DAC Ambassadors

The DAC Ambassador Programme works with senior Association Executives both locally and internationally to promote the Centre, engage with other associations and build a knowledge base for the development of associations in the region.

The DAC Ambassador Programme works with senior Association Executives both locally and internationally to promote the Centre, engage with other associations and build a knowledge base for the development of associations in the region.

We are pleased to have on board the following DAC Ambassadors:

David Macadam
Middle East & North Africa

With a career spanning 35 years in the retail industry, David brings an unrivalled understanding of global retail real estate, portfolio management and retail business development. With years of technical expertise and leadership skills, David is responsible for driving the MECSC / ICSC organization’s corporate vision in the MENA region. The primary roles of the ICSC / MECSC are to enhance the members experience, to promote and facilitate the members retail business, to faciliate the growth of the retail real estate business and to raise the personal profiles of all retail professionals in the MENA region

As CEO of the MECSC / ICSC for the MENA region, the organization has grown now representing over 580 Shopping Centres. The MECSC has also grown its membership base by 54% under his leadership in the past three years to over 1000 members. Revenue and profitability of the MECSC has risen four (4) fold since taking over leadership of the organization.

David is a regular contributor to local and international newspapers including Gulf News and Khaleej Times and numerous Magazines with articles on topics associated with current retail industry trends, commercial real estate and residential property challenges and opportunities. He has appeared 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, retail property market commentator and guest.

A Canadian, resident in the UAE for twelve years, David was Chairman of the Canadian Business Council in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He is also a registered member of RERA in Dubai. David has held leading roles in the region with major shopping centre development companies and advisory firms before taking over in 2013 as the CEO of the MECSC.

The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres (MECSC) is the regional trade body representing the Shopping Centre Industry in the Middle East. The council is governed by a board of directors and assisted by regional representatives.

The mission of MECSC is to provide an effective forum for the exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing and to be a facilitator to the development of the shopping centre industry in the Middle East.

Established in 1994, MECSC has grown over the years and has a strong and closely connected member base of over 750 industry professionals from all over the Middle East representing shopping mall owners, developers, marketing managers, leasing managers and specialists, retailers, consultants, property managers, financiers, accountants, government officials and industry suppliers.

Affiliated to the New York based International Council of Shopping Centres (www.icsc.org), MECSC provides its members with unparalleled local and international business contacts and support through its network of international affiliates. The mission of MECSC is to facilitate retail business and raise the personal profile of its members.

The MECSC territory covers the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. For more information, visit ww.mecsc.org

Faris Abouhamad
Chairman & World President, IAA

Faris Abouhamad is President of Interone Resonance Middle East LLC and Chairman and World President of the International Advertising Association. He studied at the Lebanese American University (BUC then) and holds an MBA degree in Marketing.

Faris started his career in 1980 in Singapore, moving to Dubai in 1981 to work for Publicis-Graphics. In 1985, he was asked to establish and head Publicis-Graphics in Jordan.

In 1988, Faris joined the regional headquarters of Fortune Promoseven- McCann’s in Bahrain where he worked as Executive Vice President and COO for 12 years. During this time, he was instrumental in expanding the network and introducing new marcom disciplines, developing and applying systems and tools and creating local and international partnership agreements across the MENA region.

In 2000, Faris moved back to Dubai with McCann World Group to further develop its UAE operations into the group’s head quarters and pioneering operational integration and market leadership for the agency.

In 2004, Faris set up his own practice by establishing Interone Resonance Middle East, currently an affiliate of M&C Saatchi, a full service agency based in Dubai with branches in Cairo and Jeddah.

Faris joined the IAA in 1984, served on boards of IAA chapter in Bahrain, and the board as secretary general of the UAE chapter in 2006.

In 2010, he was appointed IAA Area Director Middle East and Africa, after serving for 2 years as VP MENA for Government affairs. In October 2012, Faris was elected as IAA Chairman and World President and took over the position on January 1st 2013 and his term will end will continue until mid 2016.

The International Advertising Association is a one-of-a-kind strategic partnership which champions the interests of all the disciplines across the spectrum of marketing communications – from advertisers to media companies, agencies to marketing companies and agencies – as well as individual practitioners.

With over 4,000 individual members in over 70 countries, the IAA has become a brand champion allowing the industry to flourish without unwarranted restrictions. This impressive international network encompasses corporate members, as well as institutions and associations.

Mohamed Mezghani
Deputy Secretary General, UITP

Mohamed Mezghani has been working for 25 years in an international and multidisciplinary context of which more than 15 years in the association’s field. He is Deputy Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) since January 2014.

Until then, he has worked at UITP as Senior Manager (1999-2001), Director Knowledge and Membership Services (2001-2006) and Senior Adviser to the Secretary General (2006-2013). M. Mezghani managed and led numerous membership-related services including knowledge-related activities for UITP members: professional training, research projects, thematic studies, technical advice, conferences, networking activities, information centre, etc.

M. Mezghani carried out several technical assistance and training projects in Africa and the Middle-East and managed projects involving numerous experts and multidisciplinary teams. He established UITP Office for the Middle-East and North Africa in Dubai and managed it from 2007 to 2010. Moreover, he has been responsible for the management and organization of several events of different sizes and in multiple locations worldwide including the UITP World Congress and Exhibition.

Mohamed Mezghani has been graduated in Industrial Engineering (1987) and has a Master in Transport (1988).

The International Association of Public Transport, has always been a knowledge hub, a place to collect and exchange best practices and benchmarks and now it is pooling its members’ collective strength and concentrating its energy on shaping the future and the exciting urban mobility challenges that lie ahead.

It has kept its position as the undisputed leader of the sector in setting the agenda, innovating and speaking with a united voice as the advocate for public transport and sustainable development worldwide.

Today UITP represents 1,300 member companies giving access to over 14,000 contacts from the fields of urban, local, regional and national mobility from more than 92 countries on all continents.

While UITP’s main office has always been located in Brussels, Belgium, over the last 15 years different regional divisions have been created worldwide, together with the establishment of 11 liaison and regional offices as well as two Centres for Transport Excellence.

Hussein Ghattas
President, IIBA
United Arab Emirates

IIBA United Arab Emirates (UAE) Chapter is a non-profit association formed to uphold IIBA’s mission to develop and maintain standards for the practice of business analysis at the local level. UAE chapter provides a unique opportunity for professionals in the UAE region to engage in conversation with experts & specialists, share best practices, get access to resources such as tools and techniques, and also network with other business analysis professionals.

The International Institute of Business Analysis, goals and objectives are to promote the role of Business Analysts and the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) within the corporate, governmental and educational communities of the UAE; facilitate knowledge sharing and individual contributions within the Business Analyst community in the UAE and promote the standards and best practices in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK)

The chapter provides educational and networking opportunities for members and prospective members who are based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and other Emirates. These members and prospects are from various credentials including, Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Business Systems Analysis, Project Management, Requirements Analysis, and/or Process Modeling.

Dr. Asma Deeb
Secretary General, ASPED
United Arab Emirates

Asma Deeb is a Clinical Professor at the Gulf University and the Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE. She is the Secretary General for the Arab Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes. She trained in the UK and obtained an MD degree in growth hormone gene expression in 2002 from University of Newcastle. She was appointed as a clinical lecturer in Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Cambridge between 2001 and 2006 and obtained a CCST in Pediatric Endocrinology. Her special interest is disorders of sexual differentiation, use of technology in management of children with diabetes and Genetics of diabetes mellitus.

The Arab Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and diabetes is a non-profit organization. Its aim is to ensure a high standard of care and development in the field of Pediatric Endocrinology and diabetes in the Arab region extending from the Gulf through the Northern African countries.

Senthil Gopinath
Regional Director-Middle East ICCA
United Arab Emirates

Senthil has over 20 years’ experience in the meetings, association and leisure industry. He has held wide spectrum of positions in the meetings industry. Such as CEO of Convention Bureau of Sri Lanka, Vice President of Kuoni. He moved to Dubai in 2006 and has been working for Congress Solutions International, the Professional Congress Organizer (PCO) arm of Emirates Group, eventually holding responsibility for wide ranging business development, sales and operations functions for some of the largest international meetings held in the UAE, including World Diabetes Congress, UITP, and World Economic Forum.

He has been involved in winning many Congress bids for Dubai, UAE and the region. Academically he holds a European Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration. Senthil has been working with the global association fraternity for more than a decade and has in depth knowledge on global association segment development. Currently he is the Regional Director Middle East for International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) headquartered in Netherlands.

A passionate strategist. Being creative and adaptable to the constantly changing environment are his key strengths. Always aims at professionalism and focuses on achieving the organizational objectives and financial goals.

The International Congress and Convention Association is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. ICCA represents the main specialists in organizing, transporting, and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises over 1,000 member companies and organisations in over 90 countries worldwide. ICCA specializes in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities.

Vision: Shaping the future and value of international association meetings

Mission: To be the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry, creating:
• Competitive advantage and business opportunities
• Successful outcomes for association meetings

ICCA was founded in 1963 by a group of travel agents. Their first and foremost aim was to evaluate practical ways to get the travel industry involved in the rapidly expanding market of international meetings and to exchange actual information related to their operations in this market. ICCA now is one of the most prominent organizations in the world of international meetings. It is the only association that comprises a membership representing the main specialists in handling, transporting and accommodating international events. With its new strategic plan, launched in 2015, ICCA aims to get closer to association meeting planners and make them truly part of the ICCA community.
ICCA’s Head office is based in the Netherlands. ICCA’s Regional Offices are based in Malaysia, South Africa, UAE, USA and Uruguay.

Dr. Wael Abdulrahman Almahmeed
President, GHA
United Arab Emirates

Dr. Wael Abdulrahman Almahmeed is a Consultant Cardiologist and Chief of Cardiology at the Institute of Cardiac Sciences in Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, which is managed by Cleveland Clinic. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the UAE University and has an Adjunct Staff position at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio. Dr. Almahmeed completed his undergraduate medical training at the medical school in the University of Southampton, England. He continued his post graduate studies in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. This was followed by a fellowship in Echocardiography at the same institution.

He received his Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Internal Medicine in 1994 and in Cardiology in 1995. Subsequently he became a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians (1996), Fellow of the American College of Physicians (1998), Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (1998) and Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology in 2004. He is a foundation member of the Gulf Heart Association and the Emirates Cardiac Society. Under his leadership in the Emirates Cardiac Society, the Society won the bid to host the World Congress of Cardiology in Dubai in 2012, the World Tobacco or Health Congress in Abu Dhabi in 2015, the Asia Pacific Congress of Cardiology in AbuDhabi in 2015 and World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology in 2016.

He also established an annual meeting for the Emirates Cardiac Society in UAE. In 2000, he initiated World Heart Day in the UAE. Today it is celebrated by many institutions across the country. During his tenure as Deputy Chief Medical Officer, he was chair of the Quality steering committee. Under his leadership SKMC was one of the first hospitals in Abu Dhabi to receive Joint Commission International Accreditation in 2008. In 2009, his department became accredited by the Society of Chest pain centers. In 2012, accredited by the European Association of Echocardiography. Recently, hisinstitute once again received Cycle 4 Chest Pain Accreditation. His hospital was the first overseas center to participate in the ACCs NCDR Action and Cath PCI Registries.

In 2004, he established the first center in the Middle East that has 24/7 Primary PCI. Following that, his department became the most comprehensive cardiac department in the UAE, providing all the necessary services from Electrophysiology, Adult Congenital Heart Disease to Rehabilitation. In 2013, he initiated the first Cardiology Fellowship Program in the UAE. As Chair of the CME committee, at the Health Authority, he established mandatory CME hours for health care professionals and also established a system for CME accreditation. Dr Almahmeed’s research interests include Coronary Artery Disease prevention in the developing countries, Hypertension, Dyslipidemia, and Registries on Acute Coronary Syndromes, Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation. He was the national coordinator for the Inter-Heart Study. He is on the steering committee of the Gulf Race, Gulf Coast, Gulf Care and Gulf Safe Registries. He has over 100 publications to his credit, and is currently the national coordinator for a number of Multi-Center Trials including Elixa, Examine and Garfield Trials. Dr Almahmeed’s expertise is in non-invasive Cardiology/Echocardiography and Heart Disease in Pregnancy.

The Gulf Heart Association aspires to improve the quality of cardiac care in the GCC states through its various activities. The major aims of the association is to raise the standard of cardiac care in the GCC states, conduct scientific conferences and symposia, carry on scientific research on cardiovascular diseases, publish professional periodicals and information, create professional, educational, and social ties among members of the GHA. Also to create links and cooperation locally and with international medical institutions and professional societies, establish criteria for GCC cardiovascular specialists to meet high standards of competence and expertise.
The GHA seeks to suggest laws to be adopted by the GCC countries for the prevention of cardiac disease and advance the care of patients with heart disease.

Peter Stephenson
President, Institution of Fire Engineers, UAE GCC Branch
United Arab Emirates

Peter is British citizen. He has been working in the fire safety and fire strategy field for 35 years and gained rich international work experience in different sectors – from aviation and rail to cultural heritage, oil & gas, commercial, residential, hospitality, and healthcare. He was Fire Safety Officer for the Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service; Senior Fire Safety Engineer for Network Rail, and Fire Safety Engineer for renown full-scale fire prevention and environmental protection consultancies.

Three years ago, Peter joined the Dubai branch of BuroHappold Engineering as an Associate Director. Here, his two key responsibilities are related to steering all fire engineering focused consulting activities in the Middle East on one side, and developing project-based fire strategies and fire systems analysis on the other.

He served as treasurer to the Rail Industry Fire Association (RIFA) in the UK and the International Aviation Fire Protection Association (IAFPA). In his position as Regional President of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) in the GCC, Peter was instrumental to the establishment and successful development of the UAE branch that culminated in the formal registration through the Dubai Association Centre. He has been an active contributor to several associations.

Peter holds a Bachelor Degree with Honours in Fire Engineering from the University of Central Lancashire.

THE INSTITUTE OF FIRE ENGINEERS (IFE) located in Stratford Upon Avon (UK), IFE, was founded in 1918. It is a registered charity organization that assesses knowledge of fire and professional experience, awards internationally recognised membership grades and fire-related qualifications, and offers learning opportunities worldwide.
Each year it delivers over 7,300 fire-related exams that many Fire and Rescue Services require for their promotion both in the UK and internationally. Through its Engineering Council license as a Professional Engineering Institution (PEI), the IFE registers qualified IFE members as Chartered Engineers (CEng), Incorporated Engineers (IEng) and Engineering Technicians (Eng Tech).

Each IFE branch is represented on the International General Assembly which meets twice a year to share learning and support the dialogue among overseas members, the Board of Directors and IFE’s Head Office staff.
IFE works within its Memorandum, Articles and Bylaws. It is governed by a Board of Directors. Board trustees perform voluntary work; they are appointed for a term of three years and ensure that the IFE meets its strategic objectives. Professional panels, committees and technical working groups underpin the work of IFE. IFE’s Charitable Educational Foundation supports international projects aimed at improving knowledge of fire safety for those suffering economic disadvantage.

Membership or affiliation is open to all, regardless of role or geography, including persons working in emergency response, fire safety, active and passive fire protection, fire engineering consultancy and fire risk assessment and enforcement. For details: http://www.ife.org.uk/About

Dr. Shatha Samman
President, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society- GCC Chapter
United Arab Emirates

Dr. Samman has 20 years of leadership experience as a Human Factors Engineer and Research Scientist investigating a broad range of human performance issues in normal & complex operational environments. She is the founder of Global Assessment, a Human Factors/Ergonomics research, design, training and assessment firm located in the USA and GCC region. She also established the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society GCC Chapter headquartered in Dubai and currently serves as the President. She worked on numerous projects funded by government and industry organizations, including: Saudi Aramco, Laureate Education, Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, British Petroleum, Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), US Naval Air Systems Command, US Office of Naval Research, US Office of the Secretary of Defence, US Army Research Institute, US Army Research Laboratory, and Kodak.

Dr. Samman established the Research Division at King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture Saudi Aramco to promote a knowledge society in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Samman received her Ph.D. in Applied Experimental and Human Factors Psychology, and holds a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, from UCF. She also received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from King Abdul-Aziz University, Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Samman is authoring/editing a scientific textbook that will be published by CRC press later this year called “Human Factors and Ergonomics for the Gulf Cooperation Council: Processes, Technologies and Practices”. She has also authored/co-authored numerous journal articles and scientific publications and taught tutorials and workshops at national and international conferences.
Dr. Samman’s bicultural (KSA, USA), bilingual (Arabic, English) background and diverse educational expertise and practical experience enables her to create human-centric innovative solutions to address the complex cross-cultural challenges faced by organizations wishing to succeed in today’s global community.

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) GCC Chapter is a DAC registered association for Human Factors/Ergonomics (HFE) professionals in academic, government and industry. As the region is home to individuals from a multitude of cultures and backgrounds that are interacting with each other and a host of complex systems and technologies, the GCC represents vast opportunities to employ the principles of HFE in all sectors of society.

HFE helps to design more effective systems and create a safer and healthier working environment such as in aviation, healthcare, surface transportation, military, and oil & gas/nuclear sectors. Equally its applications improve information communication technologies (ICT), cybersecurity, manufacturing, environmental and product design. In all sectors, HFE promotes innovations and advise policy makers to reduce human error and guide the process of designing intuitive systems that reduce accidents and improve safety and overall performance.

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