Mona Noureldin Mohamed

Senior Urban & Recreation/ Open Space Planning Specialist, Strategic Planning and Studies Team, General Planning Section- Urban Planning Department, Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Qatar

Mona Noureldin is strategic urban planner and urban designer specialized in open space, recreation and sports facilities planning with a broad-based, multi-disciplinary technical background. She has a wide experience in planning and implementation programs in wide variety of strategic developments across several planning scales. Graduated in 2006 in urban and regional planning and got diploma in sustainable urban planning from Cairo university. Mona has more than 10 years of extensive experience and leadership in working with governmental institutions and consultation firms for Regional planning, Urban planning, urban and landscape design projects in Egypt, Qatar and other Gulf countries. Mona joined the consultation and governmental firm of Qatar National master plan (QNMP) with deep technical involvement in all QNMP main deliverables including the preparation and the implementation strategy of the Qatar National Development Framework (QNDF), the Municipality Spatial Development Plans(MSDPs) and the urban design of several action area plans. Recently she is the project Manager of Qatar National Open Space and Recreational Facilities strategy,  As QNMP/MME  strategic urban planner and  sports facilities planning specialist she is leading and technically coordinating the strategic urban planning input for several prestigious portfolios and projects such as hosting the World Cup 2022 and FIFA requirements for Competitive and Non-competitive projects, the public recreation and sport facilities master plan, the Qatar  Sports Venues Master Plan, Aspire Zone phases Master Plans. Moreover she participated in many strategic projects such as Qatar National Heritage Strategy , Qatar Tourism Master plan, Qatar Cultural and Sports Hub, Education City Master Plan Integration and Katara.

Shane Eldstrom

Chief Operating Officer, Al Farwaniya Property Developments

Shane Eldstrom is a commercial real estate professional, writer, speaker, educator and Shopping Centre expert.  Not lacking in air miles, he holds several positions: Vice President of Development for NREC, Chief Operating Officer for their UAE subsidiary Al Farwaniya, Board Member of KREDCO and President of the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres.  Shane has been in Commercial Real Estate for around 20 years, attended the University of British Columbia studying Urban Land Economics, the ICSC’s University of Shopping Centres program and is a Certified Retail Executive (CRX), Certified Development, Design and Construction Professional (CDP), Certified Shopping Centre Manager (CSM) and Certified Leasing Specialist (CLS.)

Nuha Altiny

Director of Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, Arab Urban Development Institute

Nuha Eltinay is an award-winning spatial planner and licentiate Member of the British Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI),with strong corporate experience in Play Space urban design.As the director of Urban Planning and Sustainable Development at the Arab Urban Development Institute (AUDI) Eltinay operates three main programmes for 2016 City Development Strategy plan on Child Friendly Cities Urban Planning Principles, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Smart Cities Urbanism.

With focus on promoting prosperity and equity for Children and Youth right to play, Nuha initiated the Child Friendly City (CFC) Urban Design Framework in the Arab Region, by adopting the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child agenda and the Planning for Play Policy. This approach persuades filling the gaps in the Regional existing urban design polices and provides better standards for children street safety and accessibility to public space. Innovative learning, entertainment and security are applied as the main design principles for physical play space adaptations,taking into action the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) No.11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable).

Eltinay presented this concept at several National, Regional and International platforms. At the Saudi National level (Riyadh, KSA 2015, Project: Princess Norah Bint Abdulrahman University (PNU) Child Friendly City:Urban Design Regeneration Master Plan). At the Regional level (Sept 2016 Cairo, Egypt, UN-Habitat Regional Office of the Arab States (ROAS) and UN Women ROAS, Expert Group Meeting on Public Space in the Arab States) and (Dec 2016  Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, Organization of Islamic Capitals and Cities OICC's 12th International Scientific Symposium on "Sustainable Development Techniques for Cities". Paper:Youth Urban Innovation: Educational Platform for Smart City Planning).At the International level (Nov 2016 Ghent, Belgium: 8th International Child in the City

Conference, Child in the City Foundation, and the European Network of Child Friendly Cities (ENCFC).Title: Young in Conflict: Child friendly place making - Cultural Integration platform for social cohesion (Reflections from the Middle East and Europe).

Hrvoje Cindric

Associate, Middle East Urbanism Leader, Arup

Hrvoje is an experienced, confident, committed and passionate Urban Planner and Designer. He has a proven track record as a designer, planner and project manager and has lived in the UAE for past five years.

Hrvoje has extensive experience in projects across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Asia and South America, working for public and private sector clients alike. He has worked on a wide range of projects from strategic frameworks to large greenfield master plans down to brownfield regeneration, urban design and place-making projects.

Samuel Williams

Landscape Architect, Arup

Sam Williams is a landscape architect at Arup, specialising in child friendly cities. He is currently leading a research project on how designing well for children means designing well for everybody, young and old. During his time at Arup he has worked on varied projects around the world, including historic parks, high speed rail and large visitor attractions.

He originally studied sculpture at the Royal College of Art before retraining, due to his interest in the inclusive, social dimensions of public space.

Walter Bone

Senior Landscape Manager, Dynamic Engineering Consultants

Educated at Mississippi State University, Walter has designed hundreds of projects, taught, lectured, written, and served as co-founder of the Landscape Design Curriculum at George Washington University in Hampton, VA.

Walter has extensive experience in theme and recreational park design in the US, Hong Kong, India and UAE.  Some of Walter's projects include:  Busch Gardens in the US, ADLAB's Imajica in Mumbai, India, Ocean Park in Hong Kong and Dubai Parks & Resorts here in UAE.  Walter also led the efforts in the 2,000 ha Park and Open Space concept and schematic designs for the Dubai Municipality project Desert Rose off the Dubai By-pass Road.

Walter's current role in UAE includes leading design and construction solutions for the Theme Parks, Resort/Hospitality industry, Transportation projects and Municipal infrastructure improvements for Dynamic Engineering Consultants (DEC) in Dubai.

Silvio Liedtke

Chief Operating Officer, Landmark Leisure

Silvio Liedtke is the Chief Operating Officer at Landmark Leisure since 2010. In these six years Silvio has transformed the leisure division to one of the fastest growing business company of Landmark Hospitality. Under his guidance and vision, the company offers to its guests a wide range of entertainment and play centric opportunities at Fun City, Fun Ville, Fun Works, Candelite and POParazzi's Gourmet Popcorn.

In the last few years, Silvio worked very hard in re-positioning its flagship brand Fun City to become the company’s flagship brand and the market leader in indoor leisure business. Fun City is a well-respected, extremely well operated entertainment centre, present in over 65 locations across the Middle East and India and caters to children from ages 1 to 12 years.

The company also received numerous accolades and awards under Silvio’s guidance such as Great Place to Work 2014 -  Superbrands: UAE’s Choice 2014 - Middle East & North Africa Council of Shopping Centres: Marketing Excellence.
Prior to Fun City, Silvio worked as Head of the FEC business for the MAF group for 3 years. In his role, he was responsible for managing all aspects of the Magic Planet FEC operations and delivery across the entire MAF portfolio.

Before relocating to the Middle East in 2007, Silvio was Managing Director of the Butlins Holiday Resort in Bognor Regis in UK - a multi-facetted holiday resort with over 5000 units of accommodation, 3 hotels, an indoor water park, an outdoor theme park, several entertainment venues, over 25 restaurants, a small shopping mall, outdoor sports activities etc.

His first foray in to the Leisure business was at the world famous Legoland Windsor in UK. Having originally joined during the opening period of this attraction, Silvio ended up being the Managing Director of this Theme Park, which at the time attracted 1.8 million visitors annually before deciding to move to Butlins, also in the UK.

With his background of working for strong brands in the entertainment and leisure industry, Silvio is strongly equipped to help Landmark Leisure implementing its long term strategy.

Jean-Marc Bled

General Manager, Leisure & Entertainment, Meraas

Jean Marc Bled is General Manager - Leisure & Entertainment at DXB Entertainment. In this role, he is responsible for the development and management of several innovative multi-site entertainment venues, including Hub Zero, The Green Planet and Mattel Play!Town.

With more than 20 years of experience in the leisure and entertainment industry, Jean Marc’s expertise includes concept production, contract negotiation, as well as feasibility studies and operations management.

Prior to joining Meraas, he served as Vice President Operations at Themed Attractions in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In this capacity, he was in charge of overseeing business operations for KidZania and the Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park, which houses the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town and The Little Big Club.

In an earlier role, Jean Marc was Operations Manager for KidZania Dubai responsible for pre-opening, daily management, profitability and turnover.

He has also served as Head of Pavilions at Tatweer’s Global Village in Dubai, where he directly managed 31 pavilions on site, including the Guinness World Record pavilion and The Little Big Club pavilion in partnership with HIT Entertainment.

Previously, he served as Operations Director France of Sea Life Paris for Merlin Entertainments Group and held senior positions with Disneyland Resort Paris.

Jean Marc holds a diploma in Management Studies from the University of Leicester in the UK.

Boris Fabinski

Principal Landscape Architect, SSH Design

Boris Fabinski is a Landscape Architect and Environmental Planner with over 15 years of experience in landscape and urban design and environmental planning with a particular focus on integrated play and activity solutions.

He joined SSH in July 2016 as Principal Landscape Architect in Dubai and is overlooking the Landscape and Public Realm Design in the MENA region.

Boris was previously managing the design development of landscape and the public realm designs for flagship developments like the “Town Square Dubai” for the Developer Nshama as Director Landscape and the design and construction of public parks, streetscapes and open spaces for the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City as a consultant to the General Managers Office of the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City and its Parks and Recreational Facilities Directorate (PRFD).

Jean-Claude Melone

Senior Landscape Lead, WSP l Parsons Brinckerhoff

Jean-Claude’s International Career has taken him from Europe through South America and the Middle East. This includes over thirty years’ extensive experience in the UAE and other GCC Countries with the Design and Construction supervision of major Landscape projects. These comprise Public Realm developments (Parks and amenities, Streetscape and highways) and private projects (mixed use, residential and commercial developments, hotels and manmade islands).

Recent publications include several articles in Landscape ME Magazine.

Mrinal Anand

Leisure & Entertainment Principal, PwC

Mrinal is a leisure industry principal in PwC and has advised leading leisure and entertainment developers in the region on theme parks, family entertainment centers and other leisure offerings. His recent experience includes integrated destination management strategy and feasibility planning for Dubai Parks and Resorts, an integrated theme park destination which opened in Q4 2016 along with strategic advisory work for several large and small scale leisure attractions which are at various stages of development.

He has also advised IP rights holders in assessing the commercial opportunity associated with their IP in the leisure context.  He has studied a number of global and regional IPs for their attractiveness and challenges associated with incorporating them in leisure facilities. 

Mrinal has also been involved in PwC's leisure publication titled 'The UAE's Transformation in to a leading Entertainment & Leisure Destination'.

Jens Rethorn

Co-Founder, Ithara Group

Born near Frankfurt – Germany, Jens Rethorn is a business professional with more than 10 years in the MENA region and 15 years in Education, Sports- and Playgrounds. As Co-Founder of the Ithara Group, he has been involved in hundreds of playground projects and a similar number of STEM projects in the GCC. He is the main force behind Ithara Group’s Play4All campaign, trying to make an active Lifestyle available for all.

Stuart Harrison

Technical Director, Emrill

Peter Scott

Director-Landscape Architecture, Khatib & Alami

Peter Scott has been significant influence role in the international urban and landscape master planning and design industry, since 1989 when he left Australia to form his own company with a mission to undertake projects in every country in the world. (So far 25)

He has a unique approach to integrating holistic sustainability into urbanism from the detailed urban design of places and spaces to the metropolitan and regional spatial planning scale.

This approach has been used to great effect in work in 25 countries across Australia, The Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.

His projects have won over 40 international awards and, whilst working for The Government of Indonesia, he received the Citra Gold Medal for best foreign consultant in Indonesia.

With over 30 years of Australian and International project experience, Peter also brings significant skills in planning, urban design, landscape architect, master planning, sustainability, golf course design, concept architecture as well as marketing, with extensive experience in promoting developments and gaining public acceptance of proposals.

Peter has developed a unique approach to salt water agronomy, which shows promise for food cultivation and landscape development.

He is also an expert on securing sites from Terrorist attack and  ensuring All Access for the Disabled.

Peter has also completed Gehl Architects master classes in assessing and conceiving liveable cities.

Peter is presently also employed as Director of  Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture with Khatib &Aalami – one of the largest Multi-disciplinary practices in the world.

Prior to that Peter was a Director of Landscape Architecture for AECOM.

Senior Representative

Cavendish Maxwell

Manika is a senior consultant at Cavendish Maxwell, advising clients across UAE on development feasibility, portfolio analysis, real estate research for all asset classes, including residential, office, hospitality, among others. She is also responsible for producing regular research reports on the sector, alongside articles, blogs and commentary for press. Manika has more than seven years of industry research and market analysis experience in real estate, investment banking and consumer sectors and has undertaken projects in UAE, India and the U.S.

Prior to joining Cavendish Maxwell, she was with the Valuation & Advisory division of Colliers International and was involved in ascertaining feasibility of real estate projects, asset maximization analysis, market research, location advisory and hospitality consulting. Previously she was an Associate at Moody’s Analytics, responsible for cross-sector research for investment banks such as Credit Suisse New York and Piper Jaffrey Hong Kong.

Manika is a regular contributor to leading publications, covering varied topics ranging from real estate, the economy, consumer behaviour, psychology, crafts to books, food, fashion, travel and more. Her work has appeared in Gulf News, The Hindu, 999 Magazine, Hand/Eye Magazine, Mother-Baby-&-Child Magazine and her work has also appeared in livemint, The New Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Capital Business, Ventures Africa, among others. Her independent writing projects include research reports, content marketing (including blog posts, feature articles, opinion pieces, newsletters, case studies), social media management and media production. She has completed projects with Euromonitor International, Dun and Bradstreet,, Prime Certification and Testing UAE, Coface, among others.

Ron Lokhorst

International Business Manager Sport & Flooring, Recticel