LBS Middle East Conference 2018.

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Alumni & Campus Community

Event Partners


Platinum Sponsors

Event Partners

Life Lebanon
Arab Banker's Association
Arab British Chamber of Commerce
Menas Associates
Arabia Monitor

Event Schedule

9:00 – 10:00


10:00 – 10:20

Welcome Speech


François Ortalo-Magné

10:20 AM - 11:00 AM

Keynote Speech


George Sarraf

11:00 – 11:40

Keynote Speech


Mona Zulficar

11:45 – 12:30

Building the Future: The New Urban Environment

Planning a city comes with no shortage of challenges. As we look forward, people are beginning to expect their environments to work for them: utilizing big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to optimize their everyday experiences. The emergence of new technologies and their implications for industrial growth have the potential to greatly impact the future of how we live and work in the region. Megaprojects in various stages of execution, such as Smart Dubai, Masdar, and NEOM, represent a new ideal for living standards which should be accessible and affordable to every citizen across the Middle East.

Moderator and Speakers

Hadi Makarem
HE Dr. Aisha Butti Bin Bishr
Dr. Ibrahim Al Mojel

12:30 – 13:30


13:30 – 14:10

Keynote Speech


HE Mr. Mohammed Abdullah El-Kuwaiz

14:10 – 15:00

Capitalizing on Growth: Sustainable Investment Strategies

The Middle East has seen a marked increase in the number of entrepreneurs over the past decade. As this new generation of business leaders pursues uncharted routes to market, launching new and innovative business models across the region, they are creating an unprecedented potential for growth. Accordingly, private equity and venture capital funds are amping up their activity in an attempt to capitalize on these nascent growth opportunities. The key challenge for investors has now become identifying ways to sustain growth over the long term in the face of ever-changing macroeconomic conditions and technological advancements.

Moderator and Speakers

Sara Gamay
Neveen Tahri
Walid Hanna
Saad Mouacher

15:00 – 15:30

In Conversation with...

Moderator and Speaker

Dr. Mohamed Farahat
Alberto Verme

15:30 – 16:10

Keynote Speech


HE Ghassan Hasbani

16:10 – 16:40

Coffee Break

16:40 – 17:25

Creating Value for the Next Generation: Managing Family Businesses

Family businesses have for decades been the backbone of many economies in the Middle East. They enjoy the benefits of being larger and more diversified than their competitors, allowing their leaders to take on greater risk, plan over the longer term, and retain talent through strong internal motivation. However, in the face of ever increasing competition from both local and international firms, it is now more important than ever for family business leaders to look inward, ensuring their organizations are optimally organized, efficient, and resilient. Institutionalization and adopting best governance practices remain key challenges, but both are critical to ensuring success for future generations.

Moderator and Speaker

Ramy Sfeir
HE Dr. Ghassan Alsulaiman

17:30 – 18:00

In Conversation with…

Moderator and Speaker

Bryan Stroube
Abdullatif Waked

18:00 – 18:45

Women in Business: Drivers of Change

Women remain the largest untapped source of potential in the Middle Eastern workforce, with the gap in labour force participation reaching nearly 80% in certain countries. Studies show that empowering women to become equal participants in the economy is vital to ensuring sustained growth and development. In honour of International Women’s Day on 8th March 2018, this panel will investigate how workplaces in the region can become more inclusive, how the public and private sectors can encourage young girls to pursue higher education and enter and remain in the workforce, and how to ensure equal pay and advancement opportunities for both genders.

Moderator and Speakers

Omar Bdour
Sara Akbar
Sheila O. Al-Rowaily
Azeemeh Zaheer

18:45 – 19:00

Closing Remarks


Dr. Ahmed Heikal

19:00 – 20:00

Networking Reception

The Team

Dahlia FarahatChair of the 16th Middle East Conference

From the Chair

On behalf of the London Business School Middle East Club, I am delighted to welcome you to the 16th annual Middle East Conference.

The Middle East Conference is the flagship event of London Business School’s Middle East Club. As one of Europe’s largest annual conferences covering the Middle East, our conference brings together prominent business leaders to discuss key themes unfolding across the region and the global arena. It also highlights the success stories of leaders from the Middle East who have had a profound impact on the way the world does business.

This year’s theme, “Roads Less Travelled”, will aim to explore the new routes business leaders in the Middle East can pursue to create more innovative, open, inclusive, and successful industries, in order to best position the region for a promising future.

A word of gratitude to our speakers, sponsors, partners, and London Business School for their support in planning and hosting the Middle East Conference in its 16th cycle.

We hope you enjoy the conference!

Behind the Scenes

The London Business School Middle East Club was founded in 2002 to introduce students to Middle Eastern markets and cultures, assisting in career placements for students interested in working in the region, and increase the presence of Middle Eastern nationals at London Business School.

The Club has over 3,000 members, including current students and alumni, and hosts several events throughout the academic year ranging from career presentations to discussion panels and social events.

With a growing membership, the Dubai Campus, and the region’s phenomenal economic potential, we have a unique opportunity to act as a bridge between London Business School and the Middle East in terms of culture and career placement.

Conference Team

Dahlia FarhatCo-President

Ali BehbehaniVP Speakers

Dana ShaheenVP Speakers

Haitham AlsahfyVP Speakers

Nasser AlkadiVP Speakers

Lea ToumaVP Marketing

Mateo LabakiVP Marketing

Ahmad AbboushiVP Logistics

Club Team

Mohsen Kharaldin GarciaCo-President

Rahul KanodiaVP Careers & Professional Events

Abdullah Al-ShakarchiVP Careers & Professional Events

Michel El KhouryVP Social Events

Abraham EL HajjarVP Sponsorship & External Relations

Alia Ayyoub AghaClub Treasurer

Previous Conferences

The Middle East Conference is the flagship event of the Middle East Club at London Business School. It attracts more than 250 guests including diplomats, corporate executives, professionals, academics and students interested in the Middle East.

The conference provides a broad platform for distinguished speakers to share insights from their fields of experience and industry and provides an opportunity for people interested conducting business in the region to learn from its most successful leaders.

Previous Speakers

H.M. Queen Rania of Jordan

H.R.H. Prince Turki Al-Faisal

Shaikha Al-BaharVice CEO, National Bank of Kuwait

H.E Riad SalameGovernor of BDL

Lubna OlayanCEO Olayan Financing Group

H.E Fouad SinioraFormer PM of Lebanon

Contact UsGuest? Potential Sponsor? Questions? Get in touch.