31 October – 2 November 2017
Meydan Hotel, Dubai, UAE

Conference Day Two: Thursday, 2 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

Star attraction: The ultimate guide to becoming a world-class heritage site

Eng. Shatha Al Mulla

Head of Research and Studies Unit
Architectural Heritage and Antiques Department, Dubai Municipality

9:30 am - 10:00 am Heritage Conservation as a Catalyst for Cultural Tourism

Amel Chabbi, Head of Building Conservation Unit,Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Amel Chabbi

Head of Building Conservation Unit
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

10:00 am - 10:30 am Project case study: Resilient ecological tourism: Combining environmental planning and cultural heritage conservation

Steven Velegrinis, Associate Principal,Perkins+Will
For tourism management, assessing and planning resilience is of growing importance, placing tourism under pressure to respond and adapt to various factors. Adaptation and transformation processes to changing environmental, social and economic conditions require initiatives by various tourism actors. It is essential that different functions in the tourism supply chain are able to assess, plan and manage resilience over time.
This session will discuss assessing and planning of resilience in cultural tourism as well as case study insights and new projects coming up in Oman, UAE, Turkey and Morocco.

Steven Velegrinis

Associate Principal

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

11:00 am - 11:30 am Living heritage: towards a dynamic evolution of local culture and community

11:30 am - 12:00 pm The Italian perspective: Learning from home of cultural tourism

Fabrizio Puglisi, GCC Tourism Expert & Senior Consultant Destination Italia,
Italy has a total of 51 sites inscribed on the UNESCO list, making it the country with the highest number of World Heritage sites that are present across the entire country. This historic-artistic heritage includes hundreds of archaeological sites and over 3000 museums that can all be visited. To promote this amazing cultural heritage and increase the tourism flows to the Italian cultural destinations, the Italian, GCC Tourism Expert, Fabrizio Puglisi will give us an overview of what has been done in the Middle East from the public and private perspective.

Fabrizio Puglisi

GCC Tourism Expert & Senior Consultant Destination Italia

Global perspectives: Learning cultural strategies from overseas

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm The English perspective: Smart tourism and cultural heritage

Professor Dimitrios Buhali, Head of Department Tourism and Hospitality, and Director of eTourism Lab,Bournemouth University
The European’s smart cities initiative aims to promote cultural heritage as a pillar of smart cities. It recognises the importance of smart tourism and highlighting the values of digital cultural heritage to enhance the potential of smart cities in the field of culture and tourism. This session will demonstrate how cultural tourism and cultural heritage is an aspect central to futuristic cities bustling with technological innovation, smart devices and data transfer.

Professor Dimitrios Buhali

Head of Department Tourism and Hospitality, and Director of eTourism Lab
Bournemouth University

Across the Middle East region, there is an unparalleled programme of investment and development to grow tourist numbers and revenues. With large investments in cultural tourism in the Middle East this session will discuss what the future holds.
  • How will cultural tourism evolve by 2020 in the Middle East
  • How much will cultural tourism contribute to the region’s economic growth by 2020?
  • Lessons learned: What can the Middle East learn from other countries who are successfully integrating culture and tourism


Nigel Eckersall

Design and Development Director
VE Experts


Steven Velegrinis

Associate Principal

Fabrizio Puglisi

GCC Tourism Expert & Senior Consultant Destination Italia

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm Lunch and networking

3:30 pm - 3:30 pm End of conference

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. For the most up-to-date programme, please visit the event website.