Ali Ahmad BuRuhaima
Deputy Director General
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.
Dr. Denise Gossage
Chief Officer, Strategy & Policy Division
Dr. Denise Gossage oversees strategy and policy development to drive the growth of Dubai’s creative industries, in line with the strategic priorities of Dubai Government. She is also responsible for overseeing the Communications function, including communications strategy and media relations. Denise brings 15 years of experience spanning economics, strategy planning and policy-making. She has worked at The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, a leading research centre in the UK, exploring a wide range of fundamental issues underlying public service reform. Her paper on the impact of the National Health Service (NHS) internal market was published in The Economic Journal and influenced the UK policy agenda. She worked at a leading strategy consultancy firm in London, then moved to the public sector, working in The Home Office on crime and terrorism reduction strategy. Denise holds a first-class degree in Economics & Accounting from Bristol University, and Masters and PHD degrees in Economics from the University of Oxford.
Chief Officer, Corporate Support Division
Gopalan Nagasubramanian leads the corporate support 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
Managing Director, Zoning Affairs - Development Control
Mohamed Al Bahri joined the Authority in 2005 and currently in the capacity of Managing Director , he oversees the zoning function by regulating the zone through flexible policies, guidelines and regulations for the free zone jurisdiction. He ensures optimal land-use, sustainability and world-class developments that balances economic & social development need. Al Bahri was instrumental in setting up the function in line with the city's vision and priorities by building the key processes, systems, business friendly policies to accommodate the needs of the cluster development and balanced the stakeholders’ interest. He now moves on to ramp up by aligning towards the Dubai's 'Smart City' Strategy and transform the master plans to reflect the dynamics of the industry. Al Bahri represents ‘Dubai Free Zone Council’ in Dubai Executive Council HSE initiatives. He is also a member in the ‘Dubai 2020 Urban Masterplan’ committee, in addition to his membership in many other committees. Prior to joining DCCA, Mohamed spent 4 years working at Zakum Development Company (ZADCO), a leading oil company in the UAE. Mohamed holds a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil & Environment 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.
Managing Director, Film & Entertainment Division
Shivani Pandya, Managing Director of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), directs strategic and operational aspects of the Festival, ensuring that it appeals to the cross section of audiences living in Dubai and the UAE while attracting global attention and appreciation. Shivani has been with the Festival since its inception and has been instrumental in the launch of key strategic initiatives at the Festival including The Dubai Film Market and bringing charitable organizations such as amfAR Cinema against AIDS and Oxfam to Dubai. Her leadership with the Festival grew out of an earlier assignment within the Business Development team at Dubai Media City. During her tenure at DMC, she established the media cluster’s broadcasting department, and facilitated the addition of international broadcasters under the DMC umbrella. Shivani holds a Baccalaureate Honours degree in Economics from Delhi University and a Masters in Marketing and Communications from the Xavier’s Institute of Communication in Mumbai, India.