Bringing Together the Who’s Who of Digital!

ArabNet Riyadh 2016 brings you the “behind-the-scene” initiators of change from across the world.
Over 80 speakers will join us this year as we pave the way for the latest in digital.

H.H Prince Dr. Turki Bin Saud Al Saud President, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology - KACST

His Highness Prince Dr. Turki Bin Saud Bin Mohammed Al Saud is the President of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. His Highness Holds a PhD in Aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University, USA. His Passion in engineering and technology has enabled him to actively lead the then newly established space research institute during his early days at KACST. He was appointed Vice President of KACST for research institutes in 2004 and later appointed as president of KACST in 2015. His Highness chairs numerous committees and councils, most notably, The Supervisory Committee of The National Science, Technology and Innovation Plan which aims to develop and build a knowledge based economy for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he is the chairman of the board of trustees of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Award for the Inventors and the Gifted that aims at honoring inventors and developing the spirit of creativity, innovation, invention and stimulate the Saudi talents and capabilities. In addition His Highness chairs the board the board of directors of the Saudi company for technology development and investment which drives the diversification of the Kingdom's economy through knowledge-based industries. Through his work, His Highness Prince Dr. Turki is keen on creating systems and opportunities for the support and encouragement of Saudi inventors and innovators, whom he believes are the main pillar of a Saudi knowledge based economy.

Mazen Mohammad Aldawood Deputy Governor of The General Authority for Small And Medium Enterprises, Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Mazen Aldawood is a highly experienced Executive who has demonstrated the ability to lead diverse teams of professionals to new levels of success in a variety of highly competitive industries. He has strong technical and business qualifications, with an impressive track record of more than 15 years of hands-on experience in marketing, strategy, finance investment, planning, business development, project and product management, as well as engineering. He has a proven ability to successfully analyze an organization's critical business requirements, identify deficiencies and potential opportunities, and develop innovative and cost-effective solutions for enhancing competitiveness, and increasing revenue. He holds a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from King Saud University in addition to the executive sessions held in international universities such as Harvard and Queens.

Eng. Ali Bin Saleh Al-Soma Advisor to the Minister of Communications and IT, Secretary General of The National ICT Plan

Ali Bin Saleh Al-Soma is the advisor to the Minister of Communications and IT, and the Secretary General of The National ICT Plan. He also acts as the leader of the ICT sector's vision realization office (VRO) within the NTP and has occupied several leadership positions including the Director General of the Saudi e-Government Program (Yesser), IT Director in The Royal Commission of Jubail & Yanbu and he is a member of many government boards and committees such as King Fahad National Library, Saudi Post, Yesser & Express Mail Service Company. He holds master degree in computer science from California State University, Long Beach, USA. AlSoma has participated in several committees, projects, and consulting studies among which, member of the e-Government Steering Committee, managed developing the e-Government national Strategy and Action Plan project, member of the Ministerial Committee Directorate for organizational reform studies taskforce, member of the National IT Plan project, participated in developing some IT-related regulations through the Expert Bureau Committees, and contributed in several IT and management consultation studies for many governmental and private sector entities.

Abdulla Elyas Co-founder, Careem

Abdullah Alswaha Managing Director, Saudi Arabia, Cisco

AbdulRahman Aljadhai CEO, Elm

Dr. Abdulrahman Saad AlJadhai has been with Elm since 2005, becoming CEO in 2012. He Holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering from King Saud University, and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh in the USA.

Abdulrahman Hammad Managing Partner, SME Law

Abdulrahman Hammad is the Managing Partner of SME Law, a boutique law firm specializing in legal and transactional advisory services for small and midsize enterprises in the GCC. Abdulrahman leads the structuring and transactions practice. He is a member of the New York State Bar, and has worked on some of the most significant GCC M&A deals. SME Law writes about legal, transactional and governance matters for SMEs.

Ahmad El Alfi Founder and Chairman, Sawari Ventures, Co-founder, Flat6Labs

Ahmed Saad CEO, Crowd Analyzer

احمد سعد هو المدير التنفيذي لشركة كراود أنالايزر. بعد حصوله على درجة البكالوريوس في هندسة الميكانيكا عمل أحمد في عدة شركات دولية كمهندس قبل أن يتفرغ لملاحقة شغفه بريادة الأعمال ليفتح أول شركاته في مجال الخدمات التكنولوجية في 2008 قبل أن يؤسس كراود أنالايزر ،أول أداة لتحليل وسائل التواصل الإجتماعي باللغة العربية، في عام 2013.

Akram Al Haddad​​ CEO, Creative Telecom Company (CTC)

Akram Al Haddad is the Chief Executive Officer of Creative Telecom Company which is part of MIC Group. Akram joined MIC Group in 2012, and put most of his effort in the past five years driving the digital transformation of the market solution. He built the organization’s divisions to support the IOT vision that he wants to deliver and achieve. He was successfully awarded as CEO of the year 2016 by Entrepreneur Arabia for Telecom Innovation.

Akram Benmbarek Director of Business Development, Quanergy

Ashraf AlHassan Digital Marketing Director, National Agricultural Development Company (NADEC)

Boye Balogun Managing Director, Future Tech Media

Boye Balogun is MD of Future Tech Media, a digital solutions and technology business. He is Co-founder of Lowe Profero Performance and ex- Regional Head of Digital at Mindshare. Boye specializes in helping brands accelerate their digital marketing & achieve digital transformation, with experience from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Fahad Al Shatti Vice President Strategic Projects, Agility

Fahad AlSharekh Managing Partner, TechInvest Corporation

Fahad AlSharekh founded TechInvest Corporation to offer Middle Eastern investors, exposure to private investment opportunities in the technology sector. With 17 years of experience in global business development and IT, Fahad defines lucrative markets and executes targeted strategies to facilitate joint ventures, partnerships, startups, account generation and public listings of holdings in several capital financial markets such as NASDAQ and KSE. He has played a key role in founding the 1st Saudi Arabia ISP AWalNet, and has developed the first Multilingual Speech to Speech app S2S.

Fahd Hamidaddin Chief Commercial Officer, King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC)

Fahd Hamidaddin is King Abdullah Economic City’s Chief Commercial Officer, with responsibility for the company’s Marketing, Corporate Communications, and Sustainable Development groups since 2012. Fahd is responsible for narrating the “KAEC Story” to investors, shareholders and other external entities. He also leads the city’s customer experience, investments promotion and city activation. Prior to KAEC, Fahd was the Chief of Marketing and competitiveness initiatives at SAGIA where he won 5 International awards for best communication and advertising campaigns, and online marketing strategy.

Faisal Shams Managing Director, Saudi Arabia, OMD

Faisal moved to OMD UAE in 2006, then relocated to Saudi Arabia in 2015 to assume the leadership of OMD’s operations in the Kingdom. His rich media experience covers real estate, telecom, finance, technology and FMCG. Before moving to agency management, Faisal led the PepsiCo and Henkel accounts across the region as a Business Unit Director. He has an impressive track-record of achievements and media firsts, and many of his campaigns were awarded at the Effies MENA, Dubai Lynx and MENA Cristal Awards.

Faris Al Rashid Founder and Chairman, Oqal group

فارس الراشد، رائد أعمال ومستثمر سعودي، ساهم في إنشاء العديد من الشركات الريادية في المملكة. أسس مجموعة عقال للمستثمرين الأفراد، والتي تعتبر أول شبكة مستثمرين أفراد Angel Investors Network في المملكة ويشغل منصب رئيس مجلس الأمناء. شارك في تأسيس لجنة شباب الأعمال في الغرفة التجارية في الرياض. عضو زمالة آيزنهاور منذ 2005 وعضو مجلس إدارتها في المملكة. رئيس شركة نال الاستثمارية المحدودة، وهي شركة عائلية في إدارة الأصول. وعضو مجلس إدارة عدة شركات مساهمة ومقفلة منها دلة القابضة، شاكر، دراية المالية وغيرها.

Fawzi Rahal Managing Director, Beirut, Flat6Labs

Gordon McConnell Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Hande Cilingir Co-founder and CEO, Insider

Hande Cilingir started her career during her college education by working in international corporate firms, including Pepsico, Eczacibasi, Zorlu Holding and Alarko, where she gained experience in various business areas such as finance, management and consultancy. Being equipped with capabilities to start her own business, she decided to found Predictive Modelling, a Real-time Web/Mobile Personalization Platform Insider with 5 other co-founders and was selected Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2014.

Idriss Al Rifai Founder and CEO, Fetchr

Issa Aghabi Investment Officer - Venture Capital, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Issa's career in finance and investments for the past 12+ years has focused on early stage / growth businesses in the wider TMT space. Issa has successfully closed over 45+ investment deals (from $100K to $10M per transaction), managed over $100m in MENA Venture funds and served as a BOD member for a number of companies, providing commercial and business strategies, along with general operational, financial, and strategic support. In 2015, he led the exit of twofour54's largest two investments. Issa currently runs IFC MENA venture investing.

Jigar Patel Partner - Digital, McKinsey

Jigar Patel is a Partner in Digital at McKinsey, based in Riyadh, KSA. He has over 6 years of experience focusing on Digital transformations and Sales & Marketing across multiple sectors, with a primary focus on High-Tech, Telco and Pharmaceuticals. Jigar has presented at the Institute of Digital Marketing and international conferences on the Internet of Things, and leads the McKinsey Implementation practice in Sales and Marketing. Previously, Jigar successfully ran his own web design and consultancy company and completed a PhD in Artificial Intelligence.

John Todary Regional Commercial Director, Buzzeff

John Todary is the Regional Commercial Director for Buzzeff Middle East Africa, the leading online video publishing platform globally. John joined the company in November 2016 and is responsible for the commercial strategy and the sales team across the Middle East. John has 16 years of media and advertising experience across the Middle East market.

Khaled Bamohamed Business Unit Director (Cloud and Smart Services), Creative Telecom Co.​(CTC​)​

كمدير لوحدة الخدمات السحابية و الذكية بشركة الاتصال المستحدث. ومن خلال خبراته السابقة في شركات الاتصالات والشركات التقنية، بدأ عمله في شركة الاتصال المستحدث عام ٢٠١٥ ببناء فريق العمل القادر على الوصول وتحقيق رؤية الشركة. حقق مع فريق عمله العديد من النجاحات بتحويل العديد من الأفكار والمبادرات إلى حلول ومنتجات موجودة في السوق السعودي

Kıvanç Onan Regional Senior Director – Middle-East and North Africa, PayPal

In 2010, the global leader in payment systems, PayPal expanded its business and opened its Istanbul office. Kıvanç Onan was appointed as the Country Director. Today he is still leading PayPal’s operations with a broader responsibility as the Middle East and North Africa Regional Director, which covers 22 countries. Kıvanç is also a member to AIESEC Board of Advisors and Young Society Leaders of Turkish American Society.

Maha Taibah Managing Partner, Eradah

Mahmoud Abbas General Manager, Saudi Arabia, Dell EMC​

يشغل محمود عباس منصب المدير العامّ لشركة EMCDell في المملكة العربية السعودية، إذ يتولى الإشراف على أعمال الشركة مع العملاء والشركاء ضمن المؤسسات التجارية الكبيرة، كما أنه مسؤول عن تطوير استراتيجيات الشركة التوسعية في مجال المبيعات والتسويق وتطوير الأعمال. وقد انضم محمود عباس إلى شركة Dell قبل 12 عاماً، وشغل عدّة مناصب إدارية في الشركة، كما أشرف على إدارة علاقات الشركة مع مجموعة من كبرى الشركات في المملكة.لدى محمود شغف كبير في تطوير قادة ومدراء المستقبل، ولذلك أبدى دعمه الكبير لبرنامج شركة DellEMC الجامعيّ للطلاب المتخرجين حديثا في المملكة العربية السعودية، وقد نجح هذا البرنامج مع مرور الزمن في اجتذاب الكفاءات السعودية للانضمام إلى فريق عمل Dell.كما يعتبر محمود عباس الراعي الأساسي لبرنامج ديل موزاييك DellEMC Mosaic في السعودية، ويتولى البرنامج تطوير المهارات الشخصية والمهنية للمجموعة التي تنضوي فيه، كما يركز على العمل التطوعي والأنشطة المجتمعية والتمازج بين الثقافات ووجهات النظر المختلفة.

Maya Farah Director of Product, Zynga

Michael Ward Managing Director, On Device Research

The Battle for Attention for the On- The-Go, On Demand Generation. Michael is an experienced customer and market researcher having crafted brand, product and consumer strategies for some of the world's best known brands. Michael's current remit is to help On Device Research become famous for providing fast, accurate and meaningful consumer data, opinions and insight to the region's brands and their agencies. With over 92 million pieces of consumer feedback across 92 countries, On Device Research is one of the leading mobile panel experts in the world.

Mohammad Fadin Software Engineer, IBM

A Client Technical Professional for IBM cloud solutions Bluemix PaaS and DevOps practice, Mohammed Fadin focuses on cloud adaption and enterprises software delivery lifecycle optimization and collaboration between IT teams by developing strategic Cloud & DevOps recommendations to clients. Mohammed Fadin previously worked as a full-stack software developer for local companies and startups using cutting edge technologies.

Mohammad Hamad Alhajeri Chief Investment Officer, Impulse International

Nadeem Bakhsh Director of UX, Usability & Ecommerce Consulting, UXBERT

Nadim Khoury Head of Content and Experiences - UAE, OMD

Nadim started his career in the communication world in 2004 at BBDO Dubai. Throughout his 4 years there he managed Emirates, Pepsi, Snickers and M&Ms to name a few. In 2010, he joined the digital arm of BBDO, Proximity, then moved to Omnicom Media Group Digital in 2012 to head up the mobile division, working on accounts such as Pepsi, McDonalds, Estee Lauder, Unilever and more. As a turn-key solution for mobile, he helped brands in the ideation and development of mobile assets, whether applications, mobile optimized sites and mobility-led innovation.

Nancy Bassiouny Vice President, Head of Digital Channels and Innovation - Egypt, Barclays

Nathan Hull Chief Commercial Officer, Elly's Choice

Elly's Choice is a curated digital book boutique offering 10 ebooks per month for an affordable flat rate; all skillfully curated in-house to attract both frequent readers and new. Nathan manages the company’s international expansion with a focus on the platform’s content and commercial partnership deals. Previously, Nathan worked in the Scandinavian start up sector and was notably Penguin Random House’s Digital Product Director, with responsibility for its innovation strategy working closely with the likes of Stephen Fry, Jamie Oliver and Roald Dahl’s estate. Best wishes

Olivier Cohen Regional Manager, Middle East, Hootsuite

Olivier Cohen is a regional manager for Middle East at Hootsuite. He is an experienced and successful senior leader with a provern track record developing go-to-market strategies and leading teams in Europe, Middle East and Africa. His career spans over a decade of working at some of the most influential software companies in the region including Acronis, Vision Solutions and Double Take, culminating with nearly 2 years in his current role at Hootsuite.

Rabih El Tair Associate Director - Digital, OMD

Rabih has over five years of media experience in the region. His experience covers a range of sectors and client challenges and today, he leads the digital function for OMD’s two operations in Saudi Arabia and their clients. With his digital expertise and deep understanding of the region’s digital habits, Rabih is able to not only elevate brands’ appeal but also relevance with their consumers. Recipient of an OMD award for “advancing the digital agenda”, Rabih thrives on transforming clients’ performance through innovation and effectiveness.

Rakan Al Eidi Venture Partner, MENA, 500 Startups

Rasha Rteil Head of Innovation and UM Labs, MENA, Universal Media

Rteil is referred to as a wildling-like ad woman due to her heterogeneous emblem of creative métier and being one of the youngest versatile ‘go-getter’ and valiant innovation narrators in the media spectrum. Rteil is a true child of the digital age. Her passion for all things tech - and innovation - related is evident in her talks, work and writing. Her conviction is reflected in the statement, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” She was named this year’s ‘Women to watch in the GCC’ by Communicate Middle East.

Reine Abbas Co-founder and Partner, Wixel Studios and Spica Tech

مؤسسة و شريكة لي واحدة من أولى شركات صناعة الألعاب في العالم العربي Wixel Studios تمّ إختيارها من بين أكثر 100 إمرأة عربية نافذة في العالم والتي تقوم بنشرها مجلّة أرابيان بزنس 2014 & 2015 تمّ اختيارها كواحدة من أكثر خمس نساء نفوذًا في العالم في مجال إنتاج الألعاب الإلكترونية 2014. تمّ اختيارها كواحدة من بين أفضل 20 لبناني رائد في مجال الأعمال من قبل مجلّة الــ Executive، 2012

Sara AlAteeqi Founder and CEO, 10M

Sarah Al Ayed Co-founder and Partner, TRACCS

Sarah Ayed M. Al Ayed is co-founder and partner of Trans-Arabian Creative Communications (TRACCS) with over 15 years of experience in the PR and Communications industry, having worked extensively on communications strategy development for multinational and local companies with a focus on issues management protocols and corporate social responsibility. Today she chairs the Jeddah Entrepreneurs Competition and Meet, has founded the Art of Business Communications (Etiquette Studio), has participated as a judge in “AlIsrar”, and is MENA Regional Ambassador for WED (Women’s Entrepreneurship Day).

Scott Amyx CEO, Amyx+

Scott Amyx was voted Top Global Internet of Things Influencer & Expert by Inc. Magazine, Postscapes, and Internet of Things Institute, recipient of the Cloud & DevOps World Award for Most Innovative, and Top 10 Global Speaker by Speaking.com. Scott is a thought leader, speaker, and futurist on emerging technologies and CEO of Amyx+. Scott has been nominated to the World Economic Forum and TED.

Sharif El-Badawi Partner, 500 Startups, Chairman, TechWadi

Sho Sato Chief Analyst, Media Create

Sho Sato is the Chief Analyst at Media Create, which provides marketing data and insights toward most Japanese game publishers like Nintendo, Sony, Square Enix and KONAMI. As a research specialist in the emerging game market, he is a mentor of GameFounders, the first global game-only accelerator, as well as an international advisory board at NASSCOM GDC, the largest indian game developers conference, and a speaker at game developers conference in more than 10 countries including MEGA and Maghreb Game Conference.

Sonia Weymuller Founding Partner, VentureSouq

Stewart Smith Senior Sales Director, Sojern

Stewart Smith is leading the expansion and development of Sojern in the Middle East and Africa regions from the Dubai office. Stewart has over 12 years of digital experience in travel and tourism, and joined Sojern from Lastminute.com where he worked for eight years developing digital media partnerships across agencies, airlines, hotels and tourist boards, as well as developing numerous travel brand partnerships.

Sumeet Jain General Partner, LUMA Capital Partners

Sumeet is a General Partner with LUMA Capital partners and invests in innovative marketing technology companies. He is focused on software and products that are accelerating the digital marketing transformation. He is currently based in San Francisco and previously was with Intel Capital in its Digital Media group. Prior to that he was a partner at CMEA Capital and a technology investment banker at Goldman Sachs. He also was with two startup companies, Personify and iManage. Sumeet holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and MBA from Wharton.

Taher Alblowe Founder, Geeks Valley

طاهر البلوي مؤسس وادي العباقرة، حاصل على بكالوريوس علم الحاسوب من الأردن، ماجستير خدمات الكترونية من أستراليا. بعد تسعة اعوام من العمل قضاها خارج وداخل السعودية وعمله متطوعا كمشرف لمجموعات قوقل التطوعية بالمنطقة قرر أن يقوم ببناء ونشر ثقافة التصنيع الرقمي والإبتكار بالمنطقة عبر تأسيسة شركة وادي العباقرة

Tuba Terekli Co-founder and CEO, Qotuf Al Riyadah

Walid Hadid Head of Analytics - UAE, OMD

Walid Hadid has joined OMD MENA as Head of Analytics, to provide OMD’s clients with a holistic and integrated service. His mission is to further OMD’s commitment to sciences in the marketing field since its inception almost 15 years ago. Walid ensures the agency and its clients embrace new technologies, analytics and nano data to generate business results, rather than just media performance. Previously the Head of Analytics at OgilvyOne, Walid has more than 20 years of experience in developing, implementing and leading analytics solutions.

Walid Mansour Managing Partner, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP)

Yazeed AlSwailem Co-Founder, Tarmeez

Zafer Younis Partner, 500 Startups

Zafer Younis is a partner at 500 Startups, the world's most active early stage tech investor. Previously, he co-founded The Online Project where his team developed and executed social media strategies for Fortune 500 companies and high profile organizations operating in MENA. At age 23, Zafer co-founded his first company Modern Media, LTD, acquired by D&C Electronics in 2014. He is part of the New Think Theater board, and advises the Jordan River Foundation board, as well as many startups as mentor of Oasis500.


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