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Marwan Alzarouni

CEO & Founder

Dr. Marwan has founded the region’s first innovation hub for blockchain technology and serving as the CEO of Dubai Blockchain Center

Dr. Marwan Al Zarouni is a Strategic Advisor at Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism. He is also a founding member of Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) and Artificial Intelligence Ethical Committee.

Dr. Marwan has 20+ years of experience in development of projects in the fields of Emerging Technology, Information Security, Digital forensics and Artificial Intelligence. He is also a keynote speaker and advisor to the Dubai Government where he sits on a number of Councils and Committees in the fields of Cyber Security, Blockchain Technology and Artificial Intelligence. He is a well-respected international speaker on blockchain technology usage by governments and enterprises. He was also ranked by CoinTelegraph as one of the top 100 most influential people world-wide in blockchain and cryptocurrencies in 2022. He also served as a member of the Global Future Council on Cryptocurrencies at the World Economic Forum 2020-2021.

Khalifa AlJaziri

Founder, Mentored By Emirati - Co-Founder, Dubai Blockchain Center

Pioneering leader in the realm of building automation and IoT systems. Passionate advocate of sustainability and effective resource-management. Intermediary between governmental organizations and private corporations by utilizing innovation to power growth. Expert knowledge in all aspects of business development and planning. Educated in architectural engineering and urban planning. Effective public speaker and youth mentor. Technologist, innovator, environmentalist, mentor, educator, policy-maker, influencer, entrepreneur – seamlessly switches between roles and merges them together for the overall benefit of society

Ali Khawaja

Educator, Startup Mentor, Blockchain Researcher, and NFT Enthusiast


Ali serves as a faculty member in the Department of Management at the American University of Sharjah. He earned both his Bachelor of Science in MIS and Masters in Business Administration from the American University of Sharjah in 2002 and 2004 respectively. Primary teaching areas are in Business Information Systems, Fundamentals of Management, Career Management and Operations Management, to name a few. As a passionate educator he engages in advising students outside of the classroom and mentors’ startups as well.

He is passionate about professional development and engaging industry in areas of interest; entrepreneurship, startup incubation, technology, blockchain, IoT, digital marketing, mobile app development, etc. Some of the certifications he holds are with ICF, CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Hupspot, etc. Over the years has also done several courses with London Business School, Princeton, Stanford, University of Nocosia, etc.

Matthias Mende

Ecosystem, Award-Winning Innovator, Speaker, and Advisor

Matthias Mende is a German entrepreneur who has called UAE his home since 2007. In 2016, Mende developed an interest in Bitcoin, which drove him to research further into blockchain technology. He is a key opinion leader and influencer with followers of more than 350,000 across his social media platforms. In the past, Mende has been involved in crypto-mining, trading, and enterprise blockchain software development. Mende served as an advisor to the German HYGH AG which has an annual growth of 75%.

Mende co-founded the Dubai Blockchain Center in 2018 which played an important role in shaping UAEs blockchain eco-system. Currently, he is dedicated to the Bonuz Project – a multi-chain socialfi, gamefi web3 eco-system with its own non-custodial smart wallet, a self-sovereign decentralized identity, and a dynamic NFT protocol for vouchers, certificates, etc. Bonuz’s first phase aims to gamify the real world starting with events, venues, and any type of functions involving humans to provide both sides with a more efficient, and mutually rewarding experience.