Jessy El Murr

Twitter @joelipscombe
is a certified media trainer and a multilingual digital journalist who spent over 18 years writing and presenting political, military and digital news stories for international news outlets.

A seasoned field journalist and former BBC and Sky News Arabia correspondent, El Murr has recently acquired several media consulting and training projects for government and private entities across GCC countries including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates and the State of Kuwait.

In 2019, El Murr led the digital production team for a confidential government project under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense in Saudi Arabia. In her capacity as the head of digital media department, she was entrusted with leading the production of digital campaigns related to counterterrorism and combating youth extremism.

During her time as a correspondent, El Murr specialized in military news coverage and filed several exclusive stories. In 2012, she was the first Arab female reporter to complete an embed with the United States Armed Forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan reporting exclusively on the NATO troops withdrawal for SKY News Arabia. In 2014, El Murr filed another exclusive story covering the US Navy operations onboard USS George H.W Bush (CVN 77), the American aircraft carrier which led the F-18 airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq.

As a BBC reporter based in Washington DC, El Murr covered several major political and economic stories including the 2008 US presidential elections and the 2011 trial of former IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

In 2015, El Murr conceived, produced and presented Sky News Arabia’s first Live TV social media program “Taghreedat Al Sabah” highlighting the work of young Arab digital entrepreneurs. Her work on the segment helped Sky News Arabia pick up the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit Award held in Dubai in 2016.

El Murr has interviewed a variety of senior officials and international personalities including Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson, Georges Clooney and several international and regional dignitaries.

El Murr holds a Master’s degree in Integrated Journalism from Emerson College in Boston, MA and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the American University of Beirut.

She is fluent in English, Arabic and French

Jamal Al Mawed

Twitter @JamalAlMawed

Jamal Al Mawed is the Founder and Managing Director of Gambit Communications, a Public Relations, Social Media and Influencer Engagement agency headquartered in Dubai and handling a host of multinational brands including Ferrari, The Ritz-Carlton, Meraas, Swissquote, Maserati, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Chrysler and Fiat.

An Emirati/British hybrid, Jamal is a bilingual native English and Arabic speaker, with on-ground PR experience in over 30 countries. Prior to launching Gambit Communications, Jamal was Director of Communications for Dubai Properties, and before that Regional Public Relations and Corporate Communications Director at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars for the Middle East, Africa, India and South America. Prior to his brand-side roles, Al Mawed was Regional Director at DABO & CO, playing a key role in their rise to become the leading independent communications consultancy in the Middle East.

Al Mawed was selected by The Holmes Report in the prestigious EMEA ‘Innovator 25’ list 2019 alongside names such as Greta Thunberg, and in the PR Week Power Book 2019, while in 2016 he was named by The Huffington Post as one of ‘Ten to Watch’ in the Middle East MarComms Industry. Early in his career he was the recipient of the MEPRA ‘Young Communicator of the Year Award’.

A senior judge for the annual MEPRA Awards and a Chairman judge for the MENA Effie Awards, Jamal is also an accomplished public speaker and has presented at over twenty communications summits around the world, in addition to guest lecturing at local universities. He is a regular contributor to regional industry titles such as Campaign ME, Arab Ad and Communicate, commentating on industry trends and best practices and is a book reviewer on Dubai Eye 103.8 FM’s ‘Talking of Books’ show.

Joe Lipscombe

Twitter @joelipscombe

Joe Lipscombe is Memac Ogilvy’s first Regional Director of Content Strategy. He is responsible for driving and delivering the agency’s key differentiator of producing intelligent, informed, multi-format, omni-channel stories that significantly impact long-term brand growth. He assumed the role after successfully launching and growing the UAE’s multi-format content and influence team, growing it from just himself in 2015 to a fullyfledged team of 13 by 2019.

In his current role, Joe is focused on growing the capabilities of the region’s strategic content offering, driving business through creative campaigns and storytelling, and inspiring clients and colleagues with his unique point of view and philosophy.

A British-trained journalist, Joe is a member of The One Club for Creativity and Cannes Gold Lion winner. He is a two-times published author, including the extended essay, The Art and Science of Better Storytelling, as well as the host of the Monkeys And Psychopaths podcast.

Maryam Wissam Al Dabbagh

Twitter @maryamwd

Born in the United Arab Emirates, Maryam Al Dabbagh is a consultant that founded both Rouya and Ila Al Amam in the UAE, to push-forward contextual and inclusive communication and content strategies across cultural and creative organisations.

She received her BA in Journalism from the American University of Sharjah, & her MA in Global Media and Postnational Communications from the School of Oriental & African Studies in London. She also completed a one-year fellowship at the Open University in London, studying the BBC Arabic’s political coverage of TV programming of Egyptian Elections.

She has published numerous articles and essays on identity politics in the United Arab Emirates, including her piece “ Remembering my narrow veins” published in the State Journal, and her research on Arabi immigration in Sharjah titled “ Fantastical Reiterations of Pasts Lost” as part of the ongoing study by 1971 design space: Design House: Change, Coordinates + Someone Else. Recently she published a piece on Arabic Content development in the Middle East region that was part of the talks programme during Abu Dhabi Art, titled “ Impressions and Observations on Arabic Cultural Content: Opportunities and Challenge.”

She has worked with the media division of Dubai Press Club (now known as Dubai Media Office), Sharjah Art Foundation, the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates in Venice, Art Jameel, Art Dubai, & is currently a consultant with Art Jameel, Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, Hayy Jameel in Saudi Arabia, Warehouse421 in Abu Dhabi & the UAE Government. In addition to her consultancy work, she develops communication crisis protocols & trains spokespersons on media interviews & speaking opportunities.

A speaker on communications, culture & the arts, she spoke in the Global Art Forum, Abu Dhabi Talks Programme, Sharjah Art Foundation, The Jameel Library Circles in Dubai, & Alserkal Avenue. For the last four years, she has been working on an Arabic glossary project.