Skip to content
Site search

Dubai 2022: Meet the speakers

Dubai 2022: Meet the speakers

You will hear from some of the world’s most renowned and respected organisations. Find out more about them here.

Wang Shi, Founder and Honorary Chairman, China Vanke Co., Ltd

Mr. Wang Shi is the founder and Honorary Chairman of China Vanke Co., Ltd. Wang founded Vanke in 1984 and led it to grow into the world’s largest residential home developer and a Fortune 500 company.

Mr. Wang is a respected leader in China’s environmental conservation and charitable community.

Mr. Wang sits on the board of World Wildlife Fund US and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council, with focus on forest, biodiversity, and climate change. From Jan, 2011, Mr. Wang Shi started to study in reputed western education institutions, specializing in business ethics and cross-cultural research. Mr. Wang Shi was visiting scholars in Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford and The Hebrew University.

Mr. Wang reached the peak of Mount Everest from North and South faces in 2003 and 2010 respectively. He is the 11th people in the world to accomplish “7+2” – reaching the Seven Summits in 2004 and North and South Poles in 2005. Besides, Mr. Wang Shi is widely interested in outdoor exercises and enthusiastic in gliding, paragliding, and rowing – he is the record keeper for paragliding height in China. He acted as the vice chairman for the Chinese Mountaineering Association, vice chairman for the Chinese Rowing Association. In October 2014, Mr. Wang Shi was elected Chairman for the Asian Rowing Federation, taking the responsibility for leading and promoting rowing in Asia. In August 2018,He was honored the honorary life president for the Asian Rowing Federation.

Major Published Works: Let the Soul Follow the Footsteps ,The Wondering Spirit ,WANGSHI: Thirty Years with VANKE, My Changes.

Wang Shi

Marie Lam-Frendo, CEO, Global Infrastructure Hub

Marie Lam-Frendo was appointed CEO by the Board of the Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub) in January 2019.

Prior to joining the GI Hub she was the Head of Asia-Pacific for Acuity, the advisory services business of the SNCL group, helping clients in regard to infrastructure project strategy and finance.

From 2011 to 2014, Marie headed the Infrastructure Initiatives department of the World Economic Forum, where she led their thought leadership activities, publishing thought leadership reports on best practices in the infrastructure sector. She led the dissemination effort of these best practices to governments and advocated to coalitions such as the B20 and the G20.

Before that, Marie worked for European utilities Essent then RWE where she drove their business development activities in the Africa and Central Asia region for various commodities, including their equity investment in LNG and hydro power plants.

She started her career in 2001 and has worked for various engineering consulting firms holding several technical and commercial positions for energy and transport projects in Africa, Middle East and Europe.

Marie holds an MSc of Civil Engineering from EPF, an MSc of Marketing and Strategy from ESCP-EAP (Paris), and an MSc of Management and Leadership from WEF - in partnership with LBS and INSEAD. She is a Global Leadership Fellow of the World Economic Forum.

Marie Lam-Frendo

Dr. Noah Raford, Futurist in Chief, Chief of Global Affairs, Dubai Future Foundation

Dr. Noah Raford is the Chief of Global Affair, “Futurist-in-Chief” at the Dubai Future Foundation and a former advisor on futures, foresight, and innovation in the UAE Prime Minister’s Office.

Noah helped establish the country’s first national foresight unit, helped established the Dubai Future’s Foundation and the Museum of the Future, and is part of a team that identifies emerging opportunities, develops strategic partnerships, and prototypes future initiatives for the Government of Dubai.

Some the projects he has recently been involved with include:

  • The Museum of the Future
  • The Dubai Global Blockchain Council
  • The UAE Drones for Good Award
  • The UAE Robotics for Good Award
  • The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy
  • The Dubai Self-Driving Vehicle Strategy
  • The International Council on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (iCAIR)
  • The “Office of the Future”; the world’s first fully functional 3D printed building.

Prior to his work in the UAE, Noah was a senior manager at the strategy consultancy Monitor / GBN, CEO of the technology foresight company Futurescaper LLC, the North American Director of Space Syntax Limited, and the Senior Research Advisor to Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment.

Noah completed his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), his master’s degree at the Bartlett School of Architecture, and his undergraduate studies at Brown University. He is a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Agenda Council on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, a Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics, a fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture, a member of the International Futures Forum.

He lives in Dubai, is married with two children and is a semi-retired techno DJ. He maintains an occasional podcast called NerdHouse(mixing deep techno with deep lectures and spoken word) and recently finished his second book, “Warlords, Inc.”

Dr. Noah Raford

Mirjam Staub-Bisang, CEO, BlackRock Switzerland and Senior Advisor, BlackRock Sustainable Investing

Mirjam Staub-Bisang is Head of BlackRock Switzerland and a member of the EMEA Executive Committee as well as a Senior Advisor to BlackRock Sustainable Investing.

Prior to BlackRock, Mirjam led an investment management firm focusing on sustainable investing based in Zurich. Mirjam also served as a non-executive director on the boards of public and private companies and as chair the investment committees of several asset owners such as pension funds and endowments. Prior to these roles she held senior positions in asset management and private equity investing at Commerzbank and Swiss Life and worked in investment banking at Merrill Lynch in London and Zurich. Today she serves on the board of the global shoe retailer Bata as a non-executive director.

Mirjam holds a PhD in Law from the University of Zurich and an MBA from INSEAD. She authored the standard work ‘Sustainable Investing for Institutional Investors: Risks, Regulations, Strategies’ and co-authored the second edition of ‘Infrastructure as an Asset Class’. 

In 2009 she was elected a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Mirjam Staub-Bisang

Qing Wei, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft (China) Ltd

As an ICT industry veteran, Mr. Qing Wei has been working in mobile communication, information technology and smart devices related business for over 25 years in Asia. His business footprint spans across Mainland China, Singapore and Hong Kong SAR and is specialized in mobile and IT technology product development & management as well as sales & marketing management. His most recent role as Chief Technology Officer in Microsoft China allows him to evangelize Microsoft’s latest technology vision, innovation and digital transformation experiences and learning in Cloud, IoT, Big Data and AI to broader ecosystem partners and industry influencers in China. Mr. Qing Wei is an active public speaker and coach specialized in digital transformation methodology and related technologies.

Before taking the Chief Technology Officer role, Mr. Qing Wei had been working on business and product management roles across Microsoft commercial and consumer product families and as Chief Marketing Officer of Microsoft Consumer Group for over 10 years. He was instrumental in leading the full spectrum of product and brand management efforts for Windows product family in China. Before joining Microsoft, Mr. Qing Wei was working with Motorola in Asia with management responsibilities across product development & management, sales & marketing management as well as digital transformation management for 10 years.

Mr. Qing Wei is also an active public speaker and an enthusiasm technology evangelist. He is the author of the book titled “Transformation of Everything”, which is based on the contents from his technology trainings and public speeches during the past years. From this book, he is trying to elaborate an exciting while challenging future world filled with next generation of technologies. Those technologies and the related social and lifestyle impacts are articulated based on a technology evolution path as “Cloud - Internet of Everything - Big Data - Artificial Intelligence”. The book is also trying to share with the readers of author’s belief and insights on how everyone should develop a growth mind-set and be well prepared with actions for the upcoming era of a world of change-of-everything.

Qing Wei

Prof Greg Clark CBE, Group Advisor, Future Cities & New Industries, HSBC

Greg is a global expert on Cities, Futures, Mobility, and the Built Environment. He is Group Advisor on Future Cities & New Industries at HSBC, Chair of the Connected Places Catapult, and Chair of the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission, He is a Board Member of Transport for London and the London LEP. Greg is Hon Prof of Future Cities and Urban Innovation at UCL and Strathclyde University. Greg has worked with more than 300 cities on 5 continents. He is author of 10 books and 100 reports on cities, mobility, innovation, investment and place-leadership. His monthly column: The Planet of Cities, is hosted by RICS. He is Global Cities expert on the BBC World Service Series, My Perfect City. He hosts the Connected Places Podcast.


Hwang Yu-Ning, Chief Planner and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Urban Redevelopment Authority Singapore

As Chief Planner, Yu-Ning oversees the urban planning and conservation of built heritage of Singapore. She is also a Deputy Chief Executive Officer with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Singapore’s land use planning and conservation authority.

Prior to this, she has served various roles in Singapore’s public service including the Strategy Group of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of National Development.

Yu-Ning is a global governing trustee of the Urban Land Institute and a member of its Asia-Pacific executive committee. She is also a board member of Singapore’s Science Centre, Land Transport Authority and the IJ Board of Management. In addition, she currently serves on the National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Design & Environment’s Advisory Committee.

She studied architecture at the NUS and has a Master’s in Public Policy & Urban Planning from Harvard University.


Dr. Anas Bataw, Director of Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC), Heriot Watt University

Dr Bataw plays a vital role driving AEC innovations and digital transformation by contributing to the development and delivery of National standards, guidelines, and ISO in GCC, Singapore and UK. As well as leading initiatives and programs on organizational level with strong leadership abilities and hands-on technical expertise in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), Design for Manufacture & Assembly (DfMA), Building Information Modelling/ Management (BIM) and Digital Twinning.

Established extensive capabilities developing and leading large-scale AEC innovations programs from identification, building cases, prototyping, and setting up teams to developing and executing methodologies, processes, procedures and building ecosystems.

Dr. Anas Bataw is the Director of the Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC). In this role, he has the overall responsibility to advancing industry-led innovations in construction to revolutionise the way we develop, manage, and operate smarter cities.


Sean Kidney, CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative

Sean Kidney is CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, an international NGO, working to mobilize global capital for climate action.  Projects include a green bond definitions and certification scheme with $34 trillion of assets represented on its Board; working with the Chinese central bank on how to grow green bonds in China; market development programs in Brazil, Mexico, ASEAN and Africa; and market tracking services for the green bonds industry. He is a member of the European Commission's Platform on Sustainable Finance, and was a member of its predecessors, the 2017 EU High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance and the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance. He is also a member of green finance committees in China, India, Mexico and Kazakhstan. Sean is also a Professor in Practice at SOAS University of London.


Saeed Al Abbar, CEO, AESG

As CEO of AESG, Saeed founded and built AESG into one of the Middle East and Europe’s largest and most respected specialist consultancy, engineering and advisory firms with a core focus on sustainable urban development.

He holds a First-Class Master’s degree with honours in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath and is a LEED Accredited Professional and Estidama Pearl Qualified Professional as well as a Certified Energy Manager.

Under Saeed's direction, AESG has developed a strong reputation for delivering the highest quality consultancy in sustainability, energy management, fire and life safety, facade engineering, environmental consultancy, waste management, acoustic consultancy, commissioning, government advisory, project development and building consultancy services.

Saeed served as Chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council between 2013-2020 as well as Vice Chair of the World Green Building Council MENA Network from 2011 to 2014 and has been a Board Member of the World Green Building Council between 2015 – 2021 providing leadership to the global sustainable building movement.

Maged El Hawary

Maged El Hawary was appointed the ASGC Group Chief Information Officer in 2020. Prior to this, Maged was the Controls Director at ASGC and has contributed to the success of the company through implementing innovative tools, project planning, cost control and risk management.  A Civil Engineering graduate from Cairo University, he also holds Masters in Construction Project Management from Heriot Watt University and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Maged possesses over 20 years of construction industry experience across the MENA region and is widely known in the industry as a technology pioneer, a fact acknowledged by the “Innovative PMO Manager Award” by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum at DIPMF.

Maged is certified MRICS, CCP, PMP among others and a member of the Industry advisory board for the American University in Dubai and Heriot Watt. He is also an active member of the AACE International and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Nadimeh Mehra, Vice President, District 2020 – Transition Unit

Nadimeh Mehra joined Expo 2020 Dubai in early 2016 and is responsible for the commercial development of the post-Expo site – District 2020 - supporting its transition into a mixed-use community and innovation-focused ecosystem. In this role, she oversees Business Development, Sales and Partnership Management. This includes driving commercial strategy, business and financial planning, ecosystem development and global business engagement, with the aim of supporting the creation of a sustainable legacy and long-term economic opportunities. Prior to joining Expo 2020, Ms. Mehra headed the Development Capital division of UAE-based Daman Investments for 10 years where she had the responsibility of managing the identification, evaluation, marketing and management of selected investment opportunities from initial concept through investment or acquisition. Ms. Mehra has worked with UAE governmental institutions on foreign direct investments, entrepreneurship development as well as venture capital. Her experience extends beyond the UAE to North America, where she has worked in franchising and entrepreneurship

Tina Paillet, Co-Founder and CEO, Circotr@de

Tina is Co-Founder and CEO of Circotr@de – an innovative start-up creating value from trading
second-hand building materials and their embodied carbon. Circotr@de is a watershed solution to
combat the climate change impacts of the built environment through decarbonization and the circular
economy. Tina is an international real estate executive with over 25 years of experience including 12
years developing and managing one of the world’s largest real estate asset managers (32Bn€ AuM).
She has overseen global asset management, major development projects and sustainable investing
across Europe, the UK and globally.

Tina has also been leading green transformation in the sector by launching Europe’s first Green
Bonds and developing decarbonization strategies in line with “Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance”
commitments. As Senior Vice President of RICS, Tina works as part of the global Presidential Team
to advance strategic goals and create positive impact, particularly in the field of sustainability. Tina is
also European Ambassador for the World Green Building Council’s #BuildingLife campaign,
promoting whole life cycle carbon accounting and the circular economy in the European building and
construction industry.

Taher Diab, Senior Director of Strategy & Planning, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Secretary General of Emirates Energy Award

Mr. Diab is the Senior Director of Strategy & Planning at Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Secretary General of Emirates Energy Award.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of New Orleans (1989), a graduate of the Hazardous Waste Institute at University of Louisville (1992) and an IRCA Quality Lead Assessor certification.

His career expands over 32 years of diversified experience in the Energy Sector focusing on Business Planning, Strategy Development, Corporate Governance, Risk Management and Sustainability. He worked with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ADNOC Group (UAE) and Qatar Petrochemical Company before joining the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy in 2011.

Taher Diab
Taher Diab

Dr. Jonathan Woetzel, Director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and a senior partner of McKinsey & Company

Dr. Jonathan Woetzel is a Director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey's business and economics research arm, and a senior partner of McKinsey & Company, based in Shanghai and Los Angeles.

Jonathan leads research efforts on global economic trends, including growth and productivity, urbanization, affordable housing, and energy and sustainability. He also leads McKinsey's Cities Special Initiative and is responsible for convening McKinsey's work with city, regional, and national authorities in more than 40 geographies. Jonathan has advised public sector clients around the world, as well as corporate clients in a range of industries – including energy, materials, technology and industrial – helping transform local companies into global leaders. Jonathan actively participates in a number of international forums, lectures at two Chinese business schools and is published widely in both Chinese and international publications.

Dr. Hila Oren, Ceo, The Tel Aviv Foundation

Established in 1977 the Tel Aviv Foundation focuses on raising the quality of life of each Tel Avivian through partnerships that enhance our city’s values of openness, innovation, inclusion, and opportunity. The Foundation delivers projects that inspire hope, embolden people, nurture ideas and create opportunities for inclusive growth in the city. The Foundation is commited to the community, and its values, passion, pride, and nonstop focus on the future. The Tel Aviv Foundation has delivered over 800 projects to date, helping create an inclusive city and a hopeful future for all.

Dr. Oren is a city maker with a deep passion for urbanism and a vast experience in city making, marketing and branding. Prior to the Tel Aviv Foundation, Dr. Oren was the CEO and founder of Tel Aviv Global, an initiative started by the Mayor's Office of Tel Aviv-Yafo, dedicated to elevating the city’s brand and global positioning. In 2010, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality undertook a municipal-national initiative designed to position Tel Aviv as a global city – a leading international business center that specializes in innovation. During her term, the Startup City vision was formed: a municipal strategic plan for investors, entrepreneurs, tourists and students, connecting city platforms with private initiatives. As a result, Tel Aviv-Yafo was awarded the title 'Best Smart City in the World' in 2014.

Dr. Oren is a board member of the Haifa Port, where she serves on the Executive Committee of Future Mobility and is a member of the Board of Directors of Amidar, the Daniel Rowing Center, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Academic College and the Advisory Board of the Charney Forum for New Diplomacy.

Dr. Oren holds a BA and an MBA from The Tel Aviv University, certificate from the Leadership program at the Harvard Kennedy School and a PhD from the Department of Geography at The Haifa University, where she wrote her thesis about the global branding of Tel Aviv. Hila lives in the historic moshav.

Dr Hila Oren
Dr Hila Oren

Hanifa Ymer, Head of Sustainability Services MENA, Jones Lang LaSalle

Hanifa is JLL’s MENA Sustainability Consulting Services Lead.  She brings extensive experience and  knowledge in sustainability, with 20 years’ experience across the full spectrum of sustainability services, and across a broad spectrum of issues including climate change (including adaptation, mitigation, and approaches including NetZero); resource management (energy, water, biodiversity etc); health, safety and wellbeing; human rights; CSR and societal impact; diversity and inclusion; responsible investment; and many other areas.

She has supported businesses across all sustainability / ESG related matters, including the  development of sustainability / ESG strategies and  frameworks, implementation and reporting, balancing the financial and non-financial related to  sustainability.  Her work spans many geographies including Australia; Pakistan; Colombia; Brazil; Malaysia; Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA; England; South Africa; Jordan; Saudi Arabia; the UAE and Oman,

Other roles that Hanife has held include Vice President, ESG Specialist, Governance, Risk and Assurance at Mubadala Investment Company, and before Mubadala, the Head of Sustainability Services with KPMG Lower Gulf.

Hanifa Ymer
Hanifa Ymer

Robert Jackson, Chief Growth Officer, Asite

Rob joined Asite in June 2021 as Chief Growth Officer, driving an aggressive sales and growth campaign with a major focus on UK, Europe, MEA & APAC regions as well as leading strategic corporate development activities globally.
Rob has sat on the senior leadership and executive teams of several multinational businesses and had non-executive director roles covering a diverse range of sectors. He has led major growth initiatives and helped businesses transform under PLC, private, and PE ownership environments. Previously he led RICS’ activities in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (AEMEA) region and has an intimate grasp of the end-to-end challenges that the built environment sector faces and is therefore passionate about how Asite can help be the solution to many of these challenges.
He lives in Dubai, UAE, is a graduate of Oxford University and loves drawing parallels between sporting team performance and business team performance.

Emma Vigus, Business Development Director, Aon

Emma Vigus is a Business Development Director in the Aon Real Estate team. She is also Founder and Chair of the Women in Residential Property network which aims to facilitate improved collaboration and knowledge sharing between women working across all facets of residential property.  Prior to joining Aon, Emma held both Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer roles in leading UK PropTech businesses having previously specialised in professional indemnity insurance and risk management for surveyors.