She is an active career coach, and technical mentor.​ She was named as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Ambassador for UAE (2017-2019).​ Ghada holds Bachelor (2000) and Masters (2004) degree in Computer Science from the American University of Cairo. She was born and raised in UAE. On a personal level she enjoys having a large social network, loves arts, traveling and immersing in to different cultures.

Omar Obeidat

Omar Obeidat

Partner, Head of Competition and Intellectual Property.

Omar Obeidat is a Partner in Al Tamimi & Company and the Head of Competition and Intellectual Property and enjoys over 22 years of experience in this field.
Omar obtained his LL.B degree in 1996 from Yarmouk University, Jordan, and his LL.M. degree in 1997 from the University of Georgia at Athens, USA. He advised on a number of areas including Intellectual Property, Competition, Media, Regulatory Affairs and Compliance and Consumer Protection in the UAE as well as the Arab region. Omar had previously advised, with a team of lawyers, the Jordanian Government on the accession to the World Trade Organization.


Omar has overseen the Competition Law in the UAE from its inception initially commenting on the draft law to its adoption later on and implementation. In this regard, Omar is quite active in liaising with UAE Competition Authority in addressing compliance or defending clients’ interests.
On Competition disputes, Omar was successful in defending a move distributor and cinema operator in the first of its kind Competition Law investigation in the UAE.
On merger clearances, Omar was successful in obtaining approval for economic concentration decision by the Minister of economy for Uber acquisition of Careem assets. The significance of this transaction being in a dynamic ever-developing mobility sector and was the first merger control clearance worldwide for this transaction.
On the legislative side, Omar assisted in drafting or commenting on Trademarks Regulation, Industrial Property (Design & Patent) Law, Trade Secrets Draft, Competition Law, Cyber Crimes Law, and Plant Varieties Law.
Omar has spoken at tens of seminars, conferences, round tables on mostly intellectual property and, is regularly hosted on Televised programs including BBC World; ‘Middle East Business report’, Dubai TV, One TV, Rotana and Abu Dhabi TV, and has extensive publications.
Omar is qualified before Jordan Bar Association and is a member to many organisations locally and internationally including Vice Chairman of AIPPI-UAE, Board member of Brand Owners Protection Group (BPG), and sat on various committees in International Trademarks Association. (INTA). He is also previously served as Trustee and Board member to the Dubai Advisory Board for Intellectual Property. Omar also sat as member of the Advisory Board for the Middle East North Africa Franchise Association (MENAFA), and sits on the Steering Committee for Global Entrepreneurship Monitor-UAE Chapter.
Omar is ranked Band 1 in Chambers and Tier 1 in Legal 500, The World Trademark Review ranked Omar as Gold and states “IP head Omar Obeidat is the star of the show; he is strongly endorsed for his anti-counterfeiting know-how and his in-depth understanding of IP law”. Omar was also a Winner of the Client Choice Awards 2015 under the practice Intellectual Property-Trademarks. He was also chosen by Managing Intellectual Property in the IP Stars Handbook of years 2014 through 2019.

João Doria

João Doria

Governor of the State of São Paulo

João Doria is the current Governor of the State of São Paulo, elected in
November 2018. He was previously the Mayor of the City of São Paulo
(2017/2018). A business executive, journalist and advertising professional,
Doria founded GRUPO DORIA and LIDE – Group of Business Leaders.


Between 2008 and 2012, João Doria figured in ISTOÉ Magazine’s list of
100 most influential personalities in Brazil. In 2014, he was elected as one
of the 100 leaders with best reputation in Brazil, in a research conducted by
Merco, an European company, and published in Brazil by exame.com. In
May 2017, Doria was conferred the award of “Person of the Year” in New
York, United States, by the Brazilian American Chamber.
During his mandate as Mayor in the City of São Paulo, João Doria
innovated as a public administrator. He forfeited his wages and donated it
to institutional charities. With a focus on combatting bureaucracy and
corruption, he promoted the digitalization of administrative processes and
conducted a large cut on expenditures in order to bolster the efficiency of
the city’s public administration. He digitalized the municipal administration
and launched an unprecedented public-private partnerships program in the
Capital of the State of São Paulo.
In the State of São Paulo, his mandate maintains the same tripod that
guided his actions as Mayor: decentralization, efficiency and transparency.
In three months as Governor, Doria continues to donate his wages and
focalized advances in health, education, public security, popular housing
and social assistance. He announced the hiring of new professors and
police officers to strengthen the police force. He transferred 22 leaders of
the largest criminal faction in the country to federal prisons and invested in
the prevention of violence against women. The successful “Corujão da
Saúde” program was expanded towards other municipalities in the State of
São Paulo.
A liberal, João Doria developed a bold program of concessions and
privatizations for his government in the State of São Paulo. The program
encompasses 221 areas of public-private partnerships, amongst which,
highways, railroads, waterways, ports, airports, ferry services, forest parks
and the zoological garden.

Najla E. Al Ansari

Najla E. Al Ansari

Serial Entrepreneur

Najla, a passionate individual and a serial entrepreneur is a graduate from the American university of Sharjah.
She is also the founder of NOT a SPACE, a multi-experiential space that connects the local community by offering services in the grooming industry.


Najla had also worked as General Manager of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF), an annual festival that gathers all ecosystem players under one roof hosting 3,000+ attendees. SEF is an initiative of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center, Sharjah’s leading accelerator and co-working space that empowers youth to start their own businesses where she plays an important role in paving the way for young entrepreneurs in Sharjah.

Munish Dhiman

Munish Dhiman

Founder and CEO of emerging tech Startups Gest­ure Research and Xea­listic

Munish is the Founder and CEO of emerging tech Startups Gest­ure Research and Xea­listic. He has a bac­kground of innovating multiple XR produc­ts in the different domains. He is a Fut­ure Tech Speaker, Re­searcher, Mentor and a Specialist on Gesture Control, Comp­uter Vision, AI, ML and Smart Devices, with an international industry exposure of 15 years. He is we­ll known for his con­tribution to innovat­ion and startup comm­unity.​


He is a part of many elite entrepreneur groups like Champions of Change – A group of handpicked entr­epreneurs who worked with the​ Prime Mi­nister of India and the cabinet ministers to advice on policy making and startup initiatives in the country. He contri­butes as a startup mentor and entreprene­ur representative to StartUp Haryana, a prominent state star­tup initiative in In­dia. Alumi of Global Entrepreneur Progra­m, UK. IBM Smart cam­p, Mentor at Startup­bootcamp Dubai Smart city Accelerator and IIDF Russia.

Karim Elhelaly

Karim Elhelaly

Legal Director, Oracle | UAE

Mr. El Helaly is an Egyptian national and senior legal consel with Oracle. His main fields of specialization are corporate commercial, intellectual property, and technology transfer with a particular focus on technology-based industries. His scope of work involves counseling, licensing, enforcement and management of IP assets.


Mr. El Helaly completed his general certificate of education in Science from the University of London in 1990. In 1995 he received his L.L.B. from the University of Cairo, faculty of Law, and admitted to the Egyptian Bar in since 1995. In 1998, Mr. El Helaly obtained his L.L.M with specialization in IP and technology at Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, NH, USA. He completed his internship at Colgate-Palmolive Trademark Department of the Global Legal Function in New York. Mr. El Helaly started his legal career as a junior associate at Baker and McKenzie Cairo office, then he was appointed as public prosecutor and assistant to the Attorney General Office. From 2000 until 2005, Mr. El Helaly was the head of the IP and licensing department at the law firm of Zaki Hashem & Partners in Cairo, Egypt. His work with the firm mainly focused on assisting the Government of Egypt (“GOE”) towards its accession to the World Trade Organization in terms of negotiating, drafting and implementing adequate intellectual property legislations. In addition, he assists the GOE in establishing a reliable intellectual property system that complies with Egypt’s international obligations and strengthens the environment for investment, trade, and innovation. His work involves the strengthening of the legal and regulatory framework for intellectual property and to promote IP-public awareness. He works extensively with Egypt’s intellectual property offices (Patent, Trademark, and Plant Variety Offices) and advising on implementation of the intellectual property system, including international best practices and successful strategies adopted by other countries. Also, he provides training of personnel who are responsible for implementation of Egypt’s intellectual property laws. Mr. El Helaly is a certified mediator for commercial and intellectual property disputes and is an active member of the Licensing Executive Society USA-Canada (“LES”), the International Association for the protection of Intellectual Property (“AIPPI”), and is an associate member of the American Bar Association for the division of Intellectual Property, Franchise and Law practice management.

Howard Brown

Howard Brown

Director, at Templar Executives – www.templarexecs.com

Howard is certified as a National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC, a division of GCHQ) Trainer for Boards and senior roles. His extensive experience includes mentoring to SIROs in both the private and public sector. He is an established and highly effective leader with operational and commercial experience spanning private, defence and security sectors in the UK, Europe and the Middle East for over 30 years.


As a Director for over 6 years, Howard has successfully developed enduring business relationships and partnerships across public and private sectors. He has led multiple Cyber Health Checks and Audits for multi-national clients, identifying key Cyber risks and threats and advising on improving Cyber resilience. Howard has also delivered Cyber Security keynote speeches for multiple sectors, engaging with a variety of audiences and promoting the Cyber agenda.

H.E. Mohammed Bin Taliah

H.E. Mohammed Bin Taliah

Chief of Government Services of the United Arab Emirates Government

His Excellency Mohammed Bin Taliah is the Chief of Government Services of the United Arab Emirates Government, where he oversees improving government services and implementing programs to ensure providing high quality services through the Emirates Government Service Excellence Program (EGSEP), which aims to raise the efficiency of government services and improve customer experience.


He also oversees other programs including the Global Star Rating System, Khadamati system, and the Best M-Government Award, an international annual award aiming to encourage government entities and students to develop innovative solutions in the field of smart applications.
Bin Taliah has previously held several managerial positions in various fields in the public and private sectors, including IT, cyber security, corporate governance, media, and ICT. From 2014 to 2019, he served as Assistant Director General for the Corporate Services Sector at the Prime Minister’s Office, in the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs.
Bin Taliah holds the Executive Certificate in Leadership and Management from MIT Sloan School of Management, a Master of Science degree in Project Management from the British University in Dubai, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi.

Professor Manahel Thabet

Professor Manahel Thabet

Ranked among the top 30 smartest people alive by SuperScholar

Professor Manahel Thabet is ranked among the top 30 smartest people alive by SuperScholar and has been awarded the distinguished Freedom of the City of London, plus the Damehood of St Kathryn, in recognition of her scientific and humanitarian work.


Professor Thabet, who is a member of the Royal Society, is hugely influential across the globe as the President of the Economic Forum for Sustainable Development and her opinions and advice are sought internationally as she is, fundamentally, someone who exhibits the best that human potential and vast ability can offer.

Dr. Maxime Merheb

Dr. Maxime Merheb

Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Associate Professor of Biotechnology at American University of Ras Al Khaimah AURAK

Dr. Maxime Merheb received his Master’s degree in Physiology, Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Poitiers (2006) and his Ph.D. in Biotechnology from Ecole Normale Supérieure (2010). In France, Dr. Merheb worked as Professor and Researcher in the French National Platform for Ancient and Degraded DNA and in the Institute of Functional Genomics of Lyon. In January 2012 Dr. Merheb has joined the American University of Ras Al Khaimah in UAE (AURAK), and since October 2017, he is serving as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.


Dr. Merheb worked on the development forensic DNA techniques to detect the frauds in canned food and leathers. In this field, Dr. Merheb was continuously transferring the technological know-how to international companies specialized in food safety. In collaboration with Hermès and the National Museum of Music in Paris, Dr. Merheb worked on the restoration of the last conserved copy of Grand Piano made by Sébastien Érard (1802), the only remaining copy (with its original materials), equivalent to Beethoven’s Grand Piano. In this project, his mission was to identify the species origin of the ancient leather and glue, using state-of-the-art DNA barcoding techniques. Dr. Merheb also worked on the development of novel biophysical methods to detect DNA without enzymatic amplification (without PCR). Currently, Dr. Merheb is leading three research projects related to genetic profiling of soil microorganisms with potential for biofuel production.

H.E. Ms. Patricia Ellen da Silva

H.E. Ms. Patricia Ellen da Silva

Secretary of Economic Development, Science and Technology of the State of São Paulo

Ms. Patricia has a degree in Business Administration from FEA-USP, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School and an MBA from Insead. Patricia was president of Optum in Brazil, a health technology company of the United Health group.


A former partner at McKinsey & Company, she is a professor of Leadership and Digital Innovation at the Masters in Leadership and Management at the Center for Public Leadership.
She was a member of the Council for Economic and Social Development of the Presidency of the Republic. She is a co-founder of the Agora Movement and was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2016. “

SAVE THE DATE! 27 OCTOBER 2021. #MITTS2021