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The Bravest Conference Inspires You To Be Bolder Than Ever Before


The Bravest Conference Inspires You To Be Bolder Than Ever Before

The Bravest Conference; the flagship conference of the Marketing Society held its third edition yesterday at Caesars Palace, Dubai. This year’s edition challenged the audience to think different, bolder and braver. The Conference was also center stage for this year’s Marketing Leader of the Year Award. The Award was introduced in the UAE earlier this year jointly by the Marketing Society and Serviceplan Group to honor the CMO’s in the region who have been changing the face of the industry.

The conference debuted in 2016 as the Brave Conference and subsequently in 2018 as the Braver Conference and now in 2019 as the Bravest Conference.

This year’s edition included a wide array of speakers from diverse backgrounds such as Marketing, Mental Health, Global Development, Adversity, etc.

The Program began with an introductory speech by Khaled Ismail, VP of communications at Tetra Pak on what to expect for the day.

Some of the key takeaways from the sessions.


Naureen Mohammed, head of FMCG marketing at Facebook moderated the event with the speakers, Amira Rashad, CEO of Bulkwhiz and Elissa Freiha, founder of Womena.

  • Don’t be afraid to work with up and coming talent. That’s real bravery.
  • Negotiating with a five-year-old really teaches you a lot.
  • The secret of great marketing is a good story.


Meredith Carson, co-founder, and director of strategy at Bravo Romeo, Dani Hakim, co-founder of Safe Space and Mat Schramm, co-founder of TalkCircle gave the audience a real challenge of being brave as they discussed the seriousness of mental health in the workplace and the urgency of getting rid of the stigma around it.

  • In the creative industry, we are three times more likely to suffer from mental health issues.
  • The opportunity for the industry to handle and support mental health issues is through leadership, accountability and collaboration.


Raza Jafar, CEO, and co-founder of ENSHAA educates the audience on Goal#8 of the UN and about the Global Sustainability Network and its mission to define what is slavery and what steps to take to help in eradicating human trafficking. He closed his speech by asking for support from the media and marketing community, in the fight against child slavery and human trafficking.


Marcus Smith, entrepreneur, extreme Athlete and coach and Shadi Joweihan, director of Hyper Ideas instilled bravery into the audience with their own life stories of overcoming adversity and how their close encounters with death, helped them push towards new boundaries.

  • Find your purpose, be compassionate, be strong and be resilient, because you’re not alone.
  • Being brave is a product of all the small things you do.


Rami Hmadeh, CEO of Serviceplan moderates the talk with two of the four shortlisted nominees for the Marketing Leader of the Year Award. Asad Rehman, digital and media transformation director at Unilever and Vikram Krishna, executive vice president of marketing at Emirates NBD share their thoughts on leadership and bravery in the region.


  • These are great times for marketers but bravery is a must.
  • Setting the bar high enough so that you’re forced to jump is one of the key aspects of igniting bravery. But you also have to support them from behind during their leaps.


The Marketing Leader of the Year Award was presented to Vino Elkhatib, chief marketing, and brand officer at Majid Al Futtaim. She is the UAE’s very first Marketing Leader of the Year.

On receiving the award Vino said, “In recent years, the MENA region has become an incubator for some of the brightest global talent. At Majid Al Futtaim, we are privileged to provide opportunities for that talent to experiment and grow. Winning this award is a huge honor for me and my team. It is a testament to the world-class work the Corporate Marketing and Brand team is carrying out to elevate the Majid Al Futtaim brand, working together with boldness and passion to create great moments for everyone, every day.”

Khaled Ismail, Chairman, The Marketing Society Middle East and VP Communications – Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa, Tetra Pak commented: “Our region boasts a remarkable talent pool of marketing leaders and we felt it was really important to recognize the contribution they make to marketing and business in general. The judges had a difficult decision to make but ultimately felt that Vino embodies the brave marketing leader we champion and I couldn’t be happier for her to be the very first Marketing Leader of the Year.”


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