12 - 15 FEBRUARY 2025

Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, UAE



08:30 - 09:20 | Auditorium

Is it over yet? What the future holds for a post-pandemic and still-pandemic Middle East

Keynote presentation followed by Q&A

Though normal feels within reach, the spectre of the pandemic continues to loom large. For two years it has wrought havoc on hospitality – stifling travel, stunting plans and leaving many in our industry in limbo. So, are we now in the clear, getting there or still some way off? What does the next chapter of hotel development and design look like for the Middle East? And what does the global picture mean for a region that lies at the crossroads of East and West?

Using hard data and strategic forecasting, STR’s Philip Wooller charts where we are and where we’re going, to help you make informed choices as we tentatively step into a new chapter of stability, after years of uncertainty


Philip Wooller

Area Director, Middle East & Africa

in conversation with:

Harry McKinley
Seminar Host



14:20 – 15:20 | Auditorium

Beyond the Concept: Making Design a Reality

Taking a concept from the page to completion is the work of a designer, yet often it’s the opening and closing chapters of a project’s story that drive the conversations. In this illuminating session, leading hospitality designer David T’Kint discusses the on-the-ground realities of bringing a design to life; the challenges and compromises inherent in implementing a concept; and charts the practical lessons learnt from a career working with global hotel groups.

Based in Dubai, T’Kint has over two decades’ of hospitality design experience, formerly a partner at HBA and now the lead of his own eponymous studio. With recent and ongoing projects in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Oman, T’Kint is highly attuned to the distinctive obstacles and opportunities of helming hotel design projects in the region, here exploring why a successful end result is all in the journey.


David T’Kint
David T’Kint

in conversation with:

Harry McKinley
Seminar Host



08:30 – 09:30 | Auditorium

The Saudi Question: land of opportunity or just a mirage?

In the world of hotel design, few nations challenge, inspire and stimulate conversation as much as Saudi Arabia. The desert kingdom has, in recent years, begun a process of opening up – touted as a land of abundant opportunity for hospitality development. But with some arguing that the early sense of promise hasn’t born out, is Saudi still a sure thing? And what does the future look like for this nation in transition?

For those still banking on a building boom, Saudi is an entirely new proposition – unfamiliar to tourists and tourism at large, with an enigmatic culture. So, what does it take to develop a design vernacular that works for the region? Is it possible to create both for locals and the proposed waves of impending visitors? And what are the challenges and possibilities in developing hospitality in a region the world has yet to get to know?


Sejal Patel
Design Director
Kristina Zanic

Joe Chamberlin
Director, Middle East
1508 London

Roy Posey

Liza Muscat
M Atelier

moderated by:

Harry McKinley
Seminar Chair



13:05 – 14:05 | Auditorium

The Power of Colour: Shaping Behaviour and Changing Perceptions

Colour is primal, colour is persuasive and colour is powerful. In branding it can affect not just what we buy but how we buy; in architecture it can shape how we navigate an environment; and in clothing it can even determine our productivity. But understanding its influence – and its applications – means understanding its psychology.

Judith van Vliet, Founder of The Color Authority, is an expert in the field – also hosting a popular namesake podcast centred on colour. She’s formerly president of the Color Marketing Group and was previously Senior Color Designer at Avient ColorWorks, and Creative Director of ColorForward. In this revealing talk, van Vliet explores the vital role colour plays in our lives, discusses the hold it has on our emotions and explains how to unleash its power.


Judith van Vliet
The Color Authority


General Enquiries:

Louisa Walton

Tel: +971 58 159 0945

Operational Enquiries:

Charlie Gilmour

Tel: +44 7889 720294

Supplier Enquiries:

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Tel: +971 50 257 2847

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Syed Pasha

Tel: +971 50 254 3617