CEO, Crescent Enterprises
Badr Jafar's Biography
An Emirati businessman and social entrepreneur, Badr Jafar is the CEO of Crescent Enterprises, a diversified global business headquartered in the UAE and operating across six industry sectors. He is also President of Crescent Petroleum, the region’s first independent and privately-owned petroleum company in the Middle East Badr serves as Chairman of Gas Cities and Pearl Petroleum, a partnership between Crescent Petroleum, Dana Gas, OMV of Austria MOL of Hungary and RWEST of Germany.
Additionally, Badr is active in a variety of other industries, including ports and logistics, serving as Chairman of the Executive Board for Gulftainer (the world’s largest private container port operator); and private equity initiatives, serving as a member of the board of GrowthGate Capital (Bahrain).
Badr founded the Pearl Initiative, a non-profit venture in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Partnerships to promote a corporate culture of transparency and accountability across the Gulf Region of the Middle East. Through his advocacy for social entrepreneurship, he sits on the Global Board of Education for Employment (EFE), is a member of the Synergos Arab World Social Innovators (AWSI) Program Board of Governors and serves on the Board of Advisors of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) and Gaza Sky Geeks. Badr was honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011 and is Co-chair of their Family Business Community, a member of the Stewardship Board of the System Initiative on Economic Progress and Global Future Council on the Humanitarian System.
Co-CEO, Chalhoub Group
Patrick Chalhoub's Biography
Patrick Chalhoub began his career in 1979 when he decided to become involved in the realization of his father’s vision to build a bridge between the East and West and be the ambassador of luxury lifestyle in the region. He created a regional distribution platform in the Jebel Ali Free zone and has increased the number of partnerships with major international groups such as Coty, Fendi, L’Oréal, Dior Parfums and Puig. A director of Christofle and of Bernardaud, Patrick Chalhoub is also involved in the strategic planning for the restructuring and redeployment of these brands.
For nearly 30 years, Patrick has been fully involved in the strategic development of the business to guarantee its long-term success. As such, he continues to expand the group’s distribution, retail business, marketing and communications activities and is also eager to strengthen the group’s support services in terms of offer and skills. He has been instrumental in guiding the development of a Corporate Social Responsibility program for the group, with a focus on education, humanitarian and environmental sustainability.
At the age of 42, he was decorated with the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite. He is a founding member of the Rotary and Capital Club and also an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). Patrick holds two Bachelors degrees, one in Economics and Finance and the other in Political Science. Patrick is a resident of Dubai and married with two children.
Muna Easa Al Gurg
Director of Retail, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group
Muna Al Gurg's Biography
An active member of Dubai’s business and non-profit community, Muna Easa Al Gurg’s primary responsibility is towards her family business – the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group – a diversified international conglomerate formed by her father in Dubai in 1960. She is currently Director of Retail for the 50-year-old family business and responsible for strategy and operational development for the group’s international and local retail brands that include United Colours of Benetton, Siemens, Unilever and ID design. Al Gurg is also Chairwoman of Young Arab Leaders UAE where she is responsible for spearheading this government-led enterprise’s effort in promoting education, entrepreneurship and youth development. Al Gurg resides on the board of directors of Emirates Foundation, an independent philanthropic organization chaired by HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which helps improve the welfare of youth across the UAE. She is also a founding board member of Hub Dubai, a non-profit collaborative playground for social, environmental and economic development. An active mentor at the Dubai Start-up sessions, a community of passionate entrepreneurs who believe in innovation, in 2012 she was selected to join the judging panel of a business reality show ‘The Entrepreneur’, produced by the UAE’s second largest telecoms firm ‘du’.
A personal interest in social initiatives sees Al Gurg serve on the board of several non-profit organizations, including the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Charity Foundation, allowing her to extend philanthropic efforts by providing primary education support to over 300 underprivileged children in Zanzibar. She is also a board member of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, and ambassador of the UAE’s Pink Caravan’s breast cancer awareness initiative. In June 2010, Al Gurg was recognized and presented the Emirates Women’s Award for outstanding achievers by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. In 2004, a passion for promoting the arts in the GCC led her to a board seat on the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC), where she helped build this cultural centre. Al Gurg started her career with Saatchi & Saatchi in Dubai, and consequently joined the family business in 2001. She holds an MBA from London Business School in the UK and is also a Fellow of the Middle East Leadership Initiative of The Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Al Gurg is a frequent opinion columnist for the UAE’s leading daily newspaper – Gulf News. Her updates can be followed on twitter @MunaAlGurg.
Abdullah Al Mazrui
Chairman, Al Mazrui Holdings
Abdulla Mazrui's Biography
Mr. Abdullah Mohammed Al Mazrui serves as Chairman of Al Mazrui Holdings LLC. He served as Chairman of Dun & Bradstreet Corp. He serves as Chairman of Jashanmal National Company LLC., Methanol Chemicals Company, Modern decor & wood products manufacturing co. Ltd., SHUAA Securities LLC (a/k/a Emirates Securities LLC), Depa Ltd. (formerly, Depa United Group). He serves as Chairman of the Board of ARAMEX PJSC and The National Investor.
He serves as Chairman of Emirates Insurance Co. and Vice Chairman of National Investor Corp. He serves as Deputy Chairman of Etisalat and a Member of Arab Bankers Association, London. He serves as a Director of Investcorp Bank BSC. He has been a Director of Depa Ltd. since March 2008. Mr. Al Mazrui serves as Director of Emirates Insurance Co., the National Investment Corporation, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Abu Dhabi Economic Council, Emirates Specialities Co., ARAMEX PJSC and The National Investor. He served as member of the Advisory Board – INSEAD and the World Economic Forum. Mr. Al Mazrui received Bachelor of Arts from Chapman College in California.
Chief Strategy Officer, Dubai Holding
Yousuf Al Mulla Biography
Yousuf AlMulla is a senior advisor specialised in corporate strategy, operations and corporate finance. He brings a wealth of experience in both the private and public sector and has contributed to the development of Dubai’s strategic vision. AlMulla is passionate on turning new business ideas into reality where he was involved in development of several enterprises such as real estate financing, hospitality management, sports management, and tech start-ups.
AlMulla is the Chief Strategy Officer at Dubai Holding. His responsibilities include supporting the company’s long-term investment strategy and overseeing the enterprise value targets. The key focus areas under his supervision include Investment Strategy, Risk Management and Scenario Planning, and Corporate Planning and Development. He is also in charge of creating and sustaining a strategic management governance model, organisational design and strengthening related skills and competencies in the company and its verticals.
AlMulla was the founding member of TCO Management Consulting, the management consulting company initiated by the Dubai government and previously known as The Consulting Office. His tenure at the company lasted four years ending in 2012. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2010, following his position as Head of Strategy, Business Development and Alliances, which was a role he held from 2008 to 2010. During his time at TCO, he leveraged his entrepreneurial expertise to lead the company in achieving its vision and developing its 2012-2015 growth strategy. He also advised senior leadership in the Dubai government and the UAE federal government on high-level strategic projects.
In his former capacity as Associate Project Manager of the Government Innovation and Development Unit at The Executive Office of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, AlMulla was involved in multiple strategic projects for Dubai. Some of the projects include developing and implementing efficiency programs across a wide range of government departments, as well as setting an educational endowment fund for Dubai (The Knowledge Fund). Additionally, he had a significant contribution to the development of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, and the establishment of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority.
AlMulla’s previous roles included his work with the founding team of Dubai Autodrome, from 2004 to 2006, and his position as Vice President of Corporate Finance at Mayfair Hotels Management from 2003 to 2005.
AlMulla holds a Candidate Global Executive MBA from INSEAD, an MA in Public Administration from the National University of Singapore and a BSc in Business Administration (Corporate Finance) from Marshall School of Business- University of Southern California.
CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Trust
Souheil Hajjar's Biography
Souheil Hajjar is Chief Executive Officer and Board Director of Majid Al Futtaim Trust, the global family investment company of Majid Al Futtaim based in Dubai. Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, retail, and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa. (www.majidalfuttaim.com)
Souheil has over 25 years of investment management and banking experience globally. He sits on the board of several companies in the Middle East and North Africa region, holds several advisory board positions in global investment funds, and is a Board member of Endeavor UAE. He joined MAF Trust in 2008 from Gulf International Bank in Bahrain where he was Group Deputy Treasurer. Previously, he was with the Inter- American Development Bank in Washington D.C. as Chief of Investments. Formerly, he held senior asset management and finance positions with Banque Indosuez in Geneva, and Credit Commercial de France in New York.
Ahmed Galal Ismail
CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Ventures
Ahmed Ismail's Biography
Ahmed Galal Ismail is the CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures (MAF Ventures) and oversees seven business verticals in fashion retail, leisure, and entertainment, cinemas, financial services, F&B, healthcare and facilities management across the MENA region. Mr. Ismail first joined Majid Al Futtaim in January 2007 as Vice President of Strategy for the Group. Prior to that, he was a principal with Booz Allen Hamilton in Dubai having started his career with Procter and Gamble in Egypt and then Germany.
Ahmed holds an MBA with distinction from London Business School and a B.Sc. in computer science from the American University in Cairo.
CEO, du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company)
Osman Sultan's Biography
Osman Sultan has been appointed CEO of du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company) in January 2006, after spending eight years at the helm of the Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil), a company he helped set up in 1998 to bid for and operate a GSM license in Egypt. As Chairman of the Arab Working Group for the Private Sector in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), he is no stranger to the UAE, having addressed several conferences here on telecommunications issues.
His vast experience includes managing operations in several countries in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Osman joined the France Telecom Group in 1983 and for the next 11 years worked in management positions in sales, marketing, and customer services activities in one of France Telecom’s subsidiaries that specialized in electronic information services. In 1994 he was actively involved in the acquisition of a US-based operation and was appointed Vice President for Worldwide marketing & sales for the new company. In this capacity, he was in charge of the merger of two companies in the USA and Europe. He also managed operations in Paris, Washington, London, Frankfurt and Sydney and the set up of a large distribution network in more than 20 countries in Europe, South America, the Middle East, Asia, and Japan.
In 1995, he became President of a US-based subsidiary, Questel. Orbit Inc., with a goal of developing a growing business of professional Online Services. In 1996 he received the award for The Best Web Site-Legal Product from the American Information Association and later received the Man of the Year award from the Professional Electronic Information Services Community in France. In 1997, Osman joined France Telecom Mobiles International (FTMI) as Vice President for Business Development in charge of the Middle East and the Arab World. That same year he was in charge of putting together the MobiNil consortium bid for a GSM license in Egypt. The consortium succeeded in acquiring 68% of Egyptian Company for Mobile Services.
Osman holds a Degree in Engineering and has addressed several conferences on Telecommunications and Electronic Information Services, Mobile Telecom and the Internet in the Middle East (Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, UAE), Japan, the USA and Europe.
Nabyl Al Maskari
Vice Chairman & CEO, Al Maskari Holding
Nabyl Al Maskari's Biography
Mr. Nabyl Al Maskari is CEO of Al Maskari Holding (AMH). AMH is the privately-owned holding company of the Al Maskari family portfolio and controls their various operating subsidiaries. AMH traces its foundation to 1968 with the establishment of the Al Maskaria Group in Abu Dhabi to engage in petroleum trading and oil field services. AMH has experienced dynamic and steady growth over the last 48 years and today is comprised of diversified companies with major operations and investments throughout the Middle East, North America, Europe, and Asia.
Prior to joining his family conglomerate as the third generation of leadership, Mr. Al Maskari worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company on projects in the firm’s Dubai, Amsterdam, and Houston offices. As a management consultant, he has conducted strategic engagements in the financial, petroleum, and public sectors.
Mr. Al Maskari currently serves as Vice-Chairman of Al Maskari Holding as well as a board director on its subsidiaries.
In conjunction with the activities of the Al Maskari’s non-profit foundation, Mr. Al Maskari sponsors education, healthcare, and housing initiatives in Africa and Asia. In addition, he is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Leadership Initiative. Through the fellowship, he was inspired to establish Launchpad, the first onshore UAE enterprise specifically licensed to design, fund, and implement corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Mr. Al Maskari received his Master of Business Administration with Distinction from Yale University’s School of Management, graduated Summa Cum Laude Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Rollins College, and is an alumnus of Choate Rosemary Hall.
CEO, Omnicom Media Group (MENA)
Elie Khouri's Biography
As CEO of Omnicom Media Group MENA, part of Omnicom Group, a leading global marketing communications holding company, Elie heads the operations of marketing performance companies OMD, PHD and Resolution, as well as several specialist entities. Today, Omnicom Media Group MENA employs over 550 people and is expanding its regional footprint further. In 2015, PHD was named MENA Media Network of the Year by Campaign Middle East magazine, while OMD was named first runner-up.
Driven by Elie’s personal interest in talent development, Omnicom Media Group MENA has been named a top 10 employer in the UAE by the Great Place To Work Institute four years in a row and was also named Workplace of the Year at the 2014 Daman Awards. In addition, the company’s policies towards women have been commended by the Great Place to Work Institute.
Elie has been consistently personally recognized for his work over his twenty five year career in advertising and media, appearing regularly in Arabian Business’ ‘Top 50 most Influential Arabs’ and Power 500 lists. Both CEO magazine and Gulf Business magazine named him “Media CEO of the year”.
Elie’s ardent desire to give back to society and contribute to the community has led him to develop a significant sustainability program that includes support to education and the arts. The latter means a lot to Elie, a renowned art collector who has transformed the company’s regional HQ into a vibrant art gallery. The company is also the first marketing holding group in the region to have its sustainability practices reported in according with the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 guidelines.