• Transform magazine
  • July 15, 2024


Transform Brand Summit MEA 2023


Transform Brand Summit MEA

Transform Brand Summit MEA


Melissa Bayik
Senior creative director - corporate brand

Melissa is the Senior creative director of Arada, where she is a part of the leadership team, and has lead the brand strategy, corporate culture, all aspects of brand development and visual design for the master developer and its dynamic portfolio of destinations and brands. She also leads a highly effective, award winning, in-house creative department.

In addition to her responsibilities at Arada, Melissa is an occasional guest lecturer on brand marketing at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, and has been acting as brand advisor for KBW Investments on the rebrand Raimondi Cranes – the 160 year old Italian company through its transformational rebrand. Melissa comes from a solid foundation on brand transformations and brand design, having worked with brand identity consultancies such as The Brand Union and Wolff Olins on some of the regions most valuable brands.

Maher Bayoumi
Creative director
Abjad Design

Maher is a multidisciplinary creative director with over 13 years of experience working for global brands and maturing startups. He is a graduate of London College of Communication with an M.A. in Graphic Branding and Identity.

Maher deploys the right blend of strategic storytelling and systems thinking to generate branding solutions in culturally impactful and commercially effective ways.

His portfolio includes renowned brands such as Expo 2020, Boss, Batelco, Hoover, Shahid, Meraas, and many more.

Sheikha Bin Dhaher
Chief creative director and co-founder
Abjad Design

Sheikha Bin Dhaher is an Emirati graphic designer. She holds a BSc degree in Visual Communication from the American University of Sharjah and an MA degree in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London — with a focus in typography and language.

In 2010, she co-founded, with Diana Hawatmeh, Abjad Design, an interdisciplinary studio based in Dubai where she takes on the role of Creative Director. She was granted the Young Designer Award at the UAE Arab Woman Awards in 2014. She actively engages in design research and workshops when given the time and opportunity. Sheikha derives her inspiration from many things such as literature, music, history, and nature. Storytelling lies within the essence of her work.

Emma Byford
Senior account manager

Emma’s role as Senior account manager at MassiveMusic sees her leading sonic branding projects for global brands including Wikimedia, TikTok, National Trust and more. Emma spent her early years growing up in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, building a love of travel that has seen her living and working in Australia and South America.

Dr. Federica Busa
Advisor and strategy lead

With an international career spanning the US, Europe, and the Middle East, Federica’s expertise lies in engaging diverse individuals around emerging ideas and complex challenges through experiential design, branding, and thought leadership.

During her decade-long involvement with Expo 2020 Dubai, she spearheaded the development of the Expo's thematic framework. She served as SVP of Visitor Experience overseeing the design and delivery of experiential content across public spaces.

Before joining World Expos and mega-events as Advisor to the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), she held various positions in both the private sector and academia, bridging emerging technologies and marketing.

Dr. Federica Busa holds a PhD in Computer Science from Brandeis University and a Master's Degree from MIT's Sloan School of Management. A published author, her works span theoretical and applied linguistics and regional subjects supporting her home community in Italy.

Pierre Carnet
Managing director, Dubai

A fan of varied genres and a globe-trotter since childhood, Pierre developed an appetite for discovery and creativity without borders. After a period as a head of music within French agency FF Creative Community, he started working as a freelance music supervisor for luxury and fashion brands in Paris, including Chanel, Cartier, YSL, and Remy Martin. Pierre joined the MassiveMusic team in 2020, focusing his attention on developing direct-to-brand music solutions across EMEA and APAC, before becoming Managing Director of MassiveMusic Dubai, the latest addition to the global office roster in late 2022.

Laurent Cochini
Managing director
Sixième Son

Originally a guitarist and musician, and after graduating from EHESS in musicology studies, Laurent spent several years on tour with different bands around the world. Upon his return to France, he looked for opportunities to integrate his musical talent with his corporate mindset. He joined Sixieme Son in 2008 as a project manager, and his dedication to sonic branding led him to become Managing Director in 2016. As Sixième Son Global Managing Director since 2018, he has actively contributed to the agency's international development, particularly in the Middle East and Asia. He is responsible for the development of sonic strategies for major international brands such as Etihad, Visit Saudi, Aldar, Etisalat, Lux, and Petronas. Additionally, as a Sports fan, particularly of football, he focuses on developing the agency's expertise in this category. Sixième Son now has the most profound experience working with Sports brands and powering their emotional connection with fans through sound, music, and voice. It is now the only independent global sonic branding agency worldwide.

Dennis de Rond

Dennis de Rond, is the founder of Skyne - the partner to grow your brand. A forward-thinking branding and design expert with a passion for helping businesses grow in an ever-changing market. Dennis believes in perspective change that helps clients see, create, and seize opportunities for success. With decades of experience working with globally renowned brands, Dennis brings a creative cultural nuance to every partnership, cementing Skyne’s reputation as one of the leading strategic branding and design agencies in the MENA region.

Hanan Eissa
Vice president, marketing & PR
Atlantis Dubai

Hanan Eissa, Vice President Marketing & PR Atlantis Dubai has over 23 years of work experience in the marketing landscape. Hanan leads the global team responsible for brand and performance marketing including content and creative, communications, media and social media, digital marketing, and customer insights. Hanan led the Grand Reveal of Atlantis The Royal, driving this year’s most notable resort launch globally, as well as various groundbreaking campaigns including the collaborative 10:35 track with Tiesto and Tate McCrae and recent notable marketing partnerships with the likes of Parkwood, Valentino and Louis Vuitton.

Fatma Farhan
VP brand activation

Highly accomplished marketing professional with over 18 years of experience in managing marketing and branding functions across diverse industries. Proven track record of developing and implementing successful marketing strategies, driving revenue growth, and building strong brand identities. Skilled in managing and leading cross-functional teams to achieve business objectives.

Marketing and Brand management professional with great emphasis on integrated marketing approach and leadership brand positioning. From launching Aldar revamped brand strategies to launching Dubai Future Opportunities reports, my expertise range from  brand strategies, communication and PR , event and exhibition management and human centric design. 

A graduate of the first DesignGov program that was spearheaded by the Prime Minister Office and focused at graduating the next Chief Design Officers for government entities. 


Lubna Farooqui
Creative brand strategist

A creative thinker with a practical approach, Lubna is a brand strategist specialising in creating successful brand strategies for global brands. With a Master’s degree in Media from Erasmus University in the Netherlands, Lubna represents the next generation of creative thinkers in the industry. She believes in understanding cultural nuances and trends to build greater authenticity and purpose within brand landscapes. When she's not immersed in her work, you can spot her at your local cinema, indulging in the latest film releases, finding inspiration in storytelling on the silver screen.

Nader Khalfan
Head of marketing, corporate communications

Nader Khalfan is an accomplished marketing and communications leader with over 30 years of experience in international communications, branding, and marketing. He has a strong banking background and brings a unique combination of leadership and expertise to his work. Prior to joining Edamah in February 2020 as Head of Marketing and Communications, he worked at Gulf International Bank and held several leadership positions across the region, including Assistant Manager at AIS WLL, Assistant Vice President at Bank ABC (The Arab Banking Corporation), and Group Regional Director at Tulett and Tokyo WLL.

Antony Lawrence
Senior marketing manager

Antony is a previous Transform Award winner, now on the marketing journey at NEOM, one of the most ambitious development projects in the Middle East if not the World. 

He is now tasked to market the LINE and its spectacular geographic location, in the fast growing Tourism and Real Estate sector of the new Saudi Arabia.

He is proud to be part of this legacy PIF project and inspired by the spirit of innovation and forward thinking brand values that make every day special, in this one of a kind project.

The NEOM vision:

To be a land where the greatest minds and best talent are empowered to embody pioneering ideas and exceed boundaries in a world inspired by imagination

John Senai

John Sanei is a highly acclaimed future strategist and transformation specialist whose mission is to help organisations get excited for the future face of work, organisational restructuring and the future of education.

Using a combination of neuroscience, psychology, strategy and future studies, John helps organisations design inspiring workflows and processes that push beyond the present. Drawing from years of experience in dynamic problem solving, John’s expertise has helped hundreds of organisations develop future- focused strategies that guarantee success and high profitability—well into the coming decades.

Sean Trainor
Founding partner

Sean is Founding partner of Salient, a strategic communications advisory firm in Saudi Arabia. Sean is a seasoned communication advisor with vast experience advising blue-chip and Government clients on building corporate brands and enhancing reputations from the inside-out. He previously led the Government Practice for Hill and Knowlton Strategies, MENA and the Brand Engagement Practice for The Brand Union, London. His career in strategic communications began in-house with brands such as BNFL, Network Rail, and BBC Sport. Sean has a passion for enhancing employee experience that stems from previous management roles in engineering and manufacturing. He's been recognized as one of the top 101 global influencers in employee engagement for the past 5 years.

Gianmauro Vella
Vice president and head of design

Gianmauro is a pure, passionate business lover that leverages design, design thinking, creativity, and curiosity to generate successful brand stories and experiences, establishing and advocating a design culture across multiple geographies. Gianmauro's enthusiastic drive for results, coupled with a strategic and innovative mindset, make of him a leader able to drive results while strengthening the role of design in the organization, leading with integrity and building trust by consistently delivering on commitment.

Gianmauro is currently the Head of PepsiCo Design for APAC and Amesa, leading both the in-house design team as well as external Design partners with the mission to advocate and develop the design culture throughout the company. His focus extends from the physical to the digital expressions of PepsiCo’s brands, including product, packaging, fashion, customer activation, spatial & architecture, motion and digital.


When & where

Date: 24 May 2023 

Timings: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Venue: Raffles, Sheikh Rashid Road, Wafi, 121800 Dubai, United Arab Emirates




If you are interested in the wonderful opportunity to sponsor and showcase your brand at the Transform Brand Summit MEA 2023, please email Andrew at athomas@transformmagazine.net.

Bespoke packages are available. 

Supporting Partners

If you are interested in being a supporting partner, or would like to cover the Transform Brand Summit MEA 2023, please email Lauren at lditcher@transformmagazine.net.