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IAAPA Leadership Conference 2015 to Highlight Attractions of Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Alexandria, VA, USA (January 27, 2015) – Officials from Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and from Dubai Parks and Resorts and Jumeirah Group will address top attractions industry professionals at IAAPA Leadership Conference 2015 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 10-12 March. In addition to the keynote speeches, attendees will participate in break-out sessions and visit world-class area attractions to learn how their industry colleagues in the UAE create memorable guest experiences to drive repeat business. This will be the fifth consecutive year the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has presented the leadership-building conference and the first time it will take place in the Middle East.

Dubai Leaders Tout Customer-Centered Philosophy
Delivering excellent customer service and creating memorable guest experiences are fundamental to the allure of attractions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. IAAPA Leadership Conference attendees will hear from Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM); Matthew Priddy, Chief Technical Officer at Dubai Parks and Resorts; and Gerald Lawless, President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Jumeirah Group.

Yousuf Lootah, joined Dubai’s DTCM as executive director in 2014 and he is responsible for helping achieve the DTCM’s Dubai 2020 vision, which is to attract 20 million visitors per year by 2020. Lootah has extensive experience in strategic planning, investment management, and business development in the real estate and meetings and incentive (MICE) sectors. Before joining DTCM management, he served as vice president of Taziz Property Management Solutions, a subsidiary of Ejadah Asset Management Group and he previously served as senior vice president of corporate development at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

Matthew Priddy, Chief Technical Officer at Dubai Parks and Resorts, has more than 35 years of experience in project development and real estate with expertise in the creative development of entertainment destination projects. Priddy is a key member of the management team at Dubai Parks and Resorts and he is responsible for the design, engineering, and production of shows and rides at the company’s multibillion-dollar theme parks. Prior to joining Dubai Parks and Resorts, Priddy held senior executive positions including vice president for Hill International’s worldwide theme parks and resorts sector as well as senior vice president of Worldwide Production for Walt Disney Imagineering.

Lootah and Priddy will present at Atlantis on Wednesday, 11 March. IAAPA previously announced Gerald Lawless, president and group chief executive officer of Jumeirah Group, will present the conference opening keynote address Tuesday, 10 March, at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Lawless has more than 40 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry and since joining the Dubai-based international hotel chain Jumeirah Group in 1997, he has worked to establish the organization as one of the world’s premier luxury hotel brands.

Exemplary Customer Service and World-Class Experiences Drive Business
Attractions industry leaders from around the world will tour seven area attractions to learn how to build great customer experiences by defining a strategy, integrating technology, taking a disciplined approach to brand management, and ensuring staff commitment to excellence. Tours include visits to some of the region’s most famous attractions, Atlantis, Burj Khalifa, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the under-construction IMG Worlds of AdventureSki Dubai, Wild Wadi Waterpark, and Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi.

Also, on 10 March representatives from UAE-area attractions previously recognized with IAAPA Brass Ring Awards for human resource programs will lead breakout sessions to connect how staff development, recognition, and training impact the customer experience and a company’s brand.

Registration discounts are available through 31 Jan. Conference details and registration information are available at

Sponsors of IAAPA Leadership Conference 2015 are Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging, Jack Rouse Associates, Kraftwerk Living Technologies GmbH, Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG, WhiteWater West Industries Ltd.

Additional information about sponsorship opportunities is available by clicking here, emailing [email protected], or by calling +1 703/836-4800.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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