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Keynote Speakers

Dr Ayoub 1R

Dr. Ayoub Kazim
Managing Director
Dubai International Academic City

Dr. Ayoub Kazim is the Managing Director for both Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) and Dubai International Academic City (DIAC).  He is responsible for strategically steering all DIAC and DKV academic entities and further consolidating their statuses as leading centres of learning excellence in the region.

Under his guidance, Dubai Knowledge Village has channeled its focus on Human Resource Management, Consultation, Training and Personal Development programmes, as well as in positioning itself as a prominent events and conference centre for the region.

Dr. Kazim’s vision has also carried over into the launch of Dubai International Academic City in 2007.  DIAC is the world’s only free zone dedicated to international higher education, currently hosting 25 institutions from 10 different countries including the USA, UK, Australia, India, France, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon and the UAE.

With over 20 years of experience gained from working in TECOM, Dubai Municipality and UAE University in Al Ain, Dr. Kazim has an in-depth understanding of technical, administrative and academic work environments.  This experience has led to his success in the education sector, in line with the vision of Dubai becoming a knowledge-based economy.

In addition to his work with both DKV and DIAC, he is actively involved in research studies and has published numerous articles and technical papers on renewable energy, hydrogen energy, fuel cells, energy policy and economics.

Dr. Kazim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama and a Master’s Degree from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. He received his Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Miami in 1998.


Prof Dimitrios

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis
Bournmouth University, UK.

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis is a Strategic Management and Marketing expert with specialisation in Technology and Tourism. He is currently Director of the eTourism Lab at the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University. He was also the President of the International Federation of Information Technology for Travel and Tourism (IFITT) for the period 2010-2014. He previously worked at the Universities of Surrey, Westminster and the Aegean whilst he had visiting appointments at ESSEC in France, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China, University of Aveiro, Portugal, and the Modul University in Vienna, Austria.


He is widely regarded as an expert on the impacts of ICTs in the tourism industry, the management of tourism distribution channels as well as on strategic tourism marketing and management. He has published 18 books, including Accessible Tourism Concepts and IssuesBest practice in Accessible TourismTourism Business Frontiers and Tourism Management Dynamics published by Elsevier, eTourism: Strategic Information Technology for Tourism published by Pearson (Prentice Hall/Financial Times) and Tourism Distribution Channels(Thomson), as well as more than 100 articles. Dimitrios is one of the most cited authors in the field of tourism.


He is still an active tourism practitioner working closely with tourism organisations, governments, and hospitality businesses for strategic marketing, technology and experience innovations. Dimitrios has been involved with a number of European Commission FP5, FP6, FP7 projects, and regularly advises the World Tourism Organisation, the World Tourism and Travel Council, and the European Commission on eTourism. He represents Bournemouth University as a Vice President on the Board of Affiliate Members of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

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