2019 Speakers

Abdulaziz Al-Azem

MD, Lighting Designer, Founder and Chairman

Abdulaziz Al-Azem, founder and Chairman of Design Tech Services who is considered one of the leading experts in his field in the Kingdom, began his career with a Bachelor’s in Interior Architecture from the Lebanese American University. He then went on to manage the design department in his father’s real estate company before moving to Berlin to work at the Kardoff Ingenuire, a reputed European design firm.

Later, Al-Azem did his Masters degree in Architectural Lighting Design from Hochschule Wismar, University of Applied Sciences Technology and Business & Design before moving back to the Kingdom to set up his own design office in the capital, Riyadh. Since 2010, Al-Azem has designed some of the most prestigious projects in the Kingdom; KAFD Grand Mosque, King Abdullah Airport in Jazan, to name a few.

H.E. Ali Al Jassim

CEO of Etihad ESCO

H.E. Ali Al Jassim, CEO of Etihad Energy Services holder of a PhD in Business Management, Masters of Business Administration with Honors and bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering, has 25 years of experience in leading roles delivering programs and projects. H.E. Ali held top positions in both public and private sector. Presently H.E. Ali is leading Etihad - The Super ESCO in the Emirates of Dubai, which will help Dubai to make one of the most sustainable cities and a leading example of energy efficiency for the region and the world. He is also a Board member of Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC), Emirates environmental Group (EEG) & World Green Economy Organization (WGEO). Under the leadership of H.E. Ali, Etihad ESCO has retrofitted approx. 2,100 facilities (offices, staff accommodation, villas etc) which is helping Dubai to save 107 GWh of electricity per annum. H.E. Ali is taking on more ambitious aspirations with a target to retrofit 30,000 buildings by 2030, in line with the Dubai Demand Side Management (DSM) strategy and by end of 2019 Etihad ES will be retrofitting 2400 additional facilities. H.E. is playing a key role in the expansion of Etihad ESCO, he formed two vertical under Etihad umbrella– Etihad Solar & Etihad M&V in 2017 and is currently working to develop District Cooling vertical and Building Labeling. He is also strategically planning to expand the footprint of Etihad ESCO to the MENA region and to other parts of the world.

Dr. Amardeep M. Dugar - INDIA

Founder & Principal, Lighting Research & Design

A trained architect and an advocate for all the elements of lighting – design, education and research – Dr. Amardeep M. Dugar is the founding principal of Lighting Research & Design. After completing a Masters degree in Architectural Lighting from University of Wismar/Germany, he pursued a Ph.D. from Victoria University of Wellington/New Zealand to solidify his academic and professional leadership role into a career at a higher level. His notable achievements include being named the Outstanding Young Scientist at the India International Science Fest 2016 and 40-Under-40 Hottest Lighting Designers of in the World 2017 by Lighting Magazine UK amongst others. Aside from working on high profile projects and teaching at several architecture schools, he has been instrumental in conducting lighting workshops educating students and professionals about the importance of lighting.

Mr. Amr Mohamed Mohamed Bashandy

Amr Mohamed Mohamed Bashandy is an Electrical Engineer from Ain Shams University Cairo, Egypt, having expertise in International standards organizations, Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality (EOS) in preparing national standards based on international IEC and ISO standards -including Electrical Household appliances, lighting and energy systems - for more than 12 years. He is a member of SASO for mainly handling certification programs such as SABER, CoC, IECEE, Saudi Quality Mark. He is an expert in UL with great knowledge on different SASO regulations and standards, especially lighting Safety, Performance and Energy Efficiency standards. Single window for all UL SASO Registration program.


Grown up in central Italy, Andrea Sensoli elected Florence for his studies in architecture. Fascinated by Eclectisism and Freedom, founding principles of Humanism, he wanted to find them in the town that had been the “Cradle of the Renaissance”.

The city itself was an inspiration because of the great combination of heritage and modern lifestyle, but Andrea found himself very attracted by the Florentine Avant-Garde movements. He was fortunate to have been tutored by Professor Pierluigi Spadolini, late exponent of the so called “Florentine School “and famous architect himself, author of “LA NAZIONE” newspaper HQ and Florence Congress Palace. Under his mentorship, Andrea completed his honors degree in 1993. 

Early years as an Architect

With so much passion for modern design, Andrea sought opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Claudio Nardo and Studio Archea. Eventually, he decided to take his creativity to the next level by starting his own business. Initially, he worked on developing retail and residential projects. Very soon, this young and dynamic interior designer had attracted the attention of some of the biggest names in luxury retail, including Gucci, Sergio Rossi, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen. Within a short time, Andrea Sensoli made himself known as one of the finest architects in the field.

In 2002 he settled the design firm ASZ partners, with offices in Florence and Milan.

Developing Corporate structure

In 2008, aiming at Internationalising the office, Andrea decided to form a partner office with three other architects, Iacopo Mannelli, Cecilia Morosi and Andrea Rettori. They shared the belief to consider this practice as a way to make a difference in the world, by creating fine architectural designs that people could enjoy occupying every day. According to Andrea Sensoli, it is essential to give life the purpose of leaving a mark about our interpretation of the time we live in.

The corporate structure developed by Andrea and his partners in the nameof ASZarchitetti opened their first international branch in Dubai and met the local culture to express their architectural vision. Combining the approach to a larger project scale with so much success in increasing the number of clients among luxury brands, the company expanded to China from 2010 to 2015 and is currently looking out to Riyadh and Tehran.

Recently ASZarchitetti has founded SUPERFUTUREDESIGN*, whereas the sister company overtakes and develops the creative activity of the group.

Secret of Success

Andrea Sensoli and his team consider their design workshop family and home. It is the place where they discuss ideas, always trying to look from a different angle. Their success is a result of their hard work and over 20 years of innovation in creativity, that is a blend of cultural heritage and necessities of the modern lifestyle. They believe that an architect’s design should be the representation of the culture of the place where it stands. It is a combination of many different factors that span from efficiency to communication and, once synthesized with the local environment, they will always give ‘beautiful' results.

Andrea Sensoli’s life as an architect spans over of a period of twenty years. Merit of him is to have strived for his vision in an extremely difficult conjuncture, leading a brand that has been able to carve its name all around the world, within the finest structures that have been used by the biggest names in the fashion industry, as a symbol of pride and heritage. His roots from Florence, Italy have allowed him to interpret the projecting spirit of Renaissance into the future lifestyle, producing genuine and meaningful designs, still looking forward to a higher degree of expression.

Angel Cerezo Cerezo

Angel Cerezo Cerezo + Elisa Battilani, CREAM estudio, Founders

Angel Cerezo is an Architect graduated with honours at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC-ETSAV-Barcelona Tech, Spain) (MSc) and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, The Netherlands), and graduated as a Buildings Engineer at the Universitat of Girona (Spain). Elisa Battilani is an Architect graduated in Architecture of the Construction at Polytechnic of Turin (Italy) (MSc) and educated at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, The Netherlands), she followed courses in construction sustainability and adaptation to climatic change at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). Both had started to develop their career in multiple design firms in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and had experiences projects in Europe, UAE and, Asia for private clients. After do projects abroad, they decided to open they own company. CREAM studio was founded by Angel and Elisa.

CREAM is a Barcelona firm of architecture with a portfolio of projects related with urban, open space, buildings and design. The office is committed to all phases of the architectural and design processes from schematic design development, tendering, lighting to construction design. CREAM has a growing portfolio of private and corporate clients across a wealth of sectors including development, investment, real estate, open space and retail.

CREAM have received many awards and prizes, in national and international level. CREAM ( participated in several conferences as speakers and exhibitions, presenting projects and products. For example, in the BAU Congress China, and in the International Bauhaus Solar Congress (Germany). CREAM received the first prize from the Young Architects Association AJAC-COAC and were selected in MoMA (New York) at the Architecture and Design Gallery as part of a global young design talents.

Annamaria Lambri

Born in Italy, Architect Annamaria Lambri obtained her University and Master Degrees in Architecture at Politecnico di Milano Italy and a Master Degree in Interior Design at Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milano, Italy. Annamaria has a vast and diversified experience in the field of Architecture and Design. She worked on many projects ranging from international exhibitions to commercial, residential and hospitality design both in Italy and internationally.  Her involvement in very high-end Projects in UAE allowed her to acquire major and specific experience and to explore a wide range of topics.

She relocated to the UAE in 2005 where she worked on various commercial and residential design projects, along with prestigious high-end projects. Annamaria is mainly specialized in hospitality design and had the opportunity to develop several Hospitality design schemes in the Gulf Region and Asia. Since 2011 she became Associate Professor at American University in Dubai, Interior Design Department, specialized in Hospitality Design. She also serves as Outreach Coordinator at AUD Interior Design Department.

She is AIA International Associate Member (The American Institute of Architects), RIBA Chartered Member (Royal Institute of British Architects), IDEC Member (Interior Design Educators Council), IFI Member (The International Federation of Interior Architects and Designers), APID Member (Association Professional Interior Design Gulf Region) & APID Ambassador. She is part of several Professional Jury Panels and speaker to Interior Design and Architecture events, workshops and conferences.                             

Azmi S. Aboul-Hoda

Managing Director, EMergy | BE, ME, BEAP, CEM, CMVP, MASHRAE

Azmi S. Aboul-Hoda leads EMergy, a privately held corporation specialized in the built environment field with focus on sustainability, energy saving solutions, audits and surveys, building performance, and indoor environmental quality.

With around 20 years' experience in the built environment field in international and multinational companies, his expertise covers various responsibilities in energy, design, engineering, execution, testing, commissioning, and maintenance. During his tenure, Azmi was involved in many audits, surveys, and retrofits to enhance existing buildings’ performance, indoor environmental quality, energy optimization, etc. Azmi was part of the senior management for the electrical and mechanical systems’ works in various projects in Dubai Airport, including the prestigious Dubai International Terminal III / Concourse II Project (1.6 Billion Dirhams). Prior to that, he was involved in several prestigious projects in the Middle East, such as, Beirut International Airport, Al Shuweihat S1 Independent Water and Power, Revamp of Ruwais Refinery, Lebanese University Campus, Consulting Clinics in Beirut Down Town, etc.

Azmi is serving in several forums related to the built environment industry, such as:

       1.            Member of ASHRAE Technical Committee for Moisture Management in Buildings.

       2.            Member of ASHRAE Technical Committee for Plant and Animal Environment.

       3.            Member of ASHRAE Technical Committee for Room Air Distribution.

       4.            Member of ASHRAE Technical Committee for Evaporative Cooling.

       5.            Member of the BEAP Certification Exam Subcommittee of ASHRAE, since 2017 (ongoing).

       6.            Member of the Industry Advisory Panel of the Architectural Engineering School at Heriot-Watt University Dubai (ongoing). Azmi holds a Bachelor's Degree of Mechanical Engineering (1998) and a Graduate Diploma and Professional Degree in Green Technologies (2017) both from the American University of Beirut. He is certified by the Association of Energy Engineers as Energy Manager (CEM) and Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP). He is also certified by ASHRAE as Building Energy Assessment Professional (BEAP). Azmi was born in Dubai in 1976, and lives in Dubai with his wife and four children.

Chérine Saroufim Sacy

IIALD, Lighting Designer, Interior Architect, Partner, Idepconsult

Mrs. Saroufim graduated from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA), Beirut, Lebanon in 2004 with a Master in Interior Architecture. In 2007, she obtained a Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design from Parsons The New School of Design, New York. Her Thesis: Moucharabieh(2); a product derived from the reinterpretation of the Moucharabieh as a technique rather than an esthetic received the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Thesis Price. This project was also presented during the first PLDA Conference in London in 2008. Since 2007, she has been teaching at an academic level Lighting Design at ALBA.

In 2014, she received the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Award of Merit for the LAU University, Wadad Said Khoury Student Center. In the November-December 2014 issue of Architectural Lighting Design magazine, the Said Wadad Khoury project was published and Saroufim was named one of the “Next Lighting Generation” to keep on the watch list. In 2016, Mar Elias Church Kantari was nominated for the Light Middle East award for best public lighting project. In 2017, Saroufim received the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Award of Merit for the Mar Elias Chruch Kantari. Saroufim is also the ambassador for “Women in Lighting” association that’s aim is to promote the Women working in Lighting.

Courtney Mark

Design Director & Founder, STUDIO MARK

Courtney Mark's reputation in the lighting design industry is built on performance, trust, and, most importantly, creativity. Mark loves the world of architecture and design and is incredibly proud to be part of it. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a project you envision come to life. She cut her teeth early on in her career in doing renovation design in New York.

Mark's concern and feeling for preserving and incorporating the past with the present-day design stems from her youth. "You have to have a feeling for it (refurb),” It’s a labor of love. My father (Adolf DeRoy Mark), was an architect and did it before me, and his father before him in the 30's. He taught me how to see and visualize something that doesn't exist.

Describing herself as conscientious, fastidious and detail-oriented, Mark is a firm believer in what she calls "retained tribal knowledge" that she draws from. "Everywhere I travel, and everything I see that visually works or inspires me I have the ability to recall in my designs to create cutting-edge, immersive and unforgettable experiences."

Over the past 16 years, she has played a leading role in the design, management and construction of many high profile and award winning projects spanning the GCC, North America, Central America and Asian markets. Although shifting her primary focus to hospitality lighting design in 2007, Ms. Mark has collaborated on projects in a range of sectors throughout her career including landscape, master planning, city beautification, commercial, and high-end residential.

Six years after leaving New York’s vibrant lighting design scene to establish and run CD+M’s designated hospitality lighting design studio in Dubai in 2013, Ms. Mark, widens her umbrella back out to global design industry. Prior to joining CD+M she held a Senior Designer position with Reveal Design group in New York for two years, and spent 8 years with AWA lighting designers as a Senior Designer and Associate, opening and running their newest international design studio in, New Delhi India.

The launch of her own lighting design practice (STUDIO MARK) has come after witnessing first-hand the shift in the local design market over the years. In a 21st century design market, we realize that designing and building beautiful solutions isn't enough. We partner with the top forward thinking creatives in the industry. And we are proud to be part of their teams.

Our clients trust us with their projects and know that our team of professionals will be there with them every step of the way. That’s why we focus on providing solutions that are affordable and result-driven.

Dr. Dalal AlSharhan

Lighting Consultant, Kayan Office

Dr. Dalal AlSharhan is one of the pioneers in Architectural Lighting in the Middle East. She received her doctorate in 2017 from Arizona State University, which focused on Architectural Lighting Design supervised by Professor Michael Kroelinger. She also was taught by well-known lighting designer Jennifer Setlow, the principles of Theatre Lighting Design and incorporated it in her current practice. Dr.AlSharhan is working now at Kayan office as an Architectural Lighting Consultant, where she established the lighting design department and supervises the design and implementation of several residential and commercial projects in Kuwait and the Arabic Gulf Region.

In addition, she is a faculty member in the Department of Interior Design at the College of Basic Education at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training. Dr.AlSharhan was also a member of the technical team of Kuwait Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai. In 2017, she was selected by Illuminating Engineering Society of North America to attend the intensive program to qualify lighting specialists to teach Lighting Design (TOLW) at Philips Lighting in the United States. In addition, she has previous professional experience in event planning and design.

Dr. Dragana Randelovic

Lecturer, Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering, Khalifa University, UAE

Ms. Dragana holds a Master of Engineering degree in Architecture and currently holds a University Lecturer position in the Department of Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE. She was working as a University Lecturer at General Studies Department, Collage of Arts & Science, The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE ; 

She has experience equally in both, academia as well as in professional filed in designing and supervising the commercial, residential and public infrastructure buildings. She has been Technical Manager at Emirates Link Maltauro, Abu Dhabi, UAE, responsible for managing and overseeing all technical/engineering submittals ,supervising and coordinating the work of team architects and draftsmen while cooperating with key project stakeholder team; Head Arcitect in Vodotehnika, Belgrade, Serbia, responsible for providing full concept trough delivery architectural designs and construction administration services while effectively lead team of experienced architects and draftsmen.

Duff Yang

Mr. Duff Yang is a Senior Energy Efficiency and Performance testing engineer of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), CCIC, China.  

With a Master degree in optical engineering, he starts working on lighting safety and performance certification and testing more than 5 years. He has deep insight on global lighting efficiency programs and standards, such as Energy Star, ErP, ENEC Plus and SASO 2870/2902.  

Elizabeth Valkovics

Elizabeth is a dynamic and accomplished designer who brings considerable experience to the team at Kristina Zanic Consultants. Her strength stems from working in a variety of positions within interior design firms in London, Bangkok, Baku and Dubai, and carrying out work on an array of prestigious commercial and residential projects. With a background in fine art and a passion for all things creative, Elizabeth’s designs begin with  a traditional approach, hand sketching and gathering inspiration from various artistic influences whether it be theatre, music, fashion, or art.  Elizabeth’s extensive and varied work includes numerous projects in the hospitality, residential, retail and commercial fields including hospitality brand guidelines for Meraas, Le BHV Citywalk F&B & Retail spaces for Galleries Lafayette, Jeddah Tower Residences, AMMROC, a 40,000m2, 5-Star military aviation headquarters in Al Ain, and an award-winning washroom refurb at Gatwick Airport. Her versatility can be seen in her roles in project management, and her desire to maintain a hands-on approach, working with clients and contractors to achieve final designs of an exceptionally high quality. Elizabeth has earned a strong reputation for reliably delivering on all stages of her projects, whether it be at the concept phase, complex detailing, or on-site design supervision.

Erin Slaviero

Erin Slaviero is a Senior Lighting Designer, leading an exceptional team of creative designers at NULTY+ Dubai. She has been practicing lighting design since 2012, with a diverse scope of project experience in retail, hospitality, civic, commercial, residential and public realm across Australia, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In addition to her professional experience, she also involves herself in light art, as part of one of the youngest independent design teams in Vivid Sydney Festival in 2015 and 2016, creating two IES award Commendation installations. She is also one of the Workshop Leaders for the 2019 Lighting in Alingsäs in Sweden. Due to her well-rounded experience, she was awarded as one of Lighting Magazine’s ’40 Under Forty’ Lighting Designers in 2017.

Gayathri Unnikrishnan LEED AP BD

LEED AP BD+C, Director, Standard Development, Concept Lead for Light, International WELL Building Institute, USA

As the Concept Lead for Light at the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), Gayathri focuses on the importance of daylighting and electric lighting on the health and well-being of people in indoor and outdoor spaces. She works on bridging the gap between research and the built environment by collaborating with researchers, practitioners and experts in the field of lighting. Her work culminates in the development and evolution of the WELL Building Standard, which is a tool for advancing the health of people in buildings all over the world.

Gayathri grew up in Dubai, completed her bachelors in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from NIT, Calicut, India and her Masters in Architectural Lighting Design from KTH Royal Institute of Technology. She has experience in various facets of the lighting industry including lighting design, manufacturing and as a lighting SME with a well known real estate developer.

Dr. Ghanim Kashwani, PhD, CEng, MICE

PhD, CEng, MICE Academic Researcher - Civil Engineering/ New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), UAE

Dr. Ghanim Kashwani, UAE National, who got his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, UK, is the first Emirati to be Chartered Civil Engineer (CEng) (MICE) from Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), UK. Additionally, as academic-industrial professional, Kashwani is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) (MSSE) and a Chartered Manager (CMgr) (MCMI), where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from American University of Sharjah (AUS). Kashwani has an industrial experience with major companies as he works as Team leader in Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for several years. Moreover, as Chartered Scientist (CSci), UK, Kashwani publishes many papers in international journals in which his research interests include construction materials, safety engineering, and fire engineering..

Helena Gentili

Director Lighting Design,  Ivorysense

Helena Gentili is an Italian/Brazilian independent lighting designer who works as a lighting consultant in Italy and abroad. Her experience in the field of lighting design involves the private and public sector, as well as contemporary lighting art contexts. At the moment, she is the Director of Lighting Solutions for Ivoryedge IoT Solutions Provider, in Bangalore (IND) where coordinates and develops several lighting design projects integrated with automatons solutions based on Internet of things for different fields of application such as residential and hospitality, cultural heritage sites, urban lighting and commercial spaces. She has an architectural and urbanism background studies with a Master degree in Lighting Design and a (PhD)Doctorate in Architectural and Urban Design with the aim to further study the role of artificial lighting in the contemporary nocturnal landscape. For the past few years, she is an adjunct professor at the Master in Lighting Design & Led Technology from Politecnico di Milano and has been invited as a lecturer at international and national seminars and workshops. Since 2014, she is a professional member of APIL (Italy).

Text Media


Born in 1980 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As a business graduate of the American University in Dubai Khalid worked in marketing and communication for almost seven years. In 2005 Khalid completed a degree in Fine Arts in Interior Design and by the end of 2009 had decided to leave marketing and follow his passion for design. Khalid has studied and specialized in Furniture & Objects design, first at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, UK, then at the Centre for Fine Woodworking in Nelson, New Zealand. In 2011 Khalid opened his own studio in Dubai followed by a showcase space in 2012; both in Ras Al Khor Industrial area.

Khalid’s approach to design encompasses his personal expression of form, movement, emotion, and in particular, ‘the tale’ of objects. Among his notable international collaborations, Khalid collaborated with LASVIT, Tai Ping, Campana Brothers, Moissonnier, COS, Kartell, and the American Hardwood Export Council(AHEC) on special projects and limited edition releases. He also collaborated recently withLe Mobilier National et les manufactures nationales des Gobelins, de Beauvais et de la Savonnerie on a site specific Art installation for Louver Abu Dhabi Museum.

Martin Klaasen

Founder, Martin Klaasen Lighting Design

MARTIN is an award winning lighting designer, design consultant, lecturer and resource speaker with more than 30 years of experience in the lighting industry. Martin has a masters degree in industrial design and started his career of many years in creative and innovative lighting design with Philips (in Holland and overseas). He furthered his career by setting up his own lighting consultancy practice first with Lumino Design based in Singapore, later in Australia with Lighting Images. Martin now applies his passion for lighting design exclusively through his company Klaasen Lighting Design (KLD), bringing to his designs a unique awareness of lighting technologies that improve and enhance the quality of lighting in professional installations. Some of his designs have received national and international lighting design awards. The list of his expertise and experiences spans all applications and projects around the globe. Martin is also passionate about sharing his knowledge by educating his clients and the public through his many articles in the media and more recently his daily blog.

Martina Frattura

Lighting Designer, Synapse

Martina graduated at KTH Master’s Degree, Architectural Lighting Design and Health 2013- 2015, while researching at the HTI department of TU/e, Eindhoven. Her dissertation title was “Instil - How to induce shared feelings through light”. Currently conducting the experimental research A BEAUTIFUL LIGHT on how lighting can help with maintaining the attention level, by using the perception of beauty as variable. Co-creator of the booklet We Are Light, co-author Chiara Carucci, printed and distributed by IALD for the International Year of Light 2015. She is also part of the project “La Mia Paura e’ Bianca”, an artistic duo that uses light as a media.

Interior Architect Nawaf Nahar Alnassar

Interior Architect, 3njeddah, KSA

Nawaf’s main interest is developing the concept of interior design according to each individual’s environment. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1990 from the American college of London in interior design, and has worked in the field since then. Mr. Al Nassar is the founder of 3njeddah and a member of The Saudi Art Council’s Educational Committee, Barakat Friends, and the head coordinator of Tasmeem Fair.

Pauline Dibs

Pauline gained her Bachelor in Fine Arts Interior design in 2011 from the American University in Dubai and was the first lighting designer in the UAE to receive the CLD certification. Although Pauline's background is in Interior Design, her passion is centered in Lighting Design. Since graduating from university she has been working at UMAYA Lighting Design, over the past 7 years she has slowly advanced and grown from an intern to a Lighting Designer. Throughout the years she has gained a great deal of experience working on prominent and prestigious internal, façade and landscape projects throughout the Middle East. Her portfolio encompasses a wide range of commercial, cultural, educational and retail projects.

Regina Santos

Regina heads the Specialist Lighting department at Godwin Austen Johnson, with 12 years’ work experience in architecture and interior design and another 12 years’ work experience with architectural lighting design (nearly 10 years’ experience in the Middle East).  Regina has attained a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design, a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Urban Planning, and a Master of Science in Architectural Lighting Design.  

Project highlights include the Warner Bros Hotel Abu Dhabi, Shindagha Majlis Dubai, Al Bait Hotel Sharjah, Hilton Garden Inn MoE Dubai, DEWA Solar Innovation Centre Dubai, New York University Abu Dhabi, Sheraton Grand Hotel Dubai, Federal National Assembly Hall Abu Dhabi, West Beach Club Dubai, amongst others.

Roberto Corradini

Independent Lighting Designer, Lighting Design Workshop

Roberto Corradini is an architect and a independent Lighting Designer. Born in 1970, lives and works near Venice. Educated as an architect, has practiced for several years in various scale projects in Italy and abroad. He graduated also with a Master’s degree in Lighting Design.

He has completed lighting projects including exhibitions, museums, hotels, residential projects, churches, retail stores, landscapes and gardens, historic buildings and urban master-planning. Most recently, he has been guest lecturer in Russia, Iran, in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at Venetian Association of Architects, at Friuli Venezia Giulia’s Association of Architects and at Facoltà di Architettura Valle Giulia of La Sapienza’s Rome University. He also teaches how to design with light for CPD programs and has published articles in Italian magazines dedicated to the culture of lighting. In the architectural lighting field, his interests are focused to explore the ways that light affects peoples’ environments and creates different settings and moods.

Since 2016 he is the creative director for Luci in Riviera’s Lighting Workshop. He is a Registered Architect of Venice/I (Albo Architetti Provincia di Venezia) and was a member of APIL (Associazione Professionisti dell’Illuminazione – Italian Lighting Designers’ Association). He is also a Member in the composition of Italian National Association for Standardization UNI / CT 023 / GL 08 Technical Group.

Sakina Dugawalla-Moeller

Sakina Dugawalla-Moeller, Design Director

Borne out of a flair and passion for the creative, Sakina is founder and principal of Light.Func. A gregarious individual and professional designer with extensive experience in the Middle East region spanning 9 years, her passion envelopes all things artistic, with an innate focus on lighting design. Her work is most prominent not only in her professional aspirations but also investing in education and raising the bar of lighting design with fellow peers within the Middle East.


RIBA / Principal, Dabbagh Architects

Sumaya Dabbagh is the founder of Dabbagh Architects. She is a multi award winning,  Saudi architect educated in the UK with diverse experience in architecture and interior design spanning over 25 years.

Following an education at Bath University under the guidance of the late Peter Smithson and Sir Ted Happold, Dabbagh began her career in London and Paris in the 90’s. Her return to the Gulf region was part of a quest to gain a deeper understanding of her own identity, a unique mix of influences and sensitivity towards both western and middle eastern cultures.

In 2008, Sumaya founded Dabbagh Architects, which is one of the first ten RIBA Chartered Practices in the Gulf region.  Her practice has since completed a range of projects in diverse sectors, such as commercial offices, retail, residential, educational, as well as cultural projects. The multi award winning Mleiha Archaeological Centre building has been globally recognised as a significant example of a new emerging approach to Architecture in the UAE. Her practice have since completed the design of Al Ain Museum, a recent addition to their renowned portfolio of sensitive, contextual designs.

Through her work in architecture and design in the Gulf region Dabbagh’s quest to bridge the cultural and gender gaps continues. Dabbagh has participated in a number of conferences to share her design philosophy and approach.

She was an instrumental part of the team who set up the RIBA Gulf chapter in 2009 and is passionate about bringing more awareness to the region on the value of good design. She is the Chair of the RIBA Gulf Chapter.

In October 2017. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Identity Design Awards, as recognition of her contributions to date. 

Surbhi Jindal

Founder, Principal Architect & Lighting Designer - DaLightHub Lighting Design & Consultancy

Surbhi Jindal is an experienced Architect with a demonstrated history of working in design and manufacturing industry, a professional with more than a decade qualitative experience in lighting design application, manufacturing, project execution and training. As one of the very few Architects in India who specialize in Lighting Design, Surbhi is the Founder and Principal Architect as well as Lighting Design Head at  DaLightHub, a multi-faceted Lighting and Interiors Design firm based out of Mumbai, Delhi and U.S., a consortium of highly experienced lighting design, Interiors, Architects, engineering and execution professionals having worked on various National and International projects in areas like Office spaces, Hospitality, Residential and Façade lighting spread across India, Middle East, Srilanka, South Africa and the US. Having worked with Philips Lighting India Ltd. as Lead – Architects and Interior Designers, corporates like Future Group and other world reknowned International Lighting practices like Studio Lumen and John Cullen on numerous National and International projects, Surbhi has a very diverse and unique work experience as an Entrepreneur, Architect, Interior Designer, International Lighting Designer and Development Expert with execution of very hi-end spaces like Celebrity Bungalows and Private Offices. She is a technical Influencer with demonstrated ability to focus on Technology, Interiors, Infrastructure, Social Development, Networking, Construction, Creative Sustainable Design, Architecture, and IOT, a certified training professional by Philips Lighting Academy. She also spearheads the very first institute for Skill Development Education in Architectural Lighting in India for Industry Professionals, Architects, Designers & End Clients. Her passion for light is as active as ever and she continues to travel all over the world designing lighting schemes for esteemed brands, individuals and corporate clients. She is a regular speaker at many leading design events, conferences and awards across the globe.

Todd Albert Nims

Founder / Creative Director, Empty Quarter Entertainment, KSA

TODD ALBERT NIMS is a Saudi-born American heavily involved in the Gulf region’s cinema and entertainment development. He has produced, written, and directed documentary, comedy, and drama. Most recently he produced and co-produced the films JOUD and BORN A KING, both of which features are due for cinematic release in 2019. Mr. Nims owns an entertainment company based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with several scripts and projects in development, as well as media consultancy business based in the USA. He sits as chairman of the American Business Group’s Committee for Entertainment and Media

Tolga Candan

Head of Strategic Business Development & Sales, Al-Futtaim Engineering and Technologies, UAE

Tolga Candan is a multidiscipline engineer, MSc with his experience   ranging   from commercial applications to successful delivery of on-site construction activities. He possesses 16 years’ experience with 13 years being in UAE and the gulf region in the construction and industrial manufacturing segments. Tolga has been instrumental in completion of numerous key projects such as the prestigious Dubai Metro Project. His core strength is in leading business development and strategy along with a comprehensive network in the Middle East construction industry. Known for his expertise in HVAC, Pumps and Energy Optimization, he is now heading the strategic business development for operations and sustainability programme of Al Futtaim Engineering & Technologies with focus to UAE and neighboring regions. 

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