Devina Devicha
Your seminar host:
Devina Divecha – Writer, Editor, MC and Media Consultant

Devina is well placed to be our seminar host, as she is extremely knowledgeable in the Middle Eastern hospitality and restaurant industry. She is a freelance writer, editor, MC and media consultant, the previous Group Editor of ITP Media Group’s hospitality titles and a respected food blogger in Dubai.

www.devinadivecha.com

Robbie Bargh, Founder/Director, Gorgeous Group Candice D’Cruz, Vice President, Luxury Brand Marketing & Management MEA, Marriott International

TUESDAY 30TH APRIL 09:00 - 10:00

The Importance and Power of a Brand

Candice D'Cruz, Vice President, Luxury Brand Marketing & Management, Marriott International, Middle East & Africa
Robbie Bargh, Founder/Director, Gorgeous Group

We’re flooded with stories and promises of authenticity, but in the restaurant and bar industry in the Middle East, what does it take to create a strong brand that stands for something relevant, recognisable and ultimately successful? We will discuss all the factors that are important and pull together to create the power behind the brand.


Russell Scott, Vice President Food & Beverage MEA, Luxury Brands, Accor Hotels Christian Gradnitzer, Senior Director of Food & Beverage Operations MEA, Hilton Worldwide Christian Abell, Vice President Food & Beverage MEA, Marriott International

TUESDAY 30TH APRIL 13:50 - 14:50

Navigating the Restaurant & Bar Landscape in the Middle East

Christian Abell, Vice President Food & Beverage MEA, Marriott International
Christian Gradnitzer, Senior Director of Food & Beverage Operations MEA, Hilton Worldwide
Russell Scott, Vice President Food & Beverage MEA, Luxury Brands, Accor Hotels

These top pioneers and true leaders will be our compass as we traverse the industry’s performance, predictions, challenges and highlights.


Samer Hamadeh, Founder, Aegis Hospitality Parolio, Creative Director/ Founder, Parolio & Euphoria Lab Colin Clague, Executive Chef, Rüya

WEDNESDAY 1ST MAY 09:00 - 10:00

Concept Creation and Bucking the Trend

Samer Hamadeh, Founder, Aegis Hospitality
Parolio, Creative Director/ Founder, Parolio & Euphoria Lab
Colin Clague, Executive Chef, Rüya

We look at restaurant concept creation through three different sets of eyes, as we examine the failings of many restaurants who got caught up in following the latest trends. We will discuss the innovation and out-of-the-box thinking required to buck the trends and create resilient restaurant concepts with an exciting story all of their own.


Richard Vivian, Head of Centre of Excellence, Transguard Group Belinda Jiskoot, Senior Director Talent Acquisition, Marriott International, MEA Sunjeh Raja, Director & CEO, International Centre for Culinary Arts, Dubai

WEDNESDAY 1ST MAY 13:50 – 14:50

Training and Retaining the Industry Front Line

Sunjeh Raja, Director & CEO, International Centre for Culinary Arts, Dubai
Belinda Jiskoot, Senior Director Talent Acquisition, Marriott International, MEA
Richard Vivian, Head of Centre of Excellence, Transguard Group

A common challenge within the hospitality is the shortage of skilled and experienced staff. In this session we will examine the best ways to recruit and retain, what sort of training and experience is relevant for the future and how education institutes and in-house training programmes can complement each other. Through collaboration, we can address discrepancies between coursework and the realities of HR practices.