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Smart Building Summit Speakers 2024

H.E. Dr. Ali Al Jassim

Light Middle East - H.E. Dr. Ali Al Jassim

His Excellency Ali Al Jassim, Chairman of Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), and Vice Chair for Green Buildings in the Mena & North Africa region.  H. E. is a holder of a PhD in Business Management (GPA=3.80), Master of Business Administration with Honors (GPA=3.95), and Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering.

H.E. Ali has 29 years of experience in leading roles in both public and private sectors delivering programs and projects and has held top positions in both sectors.  H.E. led and worked with teams on iconic projects in the Emirate of Dubai and on the federal level in the UAE.  Examples of these projects are Dubai metro, Noll card, salik, 43 major roads infrastructure projects during 2006, enhancing & elevating drivers training and vehicle licensing services during 2008, unifying drivers licenses and vehicles ownership all over the UAE in 2008/2009, created and established 2 drivers training institutes (schools) in 2012 and 2017, led a government entity and managed a government owned company providing energy services, worked on the 3 largest solar projects in the region and the World, Hatta villas solar rooftop, a 21 MWh on a single roof, and 5000 villas solar roofs completed in 1 year. H. E. under the visionary leadership led a team that made Dubai a leading city in the region in energy services and retrofit during 2018/2020.

Presently, H.E. Ali Al Jassim is the Chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council in the UAE, and a Vice Chair for green building councils for the Mena and North Africa region.  H.E. is promoting for sustainability in the region and thriving to make Dubai and the UAE a Global sustainable hub.

Abdulqader Attia

Light Middle East - Abdulqader Attia

Abdulqader is a highly skilled Additive Manufacturing engineer who manages the Additive Manufacturing Hub at Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP). Focused on creating a collaborative ecosystem around all types of 3D Printing technologies, he brings together manufacturers and suppliers to establish a platform for technological advancement. With an extensive engineering background and a deep understanding of additive manufacturing, Abdulqader drives innovation, optimizes manufacturing processes, and ensures the highest quality standards which in turn has made SRTIP a hub for cutting-edge applications of additive manufacturing in order to revolutionize industries and shape the future of manufacturing.

Azmi S. Abdoulhoda

Light Middle East - Azmi S. Abdoulhoda

Azmi S. Aboulhoda leads EMergy Consultancy; a privately held corporation specialized in the built environment field with focus on energy and sustainability, measurement and verification of energy optimization projects, enhancing and troubleshooting building performance, design of special solutions in the built environment industry, outdoor comfort design and modeling, commissioning process, and environmental services. Azmi is also an active member of ASHRAE and several other local and international organizations, with more than 25 years' experience in the built environment field in international and multinational companies.

Azmi holds a Bachelor's Degree of Mechanical Engineering (1998) and a Graduate 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), Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP), and Building Commissioning Professional (CBCP). He is also certified by ASHRAE as Building Energy Assessment Professional (BEAP), HVAC Designer (CHD), and Building Commissioning Professional (BCxP).

Andre Mourinha

Light Middle East - Andrea

Throughout his 15 year career as an Architect and Urban Designer, Andre Mourinha has led planning and design projects all around the globe. His passion for pushing the limits of architecture and urban design has led to designing multiple award-winning projects in Europe, Asia, Africa & Middle East. Andre is known for inspiring the teams he works within in achieving creative designs. His thrive for design excellence lead him to develop designs known for being innovative yet commercially aware in sectors as hospitality, corporate/office buildings, mixed-use schemes, and master planning.

Amira Ayoub

Light Middle East - Amira Ayoub

AMIRA AYOUB - Amira is passionate about changing the world and creating a regenerative future for future generations. She is currently working on raising awareness about global climate change issues by connecting people to nature, educating people, and transforming the market in MENA towards more regenerative and healthy communities. Amira is the Head of MENA Programmes at the World Green Building Council and the CEO and co-founder of Kawn Consulting.

Amira has been an architect and a sustainability consultant for more than 16 years, 7 of which were at Dar Al-Handasah company. She is a USGBC® LEED & WELL Faculty and is authorized as an experienced educator with a solid LEED and professional education background. She also holds the credentials of LEED® AP BD+C, WELL AP®, and Fitwel Ambassador. Also, a Living Future Accredited, she was a Biophilic Design Ambassador, the MENA region International Faculty for the International Living Future Institute, and the ILFI Cairo Collaborative founder and facilitator for over six years. In addition, the International Living Future Institute awarded her as a Living Future Hero in 2019. Amira worked on several LEED & green projects in Egypt and the MENA region as well. The UNFCCC nominated her with 100 other visionary thinkers and interdisciplinary thought leaders worldwide to join the Resilience Frontier Initiative and co-create visions of desirable climate-resilience futures beyond 2030. The outcomes will feed into the work within the UN systems. Amira was also the WELL Consultant for ICD Brookfield Place in Dubai, the largest LEED Platinum in the EMEA region and the largest WELL Health & Safety Rated Building in the MENA region. It recently achieved the Healthy Spaces and Green Building awards at the MENA Green Buildings Awards 2021. 

Dr. Ahmad Altarawneh

Light Middle East - Dr. Ahmad Altarawneh

E. Ahmad Altarawneh,P.E., MBA. SAFe5 (SA & POPM). Certified Metaverse Expert. Blockchain -IOT-Big Data Certified Professional. EFQM. CKM. PRINCE2. MSP. MOR. 7 Star Auditor. LSSBB. People Of Determination Certified Trainer. ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor. Level 8 Doctoral in Strategy, Leadership & Entrepreneurship. Metaverse SME.

Aisling Guilfoyle

Light Middle East - Aisling Guilfoyle

With over a decade of MENA engineering experience, Aisling is a project manager at WSP Middle East, a global leader in design, engineering, and project management consultancy. She is part of the Integrated design delivery team of WSP’s high-profile and complex projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, namely the NEOM Portfolio. 

Her career has spanned various sectors such as retail, hospitality, entertainment, mixed-use, infrastructure and civil.

Aisling has built upon her diverse career background and excels in client engagement, finding solutions and delivering exceptional projects.

Dr. Anas Bataw

Light Middle East - Dr. Anas Bataw

Playing a vital role driving Innovations and Technology in MENA, Singapore and UK, contributing to the development and delivery of National and Organisational strategies, standards and initiatives.

Anas has led the establishment of impactful innovation programmes and the implementation of large-scale solutions with unique leadership in building business cases, ecosystem development and value realisation. 

Awarded the global innovations leader in 2022, Technology Strategist of the Year in 2020 and Best contribution to global innovations by Singapore government in 2019 along with many other proud achievements. 

Anas also contributes to non profit Task Groups driving Innovations, Technology and Sustainability. As well as academic contributions at esteemed universities and publications.

Ahmad M. Kawakbi

Light Middle East - Ahmad M. Kawakbi

Ahmad has over 25 years’ experience in digital service, smart city solution, digital innovation, and transformation. Ahmad’s recent work has been focused on consulting clients and helping them in their digital journeys using innovation and smart services. He has gained throughout his career a diverse exposure in designing, implementing, and managing ICT/IT smart services for both private and public sector using a wide spectrum of technologies with a large selection of product and service portfolios.

In 2013-16 Ahmad was leading the ICT Stakeholder team for the World Cup Qatar™ “Qatar 2022” at the Supreme Committee for developing the ICT digital strategy and innovations to be used during the World Cup while producing the Technology System Design Guide and Digital Platform requirements for all the stadiums and precincts. This included the design assurance and procurement documentation. Earlier, Ahmad was heading the ICT “smart city” team, presenting the client “Musherib” Heart of Doha (With Turner) for more than 100 buildings. Some of his main accomplishments were developing city-wide Smart-Community/District specifications and Digital Platform requirements for the consultants and contractors.

Currently Ahmad is working as the; Director Digital Strategy at ROSHN – KSA his duties is to Develop, implement, manage, and review the ROSHN’s digital strategy in line with organizational values, business objectives and priorities. Implement digital innovation and best practice, ensuring the use of technologies for the benefit of all stakeholders. Ahmad leads the digital transformation initiatives that involves devising and implementing innovative strategies to leverage digital technologies for revolutionizing the real estate sector.

Ahmad is leading the organization in maximizing the opportunities of digital working cultures by shaping the skills, processes, people and tools we use to deliver the business objectives. Create and imbed a prioritization approach to develop a roadmap for innovation with the relevant processes, tools and metrics to support business objectives and new growth opportunities.

Ahmad is leading a team that project manages and delivers digital solutions using a range of techniques to responsively and effectively pilot and where applicable, successfully implement the digital initiatives.

Problem solves with the needs of the end customer in consideration at all times, ensuring solutions deliver and enhance their experience.

Andy Boutle

Light Middle East - Andy Boutle

With over twenty years industry experience, Andy has worked in various engineering and management roles for both consultants and contractors with a more recent specialization in Building Information Modeling (BIM). Known as a vocal proponent for digital transformation across the construction industry, Andy's latest role as Head of Digital Construction has meant a broader focus on ALEC's digitization with an emphasis on increasing workflow communication and vertical efficiencies. With a keen focus on implementing BIM according to the ISO 19650 series, Andy is one of the co-authors of the best practice guidance resources developed within the UK BIM Framework.

As the former Head of BIM - Construction Division, Kier Group, Andy's experience enabled him to take a leading role in driving positive industry change, while co-authoring several strategies including "Digital by Default", the Kier Group's Digital Vision and Strategy, as well as template resources and workflow production and ownership for information management using BIM.

Running in parallel to his duties with ALEC, Andy also works in a voluntary capacity as an international ambassador for Nima (formally the UK BIM Alliance), where he helps provide independent leadership and support the adoption of information management across the MENA region.

Ali Aurangzeb

Light Middle East - Ali Aurangzeb

Ali is a Principal Acoustic Consultant with extensive experience in the Middle East’s high-tempo environment. His wealth of knowledge on noise control comes through his exposure to various projects in the built environment across the region. He is active on the acoustics circuit, holding a Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control from the Institute of Acoustics (IoA) subsequent to his Bachelors in engineering. Furthermore, he is currently the Secretary of IoA Middle East branch.

Drawing his experience from a wide-ranging portfolio of leading and supporting acoustic designs on projects in multiple sectors such as environmental, healthcare, hospitality, mixed-use developments and office to name but a few, Ali will guide you through the importance of acoustic comfort in people-centric smart building design.

Abdulrahman Mchaweh

Light Middle East - Ali Aurangzeb

Abdulrahman is a strategy and PMO Expert in energy and construction sectors. He has around 30 years of experience in major public and private organizations.

Abdulrahman has B.Sc. in Engineering and MSc degree in strategic management from Edinburgh Business School, he has Microsoft certified systems engineer certificate and trained as oracle DBA. currently working as a Project Management Advisor and leads the enterprise PMO team for programs and assets in Public Works Authority “Ashghal”

Working for 15 years in building solutions for automation and systems in oil and gas industry in upstream and downstream fields, working for mega projects, before leading the performance and follow-up team in a major real estate development company. His role was to collaborate with senior managers to improve business performance in portfolio group Including projects, facility management, Marina Operations and hospitality.

Abdulrahman is currently leading Program controls and reporting team in public works authority in Qatar. EPMO is looking after Programs and assets management performance. The team is consulting with external stakeholders and government agencies. And maintaining executive reporting solutions including executive dashboards and mobile solutions to monitor program activities.

As and advisor for executives he has demonstrated him self as a strategic negotiator and leader who maintains PMO position as a prime unit in organisation.

Abilash Nair

Light Middle East - Abilash Nair

Abilash ET Nair is the Divisional Manager and Head of Smart Mobility and Smart Building for Al Naboodah Group Enterprises (ANGE), one of UAE’s oldest and most respected family conglomerates comprising of a diverse portfolio of businesses. Abilash brings more than 15 years of business development, project management, operational experience, and business acumen to ANGE, where he has been heading the Smart Cities (Solar, Smart Mobility & Smart Building) business since 2019. Under his leadership, ANGE is expected to modernise with smart, future-proof technologies like Warehouse Automation Robotics (WAR), and Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (EVCI).

Abilash was instrumental in launching ANGE’s Electric Vehicle charging business. As part of Smart Mobility, Abilash is in the process of establishing MENA Mobility LLC (a part of the Al Naboodah Group), as the partner-of-choice for all Smart Mobile Technologies; including Electric Vehicle, Warehouse Automation Robotics needs (charging solutions, Industrial Robotics and related facilities) in the UAE and the GCC. As part of Smart Buildings, he provides state-of-the-art automation and renewable energy technologies to optimise energy needs, increase energy efficiency and utilisation with nature-centric technology. He is a prominent believer of working-with-nature while trying to make the world a better place to live for generations to come. In his current role, he is also keen to promote the coherent values and capabilities of ANGE towards a sustainable future for subsequent generations.

As an early recipient of several leadership awards while being an industry adviser for universities in the US, Abilash is a proud recipient of ‘Strafomore’s Who’s Who’ award for industry excellence in 2012 and has advocated for Electric Vehicle standardisation globally. He has graduated with an MS and an MBA degree from top tier universities in the USA and India with triple honours. He has received the National Award for ‘Impact and Innovation’ in 2014 in Houston, Texas for his Smart Grid final project.

Abilash is an excellent Business Development Manager, Electrical Engineer and Project Manager (certified since 2013) with extensive experience. Abilash has worked to promote leading technologies while handling challenging, instrumental, and continent-level roles for companies like Al Naboodah, ABB and L&T in different countries. While also leading the adoption of these technologies worldwide, Abilash was also a co-developer for the microgrid concept/product before joining ANGE in October 2019. In his previous roles he has led the integration of sustainable power and electric vehicle charging technologies in regions including the USA, the UAE, Canada, India, Singapore, South Africa, Australia and Kenya. With an experience spanning decades and a proven prowess in BD and PM functions, he is capable in country-level roles in Business Development, Marketing, Strategy and Project Management while promoting these technologies for future generations.

He is proud to have received the honour of representing these new age technologies in the UAE and as part of the Al Naboodah family.

Ahmed El Banawy

Light Middle East - Ahmed El Banawy

Ahmed El Banawy is an accomplished professional currently serving as the Associate Director at NAKHEEL, a prominent real estate developer in the United Arab Emirates. With a wealth of experience in the field of project management, business analysis, and design development, Ahmed has played pivotal roles within the Design Development & Master Planning Department. His expertise spans a wide range of projects, including hospitality, residential, and master plan communities, and he has made significant contributions to the development and enhancement of various iconic properties in the UAE and the Middle East.

Ahmed AbouAlfa

Light Middle East - Ahmed AbouAlfa

A digital innovator and strategist with over 13 years of experience in transforming data into actionable insights and solutions for billion-dollar organizations. As the Head of Digital Delivery and Innovation at Diriyah Company, I lead the digital strategy and business intelligence for the largest historical and heritage project in the world, with a nearly 60 billion dollar budget and a vision to create ultra-luxury destinations and opportunities for the cultural development sector.

My core competencies include business intelligence, digital innovation, strategic management, leadership, research and development, digital project management, corporate digitization, and client and relationship management. I have a strong background in architecture, an MBA in strategic management from York St. John University, and multiple postgraduate degrees and certificates from prestigious institutions such as Purdue University, MIT Sloan School of Management, and ETH Zurich. I am also a co-author and keynote speaker on digital transformation, a founder of the first BIM Association in UAE and the Middle East, and a finalist for the Engineer of the Year award.

My mission is to leverage digital technologies and best practices to enable, empower, and enhance the performance and outcomes of the businesses and projects I work with.

Casto Cañavate Fernandez

Light Middle East

Casto Cañavate Fernandez -  Marketing Team Leader, KNX Association

Currently, Casto Cañavate is the Team Leader of the Marketing Department at KNX Association which covers a wide range of activities such as the support in the creation of the marketing strategy in coordination with the top management of the company, the implementation plan into the global MarCom activities and the responsibility to communicate and implement the KNX mission in the different nations where it is officially represented.

Carolina Fong Guzzy

Light Middle East - Carolina Fong Guzzy

Carolina holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Monterrey Tech in Mexico and a Master of Project Management from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. 

Through her professional journey, Carolina has worked for several international companies including Autodesk, VAG Group and ICA. Her most noticeable roles regarding technology for construction have been the following: As a Systems Coordinator at ICA, she oversaw the SAP implementation in the largest construction company in Mexico, side by side with a team of +150 people including internal resources, technology suppliers and implementation specialists. 

Later, during her role as Technical Sales Specialist for Autodesk, Carolina worked with private and public entities in Mexico and Latin America. In this role, she received 3 awards from fellow Autodesk Colleagues including 2 innovation and 1 adoption awards for her ideas to adopt cloud-based products in the American continent.

Carolina co-founded Accienta in Dubai in 2017. Accienta guides the Digital Transformation journey of companies across different industries. Some of the most notable clients in the construction industry are Consultants, Contractors and Owners/Developers. Accienta is focused on building partnerships with individuals and organizations to enhance the processes behind their documentation, collaboration, execution and client interface requirements through the use of Next Generation industry specific software.

Elisa Hillgen

Light Middle East - Elisa Hillgen

Elisa Hillgen is a lighting designer and a City of Light coordinator at the City of Jyväskylä in Finland. She has previously worked in the field of building and interior design, and has almost 16 years of experience in different fields of lighting. For the last 7 years, she has focused on urban lighting and light art projects. Her job as the lighting coordinator of Jyväskylä includes taking care of the dark time cityscape by organizing design projects and maintenance for urban lighting and working in the light festival team. In her own artistic work she is especially interested in light art in public spaces.

Eliyahu Rapaport

Light Middle East - Eliyahu Rapaport

A tech enthusiast with a ready-to-roll up sleeves attitude towards identifying and strategically navigating challenges with data-driven decision-making and proving sustainable solutions.

Faik Haddadin

Light Middle East - Faik Haddadin

An accomplished Senior Projects Director at Emaar, where I spearhead mega projects in the Downtown and Marina areas. Armed with a Master's degree in Construction Project Management, I excel in strategic planning, risk management, team leadership, financial management, contract negotiation, quality assurance, communication, and continuous development. Driven by the new era of technological advancements in construction, I am committed to incorporating cutting-edge solutions into our projects. I am eager to connect with fellow professionals in the construction and real estate industries to exchange insights and explore collaboration opportunities. Feel free to reach out to discuss Emaar's projects or any industry trends.

Farah Ghanem

Light Middle East - Farah Naz

Farah is the Head of Climate Change & Policies Department at Alpin Limited. With a strong sense of responsibility towards the environment, he dedicates his career to the oversight and delivery of climate change services, including Net Zero Advisory, GHG assessment and decarbonization Strategies, development of policies and guidelines, and ESG consultancy. Over the course of his self-motivated journey as an accredited Climate Change Professional, Farah has developed a profound passion for combating climate change and advancing the decarbonization of the built environment

Dr Harpreet Seth

Light Middle East - Ranju Warrier

Dr Harpreet Seth, Associate Professor, is the Head of Architecture and Director of Studies in the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) at Heriot-Watt University Dubai (HWUD). She played an instrumental role in establishing the Architecture programme at HWUD, a RIBA Part 1 candidate course. Her current role is characterized by a strong commitment to a distinctive pedagogy which addresses current and future challenges through design and critical thinking in architectural education internationally and within the MENA region.

Imran Sheikh

Light Middle East - imran

Imran Shaikh, Chairman of CIBSE U.A.E, is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and Fellow of CIBSE with more than 15 years of experience in technical and commercial management, energy efficient MEP design, site execution, green building, and energy auditing facilitation, backed. by ASHRAE and other prestigious certifications.

In his current role as Head of Mechanical for Ramboll Middle East, Imran is responsible for providing technical leadership to the Mechanical, Public Health and Wet utilities team and serves as a MEP project lead on wide variety of high-profile prestigious projects in different countries each one with its own unique challenges. His key focus while selecting the mechanical system for the projects is on energy efficiency and sustainability.

Lindsey Malcolm

Light Middle East - Lindsey Malcolm

Lindsey is a Chartered Engineer and experienced leader in sustainable design and strategy development with over 15 years’ experience working in the built environment across the UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific. This has given him an innate understanding of the local subtleties that arise on projects and the importance of vernacular thinking and expertise.

Building upon with a diverse background in energy and environmental analysis, sustainable design and strategy development, Lindsey excels in client engagement, working closely to develop robust solutions and build lasting relationships. 

Lindsey previously worked on the development and implementation of Estidama following its launch in 2010 and has supported various authorities and developers in the creation and implementation of sustainability policy since. He provided expert technical review and guidance for the London 2012 Olympic Park energy strategy focusing on the transition from games to legacy. Subsequently leading the development of sustainable infrastructure solutions across numerous high profile masterplan developments in the UK and overseas.

Grace Najjar

Light Middle East


Eng. Grace Najjar : Transformative Leader in Global Advisory and Strategy Execution

Eng. Grace Najjar leverages over 28 years of global advisory expertise, establishing herself as a transformative leader in strategy execution, regional growth, and government engagement. Her extensive skill set encompasses modernization, digital transformation, and aligning strategies with ESG and UN SDG goals. A driving force in transformative initiatives and international partnerships, Grace steered PMI's MENA growth, focusing on capability building and upskilling as the Regional Manager Director for the past four years. While heading Corporate and Government Relations, she cultivated connections with influential organizations, playing a vital role in driving PMI's growth mission. Beyond her corporate achievements, Grace founded Align Management Solutions in 2010, dedicated to delivering exceptional value. An active participant in global events, she serves as a moderator, conference chair, and speaker, contributing insights to influential gatherings like Cityscape -KSA, Forbes Sustainable Innovation Summit, and the World Government Summit. Holding a Master's in Systems Engineering and Network & Telecommunications, Grace is certified in PMP, PgMP, DASM, Safe Agile, and a 2013 PMI Leadership Institute Master Class graduate.

Juan Tena

Light Middle East - Juan Tena

Multi award winner and Senior Digital Director (M.Arch) with 18 years of international professional experience (9 years in Middle East), with extensive experience in Digital Technologies and BIM strategic planning, implementation, project management, standardization of processes in line with ISO 19650 standards and parametric-digital design delivery, to achieve operational excellency, upskilling and knowledge management and delivery of projects according to Client expectations. In addition. researching and development of new technologies, such as Digital Twins, Generative and Data Driven Design, 3D printing and others.

Winner of the BIM Champion of the Year 2022, at the Construction Technology Festival awards, in the Middle East and winner of the Digital visionary of the Year 2023, at the ME Digital Construction Awards, in the Middle East.

Smart Cities Academy Practitioner, BSI Certified BIM Project Information Professional and BIM Project Information Practitioner.

Leading the Digital Advisory Services (DAS by KEO) team, providing a range of services externally:

  • Digital Practice Management - BIM and Information Management
  • Software Customization and Automation 
  • KEO BIM Academy - ATC providing organizational professional training.
  • Digital Construction - Construction Sequencing and Logistics simulation (4D Simulations), Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Strategic Partnerships - Digital Platform Adoption and partnerships

Joe Tabet

Light Middle East

Joe Tabet is an innovative visionary architect wearing different hats, with +20 years of professional experience in worldwide architecture and construction industry.

Joe founded JT&Partners in 2015, starting with a handful of staff in a +100sqm office in Business Bay, Dubai. The company became an “overnight success”, earning recognition as an acclaimed international multidisciplinary consultant with impressive projects located in global destinations design and encompass social and environmental issues. Joe, JT&Partners and its projects received awards and recognitions from Cityscape, MEA, Arabian Property, UAE Business Awards, UAP Dubai. Recent completed projects include hotels in RAK, Seychelles and Egypt. Ongoing and upcoming projects include residential towers and villas, hotels, resorts, golf course, waterpark and hospital in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, RAK, Sharjah, Egypt, Greece and KSA.

Always alert to the latest trends and with eyes towards the future, he pushes his staff into looking at innovation, Internet of Things, digital twin, 3D printing, modeller construction and invests in the newest multi-media technology and up-to-date state-of-the-art tools.

Kourosh Salehi

Light Middle East - Kourosh Salehi

Kourosh Salehi is a British architect, Urbanist and educator with over 25 years international experience in the UK, Asia and the Middle East. He has led the design process for a number of urban skylines in cities like London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Doha, as well Mecca and Riyadh. He is a prominent advocate of ‘Contextual Metabolism’ – the idea that the environmental, cultural and urban context of cities define their wellbeing and aid urban ecologies. The philosophy which has been successfully adopted by the latest tower design for the DIFC innovation hub.

Laila Al Hadhrami

Light Middle East - Laila Al Hadhrami

Laila is a visionary and global futurist leader with over 20 years of experience in the government and private sector. She is the Managing Director of Communities Connect Cities (C3), a leading advisory company in smart and sustainable cities that empowers organizations to achieve their goals and create positive impact. She is also a recognized expert and advisor in metaverse, digital transformation, innovation, and tourism, with multiple publications and awards in these fields.

With a strong focus on the Middle East, Laila has been instrumental in shaping the smart cities agenda and strategy for various governments, UN organizations, and consulting firms. She is the founder of the Smart Cities Ambassadors program, a global initiative that nurtures and mentors individuals to become leaders in the field. She is also a sought-after global keynote speaker and author, who shares her insights and vision on the future of smart and sustainable cities, metaverse, and tourism. Laila is passionate about creating a better world for everyone through technology, collaboration, and innovation.

Eng. Meera Alameri

Light Middle East

Eng. Meera Al Ameri is currently Section Manager of Research and Building Systems at the Building Permits Department in Dubai Municipality. She is also a member and rapporteur of the task force overseeing the regulation of the use of 3D printing technology in construction work in the Emirate of Dubai.

Meera graduated with a bachelor’s degree. In the architecture of the United Arab Emirates University in 2014, then she worked in UAEU as Head of Design and planning in the facility management department 

After that, she joined MOFAIC as the head of design section.

She has also participated in many local and international conferences and events as an organizer and speaker related to sustainability, green building, accessibility, and innovations.

Meera Al Ameri has developed the Research and Building System Section in Dubai Municipality by foreseeing the future of business in Dubai to support strategic decision-making. By investing in research and development, Meera Al Ameri invests in future technology and capabilities, and transforms them into new processes, products, and services such as 3D printing technologies.

By managing and directing research and development (RD) programs to meet organizational needs and capitalize on potential new products.

Mohamed Elattar

Light Middle East - Mohamed Elattar

Astute and confident Project Management Professional with 25 years’ experience in the field of construction and real estate management with reputed establishments in the Middle East. Deft in planning and controlling of giga projects, master developments and iconic developments with proven track record of developing and maintaining schedules and project management plans for landmark projects in Dubai, KSA and Egypt. Well versed in establishing project management frameworks, PMO establishing, innovation and digital delivery, application of construction risk management systems, delay analysis, claim management and conflict resolutions.

Holds Master’s Degree in Construction Project Management, Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management and Bachelor of Science in Architecture; in addition to several certifications in project management, conflict resolution and leadership.

Majd Fayyad

Light Middle East

Majd is senior strategy expert and award-winning engineer with a track record in assisting NGOs and government organizations in developing innovative and transformational strategies and programs which aimed at advancing decarbonization, energy efficiency, and green building principles in the region. Currently, Majd leads strategy and policy development related to demand side management, water management, green mobility, and circular economy at the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy. Majd is also director and board member of the newly launched platform, Advancing Net Zero Volunteering Team which aims to accelerate the transition to net zero cities in the UAE.

Prior to that, Majd has held several positions including senior energy advisor to the Royal Danish Consulate General in Dubai, technical lead at Emirates Green Building Council and project manager of the National CDM Program for Solar Energy in Lebanon.

Majd was a speaker at 100+ flagship sustainability events in the UAE and region, a jury member of several regional awards programs and lead author of 10 energy  and sustainability publications. He was selected to be part of the first cohort of Emerging Board Leaders Fellowship, powered by HSBC which recognizes exceptional Arab and North African men and women under the age of 45 and accelerates their pathway to boardrooms. Majd holds a master’s degree in renewable energy, bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, CEM, LEED AP, and TRUE Advisor credentials.

Mohamed Eldesouky

Light Middle East - Mohamed Eldesouky

Mohamed Eldesouky is a seasoned BIM Manager, and a former project and program manager with 13 years of experience. Holding certifications as an AGILE PMP, NFPA, and BRE, along with bilingual fluency, empowers him to navigate diverse project landscapes both nationally and internationally. From design and development to implementation, he consistently delivers remarkable results, exceeding client expectations through meticulous attention to codes, standards, and ROI optimization.

Mohamed Ragheb

Light Middle East - Mohamed Ragheb

Mohamed Rageb spearheads Azizi’s project design, engineering and construction departments. He has had over 20 years’ experience in the construction industry. Furthermore, Mohamed plays a lead role in developing the project vision and concept and project managing the entire process from inception through to delivery and handover. Mohamed also leads Azizi’s planning and design processes, resource management and sustainability objectives. Moreover, Mohamed has a master’s degree in Business Administration from The International Business School of Scandinavia and a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Ain Shams University, Egypt.  In addition, he is certified in Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Project Management from RICS, UK.

Maher Al Kaabi

Light Middle East - Maher Al Kaabi

Maher Al Kaabi, a visionary leader and a seasoned banker with over 30 years of experience in the Banking, IT industry and Family Business. He has extensive expertise in Board Membership, Islamic Banking, Wholesales & Consumer Banking, Risk Management, Finance, Operation & Technology, Sales & Distribution and Business Development. Serves on board of several startup companies, a Chairman of Board of Governance of a Star International School and co-founder of Blink. Currently, he is an advisor to the Group Chairman of Al Serkal Group of Companies and serves as an Independent Board Member. His expertise lies in devising impact and commercial strategies, working with government leaders and private sectors. Works extensively with various ministries in future technologies, circular economy, and sustainability of family businesses by training NextGen on Venture Studio Module. On the advisory board of UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and other entities. He has worked as Group Head of Islamic Banking at Emirates NBD and also served as Group Head Chief Operating Officer for Group Wholesale Banking. Previously he worked as the Chief Risk Officer at Dubai Bank. And prior to that he worked at Citigroup for over 14 years where he has assumed various senior roles both locally and internationally. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in the field of AI driven sustainability.

Michelle Najm

Light Middle East

Michele is a talented architect with over 10 years of experience in the Middle East. She is a highly adaptable performer, adept at multi-tasking and thriving in a fast-paced environment while coordinating numerous timesensitive projects. She has strong coordination (with all disciplines), organizational and time management skills. While working in Lebanon, Michelle was a Project Architect involved in the design and delivery of international projects all over Nigeria, the Middle East and the Gulf. She gained experience in handling projects from inception to execution ensuring that all phases delivery packages meet the required quality and proper deadlines. 

Piero Pelizzaro

Light Middle East

Piero has 13 years of experience in climate change policies and urban resilience planning. Currently he is the Milan Chief Resilience Officer and the City Lead for the H2020 Lighthouse project Sharing Cities at the Municipality of Milan. He is an advisor of the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition for the National Adaptation Plan to Climate Change. In recent years was the Co-Founder of Climalia, specialised consulting company providing climate services in Italy, where he operates as Resilience Specialist. Piero was an Acclimatise Associate and researcher at the Planning Climate Change Unit at IUAV Venice. Piero is a member of the SISC Italian Society for Climate Science and European Commission Mayors Adapt Practitioners Work Group. He has extensive expertise in projects financed by the European Commission, including the LIFE+ project BlueAP Bologna Local Urban Environment Adaptation Plan for a Resilient City (Senior Expert), LIFE+ RECOIL Recovered waste cooking oil for combined heat and power production (Technical Director), MED Greenpartnerships as Senior Expert and MED ZeroCO2 Small communities for big changing. He further specialised in Urban Resilience, Environmental Economic Accounting, Energy Scenario and Climate Change Impact Models through his working experience at the Stockholm Environment Institute – Tallinn Office. In past years he collaborated with EU MP, Umberto Guidoni. He writes for different specialised magazines and web-portals on climate change issues

Paul Drosihn

Light Middle East - Paul

Paul is a highly qualified and experienced management professional with more than 30 years’ experience in the electronics and LED lighting industries. He has held a number of senior roles at companies involved in high-tech electronics and Lighting. He is a Member of IEEE and AMBA, and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management. As DALI Alliance General Manager, Paul is responsible for the strategic and day-to-day running of the organization.

Sophia Kee

Light Middle East - Sophia Kee

As an industry changemaker, Sophia Kee helps position WSP as a leading firm at the forefront of future trends within the natural and built environments.

With close to 15 years’ experience championing new norms within the built environment, Sophia Kee brings a world of visionary nous and in-depth industry acumen to her new role as the Head of Future Ready for WSP Middle East’s Property & Buildings business.

In her current role, Sophia spearheads WSP’s Future Ready initiative with a clear focus on invigorating the Future Ready mindsets of WSP’s experts and driving this future-focused agenda with key clients in order to challenge the status quo and envision how the industry mitigates and adapts to future scenarios and trends within the natural and built environments.

Prior to joining WSP Middle East, Sophia accrued extensive experience in global markets previously delivering projects in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, KSA and the UAE. Sophia has significantly contributed to integrating innovation and environmental efficiency within projects from technical design, simulation and delivery perspectives. Her most notable projects include Changi Terminal 4 in Singapore, the Masdar Headquarters in the UAE, and multiple Expo 2020 Pavilions. Sophia holds multiple certifications including BREEAM, LEED, Green Mark, and is a Chartered Architectural Technologist (MCIAT).

Seong-Ik Oh

Light Middle East - Seong

Seong-ik Oh is Director General for Cadastral Resurvey Planning at Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and former assistant director at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. He received a bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University and master’s degrees from Harvard Kennedy School and Fletcher School at Tufts University, respectively in 2009. Also, he earned a Ph.D. from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. He is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Public Administration, Yonsei University. In November 2023, he was elected as Vice Chair for the Working Party for Rural Policy under OECD Regional Development Policy Committee. In his tenure, he makes efforts to introduce Korea’s policies in the international events, such as Smart City World Congress in Barcelona and Smart City World Congress in Doha and Harvard University Weatherhead Center Seminar in 2023.

He authored <Overseas Energy Investment of Korea and Japan>, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2023, and recorded CSIS podcast, “South Korea and Japan: Divergent Paths to Energy Security.” Also, he published an article “A Ticking Time Bomb in the East China Sea,” in the National Interest. Also, he co-authored <Big Picture 2017: 4th Industrial Revolution and Irony of Isolationism> (in Korean) in 2017. His publications in academic journals include “The Republic of Korea’s Eurasia Initiative and its Full Membership in OSJD: From the Perspective of Veto Player Theory” (Korean, 2015), “Korea’s Designation of Living Happiness Sphere in the Local Area from the Perspective of New Institutionalism” (Korean, 2015).

Samit Sheth

Light Middle East - Samit Sheth

As JLL's Digital Transformation Lead, Samit is responsible for designing and implementing real estate technology solutions across the Middle East and Africa.

He is a digital and technology expert who advices real estate clients on Enterprise Architecture for feasibility, design, construction and operations within the rapidly evolving proptech market. His experience includes user-centric designs on a portfolio of projects ranging from high-profile, large-scale mixed-use developments to refurbishments for the hospitality, leisure, residential and corporate real estate sectors. 

Samit holds a Bachelor of Science in Infrastructure Engineering and Real Estate Development from the University of Maryland. 

Tamara Bajic

Light Middle East - Tamara Bajic

Tamara is an Associate Director – Net Zero Advisory at AESG. She holds a Masters’ degree in Environmental Engineering with specialization in the fields of Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions and Decarbonisation. Her sustainability journey in the UAE started with a 6-year engagement with Dubai Government, as part of the DSM PMO office, implementing the Energy Efficiency (DSM) Strategy in Dubai across 11 programmes and more than 10 key government sector stakeholders and private sector market players.


She has led and supported with the design and execution of key activities: DSM PMO office establishment (institutional mechanisms & procedures, organisational objectives, priorities, budget requirements), implementation of operational plans and roadmaps, DSM savings monitoring and evaluation (via data collection, modelling, top management presentations), Capacity and Awareness Programmes.

As part of the AESG Strategy & Advisory team, she has expanded her expertise to accompany government and private sector to plan and implement their Net Zero/Decarbonisation, ESG and Sustainability Journey as it evolves over time. She supports clients to understand their key Net Zero drivers, reporting requirements, following with the design of a tailored Net Zero strategies, roadmaps, action plans, timelines, budget requirements and supporting tools to successfully implement their decarbonisation initiatives and achieve Net Zero goals.

Tekha Selim

Light Middle East - Tekha Selim

Tekha Selim brings over a decade of expertise as an international leader in the intersection of health and the built environment. At IWBI, he is Vice President & Head of MENA Region. Tekha introduced the Healthy Building movement in the MENA region in 2019 and helped organize over 65 Governmental events and training sessions related to WELL in the region. Tekha has played an instrumental role in enrolling over 500,000,000 sqft. of projects in various WELL programs across the region with some of the most prestigious organizations and entities such as, The Prime Minister’s Office, Dubai Police, Majid Al Futtaim, ADNOC, MAG, Nakheel, Mubadala, The Crown Prince’s University (HBMSU), The Dubai Land Department, RERA, IHCC, IMKAN MISR, EMAAR, and many more…

Prior to joining IWBI, Tekha founded the internationally known Tekha Group organization, which promotes healthy lifestyles by bridging cultural gaps through different programs all over the world. Through Tekha Group, he presented more than 170 speeches to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, and he has been a part of more than 130 major events globally including 3 TEDx events where he was invited as a Keynote speaker. Tekha Group worked on numerous Government initiatives aimed at advancing healthy lifestyles in different countries. The world’s smallest fitness step tracker, the MymoTekha, was named after him. Tekha has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a Master’s Degree in Media Studies. He also has worked as a college instructor in the USA, teaching classes in Speech Communication and Race, Gender & Human Identity. Tekha played basketball on the Egyptian National Team and played American college basketball (NCAA) as well.

Dr. Yianni Spanos

Light Middle East


As Vice President – Sustainability at Expo City Dubai, Dr Spanos oversees all the Sustainability department’s activities, including implementation of new initiatives, reporting and safeguarding the quality of the living environment. Dr Spanos also focuses on Expo City’s sustainability certifications as well as the delivery of its decarbonisation activities.  


A strategy and sustainability leader with more than 20 years’ experience in energy transition, climate change and sustainable strategies for major projects, Dr Spanos is known for his ability to develop and deliver advanced solutions that recognise the interconnectedness of different programmes, align technical delivery to budgets, and support stakeholder communication and engagement on sustainability. He has provided consultancy and advisory services for developing projects across sectors such as education, healthcare, hospitality and leisure, renewable energy, sports, real estate and urban planning.

Dr Spanos has been in the Arabian Gulf region since 2013, working closely with world event organisers and developers of future global destinations.

A chartered engineer, holding a PhD in Physics from Coventry University and a Global Executive MBA from INSEAD, his undergraduate and postgraduate academic studies focused on engineering, construction management and building services. Dr Spanos is a member of the Energy Institute, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.