Dubai Conference: 15-16 Feb 2022

RAG returns to the Middle East for the first time since 2019

 

 

Overview

RAG Dubai will take place on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th February at Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, a 5-star venue located conveniently near to Dubai’s international airport. All talks and panels will be given in English. Attendance is free of charge for employees of communications providers and their regulators but prospective attendees must register in advance. We are expecting high demand so book early to avoid disappointment.

 

Agenda

The conference will cover fraud management, revenue assurance, cyber security, internal audit, enterprise risk management, governance, compliance, credit risk, billing accuracy, data integrity, spam prevention, cost management and other kinds of business assurance for electronic communications providers. The formal agenda will begin promptly at 9.00am on both days of the conference, with a full schedule of panels and presentations in addition to a networking lunch and breaks at mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Unlike other conference organisers, RAG does not announce agenda items until the relevant speakers have confirmed their participation. The following schedule shows the current draft agenda, which will be updated as new speakers are added. Click on a speaker’s name to read their biography. Keep reading below for more information about some of the highlight sessions on both days.

Tuesday 15th February

  • The conference will be opened by our two esteemed co-chairs: former MTN executive Tony Sani and former Ooredoo executive Lee Scargall.
  • Donald Reinhart, Chief Executive Officer of LATRO, will give his views on how to effectively outsource RAFM work. The question as to what can be outsourced and how it is outsourced keeps needing to be reconsidered as technology and working practices change, and this has special resonance at the current time because of the extent to which telcos have adapted to staff working remotely from the office.
  • Ibrahim Dababneh of Zain Bahrain and Adrian Harris of XINTEC will give a joint presentation about the RAFM work they have been doing together.
  • Malick Aissi, VP of Business Assurance and Risk at worldwide carrier iBasis, will join the panel discussing the status of international initiatives designed to curb the rise of spam and fraud.
  • Lee Scargall, former Director of Risk at Ooredoo Group, will give a presentation about recent developments in cybersecurity.
  • Our panel on maximizing the value generated from data will include Martyn Jones, Revenue Assurance & Business Intelligence Manager at Virgin Mobile MEA.
  • Mustafa Abdelmalik, Director of Strategy and Digital Transformation at Expresso Telecom Group, will share insights based on his company’s transformation journey and the risks that surround significant change.
  • Ashwin Menon of Subex is always a popular speaker at RAG events and he will join us in Dubai to discuss the ways business assurance professionals can deliver the maximum returns from 5G.
  • Dr. Eman Gawish, Revenue Assurance General Manager at Telecom Egypt, will be one of the panellists discussing recent hot topics in RA.

Wednesday 16th February

  • Bareah Al Shanqiti will draw upon her experience of creating and leading revenue assurance teams in different companies and countries to explore the challenges involved in explaining the importance of RA to the rest of the business. Bareah is currently the Revenue Assurance Senior Director at Saudi Arabia’s Integrated Telecom Company (ITC), a multiplay operator that uses the brand name of Salam.
  • Daniel Udochi, who was formerly responsible for ethics, risk and compliance at a series of MTN operating companies, will join the expert panel on how to set the right priorities for enterprise risk management.
  • Common mistakes found in comms providers and how to avoid them will be the subject of the presentation given by Bill Leahy, Director of Symmetry Solutions.
  • The panel on dealing with complexity in internal audit will include Farhan Malik, Advisor to the Chief Audit Executive at Omantel.
  • Arnd Baranowski, CEO of Oculeus, will give a presentation about using artificial intelligence and other advanced methods to detect and stop fraud instantly.
  • Geoff Ibbett is responsible for the development of the RAG Leakage Catalogue, the most comprehensive inventory of revenue and cost leakages suffered by communications providers. Geoff will join us in Dubai to lead a workshop on the creation of the new fraud catalogue, which represents the next stage in crowdsourcing and categorizing the risks faced by comms providers worldwide so that everyone can understand exactly how many of their company’s risks have been addressed and how many have yet to be tackled.
  • Bogdan Mingela, lead developer at Japanese technology business SORAMITSU, will run a workshop that demonstrates how telcos can use blockchain technology to securely exchange fraud intelligence and gathers ideas for the kinds of data that telcos would like to swap in future.
  • RAG Dubai 2022 will close with our traditional ‘Wise Heads’ panel where industry veterans will answer any questions from the audience whilst discussing the state of the comms industry and what they identified as the key takeaways from the conference. The panel moderator will be Eric Priezkalns, Chief Executive of RAG and Editor of Commsrisk.

Biographies of all the confirmed speakers can be found here.

 

Venue and Map

The venue will be the Falcon Ballroom at Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, situated on Airport Road, next to Dubai International Airport. The venue is marked in red on the map below.

 

Advice about Travel

Dubai has an excellent network for public transport vehicles, including Bus, Metro Train, Taxi, Uber, and Careem (like Uber). Dubai is currently in the Winter season with average temperatures ranging from 15° to 23° Celsius. It is recommended to bring a jacket/sweater to stay warm.

COVID-19 information for international visitors

Dubai is open for business, and there are very few restrictions in the city. Over 92% of the population is fully vaccinated against COVID. But having said that, the UAE government has precautionary rules to protect public health and safety, including the wearing of face masks and respect for social distancing when in a public place. Face masks are not required at private gatherings, and our conference counts as a private event per Dubai’s rules.

Please always check for any changes in restrictions before you travel. The following information was correct on January 12.

All travellers to the UAE must present a negative PCR test at the departure airport. For most countries the PCR test must be taken no more than 72 hours before departure. For the following countries the PCR test must be taken no more than 48 hours before departure: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, United Kingdom, Vietnam, Zambia, and Turkey.

Passengers who have been in the following countries in the past 14 days are not permitted to enter Dubai: Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo – Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Some passengers arriving in Dubai may also be required to take a PCR test on arrival at Dubai International airport. They may go from the airport to their hotel room but then wait to confirm a negative result; it generally takes a few hours for these test results to be returned to the passenger. Arrival PCR tests are required for passengers from: Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Somaliland, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Visitors to Dubai who need to be tested before their return flight may want to use one of the two hospitals near the conference venue that provide tests for a fee: HMS Al Garhoud Hospital, Al Garhoud, Near Millennium Airport Hotel, Dubai (6 mins from venue); and Mediclinic Welcare Hospital, 2nd St, Al Garhoud, Dubai (9 mins from venue). PCR tests cost AED150 (USD41).

Abu Dhabi has some different rules to those in Dubai, so keep this in mind if you were considering flying to Abu Dhabi airport and then travelling overland to Dubai.

The best resource for the latest information about COVID-19 restrictions in Dubai is the website of the Emirates airline – https://www.emirates.com/ae/english/help/covid-19/dubai-travel-requirements/tourists/ – even if you are flying with another airline.

Visa information for international visitors

The UAE makes it very easy to enter their country. Passengers from many countries are allowed to obtain a visa on arrival at Dubai airport. Check this link to find out more: https://www.visitdubai.com/en/plan-your-trip/visa-information

If you do need to apply for a visa before you depart, you can easily book your visa through airlines like Emirates and FlyDubai. Customers of Emirates and FlyDubai airlines can arrange their visas at the time they purchase their tickets; the visas require a separate payment. Please check these airline websites for more information.

 

Advice about Accommodation

Attendees are responsible for arranging and paying for any hotel accommodation they may need.

The venue, Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre is a five-star hotel located 5 minutes from Dubai airport terminals 1 and 3, 10-15 minutes from terminal 2. Their standard check-in time is 2.00pm and standard check-out is at 12.00pm

There is also a wide range of other hotels nearby. If you decide to stay at a different hotel, please check that hotel website for their check-in and check-out timings. A list of other hotels situated close to the event venue is given below.

 

Food and Drink

As well as providing lunch and refreshments during each day, we will provide drinks and snacks at the end of each day’s official agenda. Please advise of any dietary restrictions when completing the booking form for your seat.

 

Brochure

This printable PDF brochure for the conference was created on January 17; you can download it from here or view it below. However, we always recommend that attendees check the agenda on this webpage for the most up to date schedule of speakers.


 

Free Registration for Employees of Communications Providers and Regulators

Employees of communications providers and their regulators qualify for free seats by registering with the email address provided by their employer; any registration using a different email address (for example, @gmail.com) will be rejected. Click here to register if you qualify for a free seat.

 

Attendance Options for Sponsors, Academics and Invited Guests

Sponsoring businesses may send their representatives to RAG Dubai 2022. If your business is interested in participating in RAG events then please make your initial query through our contact form. Sponsors communicate their list of delegates through their designated liaison with RAG; employees of sponsors should not attempt to book seats through the public registration form mentioned above.

RAG allocates a limited number of complimentary seats for freelance consultants, subject matter experts, academics engaged in relevant research, and other industry leaders. To maintain a balanced audience, these seats will only be made available to specific named individuals. Invitations will be emailed in due course. If you wish to be added to the guest list you should contact a member of the RAG Committee, or else ask one of the conference sponsors to forward your request.

One of the most important aspects of our conferences is what we call the ‘RAG Spirit’. We want attendees to feel relaxed and have the freedom to talk openly about the challenges they face. To protect the RAG Spirit, we reserve the right to decide who may attend on a case-by-case basis.

 

About Our Sponsors

RAG is a not-for-profit enterprise, and telcos and regulators may attend our events for free, as do many specially invited experts. That means we rely on the generosity of businesses that pay for everything from our web server to the coffee we serve attendees. We would like to thank the following businesses for making this conference possible.

Gold Sponsors

Mobileum, Neural Technologies, Oculeus, Subex, Symmetry Solutions, TEOCO

Silver Sponsors

AB Handshake Corporation, Araxxe, FraudBuster, GBSD Technologies, LATRO Services, XINTEC

Bronze Sponsors
Calltic, Cellusys, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Six Degrees, TMT Analysis, Trustonic

If you would like to host a future RAG event or if you want to learn about sponsorship opportunities then please get in touch. We will be glad to hear from you!