22 - 24 October, 2018
Roda Al Bustan, Dubai, UAE

Day Two: Conference Day: Tuesday, 23 October 2018

8:50 am - 9:00 am Chairperson’s opening and welcome address

A new era for tourism: Driving economic development through cultural tourism

  • Examine how museum development and cultural attractions will contribute to the ambition of the Middle East becoming a leading cultural destination
  • Analysing strategic investment opportunities which will open up Middle Eastern doors to new audiences and visitor profiles
  • Analysing the ROI on the development of creative new museums and revival of national museums

Dr. Zaki Aslan



H.E. Eng. Rashad M. Bukhash

Architectural Heritage Society, UAE

H.E. Ahmed Obaid Al Tunaiji

Acting Director General
RAK Antiquities and Museums Department


Haitham Mattar

Chief Executive Officer
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority


Anna Paolini

Director, Regional Office

9:30 am - 9:50 am VIP KEYNOTE: Promoting culture to realise Saudi’s 2030 vision

Saudi Arabia is leading the GCC’s multi billion dollar investments in cultural tourism with a series of projects underway to develop new world-class cultural attractions.
This keynote session will demonstrate how Saudi Arabia is paying closer attention to its history and heritage by improving existing museums as well as increasing the number of public and private museums from 155 to 24.

Placing your attraction on the map: Strategic positioning and action plan to gain a competitive edge

  • From check-in to check-out: Developing an integrated approach to servicing the visitor
  • Creating affiliate partnership programmes to maximise exposure and promote visitor opportunities during their stay
  • Understanding the profile and preferences of visitors to match them to the appropriate attractions

H.H. Sheikh Majid Al Mualla

Divisional Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations Centre
Emirates Airline


Olivier Harnisch

Chief Executive Officer
Emaar Hospitality Group


Mohamed Awadalla

TIME Hotels


Karim ElGuanaini

Director Corporate Affairs and Sponsorships Destination Management

10:20 am - 10:50 am TOURISM TECH TALK From Insta stories to influencers... Is your cultural destination Instagram worthy?

  • How to develop a winning Instagram strategy
  • Capitalise on captivating visuals: How to turn likes into visitors
  • Influencer ROI: Identifying the social influencers that will drive the biggest impact

10:50 am - 11:30 am Refreshments break and speed networking

Reimagining the magic of museums and cultural attractions: Developing landmark attractions that engage and excite all audiences

11:30 am - 11:50 am PROJECT INSIGHT: The Louvre Abu Dhabi: Bringing world-renowned cultural attractions to the Middle East

Daphne Blouet - Visitor Operations and Audience Development Manager, Louvre Abu Dhabi
  • In a metropolis of soaring skyscrapers uncover how the art museum puts a unique new emphasis on cultural attractions in the Middle East and uncovers a new international audience

Daphne Blouet

Visitor Operations and Audience Development Manager
Louvre Abu Dhabi

11:50 am - 12:20 pm INTERNATIONAL CASE STUDY: The Science Museum London: Creating memorable experiences: Putting visitors at the heart of your museum

Kristin Hibbs - Head of Design, The Science Museum, London
  • Becoming a global attraction: Achieving over 5 million visitors annually
  • The power of story telling: The key to audience engagement
  • Managing visitor diversity to create inclusive museums that cater to all needs
  • Entertainment vs education: Striking the right balance for different preferences

Kristin Hibbs

Head of Design
The Science Museum, London

SPOTLIGHT: New cultural attractions in focus

12:20 pm - 12:50 pm La Perle By Dragone: Combining live entertainment and culture

Franco Dragone - Founder and Artistic Director, Dragone - La Perle, Belgium
Combining tradition and innovation, La Perle is influenced by Dubai’s culture and history, vibrant present and aspirational future capturing the essence of Dubai.
Uncover how Dragone attracts a global audience by linking live entertainment with culture to create a memorable and immersive experience

Franco Dragone

Founder and Artistic Director
Dragone - La Perle, Belgium

12:50 pm - 1:20 pm Exclusive project insight! Connecting the old and the new - A city’s journey through time

1:20 pm - 2:20 pm Lunch and networking break

From high-tech to high-touch: Creating cultural connections through digital engagement

2:20 pm - 2:50 pm INTERNATIONAL CASE STUDY: The National Gallery Uncovering new territories through technology transformation

Chris Michaels - Digital Director, The National Gallery, London
  • In context: What does the Gallery’s 5-year digital strategy mean in national and international context
  • Museums in the creative industries: How we are embedding innovation and R&D to redefine museums’ socio-economic role
  • Data-driven thinking: How The National Gallery are using big data and AI to predict the future
  • From static to dynamic: Why we are exploding the museum marketing model for a digital world
  • Immersive experiences: What AR and VR mean for the future of museums, and what we’re doing about it

Chris Michaels

Digital Director
The National Gallery, London

2:50 pm - 3:20 pm TOURISM TECH TALK: Hi-tech cultural attractions – the future is now

Pierric Duthoit - Sector Lead Branding, Middle East, North Africa, Google
  • How is technology turning the museum sector into a booming industry
  • Bridging the gap: How digital technology can create immersive experience and reach a wider global audience
  • Hard talk: Debating the appropriate balance of digital innovation and culture
  • Case study examples of how Google is using technology to partner with museums

Pierric Duthoit

Sector Lead Branding, Middle East, North Africa

Developing a long-term success model for your attraction

3:20 pm - 3:50 pm Building win-win corporate partnerships: Creating mutually beneficial relationships and securing funding

Jennifer Suggitt - Head of Corporate Relations, The British Museum, London
  • Identifying and attracting corporate partners that align with your attractions value and identity
  • Creating mutually beneficial corporate partnerships
  • How to maintain long-term partnerships
  • Case study examples of successful corporate partnerships from the British Museum

Jennifer Suggitt

Head of Corporate Relations
The British Museum, London

3:50 pm - 4:20 pm INTERNATIONAL TRAILBALZER: A 365-day strategy: The formula to driving revenue in cultural attractions all year round

Sophie Brendel - Director of Marketing and Communications, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • Debating successful models from memberships to ticket sales
  • Securing sponsorships and philanthropic funding
  • Special exhibitions and cultural festivals: Developing your events calendar
  • Creating loyalty: How to attract repeat visits from locals and internationals

Sophie Brendel

Director of Marketing and Communications
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

4:20 pm - 4:50 pm INTERNATIONAL CASE STUDY: Capital of culture: Sicily, the upcoming destination of choice

Fabrizio Puglisi - Tourism & Destination Marketing Consultant, GCC Tourism Expert, Destination Italia
  • The rise of Sicily: Becoming a destination of choice
  • How Sicily is attracting international visitors through the promotion of World Heritage sites and cultural attractions
  • Creating strategic partnerships such as Flydubai to increase tourism flows into the region

Fabrizio Puglisi

Tourism & Destination Marketing Consultant, GCC Tourism Expert
Destination Italia

4:50 pm - 5:00 pm Chairperson’s closing remarks

5:00 pm - 5:00 pm End of conference day

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.