UAE Conference

UAE 2023 Annual Changemakers Conference: Illuminate

18 October, 9:30am to 4:30pm

The Marketing Society's UAE Annual Conference is back and better than ever. 

Here at The Marketing Society, bringing people together to listen and learn is part of our DNA and the Annual Conference is the very embodiment of that.

Our 2023 Conference theme is ‘Changemakers, Illuminate’. The concept of illumination is a powerful one. Great marketers and great changemakers light up a path for people. They bring brightness, warmth, and clarity. The best leaders are aware of the shadow they cast and the light they shine, to illuminate others and show clearly the way forward. After all we’ve faced in the last few years, and as the world becomes more challenging, we will deliver a day of illumination to bring inspiration, hope and clear direction to our members. We will hear extraordinary tales of leadership from entrepreneurs and experts, stories and inspiration from marketing leaders and pioneers that will set you and your team's potential alight.

A powerful day of inspiration, ideas and energy from entrepreneurs, creatives, marketing leaders and pioneers that will set you and your team's potential alight and remind you what good marketing can achieve.

Our members can make an impact and make a difference. And it is even greater if we work together. In partnership with Marketing Mania and GITEX, we will be inviting role models from across the region to speak including successful entrepreneurs, outstanding leaders, Changemakers and visionaries. In a fast-moving world we all need to take the time to listen and learn from other Changemakers. We promise you will leave empowered and equipped with the tools and knowledge needed in these challenging times. This will be a day like no other, mark it in your diary and take the time for yourself and your team!


SESSION 1 | The Evolution of Storytelling in Saudi Arabia - Telling a Global Story at Home and Abroad.

  • Asmaa Quorrich, Chief Marketing Officer / Saudi Tourism Authority 
  • Alex Oberberg, Senior Director at Public Investment Fund (PIF)

Hear from two marketing leaders who will share the story of how they're using the power of storytelling to tell their story around the globe and in KSA.

SESSION 2 | Impactful leadership via storytelling with TikTok 

  • Annie Arsane, Regional Head of Business Marketing, TikTok

Being a leader is no longer limited to those who sit on top, but it's for those who have something worth sharing and something worth listening to. So how do you share meaningful stories in a world where everyone has something to say.Listen to Annie talk leadership, and finding our voice, in the age of storytelling.

SESSION 3 | Starter for 10 | Using AI to fix gender bias within AI

  • Prerna Mehra, Creative Director & Head of Art, MullenLowe MENA

Women are vastly underrepresented in the datasets used to train AI, resulting in AI systems that are biased against women and perpetuate gender inequality. Fixing the bAIs" initiative aims to fix AI gender bias forever by creating an image bank of women in various professions, to break the gender barriers in professions and promote inclusivity.

SESSION 4 | Changemaker Conversations 

  • Anja Petrovski, Marketing and PR Director, Volkswagen 
  • Ula Bieganska, Head of Marketing, Lego 

In a rapidly evolving world, what has changed for leaders in 2023 and what does the future look like? We will explore the role of the CMO and ever-changing responsibilities of the CMO, the challenges they face, keep teams motivated and leading with positive impact.

SESSION 5 | Under the Spotlight with e& 

  • Dena Almansoori, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, e&

Amina Taher will sit down with Dena. In this session we'll discuss how we as leaders can make a positive impact at work and on society as a whole, how organizations can leverage technology into HR to enable productivity, evolving a brand identity and encouraging teams to step out of their comfort zones and making a difference to our companies and to each other

SESSION 6 | Starter for 10 | Protecting our Natural Habitats 

  • Vikram Krishna, Co-Founder, Sacred Groves

Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything. Sharing his personal journey, this marketer will explain how he went from working in the corporate world to saving the planet. His story will inspire all of us as we work together to make positive changes for our planet.

SESSION 7 | PechaKucha | Why purpose is more powerful than you think 

  • Mimi Nicklin, Chief Executive Officer, Freedm, Malaysia

This session will explore the buzzword of purpose. Purpose as leaders, as individuals, as human beings - and why understanding your purpose and that of others is the most powerful tool we have for health, growth and life

SESSION 8 | The Golden Globes of Circumnavigating the Earth 

  • Commander Abhilash Tomy  
  • Faheem Ahamed, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, G42, UAE

Hear Abhilash Tomy’s incredible story. From completing a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the earth under sail, becoming the first Indian and second Asian to do so to the back-breaking (literally) journey of a single-handed, non-stop race using 1968 technology and how it changed his perspective on life.

SESSION 9 | Connections & Conversations
This is a chance for the audience to become a contributor and share their views on what they've just heard and the latest industry trends. From how we as leaders and guardians of the future can ensure that we are building back better and driving positive change to building meaningful relationships and how to trail new paths.

SESSION 10 | Building Brand Experiences that “Stick”

  • Layla Keramat, Partner at Prophet

There is a tremendous buzz in the market about the Fifth Industrial Revolution. However, the Industry 5.0 phenomenon is also bringing tension between "unprecedented opportunities" and "fear of a digital divide." In this session, Layla Keramat, Partner at Prophet, will focus on how we can bridge this delta of discomfort and how brand experiences can create value reaching beyond "the what," to inspiring us to "reinvent how." Grounded in pragmatism, Layla will identify the paths forward for brands so they might thrive amidst climate, geopolitical, and economic challenges.

SESSION 11 | PechaKucha | Portraying masculinity in the right way

  • Jason Foo, CEO, BBD Perfect Storm, UK

We know that rapid changes in consumer needs and expectations affect brand reputation and consideration. Yet when it comes to the portrayal of men and masculine values in their communications, it’s surprising how many brands are still in the dark ages. If we want to achieve gender balance, we need to re-write a new positive male narrative to accelerate change.

SESSION 12 | Starter for 10 | 7 summits challenge.

  • Jamie Wilks, Co-Founder, HOC

Hear from a true changemaker on igniting positive change by climbing the 7 Summits – the highest mountains on each continent, ending with the small task of Mount Everest in support of the search for a cure to Type 1 diabetes, which his 2 year old son has just been diagnosed with.

SESSION 13 | How to maximize your impact 

  • Rasna Al Khamis, Chief Marketing & Engagement Officer, Emirates Nature-WWF

The Leaders of Change is a community contributing thousands of hours to protecting nature, saving the lives of countless species, helping monitor local ecosystems and gathering data that can inform conservation strategies. Discover the impact of leaders of change and how you can maximize your own impact and transform the world so that people and nature can thrive.

SESSION 14 | The Grand Reveal of Atlantis The Royal

  • Hanan Eissa – Vice President Marketing & PR- Atlantis Dubai

Hanan Eissa, Vice President Marketing & PR Atlantis Dubai has over 23 years of work experience in the marketing landscape. Hanan led the Grand Reveal of Atlantis The Royal, driving this year’s most notable resort launch globally, as well as various groundbreaking campaigns including the collaborative 10:35 track with Tiesto and Tate McCrae and recent notable marketing partnerships 
with the likes of Parkwood, Valentino and Louis Vuitton


Cocktails & Connections

To end the conference, we will be hosting a connections and conversations drinks on The Deck. From 5 - 7pm, 

Date: Wednesday 18 October
Time: 9:30am - 4:30pm GST
Venue: Marketing Mania, Dubai Harbour  


This event is now sold out. 


Abhilash Tomy Anja Petrovski Annie Arsane

Jamie Wilks Layla Keramat Prerna Mehra

Amina Taher Asmaa Quorrich Dena Almansoori 

Khaled Ismail Mohammed Ismaeel Vikram Krishna

Ula Bieganska Alex Oberberg Faheem Ahamed

Jason Foo Mimi Nicklin Hanan Eissa

Rasna Al Khamis