Global Restaurant Investment Forum

Speaker Profile

Samer Hamadeh

Creator, Akiba Dori

Samer S. Hamadeh grew up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia & moved to his native Beirut, Lebanon in 1994. He left Beirut a few days after graduating from the American University of Beirut & moved to Dubai in 2004.

Samer spent a short 9 months at Impact/BBDO Dubai in 2004, then left the agency & founded Chillout|Corporate in 2005; a joint venture with Chillout Productions, one of the the UAE's most awarded live events agency. Samer is credited with founding the Dubai Comedy Convention & producing the Dubai Film Festival for 4 years. Samer also brought disruptive LED wristband tech Xylobands to the Middle East, tying up with artists such as Jay Z, Rihanna, Pharrell, Coldplay & others.

In 2011, Samer shifted focus from live events to hospitality, taking with him 7 years of entertainment experience and a large social network. He is most known for creating the highly disruptive nightlife brands Republique (2011) & Stereo Arcade (2015). Both were incredibly popular in their own right & earned him a reputation as being a disruptive concept creator. Samer created & launched his latest concept, Akiba Dori in Dubai Design District in 2018 and is taking the brand to Saudi Arabia with Akiba Dori Jeddah opening in Q4 of 2020 & Riyadh opening in mid 2021, in addition to expansion into Abu Dhabi.

Known for his outspoken attitude towards the hospitality industry, Samer is regularly in the press discussing business candidly & has been featured on the Caterer Middle Easter Power 50 list & The Arabian Business DXB100 list of people helping shape the future of Dubai.