Hub Zero, Dubai, UAE

Jason Harris

Jason Harris is Senior Director of Worldwide External Development at Electronic Arts overseeing a central team which supports EA game teams with art, animation, audio, cinematics, game development, and engineering external development (outsourcing) as well as manages EA’s pool of external partners. Jason’s team supports titles such as FIFA, Battlefield, Star Wars, Plants vs. Zombies, Need for Speed, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, UFC, NHL, The Sims, Star Wars, The Simpsons, and many more.

His group spearheaded the creation of a leading games industry event, The External Development Summit (XDS), held each year in Vancouver.

Before joining the games industry, Jason worked at Gartner, a large IT consulting/research company, where he advised global outsourcing companies such as HP, Accenture, Wipro, and Deloitte on go-to-market strategies, market forecasts, and market trends in emerging markets. He was responsible for building Gartner’s coverage of Eastern Europe, South America, Africa, and the Middle East and was one of the most sought after Analysts for IT services coverage in these markets.

Prior to this he held a range of different roles at The Corporate Executive Board which included advising Chief Financial Officers and Chief Strategy Officers of Global 2000 companies as well as leading the development of CEB’s digital services strategy and offerings. Born and raised in England, his work has led him to live across the USA, Venezuela, Argentina, and Spain providing him with a solid understanding of global operations.

Tom Crago

Tom Crago is the CEO and owner of internationally renowned video game developer Tantalus, a studio with more than forty highly acclaimed titles to its credit, including a handful of million-unit sellers.

Tantalus recently shipped The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD on the Wii U with Nintendo. Tom also owns and runs sister studio Straight Right, which has worked on some of the industries biggest franchises including Mass Effect, Deus Ex and Need for Speed.

Tom is a past President of the Game Developers’ Association of Australia, the peak body representing the interests of the local game development industry, and has advised State and Federal Governments on IT policy in Australia. He is presently a Board Member of the Australian National Development Index.

Tom has degrees in Arts, Law and International Business and is completing a PhD at the University of Melbourne. His book, Flashbacks from the Flow Zone is published internationally by Hardie Grant.

Riccard Linde

Riccard Linde officially entered the industry when he joined the core team as an artist and helped create Battlefield 1942. Captivated by the industry’s possibilities of creating something unique and exceptional he’s since started Art Directed titles for both the Battlefield and Call of Duty franchise and contributed to +50 games of various genres and art styles.

Mr. Linde’s is also recognized by his contribution to the industry as a XDS advisory member, Siggraph submission Juror, his published text-book, e-learning site and talks at conferences covering visual art, technical execution and production pipelines.

With 14 years of experience as a Manager and Director, Riccard has built studios and managed teams in Sweden, Canada, China and USA. Most recently, he headed up the merger of the two art teams at Activision’s studios Neversoft and Infinity Ward and directed the internal and external teams in the creation of the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare title.

Bob Slinn

As the Director, Games Partnerships EMEA, Bob leads a team that partners with a broad range of game developers across the region to help them build, grow and monetize their apps in the most successful way through Facebook’s platform and products.

Prior to joining Facebook in 2013, Bob held various roles at EA (Electronic Arts) in California, including Senior Director of Publishing. Bob was also previously Director of Media Operations at Yahoo where he led strategy and operations for all Yahoo!’s Media products in Europe.

Bob holds a BA from University of Western Ontario in French Literature and History as well an MBA from York University in Toronto.

Lauren Freeman

Lauren Freeman is Senior Manager on Electronic Art’s External Development Intelligence team (XDI).

She manages the relationships with EA’s external partners for EA Mobile, Maxis, PC/online teams, and emerging technologies such as VR/AR development.

Prior to EA, she worked at mobile game developer Kabam for several years and was a social game writer for 6Waves/Lolapps during the heyday of Facebook gaming. She is an unabashed VR fan-girl whose obsession with VR and gaming started after reading Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.

Mohammad El-Saadi

Mohammad El-Saadi is a Partner Development Manager at Google Play. In his role, he helps apps businesses from Middle East and North Africa find success on Android and Google Play. Prior to Google, Mohammad was the CIO of Telly, a social video network and the Founder of Sha-Sha Entertainment, as well as a Senior Consultant at Booz & Company.

Mohammad holds a BE from the American University of Beirut, an MSECE from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Mashoor Aldubayan

Founder & CEO of Saudi Gamer, the leading gaming media in the Arab world, focused on the Saudi market”.

Anton Wiegert

Anton Wiegert is the Head of Outsourcing at Guerrilla Games (Sony), and thus responsible for all external and distributed development worldwide. With over 17 years of experience in the industry, he has contributed on some of the world’s largest and most successful AAA franchises; such as Battlefield, Medal of Honor, Need for Speed, Killzone, and most recently the new IP; Horizon Zero Dawn. Anton is also a member of the XDS Advisory Committee, helping to shape the annual XDS conference in Vancouver, Canada, while promoting collaboration and best-practices across the games industry.

Teut Weidemann

Teut Weidemann is a senior online games specialist and consults companies in the F2P space. He was a part of the team who created browser game of the year The Settlers Online.

Teut has been working in games since the 1980s and has shipped over 100 titles on multiple platforms. Teut currently works as a consultant to help gaming companies achieve online success.

Chris Wren

Chris is a 14-year veteran of Electronic Arts, beginning his tenure as Development Director for Sports and Action titles. In recent years Chris joined EA’s XDI team to support the external development needs of the organization.

Chris acts as Chair for the XDS Advisory Committee, which ensures excellence in the delivery of the XDS event for the videogame industry.
Chris has held board positions with notable organizations including ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver and Vancouver Film School (VFS).

Alexander Fernandez

Alexander Fernandez is an architect of change. As a visionary entrepreneur, international deal-maker and creative executive extraordinaire, his unique perspectives led Streamline Studios from a small apartment in Amsterdam to a global enterprise with offices in Malaysia, Europe, the United States and Japan.

He believes in the transformative power of the creative industry. He’s unleashed its rewarding export and foreign investment potential. He brings first-hand experience to consultations with major government agencies around the world on planning the aggressive growth of creative economies. And he has done all this while collaborating with some of the world’s most powerful entertainment and technology brands: Final Fantasy XV, Street Fighter V, Bioshock, James Bond, Avatar, Coca-Cola, Twentieth Century Fox and Intel.

Animated by a restless entrepreneurial spirit and unshakeable core values centered on family and community, Alexander donates significant time worldwide to the empowerment of minorities and the rights of women.

Baker Ma

Born in 1979, Fuzhou, Fujian Province;
Ningxia Islamic Institute, Arabic Bachelor Degree; Jordon Al-Albayt University, majored at Arabic;

Jul. 2005- May 2007
China Nanfang Investment Import & Export Co., Ltd, worked at Arabic Interpreter. Assisted in signing the project invested 3 million in the tenure;

Sep.2007- Apr. 2009
Jordan Tianshan Import & Export Co., Ltd
Took charge of 3 shops annual turnover up to millions renminbi. At the same time, occupied at the statutory interpreter of the police station, court, harbor and Intelligence Bureau and other government agencies of Aqaba, Jordon;

May 2009- Feb. 2013
Net Dragon Websoft Inc.
ME Region Manager
Every year win the personal or team award: “hero innovation”, “Oversea Expanding”, etc. As the leader, our team developed the first PC game “Conquer Online” in the middle east with tens of million annual revenue. Conquer is the top one arabic PC game in the middle east.

Mar. 2013- Feb. 2014
ILead Software Technology Co., Ltd
ME Marketing & Operating Director
Within 1 year, lead the team to develop the first arabic online mobile game in Apple App Store & Google Play; Made it top one in several Arabic countries and created 10 million and more income.
– [ ] In March of 2014, I started to create my own company ONEMT LIMITED, as the legal representative and CEO, I obtained 2 million US Dollars angel capital from UC Web.
– Developed and released by our team, “Revenge of Sultans” always topped one in the whole MENA region.
– August of 2014, created MENA MOBILE, the founder and CEO.

Ivan Lebeau

Ivan Lebeau has been working in the video game industry for more than 22 years. In this time he has been involved with all aspects of the video gaming market – game design, development, production, and licensing (“Abba”, “The Voice”).

In 2015 Ivan founded Gamestream which is a new player in the gaming industry based in Paris. Gamestream offers cloud gaming services for Telcos and Hospitality (Hotels and Cruises).

Ivan’s expertise includes production and operation strategies for cloud gaming, transmedia strategies, online marketing and monetization, business development, licensing, service maintenance and entrepreneurship.

David Herman

David Herman is an award winning Documentary film maker and is the Managing Director of Metapixel Studio. Metapixel opeerates the world’s highest resolution portable 3D scanning rig. We have established ourselves as best in class for 3D scanning in the film, VFX and TV sectors; We have a small but brilliant team of proven business winners, with decades of experience in the film, VR and TV sectors to ensure business development; Our creative director is an internationally acclaimed photographer and artist who has been at the forefront of the development of photogrammetry since 2000.

Made up of over a hundred carefully arranged and calibrated 36 megapixel cameras, the rig can deliver up to 100 scans a day and is designed to be used either in close-up or wide mode, allowing either very high (“hero”) resolution captures, or a wide (“action”) capture volume enabling performers to leap, hang from straps or do backflips. And it’s fully transportable, allowing the Metapixel team to scan in locations anywhere in the world.

Sahar Salama

With over ten years of managerial and IT experience in platforms development, business development, ISP operation management, consultancy and delivery services within Telecom industries and Hi-Tech companies, Sahar led the creation of T-PAY Mobile as the evolution of A15 digital payment strategy to capture this huge market.

Marie Amigues

Marie Amigues is the CEO of Altagram GmbH, a multilingual video game localization specialist based in Berlin.

Marie founded her first company in the video game localization industry 11 years ago. Together with her team and partners, she has successfully localized over 2,000 video game titles for prestigious clients such as Microsoft Game Studios, Warner Bros, Ubisoft, EA and Square Enix, receiving critical acclaim for many of the localized versions.

A real love for the industry and an entrepreneurial spirit are the key to making every day something that brings joy to Marie’s life and, more importantly, to the lives of millions of players the world over.

Tomas Piktosis

Tomas Piktosis is the Lead of Business Development for Chartboost, Tomas has 15+ years of experience in international business development, marketing, and customer success within mobile entertainment, advertising and digital payment ecosystems currently heading Chartboost‘s business development efforts in EMEA region. Prior to Chartboost, Tomas was director of developer relations at Fyber.

Matt George

Matt George has over 20 years’ experience in the Broadcast and Entertainment sectors. Having started his career in the UK cable TV industry in the mid 90’s he has held a number of senior marketing and business development positions at Flextech, TiVo, Sky (both in the UK and Germany) and BT. He has been directly involved in initiatives that have shaped the industry landscape including the launches of TiVo, Sky+, Sky HD and several IPTV propositions .

He joined Equinix in 2012 and is responsible for Field Development in EMEA. Specializing in Content & Digital Media he advises media & entertainment companies on ways to improve connectivity, global reach, end user experience and cloud enablement through deployment on Equinix’s global interconnection platform.

Danny Woo

Danny Woo is the Founder and CEO at GTR (www.globaltopround.com) and at TAB (www.tabtm.com), well known for accelerating and investing small and medium-sized firms. He had professional careers as business developer, venture capitalist and professional angel investor for over 15 years. Considering lack of ecosystem for early-stage game studios, he built GTR with global game professionals.

Peter Walsh

Peter Walsh is an experienced veteran of the videogames industry with over 10 years’ experience as a software engineer, senior software engineer, and technical leader. He has worked on some of the most acclaimed games of the last decade such as the Harry Potter franchise, F1, the Medal of Honor
franchise, Crackdown, APB, Lemmings, The Shoot and many others. Previous employers include Visual Science/Electronic Arts, Real Time Worlds/Microsoft Game Studios, Activision, and Cohort Studios/Sony. The titles Peter has worked on have broken records for sales, achieved massive industry praise and awards including BAFTAs, Golden Joysticks, SpikeTV awards, and the Academy of Interactive Arts award. Peter currently works as Head of Department for the award winning Game Design and Programming programs at Vancouver Film School. In 2015 he helped found Canada’s first industry sponsored VR lab. He is a director for startup game development companies and is on the British Columbia, Canada government’s Coding Curriculum advisory board for K-12 schools. Peter grew up in the Middle East and lived in the region for over 10 years.

Baris Ozistek

Baris Ozistek has been acting as Chief Executive Officer of Netmarble EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) since February 2011. Headquartered in Seoul, Korea, Netmarble has offices worldwide, including Istanbul and Dubai. Some of the well-known brands in Europe, Middle East and Africa regions are; Joygame, Wolfteam, Paramanya, Evilbane, Goley, Seven Knights and Marvel Future Fight.

Mr. Ozistek is a board member of “StartersHub”, the largest venture building program that supports Startups in Turkey.
Mr. Ozistek has worked for several companies in different industries at top executive positions such as Adecco and Bureau Veritas in Turkey, Caspian Sea, Middle East & North Africa region. He is one of the founding partners of “Hugent”, a well-known HR company in Turkey.

He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing in addition to his MSc degree in Energy and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Yildiz Technical University. After studies on multiple trainings of management, sales and marketing, he completed an advanced leadership programme from IMD Business School / Switzerland.

Mr. Ozistek has also acted as the President of Turkish Digital Games Federation – TUDOF, is a board member of TBV (Turkish Information Technologies Foundation) and also has roles among several NGOs and Associations.

Simon Gardner

Simon studied at Brighton School of Architecture and won the prestigious British Gas Award in 1988 for his Degree project for the innovative use of energy and design. He qualified as an Architect in 1993 and worked on the design and construction of several bank and building society HQ’s. However his passion for games meant a career change after working in the evenings on his own games projects. He initially joined Microprose as a 3D artist and made a move to Sony’s newly acquired Psygnosis to set up and run a new console development studio. Simon joined Climax in 2003 as a studio head and was appointed CEO in 2008. Climax Studios has become a world leading developer of VR and AR games and experiences since starting to work with Oculus in 2013. They have now launched 11 titles VR and AR titles with a further 6 in development. Climax is in its 29th year of business.

Mark Val

I ran multimillion user online projects. Entrepreneur, award-winning developer with 18 years of experience. Produced and directed many projects for corporations, private and public organizations around the world.
In the gaming industries I built studios for Ubisoft, Unity Technologies and grew PlayFab from 0 to more than half of our global high-profile games while leading departments and pushing the limits for U.N.E.S.C.O., Marketel, Cossette and others. Clients include Mentos, Air Canada, Cadillac, L’Oréal Maybeline, Rogers and more than 40 others. During those years I worked in Zurich, London, Boston, Vancouver, Montreal, Samoa, Singapore and now Berlin. I am currently Founder of ARX where we are making Global Effortless Collaboration by using AR/MR & AI.

Rami Jawhar

Rami Jawhar is an Apps & Gaming Partner Manager at Google. He advises developers on monetization strategies and best practices to grow their business. He is also a mindfulness facilitator, promoting well-being at work. Prior to Google, Rami has worked at the United Nations as a data analyst for governance, as well as an analyst at Facebook for the community operations team, protecting the people on Facebook. Rami holds a BE from the American University of Beirut, a MEng from Cornell University and soon to become a certified yoga teacher. He is also passionate about VR and bridging technology with mindfulness/yoga.

Chris Hewish

Chris is an award winning interactive executive with over 25 years experience designing, producing, marketing and publishing games across multiple platforms, business models, and demographics. He’s led the design and production of more than 50 games, generating over $1B in gross revenue during long tenures at blue chip creative powerhouses Activision Blizzard and DreamWorks Animation. Chris is currently partnered with leading VR company Survios, where he’s helping to empower the next generation of visionary technologists.

Phil Stilgoe

Phil is the C.E.O at Centroid Motion Capture. A Motion Capture veteran of 20 years, he has worked on many award-winning movies, TV shows and games, on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. He was part of the team to first supply optical facial data for a Hollywood feature; capturing Gary Oldman as ‘Spider Smith’ for ‘Lost In Space’ way back in the mid 1990’s.

With a growing interest in AR and VR production, Phil continues to push the boundaries of digital character performance across the entertainment industries and is currently involved in a number of live gaming productions which could change the face of family entertainment forever.

Grayson Chalmers

Grayson has been in games for the last 13 years, with about half that time spent as an artist and the rest of that time in various production roles helping to build epic outsourcing pipelines. He has worked on everything from an Area 51 PS2 shooter at Midway as a character animator, to DC Universe Online at Sony Online Entertainment as an Outsource Manager, and most recently helped build and run the outsource team on Overwatch at Blizzard. Grayson is now with Riot as the Art Outsource Director.

Tuna ``pintipanda`` AKŞEN

Tuna “pintipanda” AKŞEN
32 years / living in Eskişehir – İstanbul

Turkish Youtuber with 400K subscribers and over 70M+ views
Twitch streamers with 200K followers and 6m views

I’ve been creating gaming content since 2011, on the e-Sport side I’ve been Shout-caster for ESL Turkey.

Appeared many times on national TV with CNNTurk’s Multiplayer and 5N1K
My content is focused on AAA games, Indie titles, Free to Play and Mobile gaming

David Lam

David Lam has been working in the games industry for over 16 years. He started out locally in Vancouver as a student at VFS and found himself drawn to character art. David has had a long career at Electronic Arts working on titles such as SSX, NBA Street, Need for Speed, FIFA, and NHL. During his time as a production artist, David found enjoyment and fulfillment in teaching. He has taught BCIT, Think Tank Training Center, and VanArts. He has also participated as a demo artist for Wacom. David joined Bioware in 2012 as an Associate External Art Director and has continued there in a broader role as Senior Art Manager supporting the Edmonton, Montreal and Austin studios.

Mehdi Sakaly

World Gaming Federation is a major actor in the eSport ecosystem. We have managed worldwide tournaments with thousands of players. Our social platform is a powerful enabler to manage players’ careers and discover other communities and events.

Arom Bouchrit

Aron Bouchrit have two big passions, video games and Pizza! After acquiring his Masters in Business Management, he joined the business world by opening a successful chain of pizza bars, with which he introduced a new kind of tasty pizza to the country.

He then, started his video gaming career by founding “Stolen Pad Studio” a mobile game development business. With the experience gained from it, he led the quest of “Nuked Cockroach” an independent gaming studio, as CEO.

The studio is working on an online multiplayer shooter “Veterans Online”. Aron is also the president of the “Tunisian Association of Gamers”, a non governmental organization working on the development of e-sports in Tunisia.

Omar Ramirez

Omar Ramirez is the Senior Business Development Manager- EMEA at Chartboost

Chartboost is the world’s largest mobile games-only platform that works with 90% of the top-grossing iOS and Android game developers and is currently being leveraged by over 300,000 games, reaching over 1 billion active players around the world every month.

Omar has 7 years experience creating games and applications. Omar’s passion consists of video games and anything that has to do with the interaction and feeling created between the user and the developer who made them. He is an experienced marketing consultant and app creator. His goal is to market mobile apps from lean idea generation to the launch phase making sure that the monetization and user acquisition are best optimized.

The art of balancing creativity and gameplay and at the same time make money

Ads have become an integral part of the freemium model, knowing when to use them can make or break your game monetization strategy, but most important the fun out of your game. Users do not mind seeing pop-up ads as long as they are balanced and they feel like a break from playing. In this talk, we will talk about in game design curve as well as different ad formats that work best.

Vincent Ghossoub

Vincent is CEO of Falafel Games, the leading producer and publisher of mobile and browser Massively-Multiplayer Online Games in the Middle East.

Falafel Games serves more than 2m users in the Middle East across its games: درع الجزيرة (codename: Clash of Tanks) a modern war themed MMO RTS on iOS; لعبة حرب الحروب (codename: Hot Blood) a modern war Strategy game cross-platform on Web and iOS.

Falafel Games is best to know for having produced the first ever fully Arabic content MMO game فرسان المجد (codename Knights of Glory) and the first game in the MENA to offer cross-platform access between the web and the iPhone حرب الحروب (codename Hot Blood).

It is backed by Middle East Venture Partners, Middle East Broadcasting Corporation and Abu Dhabi Media Authority.

Vincent holds a BE in Computer and Communications Engineering from the American University of Beirut and a MBA from China Europe International Business School in Shanghai.

Francis Ingrand

Francis Ingrand né le 30 Novembre 1972 à Paris 15e est un entrepreneur Français du secteur du jeu vidéo et grand spécialiste des problématiques de distribution de jeux vidéo à travers le monde.
Il est aujourd’hui Président Directeur Général de Plug In Digital qui offre des services de distribution et d’édition aux créateurs de jeux vidéo à travers le monde.
La société fournit des solutions de distribution clé en main ainsi que des solutions marketing et de communication.
Travaillant main dans la main avec plus de 70 partenaires de distribution sur plateforme PC ou Cloud Gaming ainsi que les fabricants de console ou mobile la société représente et distribue plus de 400 jeux vidéo à ce jour.

Précédemment et successivement Francis Ingrand été responsable commercial de la start-up internet Blackorange (1999-2001), directeur produit et directeur des achats et des ventes au sein du site E-commerce alapage.com filiale du groupe Orange (2001-2006) puis VP Business développement et Sénior VP de la division jeu vidéo de la société Nexway (2007-2011).
Francis Ingrand est également depuis 2014 Vice-président en charge de l’international du SNJV (Syndicat National du Jeu Vidéo) et depuis 2015 président de Le Game association visant à promouvoir et faire rayonner le jeu vidéo Français à l’international.

Anne Laure Caffin

With over 10 years’ experience in digital gaming strategy and business, Anne-laure currently leads Cloud & Mobile Gaming at Numericable/SFR. First cloud gaming service ever launched on TV, SFR cloud gaming service is live since October 2010. Building on this success and expertise Anne-laure also oversees the expansion of gaming digital distribution within the ALTICE group.

Previously she worked for game publisher where she was responsible for defining the video game marketing strategy and driving video games digital & online platforms sales.

Anne-laure graduated from EDHEC Business School in France and from ICADE – Spanish Top School of Business and Economics.

Cvetan Rusimov

I’m a game industry professional with 15 years management experience in executive leadership roles and a proven and successful track record, who combines strategic thinking and leadership skills. I joined the games industry in 2005 and since then I’ve built up a strong network of friends and business partners all over the globe. From creation and development to localization, marketing and publishing, I was part of every step of the way.

I’m proud to be a part of Imperia Online and to have the opportunity to help shape the future of the company. By excellent interpersonal communication, I raised a team of nine to a million dollar company. My work at Imperia Online made me excellent in launching strategies, planning P&L, business development, tracking key metrics and creating awesome UX. I have proven negotiation skills in product acquisitions, publishing deals, outsource development, IP license and hiring employees.

I love games and always did. Playing, analyzing, and improving them is my passion. Being part of the games industry – couldn’t ask for more!

Passion, Curiosity and Thinking outside the box are what make me who I am.

Aras Senyuz

Aras Şenyüz spent over 10 years in sales and marketing within leading global companies such as L’Oréal, Unilever and Vodafone managing various brands with successful track record. Being a gamer since his childhood, and a professional gamer for over 10 years playing Magic:The Gathering, Aras joined Korean gaming giant Netmarble as Director of Mobile Division & Media for EMEA region, leading successful game launches over the last three years.

Today he is managing all marketing and mobile operations of Netmarble while contributing growth of mobile & gaming market in the region in every possible way.

Ahmed Alaa

A visionary with a huge passion towards video games since a very young age, He is a computer science graduate yet he is an artist from a young age, That made him understand exactly the gap between art and programming and helped him create the perfect working environments, Started his first startup “Spyros Entertainment” in 2011 while he was 18 years old that successfully made a game that got a publishing deal from Chillingo, Then he started Cryptyd games in 2014 which got funded by Cairo Angels and he is currently operating Cryptyd as a CEO/ Game artist working on a huge hardcore game for smartphones.

Ahmed Also teaches game art and design at a post graduate school in Egypt called ITI.

Eric Husny

Eric graduated from the American University of Beirut with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and went on to work as a consultant in Saudi Arabia. Always a gamer at heart and a passionate esports fan, Eric founded E-lab in 2015, one of the first e-sports organizations in the region.

Tarq K. Alharbi

Tariq is the Co Founder of Direct Digital Influence Group, Built By Influencer For Influencers dedicated to creating and executing influencer integrated marketing plans with a focus on digital campaigns including social media and content creation. Tariq Alharbi, “ Is One Of The Most Influential Influencers In The GCC,” Now working with some of the best brands in the GCC as an influencer.

Joseph Shomali

Joseph is a co-founder and the CEO of Play 3arabi, a mobile games publisher that focuses on MENA.

For over 10 years, Joseph has been working in the gaming industry in the region, holding positions in development, production, and product roles, as well as starting gaming companies.

Klaus Kajetski

Founder and co-owner of Yalla eSports.
10+ years of eSports experience in Finland and MENA
Manager/Coach for MENA #1 Overwatch team
Competitive Hearthstone Player
Community figure for MENA eSports
DJ by night, Gamer by day (and night)

Baraa Abdullah

Baraa is a full-time father, husband and like to see people smile. He has led an extensive and successful career in entertainment, where he first debuted in 2008 as an opening act for the famous and critically acclaimed Axis of Evil comedy show. During Axis of Evil.
Since his debut, Baraa has been active in his career as an entertainer and emcee. He has been an emcee for events by Redbull, PUMA, IGN, Mercedes, Batelco, Aramco, Oredoo, and other large and widely recognized companies. and got to host a great number of gaming events and conventions like the IGN events around the GCC, The Bahrain Sony Gaming Experience, POPCON, ComicCon Dubai 2016, PlamoQ8, WSVG Maldives, GameEvo, Capcom Pro Tour Dubai, and Many more.
In addition to actively entertaining audiences full of hundreds of people, Baraa has read the nightly news for Bahrain TV since 2012 and is producing and presenting

Thorsten Unger

Thorsten Unger is heading the european activities of GTR (www.globaltopround.com), joining shortly after launch. He is a serial entrepeneur focussing on digital games, gamifciation and serious games. With his thinktank „Wegesrand“ (www.wegesrand.net) he is working as a trusted advisor for digital innovations. He is also a shareholder of the serious games company IJsfontein (www.ijsfontein.com).

Burak Balik

Burak Balık is one of the founders of the leading payment gateway “Gamesultan” in Turkish gaming industry. After selling his shares on 2009, he established “Joygame” which would become the largest game publisher in Turkey and MENA in a short period of time. Mr. Balık has a successful record of two large internet industry exits in the MENA region. He was also founder of a game development studio in India on the year 2010 and he has multiple investments in various industries. He keeps investing in multiple digital projects in Turkey and Middle East region under the recently established accelerator called “Boğaziçi Ventures”.

Nooruldeen Agha

Nooruldeen is a Dubai-based, serial entrepreneur who excels in creating innovative ideas and turning them into successful companies. Noor had started his career in the corporate life as an oil and gas engineer and ended up heading the marketing department for one of the largest regional oil and gas companies. Having an entrepreneurial spirit, he felt the need to be doing something of his own and started with Elephant Nation, an advertising agency that was establish in 2013 and currently one of the leading digital advertising agencies in Dubai catering to the most prestigious clients like EMAAR, Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid, CASIO, Nandos and many more.

By the end of 2014, Noor established his own customized fashion brand, CREOROOM.com, which was the first ecommerce in the region that caters to high-end customized design fashion.

Having become the serial entrepreneur he is today, Nooruldeen decided to go big and compete with the region’s biggest retailers in the fashion industry like Namshi.com and MarkaVIP. So, Noor established ELABELZ.com in March 2016 and it was officially launched in Sep 2016.

At 30, Noor currently employs over 120 people in his companies and is planning to take ELABELZ.com to be his 1 billion dollar company.

Noor graduated in late 2010 with a degree in computer science.


Güven Çelikkaya has been working in gaming industry more than 5 years. He managed and launched several successful PC & Mobile game projects as Senior Product Manager both in Turkey and MENA region. He also worked as Project Coordinator and Leading Mentor in StartersHub Game Development Acceleration Program which is also the first game developer acceleration program in the region. Since July 2016, he has been working as Operations Director in CC Media House which is an Influencer Marketing Agency that is focusing on game marketing in Turkey and MENA.

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