20 – 22 November 2017
Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Conference Day One: Monday, 20 November 2017

8:00 am - 8:45 am Start of conference registration with welcome refreshments

8:45 am - 8:50 am Welcome remarks from IQPC

8:50 am - 9:00 am Opening remarks from the conference chair and start of conference


9:00 am - 9:30 am How to optimise your online travel site according to the ever-changing booking behaviours of the online travel consumer

Shaima Ghafour - Strategic Partnership Manager MEA, Booking.com
  • Learn how to personalise the user journey through advanced techniques such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • An overview of the five stages of travel of the consumer and how to tailor your online marketing strategy to capture the consumer imagination at each stage.

Shaima Ghafour

Strategic Partnership Manager MEA


9:30 am - 10:00 am Artificial Intelligence in the travel world: The Google perspective

Ivan Jakovljevic - Industry Director, Travel, Finance & Government, MENA, Google
  • How Google is applying Artificial Intelligence to its business.
  • Applications of AI in the travel world.

Ivan Jakovljevic

Industry Director, Travel, Finance & Government, MENA

10:00 am - 10:30 am Understanding the potential for AI to boost profitability for the travel and hospitality industry

Loai H. Taha - Digital Analytics Manager, Corporate Brand Marketing, Jumeirah Group
  • Understanding the comparative differences between AI, machine learning and deep learning.
  • An overview of the pillars of successful AI.
  • Using AI to optimise your marketing activities: Jumeirah case study.
  • Examining the limitations and future aspirations for AI for the travel industry.

Loai H. Taha

Digital Analytics Manager, Corporate Brand Marketing
Jumeirah Group

10:30 am - 11:00 am Networking break and morning refreshments

11:00 am - 11:30 am The Amazon perspective: Understanding Amazon’s three-step approach to AI

Hassan Sawaf - Director - Artificial Intelligence, Amazon Web Services
  • What can the travel industry learn from Amazon’sapproach to AI?
  • How does Amazon use AI to predict consumer preferences and future demand for products.

Hassan Sawaf

Director - Artificial Intelligence
Amazon Web Services


11:30 am - 12:00 pm What exactly are NDCs and how are they changing the face of the online travel and distribution market?

  • Understanding the comparative risks and benefits for the adoption of NDCs.
  • What are the primary benefits of NDCs to the airlines and OTAs?

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Ancillary revenue optimisation strategies: A low-cost carrier perspective

Scott Robillard - Manager Ancillary Revenue, Flyadeal
  • Pricing strategies for ancillary revenue to avoid undermining your primary service offering.
  • Using data analytics to simplify the conversion funnel, reduce the customer’s decision making process and increase ancillary revenue through greater relevance of products to consumers.

Scott Robillard

Manager Ancillary Revenue


12:30 pm - 1:00 pm Travel agency day-to-day operations: What processes should be handed over to machines?

Andrei Raileanu - Director of Alliances and Partnerships, dcs plus
  • What is RPA and what implications does it have for the travel industry?
  • Understanding the evolution of booking process automation.

Andrei Raileanu

Director of Alliances and Partnerships
dcs plus

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm How to effectively scale your travel digital product offering to the needs and behaviors of your customers

Mamoun Hmedan - Managing Director - MENA and India, Wego.com
  • Understanding consumer behaviour and the online user journey.
  • Developing effective cross-channel connectivity that goes beyond the marketing department.
  • How can your business face the implications of digital change and disrupt before becoming disrupted?

Mamoun Hmedan

Managing Director - MENA and India

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm How can technology be used to bridge the gap between economies of scale and tailor made experience in hospitality?

Diego Lofeudo - Director of Business Unit - Corporate , Yas Marina Circuit , Abu Dhabi
  • An overview of the latest technological innovations being applied to hospitality to enhance guest experience.
  • How to balance a consumer’s need for technology with a guest’s need for a personalised guest experience.

Diego Lofeudo

Director of Business Unit - Corporate
Yas Marina Circuit , Abu Dhabi

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Networking lunch

3:00 pm - 3:00 pm Close of day one

The published programme is correct at time of printing. However, given the seniority of our speakers and the nature of their roles, speakers may subsequently substitute or remove themselves from the programme. This is always regrettable, and we will always try to replace the speaker with a speaker with equivalent insight.