Conference Day One: Wednesday, 1 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

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

Professor Dimitrios Buhali

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

Keynotes: Cultural Tourism in the Middle East

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM Keynote presentation: Abu Dhabi – Becoming a global tourism hub

H.E. Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Abu Dhabi has been named as the second best city in the world to live overtaking London, Paris and Rome. A main factor contributing to this is Abu Dhabi’s vision to diversify and innovate to sustain their position as a tourist hub. This keynote will demonstrate how Abu Dhabi aims to regulate, develop and promote the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as a global destination, rich in cultural authenticity, diverse natural offerings, with the aim of supporting Abu Dhabi’s evolution into a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction.

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H.E. Saif Saeed Ghobash

Director General
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
The number of programmes and strategies to expand and diversify tourism for cultural heritage tourism is a high priority for the government and investors in the Middle East.
This exclusive keynote panel will give a strategic overview of the Middle East cultural tourism strategy and delve into:
  • The role and importance of cultural tourism in the modern tourism industry
  • An update into the tourism industry within the Middle East
  • Analysing trends and opportunities for cultural tourism in the Middle East
  • Debating how the Middle East will achieve its ambition to become a global tourism hub through cultural tourism


Panellists:

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Jasper Hope

CEO
Dubai Opera
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Saied Hamed

General Director, Conservation of Archaeological Museums
Ministry of Antiquities, Cairo

Isobel Abulhoul

CEO & Trustee ELF
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
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Zaki Aslan

Director
ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre, UAE

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM Keynote presentation: Authentic and accessible Arabia: How Ras Al Khaimah promotes sustainable tourism through an authentic cultural experience

Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority
This presentation will recognise how cultural tourism in Ras Al Khaimah is one of the key segments behind the Destination 2019 tourism strategy and brand. This session will also give an overview of how the tourism authority has developed strategic insights which tap into the key trends and segments that drive the product development strategy for cultural attractions in the Emirate.

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Haitham Mattar

CEO
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM Networking break and refreshments

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Keynote presentation: Saudi Arabia: Boosting the economy through cultural tourism

Dr. Mashari Al Naim, General Director of National Built Heritage Centre, Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage
Saudi Arabia leads the GCC’s multi-billion dollar investment into cultural tourism with a series of projects to develop new world-class attractions. Under the vision, by the year 2030, Saudi Arabia will increase the number of public and private museums from 155 to 241, increase the number of UNESCO World Heritage sites from 4 to 10 and increase the number of archaeological sites suitable to visit from 75 to 155.
In addition, the Gulf Kingdom will increase the number of archaeological heritage sites from 10 to 28 and increase the number of activities and cultural events from 190 currently to 400 annually. This session will demonstrate how Saudi Arabia are committed to strengthen this sector as well as revitalise heritage and capitalise on the current global trend.

Dr. Mashari Al Naim

General Director of National Built Heritage Centre
Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage

Museum development: The future of museum design and development in the Middle East

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM UAE museums then and now: The history of museum development in the UAE

Manal Ataya, Director General, Sharjah Museum Authority
With shifting demographics, evolving visitor expectations and ever-escalating technologies, museum designers face a number of challenges. The end goal is to lead to a richer and more memorable visitor experience that encourages visitors to become museum advocates, however, conflicting goals and strategies can make this a challenge to achieve.
This presentation will highlight the most significant museum establishments in the UAE over the past 4 decades leading up to the most recent high-profile museums soon to open in the UAE and recognise what it takes to be the number one museum attraction.

Manal Ataya

Director General
Sharjah Museum Authority

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM A digital knowledge platform bringing together museums, libraries & schools

1:00 PM - NaN:NaN AM Session reserved for Kvorning Design Kommunikation

Museums offer an artistic, historical and scientific importance to society, but how can they compete with commercial tourist hotspots and engage tourists? Museums with a strong brand or those that have iconic buildings are increasingly used as cultural motifs in destination marketing strategies, but what else can museum developers do to make sure they are the number one tourist destination? This session will discuss strategies beyond brand building and demonstrate how all museums have the opportunity to engage cultural tourists.


Panellists:

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Saied Hamed

General Director, Conservation of Archaeological Museums
Ministry of Antiquities, Cairo
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Benjamin Piper

Partner, Design Principal
Killa Design
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Zaki Aslan

Director
ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre, UAE

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM Panel discussion: Stakeholder collaboration: The role of stakeholder and partnership collaboration in cultural tourism

Benjamin Piper, Partner, Design Principal, Killa Design Eman Assi, Cultural Heritage Specialist, Architectural Heritage and Antiquities, Dubai Municipality
Relationships and collaboration of various stakeholders can be the key to long-term sustainability, competitiveness and survival in terms of tourism competitiveness. In sustainable cultural tourism, there are multiple goals in array of stakeholder’s interest. From tour operators, airport and hotels to governments, all stakeholders can benefit from working together. This session will discuss how to generate strong relationships in cultural tourism as well as have a clear understanding of each stakeholder’s objectives.

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Benjamin Piper

Partner, Design Principal
Killa Design
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Eman Assi

Cultural Heritage Specialist, Architectural Heritage and Antiquities
Dubai Municipality

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Lunch and networking

3:00 PM - 3:00 PM End of conference 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. For the most up-to-date programme, please visit the event website.