• Transform magazine
  • January 22, 2021



The judges

The panel and the judging process.

The judging panel for the Transform Awards MEA 2021 is composed of branding and communication experts from the Middle East and Africa region. We purposely look for a panel that has experience and knowledge of branding, marketing, corporate communications and advertising from various industries in order to provide a wider perspective.

The scoring is done on a points system and the judges score anonymously. The judging system we operate is one which is fair, if a judge has entered into a specific category, they will be exempt from reviewing that area in which they are competing to avoid bias. We also provide detailed feedback on submitted work which often proves highly useful.

Winners are determined by the scores they receive and only entries that score high enough marks will be shortlisted and awarded with trophies.

In 2021, we will welcome the winning agencies and companies of the 2020 'Best overall visual identity' and 'Grand Prix' accolade to judge the awards.

If you are an in-house professional, are interested and believe you have the necessary background to be a judge for the Transform Awards MEA 2021, please email Jessica Dunmall.


Below you can view the judging panel for the Transform Awards MEA 2021.

Yamen Alagha
Marketing Communications Manager
BMW Group

Melissa Bayik
Head of brand

Melissa Bayik is Head of Brand at Arada, where she oversees all brands from both a design and strategic perspective. Her current responsibilities include helping Aljada, Sharjah’s new AED24 billion lifestyle destination, redefine what it means to be a mass premium experiential brand for everyone in the UAE and beyond.

Prior to working at Arada, Melissa worked with Meraas to develop the new corporate and destination brands of the holding group during its transformational brand change.

With over 14 years’ experience, Melissa has worked with leading international design consultancies, and also owned and led a small Dubai-based design practice. She has been involved with a range of regional branding projects across most sectors including financial services, energy, shipping, trading, hospitality, petrochemicals, destination and real estate, and has worked with brands as varied as Majid Al Futtaim, Fawaz Al Hokair, Al Hilal Bank, ADPC (Abu Dhabi Ports Company) and more.

Melissa is passionate about design and education; and their power to transform things at a large scale. 

Christopher Joshua Benton
Artist & Creative Director

Christopher Joshua Benton is a Dubai-based artist and advertising creative director working across photography, film, and installation art. He has worked as an image-maker for brands, musicians, and governments, directing TV commercials, campaigns and photoshoots. Clients have included Huawei, Condé Nast, and the NFL. His immersive installations have been exhibited in museums and design fairs alike including Jameel Arts Centre and Dubai Design Week, and featured in magazines like Vice Arabia, Dezeen, and Campaign.

Peter Brun
Chief Communications Officer
VFS Global

Ibiyinka Dada
Digital Marketing Manager

Mariagrazia De Angelis
General Manager, ME

Landor&Fitch join the 2021 judging panel, as the winners of the 2020 Grand Prix award.

Ken Feather
Chief Marketing Officer
TGT Diagnostics

Farah Gamal
Senior designer
Superunion Berlin

Farah has a deep expertise in branding in the Middle East having worked in multiple markets in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar, Oman and Egypt. She earned a degree in Visual communication from the American University in Dubai, with a concentration in graphic design. Having joined Superunion seven years ago she has been involved in a number of diverse branding projects for clients including: Vodafone, HSBC, Eurex, ila and Franklin Templeton.

Being a bilingual designer, her main focus is building multicultural brands and designing creative solutions for projects that are implemented across the region. Not just interested in design for today and tomorrow, she also loves history of design. When travelling, she is always fascinated by the generations of old shops and businesses, where even the smallest store has its own dignity and sense of pride.

She remains creatively active, far beyond the job; she is regularly invited by AUD, her alma mater, to serve as a guest juror, part of an A-list panel, offering students close feedback and share insights from the industry.


Superunion join the 2021 judging panel, as the winners of the 2020 'Best overall visual identity' award.

Joumana Haddad
Lipton Tea brand manager - MENA

Joumana started her career in Dubai right after graduating from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. While working in advertising at a media company and interacting with marketers in FMCG companies; she developed her passion in marketing. That’s when Joumana went back to school to earn her degree in Masters of Strategic Marketing and joined Unilever upon graduating.

Joumana worked on multiple brands in Unilever handling different brands across the Beverages and Homecare portfolio such as Lipton and Jif. She has led product mixes, communication strategies, and award winning campaigns across the MENA region.

Ozlem Karacaoglu
Head of Marketing - Sirocco Heineken
The Heineken Company

Having a diversified background, Ozlem Karacaoglu has 15 years of marketing & sales experience in different industries covering North America, Europe, CIS, MENAT and GCC. Being an innovation fan,  she led the team developing a patent called ‘Magic Branding’ which provides enhanced brand visibility at the point of sale in 2013; this innovation is still being used by top multinationals today. She has several certificates in beer, wine, whisky trainings and tastings. Although currently working in beer, her personal passion is single malt whisky and her ambition is to create craft single malt of her own. Ozlem holds a master degree in marketing and she is a mother of 11-years old son.

Mais Kawar
Marketing & Communications Manager – Logistics District
Dubai South

Mais joined Dubai South (Dubai World Central) in March 2013 as its Marketing Manager. Kawar and her team are responsible for all corporate marketing and branding development and management, making sure that all relevant activities are aligned with the business goals and objectives set for Dubai South Free Zone and the Logistics District.

She has brought to the organization her vast experience of successfully delivering B2B marketing and communication strategies across multiple markets. Being a highly creative and enthusiastic professional, Kawar, who has passion for building fantastic brands, excels in executing marketing strategies that deliver exceptional results.

Prior to joining Dubai South (DWC), she was the Regional Marketing Specialist of Azadea General Investment Co. Ltd. – Dubai, UAE. She is also the former Senior Marketing Specialist of Azadea General Investment Co. Ltd. – Amman, Jordan. Additionally, Kawar held various positions in leading international hotels in Jordan, including Marriott Hotel, Intercontinental Hotel, and Sheraton Hotel.

Kawar earned her M. Sc in Business Administration (MBA) - Focus on Marketing from New York Institute of Technology, Amman, Jordan, and her B.A. in Hotel and Tourism Management from Amman Ahlia University also in Jordan. She holds an International Baccalaureate Diploma as well given by Amman Baccalaureate School in Jordan.

Qasim Khan
Head of Brand Management
Toyota UAE

A veteran of global automobile industry who, after completing his Masters Degree in Management from  England, started his career in Pakistan in 1991. His global mindset enabled him move overseas and progressed his international career in diverse geographies and brands that included cross functional assignments in Middle East & Africa, Russia, South Korea and United States with world's best-known automotive manufacturers General Motors Company, Nissan Motor Corporation and automotive distributors including Head of Brand Management at Al Futtaim Motors Toyota. 

The wide diversity of brands managed across various regions included Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Opel, Daewoo, Nissan and Toyota.  

This has enabled him to look at 360 degree view of a brand performance and the levers that enable success in the market place. 

Antony Lawrence
Executive director - marketing
Dubai Holding

Antony has had a career spanning three decades of branding from both the service and client side. After graduating from St Martins School of Art in London, he worked for a number of advertising and Design agencies before establishing his own boutique branding consultancy that specialized in Luxury, Lifestyle, Travel and Hospitality.

He arrived on the scene in Dubai in 2005 as the Group Director of Marketing with Jumeirah and was formative in the re-brand of the global luxury hospitality Group. In 2009 he transferred to Abu Dhabi, and TDIC, as Director of Special Projects and enjoyed a diverse portfolio of projects from hotels, museums, real estate, education and sport.

After six years as the managing Director of latitude Agency, Dubai, and a proud winner of the Transform “Best Regional Brand” category he returned to client side as the Executive Director of Marketing at Dubai Holding.

“This really is a job where I wake up every morning and feel inspired and driven to do something both challenging and surprising for both myself and Dubai.  My dream is to leave a true legacy for this wonderful city that I call my home, and in the words of our company slogan: For the Good of Tomorrow

Suad Merchant
Head of Brand & Corporate Communications
Mashreq Bank

Suad Merchant is the Head of Brand & Communications for Mashreq Bank – UAE's oldest private bank having a strong presence spanning 12 countries globally.

In her current role, Suad has established and driven the brand strategy, corporate communications and PR at the Group level. Suad plays an integral role in defining Mashreq's strategic vision as the organization’s communication custodian while exemplifying its digital transformation journey by ensuring a focus on customer-centricity.

Suad's career began in India at McCann WorldGroup 18 years ago. As a Communication head, she helped several brands such as MasterCard International, Microsoft, Kraft Foods and L'Oréal. Her work spanned globally across multiple markets including EMEA, UK, US, Australia, China and India.

Before joining Mashreq, Suad played a pivotal role in establishing the 'Global Integrated Marketing' team at Hewlett Packard for 12 countries, post which, she was a crucial catalyst during the brand merger for First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) in the UAE.

Suad's experience and achievements are meticulously rooted in agile-thinking, and shaped to encompass a digital-first approach to marketing and communications. Suad particularly excels at forming thriving strategic partnerships and collaboration between key stakeholders and marrying business needs with the organization’s core customers.


Oleg Nesterenko
Marketing Director

Online media expert, turnaround executive, and entrepreneur (CPO, CMO, CEO) who, for the last ten years, built success stories for the most prominent premium video streaming services in MENA, Eastern Europe, CIS markets, and their diaspora all over the world. Created brands and products that became undisputed regional leaders serving nowadays more than 80 mln users combined, like Shahid by MBC Group, MEGOGO, Viasat, Volia, Kyivstar etc.

Sharif Raisin-Hauvespre
Head of marketing and communications
Eltizam Asset Management Group

Sharif is the Head of marketing and communications at Eltizam Asset Management Group. Sharif has spent 15 years working across  B2B and B2C communications in industries such as asset management, property, facilities management, financial services, sustainability, engineering, construction and investment.

Sharif holds an MBA from the University of Atlanta, USA, and has completed several other courses in business leadership and marketing at London Business School, Insead, Paris and Heriot-Watt University.

Sujid Rehman
Branding and Marketing Specialist
Qatar Olympic Committee

With over 12 years of experience, Sujid has played a key role in communications, managing multiple clients and managing engaging and effective branding and marketing campaigns. 

He was appointed as Head of Branding for two World Championships: AIBA World Boxing Championships Doha 2015 and the 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Doha 2018.

In 2016 he was selected to serve as a subject matter expert, speaker and panellist for the Transform Middle East Brand Summit. Sujid was a key member of two award-winning branding teams: The 24th Men’s Handball World Championship Qatar 2015 (Gold) and the AIBA World Boxing Championships Doha 2015 (Bronze).


Align your brand with this global celebration honouring brand development and rebranding.

We have a number of sponsorship options available to you. Call us to find out more. 

Andrew Thomas, publisher of Transform magazine and founder of the Transform Awards

email: athomas@transformmagazine.net

call: +44 (0)20 3950 5356

Supporting Partners

If you are interested in being a supporting partner for the Transform Awards MEA please email athomas@transformmagazine.net