H.E. Abdulla Ahmed Al Habbai
Abdulla Al Habbai is the Director General of Dubai Creative Clusters Authority. He is also the Chairman of Dubai Holding, Group Chairman of Meraas and Chief Executive Officer of the Engineering Office – The Private Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, a post he has held since 2004. Abdulla Al Habbai has more than 25 years of experience in the property and real estate sector. He was also mandated by Dubai Municipality, where he spent 18 years of his career, to oversee and translate the Emirate’s vision for Urban Planning. In addition to his capacities at Dubai Creative Clusters Authority, Dubai Holding, Meraas and the Engineering Office– The Private Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Habbai is also the Chairman of Dubai Parks and Resorts, Dubai Hills and Valiant Healthcare. He additionally serves as the Deputy Chairman of Rove Hospitality. Abdulla Al Habbai is a board member of several leading private and government entities in Dubai, including Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC) and Museum of the Future. Abdulla Al Habbai is also the CEO of Shamal.
Badr Al Gargawi
Deputy Director General, Planning and Development
Badr Al Gargawi is Deputy Director General, Planning and Development, for Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA). As Deputy Director General, he leads the regulation, planning and development of the built environment of a vast area of Dubai. Prior to joining DCCA, Badr was Chief Executive Officer of TECOM Group’s Development & Planning division, responsible for engineering development and all matters relating to land and infrastructure management. He has also served as Chief Executive Officer of Tamdeen, TECOM Group’ Engineering Management business, for which he was instrumental in its establishment and subsequent growth. Earlier in his career, Badr worked with Dubai Properties Group (DPG) as Director of Infrastructure, and with Dubai Municipality as Head of Road Planning and then as Head of Road Construction. Badr holds an MBA from the American University in Dubai and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the UAE University. He is a graduate of Dubai Holding’s prestigious LeadOn programme that aims to develop the Emirate’s future leaders.
Ali Ahmad BuRuhaima
Deputy Director General - Licensing and Regulations
Ali joined the Authority in 2001 and was appointed Deputy Director General in 2005. In this role, Ali oversees five Divisions - Zoning, Strategy & Policy, Commercial Affairs, Legal & Regulatory and Corporate Support. Ali is spearheading the delivery of the new mandate of Dubai Creative Clusters Authority to foster the growth of Dubai’s creative industries to drive Dubai’s Strategy for Innovation. In 2007, in addition to his role at the Authority, Ali set up Tamdeen, a subsidiary of TECOM Group, offering technical project management solutions. Tamdeen has delivered master planning, infrastructure and building project management for key Dubai Holding projects. In 2009, the regulatory function of the Authority was centralised, under Ali’s leadership, with the addition of Registration, Licensing & Compliance departments. Prior to joining DCCA Ali spent seven years working in the engineering Division of Dubai Department of Civil Aviation. Ali holds a BSc. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of South Carolina and a postgraduate Diploma in Airport Engineering from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Deputy Director General, Film & Entertainment Division
In his capacity as Deputy General of the Film & Entertainment Division, Abdulhamid Juma was part of the initial team that founded the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) in 2004, and was appointed Chairman of DIFF in 2006. He was also the driving force behind the Gulf Film Festival, an annual event that showcases the best in regional cinema to a local and international audience. Abdulhamid sits on the board of Dubai Media Incorporated and the board of The Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication. In addition, he serves on the advisory board of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, National Media Council (NMC) and The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) Advisory Council. His previous assignments include CEO of Dubai Media City, senior management positions at Dubai Internet City, Citibank Group and Jebel Ali Free Zone. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics from the University of Colorado, and a certificate in General Management from Harvard Business School.
Chief Officer, Legal & Regulatory Division
Maha oversees the legislation, regulation and compliance departments and is the primary legal advisor to Dubai Creative Clusters Authority and its affiliated Councils and Commissions. Her lobbying and monitoring of the regulatory policies is instrumental to strategy planning and legislative development for the creative industries. Maha brings over 15 years of vast experience, encompassing advise on complex laws, significant legislative initiatives and changing regulatory environments. She started her professional career with one of the leading Law Firm, and then moved to lead the legal department in Governmental and Semi-Governmental organizations. Maha was the Legal Policy and Legislation Advisor at the Dubai Economic Council's Legal Affairs & Research Centre. Prior to that, she was part of the strategic and legal team for "Investment Corporation of Dubai" which leads the Dubai Government investment strategy portfolio. Maha is a member of the Free Zone Council Legal Committee and is admitted to all Courts in the UAE. She holds a Bachelor degree in Sharia and Law from the UAE University and is currently completing her Executive MBA at Hult International Business School.
Chief Operations Officer
Gopalan Nagasubramanian leads the operations team, encompassing Human capital, Information technology, Business excellence, Finance, Corporate strategy and Support service functions. He oversees the effective delivery of operational excellence through deployment of policies and governance that enables the right platform for a seamless customer experience journey. Gopalan joined the Authority in 2004 and successfully led numerous transformational change initiatives, governing the alignment of mandates with policies, people, processes and systems. He brings more than two decades of experience with a comprehensive multi-domain expertise. Prior to joining the Authority, he worked for 12 years with multinational companies and government entities in management roles that demanded critical business transformation and continuous improvement. Gopalan holds a first-class degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bharathidasan University, India and a Certified Project Management Professional from PMI, USA.
Mohamed Al Bahri
Chief Officer - Zoning
Mohamed Al Bahri is the Chief Officer - Zoning of the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA), the government regulatory body mandated to foster the economic development of Dubai’s creative and knowledge-based industries. Mohamed provides long term strategic direction to the Zoning divisions. In this role, he leads the execution of DCCA’s zoning strategy as well as overseeing the Master Planning, Development Control and Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) departments. Previously, Mohamed served as Managing Director, Development Control for DCCA. In this role, a primary focus was to ensure land use and new building requests were in alignment with the masterplan and long-term strategic objectives. During his 12 years at DCCA, Mohamed has been instrumental in the implementation of robust processes and transparent, business-friendly policies to enable cluster development and growth, in alignment with DCCA’s mandate, the Dubai Plan 2021 and the Dubai Strategy for Innovation. Mohammed represents the Dubai Free Zone Council for HSE initiatives from the Dubai Executive Council. He is a member in several strategic committees, including the Dubai 2020 Urban Masterplan committee. Prior to joining DCCA in 2005, Mohamed spent four years with Zakum Development Company (ZADCO), a leading oil company in the UAE. Mohammed holds a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Sharjah University and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil & Environment Engineering from UAE University. He has also published work in the peer-reviewed Journal of Management in Engineering.
Masoud Amralla Al Ali
Artistic Director, Film & Entertainment Division
As Artistic Director of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), Masoud curates all Festival programming, overseeing the feature films, documentaries and shorts selected for the Arab and international sections. He also oversees the Festival’s competitive Muhr Emirati and Muhr Arab Awards. Masoud has been closely involved with DIFF since its inception. In its early years, he was responsible for its Arabic programming, including the popular Arabian Nights section and UAE-focused Emerging Emiratis, which has since evolved into a pan-Gulf showcase. His dedication to the region’s talent led Masoud to found the Emirates Film Competition in 2001. UAE’s first showcase for local film talent, the annual competition is widely recognized as a turning point for Gulf cinema and a critical launch pad for its talent. Today, Masoud also serves as director of its successor entity, the Gulf Film Festival. A lifelong creative, the Emirati national first emerged into the public spotlight with his passion for poetry. After moving into filmmaking as a visual exploration of the written word, he produced his first short films and documentaries in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His wealth of film knowledge, first-hand experience in writing, directing & producing films, & passion for encouraging talent from the region makes Masoud one of the defining voices and leading mentors of contemporary Arab cinema. A graduate of UAE University, Masoud has previously as artistic director for the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation.