• Transform magazine
  • May 26, 2024


2016 Middle East Brand Summit


2016 Middle East Brand Summit

2016 Middle East Brand Summit


Abdulaziz Alhejji
marketing manager
The Saudi Pro League



David Bennett
senior consultant/expert - branding. stakeholder management & corporate culture
Saudi Electricity Company (SEC)

A highly accomplished strategic brand practitioner, marketer, expert in culture transformations and customer engagement with 30 years global experience, (25 years in GCC),  David has vast experience within service industries. He has worked with global and regional institutions in senior management positions on both agency and client sides of the spectrum.  His experience has included that of; lecturer, mentor and has published white papers including; ‘Bringing Brands to Life in the Digital Age’ and ‘Branding the DNA of Culture’. David’s career has spanned three decades working across five continents with global institutions including; Interbrand (the world’s premier branding agency) and M&C Saatchi. He was a key contributor in launch of the inaugural Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix and has held senior marketing positions with American Express, Emirates NBD, Arab National Bank (ANB) and Doha Bank.As a Brand Practitioner and Subject Matter Expert, David is currently contracting with Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) contributing to one of the largest public utility rebrandsand culture transformations in the  GCC region.

Asma Al Thani
director of marketing and communications
Qatar Olympic Committee

Asma Al Thani is the Director of Marketing & Communications with the Qatar Olympic Committee and a Graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. A recognized brand builder, transformational leader, and creative problem solver with a track record of success across a range of industries including sports & entertainment and mobile telecom. Her most recent success was leading a multi-functional marketing team for some of Qatar's highest-profile sporting events, the 24th Men's Handball World Championship – 2015, the 2015 IPC Athletics and the 2015 AIBA World Championship.

An adventurer at heart, Asma was among the 1st group of Qatari women to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in October 2014 in a charitable endeavor to raise some QAR2 million funds for Gaza. She was also a very active volunteer during her university days taking on roles such as “Wheels & Heels” volunteer under ROTA (Reach Out to Asia), Freshman Orientation Leader and Teacher Assistant at Al Duhail Independent School for Girls.

Ash Banerjee
chief brand officer
Jawwy from STC

Ash is part of the executive management team behind the first ‘negotiated brand’ in the MENA region.

Earlier, he led brand development & management at du for 6 years. During his tenure the cumulative brand health index and the financial value of the brand tripled, it’s stock price doubled, and it won Gold for Best Brand Development and the Grand Prix at the inaugural Transform MENA Awards 2014.

Before joining du, Ash was a Senior Partner for brand strategy at Lippincott and led their Dubai office, working with major brands in the region.

Previously, he was Senior Vice President - Europe, Middle East & Africa at McCann’s EMEA HQ in London. He was Worldwide Director of the Telecommunications Practice and held several other global & regional management & strategy roles.


Linton Crockford-Moore
creative director – strategy & innovation,
Chalhoub Group

Born in the United Kingdom, Linton Crockford-Moore began his career in retail in London for Gap after completing his Design studies in 1995, and it was during this time that Linton built the foundation for his deep understanding for the retail business. 

In 2000 Linton moved to the Middle East and joined the Chalhoub Group where he was responsible for the regional Visual Merchandising and brand development for a portfolio of over 20 luxury brands ranging from Paul Smith, Lanvin, Christian Lacroix, Kenzo, Christofle, S.T.Dupont.

Linton then went on to become Visual Merchandising Manager in 2006 leading the transformation of this activity with his drive to set the highest standards of sensorial retail experience’s. 

His foresight and unique knowledge of global luxury brands, retail trends, fashion and design prompted him in 2010 to become the Chalhoub Group’s Creative Director, where in his role he saw a need for integrated and creative brand communications and an enhanced in-store consumer experience in the fashion, beauty and gift sectors.

Natasha D'Souza
head of public relations and communications
JRD Group

Natasha D’Souza is a strategic communications and growth advisor for startups, SMEs and technology. As Head of public Relations and communications at JRD Group--a Dubai-based real estate technology enterprise--Natasha leads branding, public relations, and communications across the Group’s portfolio including the JustProperty group of portals--among MENA’s oldest and largest property portals--and PropSpace, the region’s leading cloud-based real estate enterprise software. She believes in the power of brand evangelization and championing homegrown brands on a global scale. Natasha also writes as an independent business journalist; exploring leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging markets for regional and global publications. D’Souza pursued a Bachelor of Science in Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has an Advanced Certificate in Marketing Strategy from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

Salim Hussain
principal architect
Atkins Global

Salim is a talented and dedicated professional whose focus is to design and build sustainable, high quality, contextual buildings. His buildings have won a number of awards and been published around the world. He has worked across a range of sectors including Masterplanning, Residential, Arts, Commercial, Hospitality and Education. His experience covers Feasibility Studies, Concept, Design Development, Client Management, Brief Writing, Design Team Leadership, and Site Supervision. Salim is currently a visiting critic at the American University of Sharjah and has lectured at Architecture Schools in the UK. He regularly contributes to Architectural publications and conferences and has been an invited judge for the Gulf region’s premier Architectural Awards, the Middle East Architect Awards

Mohammed Mamdouh
creative lead

Sahar Qanati
manager - corporate communications
GFH Financial Group

Sahar has more than 8 years of experience in internal and corporate communications. She began her career with Ernst & Young Bahrain in 2006. She worked for six years at Arab Insurance Group (ARIG), the region’s largest insurer, where she was an assistant manager in the company’s Human Resources department as well as providing support on internal events and other communications activities of the company. After which Sahar joined FinMark Communications as a senior communications specialist with a strong background in internal communications, events and training and development as well as expertise in public and media relations. Sahar also took part in organising the 27th General Arab Insurance Federation (GAIF) Conference in Bahrain in 2008 in addition to other business events such as the Tamkeen Business Quiz Show. Due to her excellent media relations, she was handling key accounts of Finmark’s clients. Currently she is Manager in the Corporate Communications Department at GFH Financial Group. Sahar holds a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from University of Bahrain and is a certified CIPD instructor. She recently completed her Advanced Diploma in Chartered Institute in Public Relations (CIPR) with merit.  

Melanie Raymer
marketing & communications manager
Make-A-Wish Foundation

Melanie has worked with non-profits for over 10 years as either an employed member of staff or as a volunteer. She is passionate about making a difference by bringing together those in need, and companies and individuals that have a desire to give back to the community.
She worked as a marketing coordinator for Coopers & Lybrand in Derby, UK before graduating from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in 1998. Since then she has lived in South East Asia and West Africa and been involved in various non-profit initiatives.
In the position of marketing and communications manager for Make-A-Wish UAE for the last 5 years, she works mainly with the expat community to increase awareness, raise funds and build the brand of the Foundation. She believes in building strong long-term relationships with the community.

Sujid Rehman
head of branding

In a branding career spanning more than 10 years and three countries, Sujid Rehman has carved an impressive reputation through a blend of expertise that encompasses creativity, brand management, and marketing. He has been instrumental in the rebranding of India’s leading software company, Infosys Ltd, and within numerous projects in Bahrain. Since broadening his GCC experience in Qatar, Sujid was a key member of the Qatar 2015 – 24th Men’s Handball World Championship’s award-winning branding team, and was appointed as Head of Branding for the AIBA World Boxing Championships – Doha 2015, leading a team that set a new regional high watermark for branding.

Daniel Taylor
senior director - brand

Dan is currently the senior director -  brand at du in Dubai. He is primarily responsible for delivering the day-to-day brand development needs of the business, from both a design and strategic perspective. Over the last 18 years he has worked on many renowned global brands from both an agency and client perspective. Dan has spent a significant part of his life working in international environments and regional roles, having lived in Singapore, Los Angeles, London, with home currently being the UAE.


David Wilson
general manager
Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeriah

David Wilson, General Manager, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, UAE, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in hospitality. Most recently serving as the Managing Director of Ritz-Carlton Beijing and JW Marriott Beijing Wilson joined Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts in August 2015.

Prior to this role, he held extensive leadership positions at properties around the globe including General Manager at The Ritz Carlton Bali Resort and Spa where he successfully developed and launched 40 new on-property villas, a spa and a new restaurant concept. Wilson's other global hospitality positions include senior management roles with Shangri-La Luxury Hotels and Hyatt Hotels. His hospitality career began with positions in finance and food and beverage departments at properties in the UK, Indonesia and Australia. 

As General Manager for Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Wilson leads the operation for Hilton Worldwide’s premier brand, an addition to the growing portfolio of luxury hotels in the Middle East.

Melika Yazdjerdi
head of corporate communications
Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons

Melika Yazdjerdi’s impressive career spans multiple regions and sectors. As the Head of Corporate Communications at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, she oversees the development and execution of all corporate communication strategies across Seddiqi Holding and its subsidiaries. Her wealth of knowledge, garnered from her experience in strategic posts, comes from her involvement within the commodities, luxury, retail, and hospitality sectors.

Melika joined Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons in 2009 to spearhead the development of the Corporate Marketing and Communications division, establishing a global standard across the organization and overseeing the implementation of a number of corporate initiatives including the inception and execution of the first GPHG exhibition in the Middle East in 2013 and the first-ever event dedicated to horology in the Middle East, the Dubai Watch Week in 2015.

When & where

...and many more.

Book your ticket to join your peers, participate in the discussion, learn from the experts and head back to the office with new ideas and inspirations for your brand's communications and marketing. 

The first ten charity, NGO or not for profit companies to book will get a free ticket. These are available on the Eventbrite booking page and are first come first served. Only one free ticket per organisation. After this charities, NGOs and NFPs can book for $125 per place.


If you are interested in sponsoring and showcasing your brand the Middle East Brand Summit please email Andrew ThomasBespoke packages are available. 

Supporting Partners

If you are interested in being a supporting partner or would like a press pass to cover the Middle East Brand Summit please email Amy Nguyen.