Virtual Summit Speakers

Andrea Davide Cuman, PhD

International Relationships Manager, Studiolabo/

International relationships manager for Studiolabo/, he liaises with international stakeholders to develop design weeks and design week formats worldwide, and co-authored the documentary Milano Design Capital. After working for the Marketing and Communication Department of Triennale di Milano, he defended his PhD on the history and mobile experience of Milan’s Design Week at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan) where he also teaches the course in ‘Reading Milan and Italian Cities: place-making and cultural practices’. His professional and academic interests are related to digital communication and the relationship between urban space and media.

Anis Bengiuma

Design Director, The Creative Union

Passionately striving to create appropriate design solutions that are true to context for over twenty years. Working in the MENA region since 2003, leading multicultural teams of designers working on diverse projects ranging from international institutions to local and regional clients. Libyan creative and design director, born in the US, raised in Libya, Malta and Wales, studied and worked in England and Italy.

This multicultural, multilingual experience in the creative industry has helped develop a deeper understanding of visual culture on a global level. This understanding — combined with a try-it-out attitude to find the familiar in the unfamiliar — results in work that is effective and relevant, and contextually coherent.

Craig Robins

CEO and President, Dacra

As CEO and President of Dacra, the real estate development company he founded in 1987, Craig Robins focuses on developing creative communities that integrate art, design and architecture to accelerate asset value creation and enrich urban life. Dacra has spearheaded some of the most successful and transformative commercial, residential and mixed-use projects in Miami’s history, including South Beach, Lincoln Road and the Miami Design District. The latter is an 18-square block neighbourhood dedicated to fashion, design and art that incorporates the work of emerging and established architects, site-specific public art and the stores by the world’s most significant luxury brands.

David Macadam

CEO, The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres Senior Leasing Advisor, Msheireb Properties

With a career spanning 39 years in the retail industry, David is a leading professional in the retail and commercial property markets locally, regionally and globally.
A Canadian, resident in the UAE for seventeen years. David has held senior executive roles in the region with the major shopping centre development companies including Emaar and AFGRE. Heading up the advisory firm JLL Retail Division before taking over as CEO of the MECSC in 2013. Now with 845 shopping centres regionally, 1,100 retailers and over 1,000 members, our network is one of the strongest in the MENA region. We reach our markets through the Retail People Magazine, The Directory, What’s Up Retail monthly newsletter, Voice on Demand – Retail Podcast, Webinar with our database of over 10,000. Connection to our members on social media is key to our success.
Appearing on CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, Dubai One, Dubai City 7 TV, Selfie TV and Dubai Zee television as a retail expert in the MENA region. In radio, on Dubai Eye 103.8, David is regularly on air as the retail industry expert & property market commentator.

Emad Shoubaki

General Manager, Almana Maples

Emad Shoubaki. an experienced General Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Interior Design industry. Born and raised in Amman the capital of Jordan. Obtained his degrees in Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, followed by a High Diploma in Architectural Design. His professional experience spans for more than 16 years, in many countries around the Arabian Gulf.
He made his way to work for RMJM one of the largest architecture & design networks in the world ( UAE - Dubai ). He held the position of Senior Interior Designer, this allowed him work with multinational workplace and gave him an opportunity to attend international exhibitions and seminars around the world. All of that had helped him develop a good taste for luxury design. The Journey continued for another professional endeavor. An Area Manager for Bahrain & Saudi Arabia (Eastern Province ). High-End and luxury Furniture Mono-Brand showrooms in both countries. This exposure in the design and luxury brands world, has led him to get to know and meet many professionals in the same industry and it helped him establish a strong network of friends and colleagues around the world. The succeeding journey never stopped and landed him an opportunity to be part of Almana Group to manage the group’s subsidiary “ Almana Maples “ company, a name that is linked to luxury and profound service.

Eng Ali Al Kuwari

Acting CEO, Msheireb Properties

Eng Ali Al Kuwari is the Acting CEO of Msheireb Properties. He is responsible for developing and implementing strategic and operational plans for the Design and Delivery directorate.

He brings eighteen years of experience at prominent companies including Technip in Paris and Qatar Petroleum. Ali is further charged with a wide purview, namely directing the development and overseeing the implementation of policies, systems, procedures and controls to meet the objectivity, efficiency and effectiveness of operations. He further manages the Lead Design and Delivery directorate.
Ali holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Miami and an Executive MBA from HEC Paris in Qatar.

Fahad Ahmad Al Obaidly

Acting Head of Public Programs

Fahad Al Obaidly is a multi-faceted artist who doesn’t believe in boundaries. This fashion designer-artist-creative director expresses himself through the art he promotes in Qatar and internationally. He is also the Head of Programs with M7, where he shares his knowledge with young designers. After graduation in fashion designing from Istituto Marangoni, he established Qatar’s first menswear brand FAO and the brand-new beachwear line Sayf. Fahad directed his first short film “inside out” after enrolling in film making courses at Doha Film Institute. The success of his work led to a screening at Cannes Film Festival 2016 (short film corner). In 2016, he got awarded with the opportunity to be one of a few artists in residence at the Doha Fire Station. After the residency in 2017, he exhibited his arts coming from various fields. In March 2020, Fahad got appointed as the design and art editor with Esquire Magazine.

Michael Vasku

Co-creative Director, Preciosa Lighting

Michael Vasku is co-creative director at Preciosa Lighting (2016) and also co-founder of the Architecture & Design Studio Vasku & Klug (2011), with Andreas Klug. He studied in Vienna, Shanghai, and London and has held teaching and research positions in Vienna, Czech Republic, Cairo, and Rome. He has a deep interest in both history and digital technology and has managed to combine these pursuits by creating award-winning lighting installations using cutting-edge technology which evolve from the heritage of traditional chandeliers. Born in Austria to Czech parents, Michael lives in Vienna.

Naila Al Thani

Sustainable Fashion Designer

Naila Al Thani is a fashion and material designer, researcher and educator, focusing on sustainability, future materiality and technology.

Graduating with a BFA in Fashion Design from VCUarts Qatar and an MA in Material Futures from Central Saint Martins, Al Thani’s graduate project Seam Unseam, A reversible seam assembly using biotechnology won The Mills Fabrica Sustainability Prize, and The Special Sustainability prize at the Techstyle for Social Good International Competition. She has also won The Ellen MacArthur Foundation Circular Fibres Initiative in 2018.

Her work has been exhibited in Qatar, Eindhoven, Copenhagen, Milan, London, and Hong Kong. Al Thani is an Artist in Resident at Doha Fire Station (AIR5) and is a Fashion and Sustainability instructor at VCUarts Qatar.

Shaika Al-Sulaiti

Interior Design Manager, Msheireb Properties

Shaikha Al-Sulaiti is an Interior Design Manager at Msheireb Properties where she has been skillfully gaining experience in the luxurious hospitality field over the past decade. She was involved in the designs of the hotels in the Msheireb Downtown development, where she has been working for over eleven years, since her graduation from VCUarts Qatar in 2009. Her involvement in the hotel designs from concept to realization, has helped enhance her capabilities in the interior design field, specifically when it comes to an eye for detail and quality attainment.

Simon Rawlings

Creative Director, David Collins Studio

As Creative Director of David Collins Studio, Simon Rawlings has overseen the realisation of some of the world’s most iconic hospitality, residential and retail spaces – collaborating with Clients such as Harrods, Alexander McQueen and Mandarin Oriental.
Born in Wales, Simon studied Interior Design at Birmingham University where he gained both his Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees. He joined David Collins Studio in 1997 and was appointed Creative Director in 2007, overseeing the creative output of The Studio. Mindful of the importance of nurturing new talent, he now devotes considerable energy to mentoring and teaching.

Tariq Omar Almana

Finance Director, Almana Group

Graduated from the George Washington University (USA) Major in Computer Information Systems
As Finance Director of Almana Group, overseeing & directing financial planning & strategy and analyzing financial performance of the group businesses and developing the business to new sectors and joint ventures.
Having proficiency in system designing, he is an avid lover of architectural and interior design wherein he transformed this into a business entity and developing interior design concept which he is now an expert and adept on interior design industry where he continues to intensify design awareness to the new millennia.

Whitney Robinson

CEO, DW Northstar

Design Consultant for Her Excellency’s Office, Qatar Museums
Whitney Robinson is a design entrepreneur, real estate investor, editor, style consultant, television personality and authority in the worlds of luxury, interiors and fashion. As CEO of DW Northstar, Robinson creates visionary design driven real estate and hospitality developments with global thought leaders. He is the former editor-in-chief of ELLE DÉCOR, the world’s leading design brand, which he ran from 2017-2020. Prior to ED, Robinson spent a decade at Hearst Magazines traveling the world producing style and interiors stories on celebrities and luminaries including Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani for Town & Country, House Beautiful, and Metropolitan Home. He resides in New York City.