Judges announced for MENALAC’s Leisure Industry Awards 2020  

Judges announced for MENALAC’s Leisure Industry Awards 2020

Nominations for the only regional leisure and entertainment industry awards are now open.

Date: Dubai, 30th December 2019: MENALAC (Middle East and North Africa Leisure Attractions Council) has announced its panel of judges for the third annual MENALAC Leisure Industry Awards to be held on 24 March 2020 in Dubai, UAE.  The panel of judges comprises of pioneers and industry experts with exceptional knowledge of the industry and the MENA region.


“We are indeed pleased to announce our jury of experts for the third edition of the MENALAC Leisure Industry Awards and we thank these individuals for accepting to be on the jury.   Our aim has always been to make this award program one of the most credible events in our industry. This year’s panel of judges are all acclaimed industry leaders with extensive experience in the leisure and entertainment industry, with established knowledge of leisure operations in the MENA region. Their familiarity with the region will help them to identify and recognize the best entries for these awards in each category. We thank these brilliant individuals for agreeing to be on our jury,” said Silvio Liedtke, the Chairman of MENALAC’s Events Committee.


The 2020 edition of the awards will feature 24 award categories, up from 20 offered last year, reflecting an expansion of the industry awards. The new awards categories will target manufacturers and suppliers to the leisure and entertainment industry vying for honours across the four new categories, namely Supplier of the Year, Best New Product for Theme Parks, Best New Product for Family Entertainment Centres (FEC) and Best New Product for Water Parks.



“We will have two separate juries to evaluate the entries for the 2020 edition of the awards. A jury of nine esteemed industry experts will judge awards that target leisure and entertainment operations, while another jury of seven leisure operations experts will judge the awards for manufacturers and suppliers. The Board of Directors of MENALAC shortlisted the judges from several names that were proposed to them and the final set of judges for each section of the awards ensures a balanced experience that covers every segment of the industry including theme parks, water parks, FEC’s visitor attractions and more,” added Mr. Silvio Liedtke.


The judges for the 19 Operator Category Awards comprises nine industry experts: Rosa Tahmaseb, Managing Director, EMBED ME; Yasser Goneid, General Manager, Zamperla Amusement Rides Middle East FZE; Dave Sandstrom, Vice President, Bob’s Space Racers; Ralf Distler, Senior Project Director, TUV SUD; Joe Zenas, Chief Executive Officer, Thinkwell Group; Gail Sangster, Assets Director, Nakheel; and Paul Williams, Chief Executive Officer, SEGA Amusements Europe.


The judges for the five awards targeting Manufacturers & Suppliers are Damien Latham, Managing Director, SEVEN, KSA; JEAN HABRE, CEO, Al Othaim Leisure and Tourism; Lennard Otto, Chief Executive Officer, IMG Worlds of Adventure; Stephen Meechan, Head of Procurement and Revenue, Landmark Leisure; Ryan Watkins, Deputy General Manager, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi (WBW); Mr. Mohammed Attia, Chief Executive Officer, Kids Space, KSA; and Rob McMenamin, Head of Commercial – Leisure & Entertainment, MAF Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas.


Nominations for the most recognized regional awards for the leisure industry are now open and companies desirous of nominating their operations, products, personnel and processes can apply online on a new dedicated awards portal that MENALAC has created for these awards. Following the submission of the nomination, each nominee will undergo a rigorous vetting and judging process and the judges will directly send their rankings to an external audit firm, who will then collate the results, announce the shortlist, and reveal the eventual winners on the day of the event.  The nominations will close on 30 January 2020. Companies can obtain more information on the awards by visiting menalacawards.awardsplatform.com



Editors’ Notes



Middle East and North Africa Leisure and Attractions Council (MENALAC) is a not-for-profit platform representing the Leisure, Entertainment and Attractions industry in the Middle East and North Africa.


With 56 members from 22 countries in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region including Pakistan and Afghanistan, MENALAC offers great benefit to the industry as a platform for stakeholders to interact and stay informed.


It has been set up under the aegis of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and the Dubai Association Centre in 2016 when leading companies within the region’s entertainment industry, including Theme Parks, Visitor Attractions, Water Parks and Family Entertainment Centers companies joined forces to form a council to support the growth and development of the industry.


The Council was established as a platform to promote a safe operations, regional development, professional growth and commercial success of the amusement industry and to be an indispensable resource for the Council’s members and an international authority for the attraction industry.



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