All-star cast of founders and top brands assembled for WIT Dubai

A cast of top speakers, blending global and local expertise, has been
assembled for the inaugural Web In Travel Middle
East
to be held at the Sofitel The Palm
Resort and Spa
in Dubai on March 26-27.

The all-star cast includes
founders of some of the top online travel companies in the world namely
Trivago’s co-founder and CEO Rolf Schromgens, MakeMyTrip’s co-founder Keyur
Joshi, South Africa-based Travelstart’s founder Stephan Ekbergh and Travel.jp’s
co-founder & CEO, Kei Shibata.

Leading brands such as Google, Expedia, Skyscanner, Accor,
hotelscombined and Singapore’s Wego are also represented.

With a WIT signature being a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation,
the first WIT Middle East will also blend the global insights of top
entrepreneurs from around the world with leading players in the region’s
burgeoning start-up scene.

Fritz Demopoulos, a co-founder of Qunar, China’s leading travel search
engine and one of Asia’s biggest start-up success stories, will share a global
bird’s eye view of start-up trends. Since exiting Qunar after selling to Baidu,
Demopoulos is an active investor and advisor in start-ups around the world.

Giving his take on the start-up scene in the Middle East is Paul Kenny, founder
and CEO of e-commerce website Cobone, and travel website Triperna. Kenny, along
with Arya Bolurfrushan, recently set up Emerge Ventures, a fund for early-stage
investments in the region’s technology companies.

Emerge
Ventures recently closed its first investment fund MENA Fund I and has made its
first three investments within the UAE – The Impact Hub – a collaborative
incubator and co-working space to open in Souk al Bahar, Dubai; Lumba – a
Silicon Valley-based mobile gaming company focused on the Arabic-speaking
world; and Elevision – a new digital media network that broadcasts news,
information and advertisements from screens inside the lifts of premier towers
in the UAE.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes made
and lessons learnt from local start-ups such as Albert Dias, co-founder,
marketing & technology Director, Musafir.com, Girma Wossenseged, managing
director, EmiratesYoo.com by Kuoni Travel and Pieter Sleeboom, co-founder and
COO, Triperna.com.

“A key signature of WIT events is the blending
of global knowledge and local insights to create a true exchange of learning
for both overseas and local delegates,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, editor and
founder of the Singapore-based WIT, which also
holds events in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and across the
region.

Visit Britain, Tourism Queensland and the Singapore Tourism Board will be
represented in a session about “The Outbound Promise: Understanding the Middle
East traveler” alongside local experts including Nasiruddin Mohammed Shafiq,
general manager, Regency Travel and Tours, Francis Dharmai, head of tourism, Al
Tayyar Travel Group and Mohamed Jassim Al Rais, deputy managing director, Al
Rais Tours and Holidays.

Hospitality brands with specialist knowledge such as Trust
International, a leading name in hotel distribution and Circos Brand Karma,
social media analytics and digital marketing firm, will bring their unique
insights to the first event in the Middle East to focus on travel marketing,
distribution and technology.

And with aviation playing such a vital role in the Middle East travel
promise, airlines and airports will be a key part of the agenda. Confirmed thus
far are Abdul
Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General, Arab Air Carriers Organization, Sameer Poonja,
Head of Digital Technologies, Emirates, Lewis Naim, head of marketing and brand
management, Dubai Airports and Cengiz Dirgimenci, online sales and marketing
manager for Turkish Airlines.

This is WIT’s first Middle East edition in recognition of the booming
online and ecommerce opportunity in travel.

“More speakers are being confirmed as we enter the new Year and we are excited
about kicking off WIT’s 10th anniversary with our first conference
in one of the world’s most exciting and untapped regions when it comes to
online travel,” said Siew Hoon.

Click here for
the programme

Register here

About Web In Travel (WIT)

Web In Travel is a community for anyone passionate about travel technology, distribution and marketing. This basically means if you love travel, and if you are a bit of a technology freak in terms of wanting to understand how technology is changing travel, you are one of us.

We provide news through our website and social feeds, and run events that are strong in content and different in style and delivery. We launched our first event in 2005 and have been spreading learning through events in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Our events include the flagship WIT Conference, WIT Japan, WIT Indonesia, WITX – Women Redefining Travel, WIT Bootcamp for start-ups and investors and WIT Summercamp, our coaching event for young professionals and entrepreneurs.

Our purpose is to take your mind to new places so that together, we can accelerate travel innovation.

To get in touch with us, please contact:

Gerry Pang         +65 979 77730 / +66 87 887 6623 gerry@webintravel.com

Angeline Rivera  +971 4 298 1775 angeline@webintravel.com

www.webintravel.com

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