DDFC Mentors

Meet the industry leaders helping to shape Dubai’s design future.

DDFC mentors are a diverse group of experts representing the best of their respective industries

DDFC Board Member

Ali M. Jaber


Dean, Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Communication, American University of Dubai (AUD)
Group TV Director, Middle East Broadcasting Corporation

DDFC Board Member

Ashok Sawlani


Former Chairman & Current Honourary Member of the Managing Committee, Dubai Textile City

Ayman Fakoussa


Communications & Marketing Strategies Professional
Co-founder, The Qode

DDFC Board Member

Azza Fahmy


Influential Designer & Cultural Ambassador
Owner, Azza Fahmy Jewellery

DDFC Board Member

Chris Newman


Veteran Global Hospitality Professional
Chief Operating Officer, Emaar Hospitality Group

DDFC Board Member

Dr. Amina Alrustamani


Influential & Charismatic Business Leader
Chairperson of Dubai Design & Fashion Council

Elie Abou Jamra


Entrepreneur & Renown Speaker
Chief Executive Officer, Kashida Design

DDFC Board Member

Farida Abdulla Kambar Al Awadi


President & Founding Member of APID (Association of Professional Interior Designers)
Owner & Managing Director, Cinmar Design

Fiamma Panerai


Founder, Child Of Nadia
Regional Brand Marketing Manager, Chalhoub Group

Francois Schweitzer


Luxury & Contemporary Market Specialist
General Manager Business Development, Chalhoub Group Retail

DDFC Board Member

Ghassan Harfouche


Advertising, Media & PR Leader
Group CEO, Middle East Communications Network (MCN)

Maha Zeibak


Marketing & Merchandising Expert
Managing Director, VIS à VIS Retail

DDFC Board Member

Mohammed Shael Al Saadi


Chief Executive Officer, Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) Sector, Department of Economic Development (DED), Government of Dubai

DDFC Board Member

Nisha Jagtiani


Executive Director, Landmark Group
Board Member of Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, and Dubai Design & Fashion Council

DDFC Board Member

Patrick Chalhoub


Synonymous With Luxury
Joint Chief Executive Officer, Chalhoub Group

DDFC Board Member

Raja Trad


Chief Executive Officer, Leo Burnett & Publicis Group of Companies, MENA

DDFC Board Member

Reem Acra


Chief Executive Officer, Reem Acra
Member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America
Board Member of Dubai Design & Fashion Council

DDFC Board Member

Saeed Mohammad Maesam Al Falasi


Executive Director, Retail and Strategic Alliances, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE)

Sass Brown


Fashion Designer, Researcher, Writer and Educator
Founding Dean, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation

DDFC Board Member

Shireen El Khatib


Senior Vice President of Brand Development and Special Projects, Majid Al Futtaim – Ventures

Elizabeth Mac Hale


Founder and CEO

Design Directive

Rami AlAli


Fashion Designer

Firas Koukache


Brand Designer

Ramzi Nakad




Esra Lemmens


Founder & Director,

The Esra Lemmens Agency

Ghizlan Guenez


Founder & CEO,

The Modist

Mourad Benayed



The cARTel Brand Management

Nizar Swailem


Founder and Consultant

Eunoia Collective

Michel Vandamme


Head -Design and Corporate Sales,

Homecentre, Landmark Group

Michelle de Hoogh


Managing Director,

Miccy’s Jewelz

Anri Hamilton


Style and Trends Manager,


May Barber


Founder & Managing Director,

The cARTel Brand Management

Dennis De Rond



Skyne Visionaries in Branding and Design