Richard is one of Dubai’s most experienced business journalists. He’s spent the past decade as a reporter and editor covering the Middle East for some of the world’s leading media outlets, including the Financial Times, The Economist and Reuters.
As a broadcaster, Richard was launch presenter of Dubai Eye’s award-winning Business Breakfast show back in 2006, before moving to London as anchor presenter with Bloomberg Radio.
Now back in the UAE, he’s been the voice of Dubai Eye’s evening programming since 2008, and today co-hosts Drive Live with Tim Elliott.
Richard recently completed his MA in Media and Communication, adding to his university qualifications in history and economics, earning the nickname “The Three Degrees”.
Richard lives in Dubai with his wife and two young sons. In 2013, on his 41st birthday, he completed his first Triathlon. It remains to be seen whether it will be his last.
Tim Elliott is a journalist and broadcaster and has worked as a music and news radio presenter in his native London, the south of England and the UAE – since 1989.
Having spent the noughties working in financial media, based in Dubai, he’s made the switch back to radio in 2010… and now presents Dubai Eye’s ‘Drive Live’ show.
He’s trying hard to avoid employing too much management speak on the programme and is genuinely compiling a Christmas list of Richard Dean’s favourite stock phrases and corporate mumbo jumbo.
In his spare time, Tim can be found driving his Celtic-crazy son to football matches or watching One Direction on YouTube with his seven year old daughter.
An old school music fan Tim cherishes the days when boxes and boxes of records ruled his life. He boasts a CD collection that runs into several thousands and still collects early 70s US funk.
Ulaiyan M. Alwetaid, Chief Executive Officer of VIVA Bahrain
Ulaiyan M. Alwetaid is the Chief Executive Officer of VIVA Bahrain , Under his leadership, VIVA Bahrain has managed to grow into a recognized market leader in the Bahraini consumer market for both Voice & Broadband services. He also managed to grow VIVA Bahrain operations to be a fully integrated service provider across Wholesale and B to B markets.
Dr. Waleed Aljandal, Dean of Information Technology, Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University
Dr. Waleed has been an important asset for Imam University for the past 5 years and was appointed Dean of Information Technology in 2013. He is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
He received his doctoral degree in Computer Science from Kansas State University during which he produced several publications under his name. His research interest areas include data mining, machine learning, system analysis, database, web application and bioinformatics.
Dr. Waleed has been an active member of 25 technical committees over the past decade. He gained significant experience in his career by working in crucial IT projects in prominent institutions such as Imam University, Princess Nora University, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and Special Security Forces.
As Dean of IT Department, Dr. Waleed is responsible to achieve the highest international standards in education and research by providing strategic direction, academic planning, leadership and administrative oversight. His extensive academic leadership experience has enabled him to implement a range of technical and operational developments and promote excellence, equity, diversity and inclusion among faculty, staff and students.
Mike Austin, NBAD
Mike Austin is the Group CIO for the The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) based in Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining NBAD Mike was CIO Wholesale & Commercial Banking at Lloyds Banking Group in London. Whilst at Lloyds Mike was responsible for the integration of the Lloyds/HBOS merger for the Wholesale Bank and for the development of the Lloyds Commercial and Wholesale technology platforms.
Mike has worked across a number of Geographies in his 25 years in the Financial Markets arena – with Barings in Asia, JP Morgan in the US and with Rabobank throughout Europe where Mike was European COO and was responsible for building Rabobank’s European Service Centre for IT & Operations in Dublin.
Mike started his career in the software industry in the 1980s with British Aerospace and ACT Financial Systems. Mike studied Computer Science at the University of East London.
Paul Black, Program Director for Telecoms, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, IDC
Paul is an MSc in Information Science from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.
His past experience was with Telecommunication operators in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, and Oil and Gas industry in the United Kingdom. Paul Black joined IDC and manages the Telecom division and responsible for all custom research and consulting projects in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.
With over 20 years experience in telecommunications and ICT across Europe, Middle East and Africa he has managed a vast array of high profile projects including start up operations, business process, strategic planning, product and service portfolio creation, BSS deployment, market entry and go to market planning. With over 7 years specific experience gained in the Middle East and Africa working directly in senior positions for the operators or managing teams on their behalf for the launch of new operations in the region. He has a deep technical understanding and strong commercial acumen that has ensured repeated successful project delivery. He is regularly featured in the press and has authored a number of papers on leading factors impacting today's telecommunication industry. Mr. Black is a frequent speaker at public events and CXO sessions at major telecom conferences around the world.
Tareque Choudhury, Chief Security Officer and Head of BT Advise, Middle East and Africa, BT Global Services
Tareque has a dual role; as Head of BT Advise MEA he is responsible for BT’s professional services unit across the Middle East and Africa. He is recognized as having expertise in the development of security and risk management strategies and in leading teams to deliver security transformation programs.
As BT’s Regional CSO, Tareque has accountability for all aspects of operational risk including information security, people, physical assets as well as business continuity for BT across the Middle East and Africa.
Wael El Kabbany, Vice President for Middle East and North Africa, BT Global Services
Wael El Kabbany joined BT in 2006. Based in Dubai, Wael runs the business for Middle East and North Africa, managing teams that span 17 countries in the region.
As Vice President for BT Middle East and North Africa, Wael is in charge of developing business opportunities in core countries within the region and defining BT’s strategy. He is also overseeing the company’s strategic investment programme into high growth markets of the region, which include further enhancements to the existing infrastructure, local availability of new products and additional people on the ground.
Wael joined BT as sales manager, BT Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining BT, he was in charge of sales across the MEA region at Atos Origin. Before Atos Origin, Wael was Managing Director at Raya Gulf.
Wael holds a B.Sc. in communication engineering. He also developed his skills and knowledge in marketing, corporate governance and financial planning in postgraduate studies.
He is married and lives in Dubai with his wife and two children.
HM Consul General Edward
Edward Hobart has been Her Majesty’s Consul General to Dubai since August 2012, having served for a year in Abu Dhabi as the Deputy Head of Mission. Edward joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1993. He has previously served in Cuba and Malaysia. Recent roles in London include heading the Libya Unit in 2011 and being responsible for the FCO’s IT and Information Management. Before joining the FCO he studied Modern History at Oxford University. In addition to leading the Embassy in Dubai, Edward is responsible to the Ambassador for the work of UK Trade and Investment across the UAE. This entails driving the goal of reaching bilateral trade of £12bn by 2015, working in close collaboration with the UK-UAE Business Council, British Business Groups, and other organisations in the UAE and UK.
Edward also works to supporting major Emirati investors in the UK and secure further investment. Retired from playing, he now enjoys coaching rugby. Along with his wife, he is a founder of the West London Free School, one of the first new “Free Schools” in the UK. Edward is married to Suzie and they have three children.
Rehan is the Regional Consulting Director in the MENA region, for BT. He has more than twenty years of experience. His expertise includes: consulting, strategy, business planning, innovation, customer experience, marketing, product management and business transformation. Rehan has worked across a number of industries including: telecoms, media, technology, real estate, private equity and executive education.
A trained social scientist, Rehan holds a MA in Applied Social and Market research, as well as an MBA in Strategy. He is a Professor of Management at HULT International Business School. Between 2009-10, Rehan was a business columnist for The National newspaper in the UAE. He is also a published novelist in the fantasy genre, with his debut novel, the Last of the Tasburai, released in 2014.
Kevin Taylor, President Asia, Middle East and Africa, BT Global Services
Leading an organisation of close to 3,000 highly skilled professionals, he is in charge of accelerating BT’s profitable growth across those regions, serving major brands such as CLSA, Air China, Wipro, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Anglo American and Sasol. Kevin is also responsible for BT’s global business with multinational customers active in the Logistics sector, serving companies such as Deutsche Post DHL and TNT. He is a member of the BT Global Services Leadership Team, reporting to CEO Luis Alvarez.
Prior to this extended role, Kevin was President of BT Asia Pacific since 2010. In that position he led BT’s growth acceleration programme in the region, hiring 300 new industry experts, launching 20 new products and services, opening 6 new customer showcases, developing vertical solutions for key industry sectors and opening a new bid response centre. Under Kevin’s leadership, BT became a local leader in key Asia-Pacific markets, with double digit growth in revenue and order book.
Nicolai is an executive coach, facilitator, speaker, and writer. He helps leaders and their organizations to develop and achieve. His experience has been earned across most of the world and in a broad range of industries. This includes extensive work within telecom, media and technology.
A recurrent theme in Nicolai’s work is the tension between the rational “outer” game and the emotional “inner” game of business. The interface between the two provides the ideal conditions for great leadership and innovation. This insight and focus of working sparked the name of Dual Impact.
Prior to founding Dual Impact, Nicolai was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and a managing director at Bernbach, a brand and marketing consultancy within DDB Worldwide, one of the most creative advertising networks. He has also held executive positions at Hutchison Whampoa, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate, and Nokia Siemens Networks, a major telecom vendor. In these roles, Nicolai was responsible for establishing, growing, and transforming businesses in highly multifunctional and multicultural environments.
His deep experience in the Middle East forms the basis for his book, Effective Business in the Gulf: Mastering Leadership Skills for Greater Success (Motivate Publishing, 2012), which is a local bestseller. A revised English edition and a Korean translation will soon be released. He has contributed to several publications, including Gulf Business, Hawkamah Journal, and Arab Business Review and been a guest speaker at INSEAD in Abu Dhabi and at HEC Paris’s partnership with the Qatar Foundation in Doha, among others. The Wall Street Journal, The Times of India, and Xinhua, among other publications, have interviewed him.
He is a certified Leadership Circle coach and a facilitator with the Institute of Directors, and he holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Copenhagen, where he was also a research assistant and taught various courses.
Nicolai lives with his wife and two children in Dubai and has previously been based in London,
Stockholm, and Copenhagen in his native Denmark.