2017 EAS

Spotlight on the Middle East: Market Panels

Date    Wednesday, 21 September 2016                               
Time    16:45 - 18:00                                                          
Location    Fira Barcelona Gran Via Convention Centre

Discover What is New in de Middle East

Session Description

Learn about what is new in the region and catch up current and up-and-coming trends. Explore the impact on Western investments and opportunities as the industry continues to expand in the Middle East.

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Yael Coifman will be the moderator during this session.



Yael Coifman, Sr Partner Leisure Development Partners, UK

Yael is a founding partner of LDP. With nearly 20 years of experience conducting market and financial assessments of projects throughout the US, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. She applies global knowledge and passion for the industry to every local market situation. Based in London, Yael conducts studies on innovative leisure real estate projects that incorporate entertainment, retail and attraction elements into resorts and tourism destinations. She provides qualitative and quantitative analysis regarding entertainment concepts and content, strategic development and financial feasibility.

Tolga Alişoğlu, General Manager Water Garden Istanbul, Turkey
(member of the Iaapa Emea Education sub-committee)

Tolga is in charge of the Water Garden Istanbul complex, which will open this year. This unique resort will combine innovative gastronomy, entertainment, sports and culture on a large scale. Prior to that project, Tolga was CEO and General Manager of Vialand, which opened in 2013 with its hotel and shopping mall. Tolga’s background includes working for Television. He graduated in Economics, has a Masters’ degree and a PhD. After beginning his career in 2001 with the Çukurova Holding Media Group, Alişoğlu served in high-level positions at Akşam Newspaper, Show TV and SkyTürk TV. After a time as Country Sales Manager of the international outdoor advertising company Stroer, he became General Manager of Skyturk 360 TV.

Hakan Akbas, Sr Advisor, Albright Stone Bridge Group, Turkey and USA

As a Senior Partner, Hakan assists clients with commercial diplomacy, strategy development, marketing strategy, international business development including mergers & acquisitions, Public Private Partnerships, and JVs. Hakan draws on more than 20 years of international corporate experience across Turkey, the U.S., Europe, and China. He is also a Founding Partner of Global Dealings Group, a business advisory firm focusing on C-level digitization, globalization and regulation agendas. From 2006 to 2011, Hakan was the Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Business Development, and Insurance Businesses of the Sabanci Group and also served as advisor to the Chair. Previously, he was the Co-founder and Managing Director of Business Development Operations for Xerox Global Services with sales of $10 billion. Hakan serves on the boards of several public and private companies and does volunteer work as well, serving on the boards of MEF and Endeavor.
Ali Behnam
Ali Behnam – Senior Consultant A & B Consulting Group, Iran

Internationally recognized as a leader and expert in the theme park/leisure industry with years of professional experience, Ali directs amusement park, theme park, leisure businesses and FEC projects with outstanding skill and expertise. With a solid financial judgment, Ali provides technical and management consulting services in concept developing, design and directing and energy- efficiency systems.
By visiting and analyzing more than 54 amusement parks, water parks, family entertainment centers, fairs and festivals internationally and in addition to great business relations in IAAPA, his experience covers a vast area of the entertainment, leisure and hospitality business. Ali founded the independent MABNA agency in 2006 and is currently consulting for Funtime FECs in Turkey and Ezam Capital of Ezam Holding in Iran. He has a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering. Ali is IAAPA Certified Attractions Executive.

Yves Delhommeau, General Director, Grevin et Cie, France
Yves is the new General Director of Musée Grévin in Paris. Prior to that, he was the Project Director of Compagnie des Alpes, for the Maghreb zone and opened in 2015, the Sindibad park in Casablanca, Morocco. As he started in the hotel/catering industry, Yves was involved in the creation process of several restaurants for large catering groups and leisure facilities and took over France Miniature prior to its opening: that set the beginning of a 25 years-old career in the theme parks industry. In 1999, he established a connection between Grévin/France Miniature/Astérix which led to Grévin Group, and becomes the Food & Beverage Director of that entity. In 2002, when La Compagnie des Alpes expands its activities by adding amusement parks to its scope of ski resorts, Yves started his travelling career as Project Director : Pleasurewood Hills, UK, Bioscope and Ecomusée d’Alsace in France; running and disengaging the parks from the company. In 2013, Yves opened and operated Grévin Montréal. In 2015, Yves was in charge of the Maghreb zone where he supervised the whole process of Sindibad park, from construction to its opening in August 2015.

Ahmad Hussain Bin Essa, CEO Global Village, U.A.E
(member of IAAPA EMEA Advisory committee)

As CEO of Global Village in Dubaï, Ahmad Hussain is managing 10,000 people through the operations of the region’s premier cultural and family entertainment destination. He is also the Founding Board Member and Executive Director of the Middle East and North Africa Leisure and Attractions Council (MENALAC); member of Global FM and the Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA). Ahmad took part in several prestigious conferences such as Cityscape, the 14th Middle East Asset Management conference, World FM Congress and many more. Ahmad holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Northumbria University and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from Sunderland University in UK.