Mona Ataya
CEO and founder of

Mona Ataya is one of the Middle East’s most prominent women entrepreneurs. She left a career in the FMCG sector with Johnson and Johnson in 2000 to co-found regional jobs site as vice president of marketing and has since shifted her attention to disrupting the retail market with the goal of assisting mothers with their maternity, infant and childcare product needs. The venture she founded in 2011,, is a leading e-commerce player for baby and child shopping in the Middle East region and has been going from strength to strength.

Ian Fairservice
Managing partner and group editor-in-chief of Motivate

Ian Fairservice founded Motivate Publishing in 1979 and together with his partner HE Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, the United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Financial Affairs, has developed the company to become one of the most successful media groups in the region. Motivate has more than 30 editorial titles across print and digital and a diverse range of contract publishing products, as well as a celebrated books division, content provision, events management, and leading cinema advertising business, Motivate Val Morgan.

Badr Jafar
CEO of Crescent Enterprises

Badr Jafar is CEO of Crescent Enterprises, a multinational company headquartered in the UAE, with diversified global businesses across six core sectors. He is also president of Crescent Petroleum, chairman of the Gas Cities LLC joint venture with Dana Gas and chairman of the Pearl Petroleum consortium developing gas assets in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. In 2010, Jafar founded the Pearl Initiative, a non-profit venture in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Partnerships to promote a corporate culture of transparency and accountability across the Gulf Region.

Mishal Kanoo
Chairman of Kanoo Group

Mishal Kanoo currently serves as the chairman of Kanoo Group, one of the largest, longest running and most independent family-owned groups of companies in the Gulf region. Furthermore, he is a professional and motivational speaker, writes articles for local and regional media, is published in business journals on a regular basis and holds positions as chairman/director of various reputable companies including AXA Insurance Gulf, Gulf Capital, KHK & Partners Limited, Dalma Capital and Johnson Arabia LLC.

Neil King
Editor of Gulf Business

Having cut his teeth at various newspapers and magazines in his native UK, Neil King came to Dubai in 2012, where he has served as editor of some of the region’s leading business publications. He joined Motivate in January 2016 as editor of the respected and long-running Gulf Business magazine.