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Keynote Speakers

The spackers of the forum are the following, please click on the name of the speacker in order to have more detail about him/her.  

The bios of the speakers are presented as follow:


Dr. Nasser H. Saidi, Chief Economist and Head of External Relations at the DIFC Authority (DIFCA) and Executive Director of the Hawkamah-Institute for Corporate Governance.

Dr. Nasser H. Saidi is the Chief Economist and Head of External Relations at the Dubai International Financial Centre(DIFC) Authority. He leads the external links with governments, central banks, financial centre counterparts as well as international organisations. Dr. Nasser is also the Executive Director of the Hawkamah-Institute for Corporate Governance at the DIFC. Dr. Nasser is a member of the IMF's Regional Advisory Group for MENA and Co-Chair of the Organisation of Economic Corportaion and Development's (OECD) MENA Corporate Governance Working Group.

Dr. Said was also recently appointed as a member of the World Economic Forum's Public & Institutional Investors Industry Agenda Council. The Council is an informal advisory board to the World Economic Forum and, through the Forum, to the international community. The Council presents the world's foremost integrated 'intelligence' network of innovative thinking and idea exchange on global issues.

Dr. Saidi was the Minister of Economy and Trade and Minister of Industry of Lebanon between 1998 and 2000. He was the first Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon for two successive mandates, 1993-1998 and 1998-2003. He was a Member of the UN Committee for Development Policy(UNCDP) for two mandates over the period 2000-2006, a position to which he was appointed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, in his personal capacity.

He has written a number of books and publications addressing macroeconomic, capital market development and international economic issues in Lebanon and the region and is the author of a book, "Corporate Governance in the MENA countries: Improving Transparency & Disclosure". His research interests include macroeconomics, financial market development, payment systems and international economic policy, and information and communication technology (ICT).

Dr. Saidi was a private banker and served as an economic advisor and director to a number of central banks and financial institutions in Arab countries, Europe, and Central and Latin America. Prior to his public career, Dr. Saidi pursued a career as an academic, serving as a Professor of economics at theDepartment of Economics in the University of Chicago, theInstitut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationale (Geneva, CH), and the Universite de Geneve. He also served at theAmerican University of Beirut and the Universite St. Joseph in Beirut.

in 2010, he was named among 50 most influential Arabs in the World by the Middle East magazine, for the second year.

Dr. Saidi holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Economics from theUniversity of Rochester in the U.S.A, an M.Sc. from University College, London University and a B.A. from the American University of Beirut.



Hussain Mohammed Al Mahmoudi.

Hussain Mohammed Al Mahmoudi currently is the Director General of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the UAE. During his career path, he spent time with Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) where he held the position of Corporate Communications Manager. He was responsible for developing and implanting communications and marketing strategies for ENOC group of companies in the field of petroleum retail outlets, shipping, aviation, oil storage and other related areas. He was also responsible for developing ENOC sponsorship strategies and CSR activities. Following his time with ENCO, Hussain joined Dubai Internet City (DIC)where he held the position of the Director of Marketing where he was responsible of managing the Dubai Internet City Brand. His role entailed developing and implementing strategies that helps Dubai become the ICT hub for the region. He played an instrumental role in launching new companies brands such as Knowledge Village, SAMACOM and Datafort. He also was responsible of designing and implementing key events for DIC such as the OECD meeting on telecommunications, Dubai Strategy Forum, The Arab Journalism Award and many others.

Following his time with DIC, Hussain has joined The Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies where he was stationed between Dubai and the Netherlands. He held various positions in the Exploration and Development, Gas and Power and Shell Markets starting with Head of External Affairs and Health, Safety and Environment and ending with the position of Senior Advisor New Business Development for the Middle East, Caspian and South East Asia. During his time with Shell he has launched various community projects such as the Emrieates Businesswomen Award, The Middle East CSR conference and other initiatives.

Hussain also is the founder and the current Chairman of theSharjah Tatweer Forum.

He is also the Chairman of the Emirates Business Council for Sustainable Development (Local chapter of the World Council of Sustainable Development)

Hussain has a BA in Economics and Communications fromSeattle Pacific University, Washington.



Dr. Obaid S. Al Zaabi, Research Advisor, Director of Research and Development in Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority.

Dr. Obaid is Holding PhD in Banking & Finance from Durham University, at the UK in 2006, MBA from (AASTM- ALO) in 2000 and BSc. in Business and Accounting in 1989 from The UAE University. He is holding full membership of Australian Institute of CMA and Auditing & Accounting Organization for Islamic Financial Intuitions (CIPA). He also represents The Gulf Regulatory Authorities in The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) as member of the Consultative Advisory Groups of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) from September, 2009.
Dr. Obaid's experience mainly in banking and finance adapted from leading UAE regulatory organizations and financial institutes such as UAE Central Bank, Securities and Commodities Authorities, Dubai Islamic Bank, AMLAK Mortgage Finance. In addition, he delivered a series of academic lectures and courses in both undergraduate and postgraduate level at a number of higher educational institutes in the UAE such as Sharjah University, The British University in Dubai and Abu Dhabi University.



Mr. Gary Watts, Head of Corporate Commercial, Al Tamimi & Company, Advocates & Legal Consultants.

Gary is head of Al Tamimi & Company’s Corporate and Commercial Department. Gary is a highly experienced corporate lawyer who has practised in both advisory and transactional settings for more than 20 years. In Australia, Gary was the senior corporate partner for a regional Australian law firm (Fisher Jeffries) serving corporate and institutional clients.

Gary served as Chairman of the Law Council of Australia’s peak technical committee on corporate law matters and as a member of the Australian Government’s Takeovers Panel. He was also a member of the statutory advisory committee advising the Australian Government on the reform of corporate and securities law.

Gary has practised in the UAE since 2006. His experience in the Gulf region includes major acquisitions (Emirates National Plastics), IPO’s (Air Arabia, Deyaar Development and Drake & Scull), due diligence enquiries, corporate restructurings and complex private equity agreements. Gary has particular expertise in structuring issues for corporate groups operating throughout the GCC/MENA countries and is an expert in directors’ duties and shareholder rights (both listed and family companies).



Mr. Deniz Kilyar , Director, Oracle.

Mr. Deniz Kilyar is currently working as a Director in Oracleand leading the Industry Solutions Consulting team for the Government, Higher Education and Healthcare Industries across Middle East and Africa. He started his Oracle career 13 years ago in Turkey as a manufacturing industries expert. Since then, in different capacities at Oracle, he covered various industry solutions in Oil & Gas, Utilities, National Government, Defense and Manufacturing. Prior to joining Oracle, he worked in Coca-Cola Turkey as an Operations Analyst responsible for operational feasibility analysis and supply network planning. Mr. Deniz Kilyar holds Industrial Engineering degree from Middle East Technical University of Ankara, Turkey and MBA degree from London Business School.


Mr. Nick Nadal , Director, Hawkama Institute for Corporate Governance.

Nick Nadal is the Director at Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, in charge of growing the institute through business and membership development and developing programmes that will bridge the corporate governance gap in the region. He has led a number of confidential corporate governance assessments of regional banks, family enterprises, listed and non-listed companies, and state owned enterprises. He has participated and/or led a number of regional policy task forces initiated by Hawkamah to include those for banks, insurance, state-owned enterprises, Islamic financial institutions, insolvency and creditor rights, and private equity. These task forces have produced research papers, policy briefs and advocacy programmes that aim to foster better corporate governance in the region. He has also driven a number of Hawkamah’s professional development initiatives for directors, company secretaries, and economic journalists. Prior to joining Hawkamah, he was the Program Officer for Middle East and North Africa programmes at theCentre for International Private Enterprise, a non – profit affiliate of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, building linkages with and supporting regional business associations, developing and conducting training programmes on association governance and developing programmes to advance entrepreneurship, economic journalism and corporate governance in the region.