Fazal is the founder and CEO of CrescentRating, a pioneer in the development of the Halal-friendly tourism industry. In 2009, it published the first worldwide index to evaluate and classify Halal-friendly tourism services. Over time, CrescentRating has become a reference in the Halal-friendly tourism industry. In December 2013, he launched HalalTrip.com, an online booking platform aimed at Muslim tourists. Fazal completed the Executive Programme at Stanford University and the National University of Singapore, the Strategic Leadership Development Programme at the Ashridge International Business School and the International Management in the Telecoms Industry Programme at the London Business School. He holds an International Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Lyon and Alcatel University. In addition to his Master’s degrees, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Computing and a degree in Telecoms Engineering from the University of Beijing. Fazal also holds a Diploma in Islamic Banking and Finance from the Islamic International University of Malaysia (IIUM). He is also a member of the Institute of Travel & Tourism (United Kingdom) and a chartered engineer in the United Kingdom.
Based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Alia Khan is the founder and president of the Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC), an organisation created to promote and develop the Halal fashion and textile industry around the world. IFDC works with established fashion and design firms, startups in the industry, governmental organisations, companies, global conferences and publications. In 2005, Alia joined the team in charge or organising the Arab and World Media Conference in Dubai, which significantly contributed to increasing its visibility in the region. She later expanded her Islamic studies in Jordan and devoted a few years to charitable initiatives aimed at eradicating malnutrition and illiteracy. After returning to the professional scene, Alia, along with her team at IFDC, began to organise training programmes and marketing initiatives aimed at filling the existing void in the Halal fashion and Islamic arts industry. Since then, she has had the privilege of working with experts from around the world, becoming one of the main exponents of the Halal fashion industry. She is a frequent speaker at business forums, conferences and events related to the Halal industry, among which we can mention the World Islamic Economic Forum, the Turin Islamic Forum, the Bosphorus Summit, the Dubai Shopping Festival, the Jakarta Fashion Week and the Global Islamic Economy Summit. Alia has also participated in numerous publications.
As Vice-President of Development at Shaza Hotels, Chris Nader witnessed the birth of the company and has participated actively in the creation of the identity of Shaza Hotels, as well as in its positioning and philosophy. Over time, this has turned him into a key element in the future growth of the company. Based in Dubai, Chris aims to double the number of Shaza locations over the next few years. He is also Vide-President of Development for the Middle East and Africa at Kempinski, a renowned European operator and a shareholder of Shaza Hotels. Before joining Shaza, Chris collaborated for several years in the creation of some of the most disruptive concepts for restaurants and hotels in Lebanon. He holds a Master’s Degree in Hospitality Administration from the Lausanne School of Hospitality and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut.
She is currently the Managing Director of SPAINCARES. She has worked as Director General of Tourism for the Government of La Rioja (2003-2015). She holds a degree in Law from the Autonomous University of Madrid. She holds a Master’s Degree in Hotel Management from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and a Master’s Degree in Online Marketing and Digital Advertising from the Antonio de Nebrija University. She has worked as Managing Director at different public companies, having developed an expertise in destination marketing and promotion. She has also worked as a Trustee at different foundations working on the promotion of culture and socio-economic development of the territory. She has coordinated the national working teams for: the regulation of the collaborative economy applied to tourism and the categorisation of rural tourism in Spain, among other things. In the private sector, she has worked at international consulting firms, such as PwC and various hotel chains, such as Barceló Hotels&Resorts. She has participated in numerous congresses, seminars and conferences. She works as a professor in the Master’s in Tourism Programme at the Antonio de Nebrija University, where she is completing a doctorate on the “Sustainable integration of the paradigm of the collaborative economy into the Spanish hotel system”.
He has been working at Turkish Airlines since 2009. During this time, he has occupied several positions at the company, among which we can highlight that of General Director in Santiago de Compostela and that of General Director in Madrid, where he currently works. He graduated from the University of Marmara and holds an MBA, with a specialisation in “Family Business”.
He has been in charge of kitchens in restaurants in Saragossa, Bilbao, London, Madrid, Menorca and Catalonia, where he worked at Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli. Since his beginnings in 1995, this Spanish chef, born in 1981, has been working side-by-side with some of the most famous people in international cuisine. Between 2009 and 2014, he teamed up with Juan Carlos Ferrero and worked as culinary director of the Ferrero Complex. Last year, he opened his own restaurant, “Noor”, in Cordoba. Morales has transformed the menus and provided advice to large hospitality companies in Spain. He has participated in many gastronomic contests and he has received an award recognising him as the best chef of the 21st century under the age of 30, given by the Royal National Academy of Gastronomy, the Newcomer Restaurant award in 2007, the Metrópoli awards of the El Mundo newspaper, the Chef of the Year 2008 award of the Spanish edition of Esquire Magazine and, in 2010, he obtained a Michelin star at the Ferrero-Paco Morales restaurant. Listed as one of the best Spanish chefs of our time, culinary critics highlight the dexterity of his technique, his training, his knowledge of ingredients and his empathy in the search of diners’ comfort.
Andy Buchanan is the founder and director of WHTS15 – The World Halal Travel Summit and World Halal Travel Awards, with extensive experience in the creation, development and management of events and conferences all around the world. For the last thirty years, Andy has been part of the setup of important events, both in B2B and in B2C. He has organised events for a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, finances and tourism, directing events at exhibition centres in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Abu Dhabi. Throughout his career, Andy has received several awards, including the award for Best Worldwide Event from the prestigious Association of Exhibition Organisers.
Fazil Irwan Som
Fazil Irwan Som, is currently the Executive Director of the WIEF Foundation, and Head of the WIEF Young Leaders Network (WYN), serving the organization for more than 8 years since 2006. Prior to that, he was the Special Research Assistant to the Chairman & CEO of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia, the late Tan Sri Noordin Sopiee, focusing on ASEAN integration issues and the ASEAN+3 initiative. At the WIEF Foundation, Fazil heads the WIEF Young Leaders Network, a global youth network for young leaders and change makers to connect and collaborate for the common good, with more than 8,000 unique members from every continent on the globe. Under the WYN, Fazil founded and manages its major programmes such as the MOCAfest (Marketplace of Creative Arts), WIEF Young Fellows, and the first ever full-fledged startup conference in Malaysia, the WIEF IdeaLab, bringing together some of the most highly fundable startups for investment prospects with 29 venture capitals and angel investors from 11 countries across the globe. Outside of WYN, Fazil is the Head of Programme for the annual WIEF Forums from 2010-2015, responsible for setting the annual agenda, the various business sessions and selecting the speakers. He is the Head of Project of the team that brought WIEF for the first time to South Korea and Spain for long term investment partnerships, looking specifically at the Halal food and tourism sector. Fazil is a professional copywriter responsible for writing speeches for the Chairman of WIEF Foundation, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia between 2007-2013. He created WIEF’s patented tagline “Building Bridges through Business”. Fazil holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics and International Studies at the University of Warwick and obtained a British Chevening Scholarship for his MA (Hons) in Southeast Asian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He is an Asia 21 Global Young Leader, and member of the organizing committee of the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit in 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, alongside the likes of Khairy Jamaluddin and Tony Puah (both established political leaders in Malaysia). He is a selected Panel Judge of the Rice Bowl Startup Award, ASEAN’s first ever award honouring the region’s emerging entrepreneurs in various categories of excellence. He is also a member of the Harambe Angel Network, a circle of professionals and friends of Africa to help to provide assistance and support necessary to develop the next generation of African leaders. Fazil used to play the Japanese traditional Koto and performed in Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and London. He speaks fluent Malay and English, advanced Spanish, intermediate French, and basic Arabic, Italian and Russian.
Gonzalo Rodríguez is currently the General Coordinator of the Saudi-Spanish Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance at IE Business School. Previously he was a lawyer at Triodos Bank, the leading ethical bank in Europe and legal adviser at Garrigues Abogados (the Iberian peninsula’s leading tax and legal services firm in terms of professional headcount and billing).He received his MAJ (LLM) from IE Business School, a Degree in law from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, an International Executive Program in Islamic Finance at IE Business School and he also holds studies in political science from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.