Taha Al Hamri

Specialist – Society Happiness / Marketing & Corporate Communication,, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority – Dubai

Taha Al Hamri has over 18 years’ experience in the telecom, International investment, Educational service & utility industry. He has a proven track record of success, including major international projects in Sudan, managing 4,500 employees in Dubai Educational Zone. As an experienced person, Taha can be described as a humble person with excellent networking skills, highly motivated and smart working individual, an energetic and enthusiastic person who enjoys a challenge and achieving personal goals.

Teresa Jenna

Adult with Disabilities, International Lead, Benetech

Teresa Jenna is currently working at Benetech as an International Lead looking after programs and operations in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Kenya, Ethiopia. Opening up new markets in United Arab Emirates and other M.E. location. Managing and implementing grants awarded from USAID, AUSAID, WORLD VISION, UNSKOLL, GOOGLE, LAVELLE and OAK Foundation. Leading teams in all stated countries. Expanding membership in to +75 nations

Bruce Fritznathan

Chief Commercial Officer in Middle East, AREP

Fritznathan Bruce graduated from ENAC (Toulouse-France) and is recently appointed as AREP Chief Commercial Officer for the Middle East Region based in the regional office in the UAE. Prior to joining AREP, Fritznathan served as Head of Business Development Middle East Region of Aéroports de Paris Ingénierie (ADPI) for more than twenty years and has extensive transportation infrastructure design and development expertise.

Eng Fida AlHammadi

Head Of Researches and Building System Section, Dubai Municipality

Eng. Fida Alhammadi is currently the Head of Research and Building Systems section, Building Department at Dubai Municipality. A Civil Engineer with a Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, United Arab Emirates University, 2013. She later obtained her Master of Engineering Management from the University of Sharjah. Eng. Fida is a certified LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE, CFT, CFME, CCPFme, BREEM Associate and an approved trainer by local and International entities.

Steve Carpenter

Head of Health, Safety & Risk Management , WSP

Steve Carpenter is the Head of Health, Safety & Risk Management at WSP and member of the UAE Advisory Committee for People of Determination.

Steve is a highly qualified health & safety professional with 14 years of experience in Accessibility and Occupational Health & Safety. Steve has been involved in most of the strategic Accessibility efforts in Dubai and the UAE supporting The Executive Council of Dubai, the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) and the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) with their Accessibility programs. He has also undertaken Accessibility audits and strategies with a number of private and public clients in the UAE.

Hideto Kijima

President, Japan Accessible Tourism Center

Hideto Kijima is currently the President of Japan Accessible Tourism Center. He is a wheelchair traveler and has visited 157 countries. When he was 17 years old, Kiji injured his spinal cord T-11 in a rugby accident but has not stopped dreaming to explore the world. Kiji started his professional career in an advertisement agency as a marketing planner. In 2004 after 7 years in his old job he decided to dedicate his time to his own business as a writer, consultant for accessibility issues and motivational speaker. In 2011 he founded the information centre for international travellers with mobility impairment who wish to visit Japan.

Roberto Castiglioni

Member | Access to Air Travel Advisory Group , UK Civil Aviation Authority

In the last few years Roberto has worked with the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the European Commission on intelligence, policy and compliance. He frequently liaises with European National Enforcement Bodies.

He is the only independent access to air travel expert the European Commission invited to participate the meetings of European National Enforcement Bodies of 2015 and 2017.

Roberto has been a member of the UK CAA Access to Air Travel Advisory Group and the Easyjet Special Assistance Advisory Group (ESAAG) since 2012.

He chairs the Airport Experience working group of ESAAG, and also chaired the Ageing Population and PRMs track at Passenger Terminal CONFERENCE 2015, 2016, and 2017.

He also provides his consulting services to airlines, airports and PRM service providers to help them improve access to air travel for people with different abilities.

Tina Merk

Engineer, Zayed Higher Organization

After Architectural studies focusing on medical design in Germany, Tina works as an Engineer since 2013 at the Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs in Abu Dhabi, where she is responsible for collaboration in developing codes and regulations for accessibility in Abu Dhabi, site visits and furnishing standards with regard to accessibility and creating enabling environments, preliminary designs for new centres for Zayed Higher Organization, conceptual design and implementation planning, construction management, project finalization and handover.

She also used to be an advisor for accessibility design to Governmental Institutions, such as “Abu Dhabi International Building Code”, 2013; Abu Dhabi International Accessibility Standards Code”, 2013; “Transportation Accessibility Standards”.

Victor Pineda

President and Founder, Pineda Foundation / World Enabled

Dr. Victor Pineda is the President of World ENABLED, Chancellor’s Research Fellow, and a Senior Fellow at The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. He is a leading global expert on disability rights, policy, planning and design and has worked closely with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, World Bank, United Nations, UNESCO, UNICEF, and cabinet level officials in the UAE, Qatar, Venezuela, and Serbia among others to develop policies and programs that include persons with disabilities as equal stakeholders in development.

Dr. Pineda is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) innovative research grant, a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, the Thomas Jefferson Award, the Tom Clausen Fellowship for Business and Policy, and the Paul G. Hearne Award. Dr. Pineda holds a Ph.D. from the Luskin School for Public Affairs at the University of California at Los Angeles and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning, a B.A. in Political Economy, and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley.

Mukhtar Al Shibani

President and Founder, GAATES

Mukhtar AlShibani is a Saudi Citizen with a master degree in Architecture from College of Architecture, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA. Main topic was “Design Criteria for the Disabled in the Saudi Built Environment”. He is the author of the first accessibility standard for persons with disabilities in the Arab World. He is also the president and founder of AlModon Engineering Consultancy, which was the first consulting office in the Arab World, specialized in Universal Design and Accessibility for persons with disability in the urban environment, since 1987. Mukhtar is one of the founders of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), the leading international organization dedicated to the promotion of accessibility of the built and virtual environments (2008). Prior to his current role, he has been GAATES’ Vice-President and is now on his second term as GAATES President. Under his guidance, GAATES has established a network of Country Representatives in more than 40 countries, created the Global Accessibility News Service, a specialized accessibility news website with a weekly gazette reaching more than 20,000 subscribers worldwide.


Mohamed Soussan

Group General Manager, Ayla Grand Hotel

Mohamed Soussan is the Group General Manager of Ayla Grand Hotel. He is a solo player for forming a new chain of hotels and resorts. He is responsible for the overall hotel operation of developing Ayla Hospitality Concepts for Hotels & Resorts Management with a new identity. Mohamed has been privileged to be selected among the hotelier Middle East power 50 for 2016. Prior to his current post, Mohamed is the Executive Manager at Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan in Abu Dhabi.

Tala I. Al Ramahi

Senior Associate, Crown Prince Court Abu Dhabi – Special Olympics Abu Dhabi 2019

Tala I. Al Ramahi is Chief Strategic Officer of the Special Olympics World Games 2019. In this role, she leads strategy and legacy for the Games. Tala was also member of the Bid Committee, helping lead the efforts to develop Abu Dhabi’s winning bid in along with key government, semi-government and private entities, as well as NGOs in the UAE. Tala is also a Manager at the Office of Strategic Affairs at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, where she leads rich public policy analysis on socioeconomic issues pertaining to Abu Dhabi and the UAE in various fields, including education, health, governance and citizen wellbeing. She is currently seconded from the Crown Prince Court to the Local Organizing Committee. Previously, Tala was Programs Director of Al Bayt Mitwahid, an NGO founded by employees of the Crown Prince Court, that plans and implements initiatives across the UAE to address societal needs and challenges utilizing innovative and sustainable practices. Tala has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Stanford University, and Master’s Degree in Journalism for the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Aileen Llagas

Architect, Fujairah Municipality

Aileen Llagas is an architect and urban designer with local government office, engineering consultant & contractor spending most of her career years in UAE and has worked on designs of different projects in Fujairah. She is currently in-charge of the Planning Services Division under the Urban Planning Section of Fujairah Municipality, with prime responsibility of approving infrastructure projects within the emirate. Aileen has a Bachelor of Science Major in Architecture from the Bulacan State University, Philippines.

Iftikhar Hamdani

Cluster General Manager, Ramada Hotels

Iftikhar Hamdani is currently working as Cluster General Manager to lead three Wyndham Hotels in Ajman.  Hamdani is also currently engaged with his hotel group expansion and working as VP Development and Acquisition of R Hotels.  Hamdani carries 22 years hospitality experience in different hospitality brands in different positions.

He has revolutionised the hospitality industry over the years with his commitment to carry projects on environment, community and charity work.  Known as the initiator of green programmes in the emirate of Ajman, he has definitely made his mark to engage hoteliers in CSR over the past couple of years.  He is known for his notable ground-breaking environment initiatives like launching Zero Landfill Project in 2012 – a waste management system of the property and Urban Farming in his hotel.

With the leadership and hard work in spearheading the various charity projects, green initiatives and empowerment of team, Iftikhar Hamdani was recognized as the “Brand Ambassador of Wyndham Hotel Group in year 2012” which signifies Wyndham Hotel Group’s appreciation of all the efforts he did for the environment and society.  Hamdani has also been recognized as a “Highly Commended CSR Champion 2013” by the Hotelier Middle East.  Hamdani received the “Alleem Sustainable Development Excellence Awards 2014” a recognition for his sustainable initiatives towards the environment. Two consecutive years, Hamdani has been bagged the Hospitality Excellence Award - CSR Champion of the Year 2015” and “General Manager of the Year 2016” by the  Recently, Hamdani received the “Wyndham Hotel Group EMEA President’s Award for CSR 2016”.

Huraiz Almur Bin Huraiz

CEO- Social Care & Development Sector, Community Development Authority (CDA)

Dr Ayesha Saeed Husaini

Founder and Director, Manzil Center

Dr Ayesha Saeed Husaini is the Founder and Director of Manzil, a Sharjah based non­profit center focusing on the educational, social & vocational inclusion of persons with disability. Manzil was started in 2005 under the aegis of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, with Sheikha Jameela Mohammed Al Qasimi as its Royal Patron.

Dr Husaini has over two decades of experience of working with disability, and her PhD from UK’s Sheffield University has been a broad study on Inclusion in the UAE.  She has in-depth knowledge of assessing and working with individuals with a range of learning differences. Under the leadership of Dr Husaini, Manzil has won numerous international awards over the years, including Social Service Provider of the Year- Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2016 and the prestigious Princess Haya Award for “Outstanding Director General” in the MENA 2012. Dr Husaini has been a regular speaker in numerous conferences and exhibitions. She has also played a pivotal role in set up and development of a number of social initiatives. Dr Husaini currently serves as a member in the Dubai Community Development Authority Advocacy Committee and the Advisory Board of AccessAbilities Expo 2017, besides serving on the Advisory Board of a few educational institutions.

Rehan Hussain

Managing Director, All Access scandinavia AB

Rehan Hussain is Specialist in Accessibility, Retrofiting & In-Build Environments. He graduated from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, with a Bachelors Degree in Business Development and Entrepreneurship. Since 2007 he has been a passionate and grateful business owner of All Access Scandinavia. With now more than 10 years of experience in breaking barriers for the disabled, Rehan has found genuine purpose in working with what matters for the majority. Rehan is a husband and father of two daughters ages six and five, whom he spends most of his time with when not working with accessibility. Rehan enjoys travelling, reading, playing tennis and driving.

Borja Pardo Mocoroa

Senior Architect & Project Manager, AREP

Borja Pardo Mocoroa is a senior architect specialized in the field of Rail infrastructure. He has led numerous rail & metro projects internationally, including in the middle-east, with different types of stations (Underground, At Grade, Elevated). Apart from other urban planning missions, Borja has been involved in all stages of a project, including design development, management and design review of contractors, and construction supervision

Dr Hussein Masseh

Expert, Community Development Authority (CDA)

Dr. Hussain Ali Maseeh is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with an MA in Psychology (clinical track) from Radford University in Radford, Virginia, USA and his Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, USA. He has proficiency training in the areas of Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation, Family Therapy, Medical/Health Psychology, Pain Management, and Child Psychology. He has 23 years of experience working in a multitude of professional settings, such as general hospitals, psychiatric facilities, community mental health centers, school boards, crisis centers and college counselling centers. He served two years as the president of Emirates Psychological Association, four years as the head of Psychology and Social Services Unit at Rashid Hospital and 2 years as the head program development for Early Intervention system in Community Development Authority in Dubai Government. Currently he is serving as an expert in the Social Development and Care sector in Community Development Authority.

Rita Farha El-Haddad

Director of Quality Assurance, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM)

Rita El-Haddad is the Director, Quality Assurance at Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) – Dubai Government responsible for governmental excellence and quality assurance. She has led various positions in multinationals and has been working in DTCM since its establishment in 1997 in three different capacities. She received her DEA in Translation from Saint Joseph University-Beirut in 1997, In addition to other degrees/diplomas/certificates.   She is an active member of various government committees and has contributed to strategic pioneering projects which include but not limited to governmental innovation, happiness, Accessible tourism and CSR. Rita believes in systematic approaches and deployment which is reflected through DTCM being the 1st ISO certified government entity in Dubai and the first Tourism authority worldwide in addition to other certifications. She has led award winning submissions such as the “e-Permits”, “e-Ticketing”, “Hamdan Flag”, Best Website and Apps

Renate Baur-Richter

Program Manager, SEDRA Foundation

Renate Baur-Richter is a Program Manager at SEDRA Foundation she is responsible for identifying opportunities in the field and developing programs in line with SEDRA’s strategies. She has a keen interest and expertise in empowering persons with disabilities through vocational training. She brings over 20 years of experience working in social and service sector as a corporate executive among others for a innovative social service provider and as a management consultant for contemporary social enterprises. Renate received her Masters in “Management of Social Enterprises” from Donau University in Krems, Austria. She is member of the board of advisors for the Integreat Center in Dubai and is a Vocational and Educational Consultant for the UAE Down Syndrome Association Abu Dhabi.

Peter Wheeler

CEO, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019

As CEO of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, Peter Wheeler is responsible for the planning, financing and staging of the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world in 2019. The Games will draw 7,000 athletes and 2,500 coaches and delegates from 170 nations and will be supported by more than 20,000 volunteers. Attended by 6,000 family members, 5,000 honored guests and 2,000 media representatives, the Games will feature competition in 24 sports watched by 500,000 spectators live and millions more on television and the internet around the world. Wheeler will recruit and manage the Local Organizing Committee and report to the Higher Committee appointed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Prior to joining to moving to Abu Dhabi, Wheeler held several executive management positions with Special Olympics International since 1996 including and Chief of Strategic Properties, Executive Vice President for the Campaign for Special Olympics, Executive Producer and Chief Creative Officer and Chief Communications Officer.  Before 1996, Wheeler led the 1995 Special Olympics World Games in Connecticut, USA as the Executive Director and also served for 10 years as the CEO of Special Olympics Connecticut