A conversation with the Dubai Association Centre founders
In this lively discussion, we will hear directly from the two DAC founders on their perception of the bigger role that associations play in global society and how to position the association sector as a key driver of positive change. They will set the scene for the conference by discussing where Dubai Association Centre is today and how the association scene in Dubai has evolved since establishing the DAC in 2014.
Moderator: Nikki Walker, Global Vice President Engagement – Associations & Communities
H.E. Hamad BuamimPresident & CEO, Dubai Chambers
Holding his current position since 2006, Hamad Buamim is the President & CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He is also the Chairman of the Paris-based World Chambers Federation – International Chamber of
Commerce (ICC). Buamim serves as a Board Member of Dubai World, Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, UAE Banks Federation, and acts as Chairman of National General Insurance PJSC. Previously, Buamim served as Chairman of Emirates Financial Services, Emirates NBD Capital as well as a Board Member of the UAE Central Bank, Dubai International Financial Center, Emirates NBD Bank and Network
H.E. Helal Al Marri Director General, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism and Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre AuthorityH.E. Helal Al MarriDirector General, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism and Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri has been Director General of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) since 2013. He is a member of the Executive Council of Dubai, a member of the Board of Directors of the Investment Corporation of Dubai and a member of the board of directors of Dubai Chambers also the Director General of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA).
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), is the government authority responsible for continuously furthering Dubai’s position as a leading global tourism destination and business hub. In his capacity, Almarri is accountable for the planning, oversight, and delivery of Dubai’s
vision and aspirational targets for the sector. His mandate also includes a strategic focus on driving sustainable tourism – contributing to the economic development of the emirate of Dubai and ensuring that tourism as a sector with all related adjacencies are effectively growing their contribution to
Almarri’s responsibilities span both leisure and business aspects of the city’s value proposition. As such his role entails enhancing Dubai’s positioning as the preferred international hub for the global business community to network from, establish and expand their presence in, and service the broad range of
markets across EMEASA. To facilitate delivery, he is equally responsible for forging collaborations and partnerships across the industry ecosystem globally, and Dubai government, private and public sector stakeholders.
Helal Almarri also heads up the DWTCA, which encompasses the UAE’s leading event venue and the largest event and exhibition centre in the whole region. He is responsible for developing the centre’s strategic and development plans that aim to position Dubai as a leading global MICE-destination. In his capacity, Almarri is mandated to manage various sides of the business including exhibitions and
conferences; real estate; and hospitality – all collectively driving towards the company’s growth strategy in line with Dubai’s vision to create a global platform for business tourism, as mandated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the
UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Almarri also serves as a member of the Supreme Committee of the Expo 2020 and board member at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Emaar Properties PJSC and Taaleem PJSC.
Helal Almarri holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the London Business School (LBS). Almarri is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and previously worked at consulting firms, McKinsey and KPMG.
Nikki WalkerGlobal Vice President Engagement – Associations & Communities, MCI
A globally connected association professional, business leader and management consultant, Nikki Walker has more than thirty years’ experience growing, consulting and developing associations around the world.
As MCI’s Global Vice President Engagement – Associations & Communities, Nikki is responsible for ensuring MCI’s rich experience, expertise and innovations are uniquely aligned to solve each client’s needs and optimize growth and engagement with their wider community and eco-system.
She oversees MCI’s regional hubs in Brussels, Dubai, Singapore, Washington, DC and Sao Paulo serving Europe, Middle East, Asia and North and Latin America, respectively, as well as many national offices and markets. Her global team of professionals help associations #createexperiences, through live, virtual and hybrid events; #designcommunications with strategic and digital transformation and #buildcommunities through consulting, management and engagement solutions.