The Dubai Association Centre is a gateway to the world’s fastest growing economies — offering an ideal setting for global associations to expand within industries across the Middle East and beyond.
Who we are Our Services DAC Ambassadors Meet the Team Partnerships
The DAC Ambassador Programme works with senior Association Executives both locally and internationally to promote the Centre, engage with other associations and build a knowledge base for the development of associations in the region.
MEFMA – Director
Alaa is the Director of the Middle East Facility Management Association, a nonprofit organization that aims to unify the Facility Management Industry. Her role requires running up to 20 events a year ranging between conferences and exhibitions, networking events, workshops and training courses across the Middle East. In addition, she actively participates in and supports multiple regional events. Her passion and experience in the associations industry led the association to be one of the most active ones in the region.
Alaa holds a BS in Business Administration with concentration in Accounting and Finance from the American University of Sharjah, UAE. She started her career with KPMG to be the first Saudi female to work in the tax department in Saudi Arabia. After four years of dealing with clients, she has found her passion in communications and clients relations. This led her to begin her career in the associations industry starting with MEFMA in 2012 as the Relationship Manager. In between, she managed memberships and marketing at the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association, before she was appointed as the director of MEFMA in 2016.
CEO, MECSC – ICSC
Middle East & North Africa
With a career spanning 35 years in the retail industry, David brings an unrivalled understanding of global retail real estate, portfolio management and retail business development. With years of technical expertise and leadership skills, David is responsible for driving the MECSC / ICSC organization’s corporate vision in the MENA region. The primary roles of the ICSC / MECSC are to enhance the members experience, to promote and facilitate the members retail business, to facilitate the growth of the retail real estate business and to raise the personal profiles of all retail professionals in the MENA region.
As CEO of the MECSC / ICSC for the MENA region, the organization has grown now representing over 580 Shopping Centres. The MECSC has also grown its membership base by 54% under his leadership in the past three years to over 1000 members. Revenue and profitability of the MECSC has risen four (4) fold since taking over leadership of the organization.
David is a regular contributor to local and international newspapers including Gulf News and Khaleej Times and numerous Magazines with articles on topics associated with current retail industry trends, commercial real estate and residential property challenges and opportunities. He has appeared on CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, Dubai One, Dubai City 7 TV, Selfie TV and Dubai Zee television as a retail expert in the MENA region. In radio, on Dubai Eye 103.8, David is regularly on air as the retail industry expert, retail property market commentator and guest.
A Canadian, resident in the UAE for twelve years, David was Chairman of the Canadian Business Council in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He is also a registered member of RERA in Dubai. David has held leading roles in the region with major shopping centre development companies and advisory firms before taking over in 2013 as the CEO of the MECSC.
The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres (MECSC) is the regional trade body representing the Shopping Centre Industry in the Middle East. The council is governed by a board of directors and assisted by regional representatives.
The mission of MECSC is to provide an effective forum for the exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing and to be a facilitator to the development of the shopping centre industry in the Middle East.
Established in 1994, MECSC has grown over the years and has a strong and closely connected member base of over 750 industry professionals from all over the Middle East representing shopping mall owners, developers, marketing managers, leasing managers and specialists, retailers, consultants, property managers, financiers, accountants, government officials and industry suppliers.
Affiliated to the New York based International Council of Shopping Centres (www.icsc.org), MECSC provides its members with unparalleled local and international business contacts and support through its network of international affiliates. The mission of MECSC is to facilitate retail business and raise the personal profile of its members.
The MECSC territory covers the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
For more information, visit www.mecsc.org
Dr. Asma Deeb
Secretary General, ASPED
Asma Deeb is a Clinical Professor at the Gulf University and the Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE. She is the Secretary General for the Arab Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes. She trained in the UK and obtained an MD degree in growth hormone gene expression in 2002 from University of Newcastle. She was appointed as a clinical lecturer in Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Cambridge between 2001 and 2006 and obtained a CCST in Pediatric Endocrinology. Her special interest is disorders of sexual differentiation, use of technology in management of children with diabetes and Genetics of diabetes mellitus.
The Arab Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes is a non-profit organization. Its aim is to ensure a high standard of care and development in the field of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes in the Arab region extending from the Gulf through the Northern African countries.
Deputy Secretary General, UITP
Mohamed Mezghani has been working for 25 years in an international and multidisciplinary context of which more than 15 years in the association’s field. He is Deputy Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) since January 2014.
Until then, he has worked at UITP as Senior Manager (1999-2001), Director Knowledge and Membership Services (2001-2006) and Senior Adviser to the Secretary General (2006-2013). M. Mezghani managed and led numerous membership-related services including knowledge-related activities for UITP members: professional training, research projects, thematic studies, technical advice, conferences, networking activities, information centre, etc.
M. Mezghani carried out several technical assistance and training projects in Africa and the Middle-East and managed projects involving numerous experts and multidisciplinary teams. He established UITP Office for the Middle-East and North Africa in Dubai and managed it from 2007 to 2010. Moreover, he has been responsible for the management and organization of several events of different sizes and in multiple locations worldwide including the UITP World Congress and Exhibition.
Mohamed Mezghani has been graduated in Industrial Engineering (1987) and has a Master in Transport (1988).
The International Association of Public Transport, has always been a knowledge hub, a place to collect and exchange best practices and benchmarks and now it is pooling its members’ collective strength and concentrating its energy on shaping the future and the exciting urban mobility challenges that lie ahead.
It has kept its position as the undisputed leader of the sector in setting the agenda, innovating and speaking with a united voice as the advocate for public transport and sustainable development worldwide.
Today UITP represents 1,300 member companies giving access to over 14,000 contacts from the fields of urban, local, regional and national mobility from more than 92 countries on all continents.
While UITP’s main office has always been located in Brussels, Belgium, over the last 15 years different regional divisions have been created worldwide, together with the establishment of 11 liaison and regional offices as well as two Centres for Transport Excellence.
President, Institution of Fire Engineers, UAE GCC Branch
United Arab Emirates
Peter is British citizen. He has been working in the fire safety and fire strategy field for 35 years and gained rich international work experience in different sectors – from aviation and rail to cultural heritage, oil & gas, commercial, residential, hospitality, and healthcare. He was Fire Safety Officer for the Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service; Senior Fire Safety Engineer for Network Rail, and Fire Safety Engineer for renown full-scale fire prevention and environmental protection consultancies.
Three years ago, Peter joined the Dubai branch of BuroHappold Engineering as an Associate Director. Here, his two key responsibilities are related to steering all fire engineering focused consulting activities in the Middle East on one side, and developing project-based fire strategies and fire systems analysis on the other.
He served as treasurer to the Rail Industry Fire Association (RIFA) in the UK and the International Aviation Fire Protection Association (IAFPA). In his position as Regional President of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) in the GCC, Peter was instrumental to the establishment and successful development of the UAE branch that culminated in the formal registration through the Dubai Association Centre. He has been an active contributor to several associations.
Peter holds a Bachelor Degree with Honours in Fire Engineering from the University of Central Lancashire.
THE INSTITUTE OF FIRE ENGINEERS (IFE) located in Stratford Upon Avon (UK), IFE, was founded in 1918. It is a registered charity organization that assesses knowledge of fire and professional experience, awards internationally recognised membership grades and fire-related qualifications, and offers learning opportunities worldwide.
Each year it delivers over 7,300 fire-related exams that many Fire and Rescue Services require for their promotion both in the UK and internationally. Through its Engineering Council license as a Professional Engineering Institution (PEI), the IFE registers qualified IFE members as Chartered Engineers (CEng), Incorporated Engineers (IEng) and Engineering Technicians (Eng Tech).
Each IFE branch is represented on the International General Assembly which meets twice a year to share learning and support the dialogue among overseas members, the Board of Directors and IFE’s Head Office staff.
IFE works within its Memorandum, Articles and Bylaws. It is governed by a Board of Directors. Board trustees perform voluntary work; they are appointed for a term of three years and ensure that the IFE meets its strategic objectives. Professional panels, committees and technical working groups underpin the work of IFE. IFE’s Charitable Educational Foundation supports international projects aimed at improving knowledge of fire safety for those suffering economic disadvantage.
Membership or affiliation is open to all, regardless of role or geography, including persons working in emergency response, fire safety, active and passive fire protection, fire engineering consultancy and fire risk assessment and enforcement.
Chief Executive Officer – ICCA
Senthil has over 20 years’ experience in the meetings, association and leisure industry. He has held wide spectrum of positions in the meetings industry. Such as CEO of Convention Bureau of Sri Lanka, Vice President of Kuoni. He moved to Dubai in 2006 and has been working for Congress Solutions International, the Professional Congress Organizer (PCO) arm of Emirates Group, eventually holding responsibility for wide ranging business development, sales and operations functions for some of the largest international meetings held in the UAE, including World Diabetes Congress, UITP, and World Economic Forum.
He has been involved in winning many Congress bids for Dubai, UAE and the region. Academically, he holds a European Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration. Senthil has been working with the global association fraternity for more than a decade and has in depth knowledge on global association segment development. Currently, he is the Regional Director Middle East for International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) headquartered in Netherlands.
A passionate strategist. Being creative and adaptable to the constantly changing environment are his key strengths. Always aims at professionalism and focuses on achieving the organizational objectives and financial goals.
The International Congress and Convention Association is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. ICCA represents the main specialists in organizing, transporting, and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises over 1,000 member companies and organisations in over 90 countries worldwide. ICCA specializes in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities.
Vision: Shaping the future and value of international association meetings
Mission: To be the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry, creating:
ICCA was founded in 1963 by a group of travel agents. Their first and foremost aim was to evaluate practical ways to get the travel industry involved in the rapidly expanding market of international meetings and to exchange actual information related to their operations in this market. ICCA now is one of the most prominent organizations in the world of international meetings. It is the only association that comprises a membership representing the main specialists in handling, transporting and accommodating international events. With its new strategic plan, launched in 2015, ICCA aims to get closer to association meeting planners and make them truly part of the ICCA community.
ICCA’s Head office is based in the Netherlands. ICCA’s Regional Offices are based in Malaysia, South Africa, UAE, USA and Uruguay.
They facilitated us to grow in an exponential way. Our hub in Dubai is the biggest worldwide because of the support we are having with DAC.
Chairman, The Marketing Society Middle East
DAC allows associations to run their business in a more stress-free
They go beyond their call of duty to let associations know what's happening. We always leave enriched when we leave the DAC meetings.
Vice-President Business Development, Middle East and Africa Franchise Association