District Cooling Summit 2023 at COP28 in Dubai

The preliminary program for this special event is now online. Please note this program is still being finalized and is subject to change. 

Download Preliminary Program


Ahmad Bin Shafar
Chief Executive Officer, Empower

Ahmad Bin Shafar has been serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Empower since its inception. Ahmad brings over 28 years of experience in senior management positions including eight years with Standard Chartered Bank in Corporate and Retail Banking, Finance, Marketing and Customer Relations. As Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad provides strategic direction and, under his leadership, Empower has become the World’s Largest District Cooling Services provider, from a capacity perspective, within a short span of a decade.

Ahmad also serves as the Chairman of the board of directors of Empower Logstor Insulated Pipe Systems (ELIPS) since 2007, a strategic joint venture between Empower and Logstor of Denmark, a world leader in pre-insulated pipe systems.
Ahmad is a Special Advisor on district cooling to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for it’s global ‘District Energy in Cities initiative’,

Ahmad has been serving as a member of the board of the International District Energy Association, since 2013, as Executive Chairman of Bin Shafar Holding, since 2012, as Chairman of the Dubai District Cooling Operations Association, since 2020, and as a member of the board of the Dubai Sports Council, from 2009 to 2022.

Ahmad has been a key speaker, lecturer and panelist at a number of international events, including industry-specific conferences and trade shows organized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and International District Energy Association (IDEA).

Ahmad is a member of the Cranfield Management Association, IMD International, the ASHRAE and IDEA. Ahmad holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Management from California State University, Los Angeles, USA.

Carlyle Coutinho
Chief Executive Officer, Enwave Energy Corporation

Carlyle Coutinho is the CEO of Enwave Energy Corporation. Carlyle began his career with Enwave in 2013 as Chief Financial Officer and has held a number of executive roles across the North American platform. 

Prior to joining Enwave in 2013, Carlyle held progressively senior investment and operational positions in the private equity and debt investment industry in Canada and the United States. Carlyle began his career in public accounting with KPMG and Deloitte.  

Carlyle earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder. 

Steven Swinson
IDEA Board Member Emeritus

Steve Swinson has 40 years of experience in the district energy industry. 
He recently retired from CenTrio where he served as their Chief Executive Officer since the company was acquired by QIC and Ullico in 2021. Steve lead the company’s growth in current and new markets and its continued transformation to a sustainable energy-centered district energy platform. 
From 2005 to 2021, he was president and CEO of Thermal Energy Corporation (TECO), where he oversaw the expansion of the company into the largest chilled-water district energy system in the US. 
Steve has served on IDEA’s Board of Directors for more than 15 years and was president and chairman of IDEA from 1996-1997. He is also a member of the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame (2022). Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Andrea Voigt
Head of Global Public Affairs & Industry Affairs, Danfoss

Andrea is Head of Global Public Affairs & Communication and Member of the Leadership Team at Danfoss Climate Solutions. She joined Danfoss in 2021, her experience in the heating and cooling industry spans over two decades.
Prior to Danfoss, for 12 years, she was Director General of the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE), a major Brussels based industry association advocating for sustainable heating and cooling technologies in buildings, industry and the cold chain at EU and at global level. Previous assignments included senior roles in sales, marketing and communication. 
Andrea is a member of the RTOC and TEAP Energy Efficiency Task Force under the Montreal Protocol.
She is a Board member of the UN hosted alliance The Cool Coalition, as well as of the Global Food Cold Chain Council (GFCCC), the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) and the European Alliance for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EuroACE).

Ommid Saberi
Global Program Lead, Green and Resilient Buildings, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Ommid Saberi is the global lead for the Building Resilience Index Program and IFC's EDGE Green Buildings program. Ommid works across the projects within the World Bank Group, including IFC investment and advisory projects and has done extensive work with property sector, as well as funds and commercial banks to divert the investments to climate smart and resilience projects. To name a few, green affordable housing projects in Africa, Zero Carbon commercial assets and retrofit of portfolios, green construction finance and green mortgages with total value of more than $10billion. Before joining IFC,

Ommid advised on sustainability strategies for property development projects in the U.K., Middle East and Asia including development of green building codes for multiple countries. Ommid has also been a member of regional government advisory panels as an expert in low energy buildings and technical director for energy conservation at the city scale.

Khalid Al Marzooqi
Chief Executive Officer, Tabreed

Khalid Al Marzooqi was officially announced as CEO of Tabreed on 17 May, 2021, bringing with him a wealth of experience in the energy sector.
Before joining Tabreed, Al Marzooqi was Chief Operating Officer of Dolphin Energy Limited, overseeing the Downstream Division in the UAE, prior to which he held the position of Senior Vice President of Dolphin’s Technical Services Division. Additionally, he occupied senior roles at the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), and ADCO.
During his time as COO-Downstream at Dolphin Energy Limited, Khalid was responsible for overall direction of Operations, Technical Services, and Business Support, ensuring uninterrupted gas supply to customers in the UAE and Oman. As Senior Vice President of Dolphin’s Technical Services Division, he provided mid- to long term solutions addressing safety, operability, reliability, projects expansion and integrity issues for the company’s assets in the UAE and Qatar.
During 2008-2009, Al Marzouqi worked for the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport. In his capacity as Executive Manager, he was responsible for the public transport section which designed, developed, and launched the current Abu Dhabi bus system.
Earlier in his career, Khalid spent nine years at the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), where he was senior maintenance manager for two power/desalination plants in the western region of the emirate. Prior to that, he worked at ADCO between 1992 and 1995 as a petroleum engineer with responsibilities ranging from drilling, wire line and production.
Al Marzooqi has over twenty five years of experience in the energy industry and holds two majors in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering.

Dr. Adib Moubadder
Chief Executive Officer, Emicool

Dr. Adib Moubadder has tackled re-engineering of companies as mission throughout his career path making it healthy & profitable then he is well-known of spinning-off profitable subsidiaries of Mother Company. He is one of young Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who has taken challenges to transform company’s financial position from weak to strong in short span of time. At his early thirties, he had managed to translate broad objectives of utility companies into a strategy that would shape employee’s behavior on a daily basis, a young leader who believes in simple strategy and its dynamic change from inception to execution cascading it down into a comprehensive policy. In his early forties, he has drawn simple rules for Emirates District Cooling (Emicool) LLC which change the compass direction of the company to be on a top tier of district cooling worldwide; by consistently increasing performance and crafting new rules for a diversified portfolio. As an experienced executive leader who has implemented critical decision which managed to bridge the gap between Board strategic intent and day-to-day operational actions. 

Dr. Adib Moubadder has twenty-two years of experience in increasingly responsible roles within Executive Management, Corporate Finance, and Engineering fields, Facilities & Property Management, Smart Building Systems and Auditing of Management Systems. Dr. Adib is a graduate of Marine Mechanical Engineering (BMME) at Alexandria Egypt and taken his Master Degree Quality Management (MQM) at Wollongong University, Dubai.

Ahmed Al-Ammari 
Chief Executive Officer, Marafeq Qatar 

With 25+ years of experience in the industry, Mr. Ahmed Al Ammari was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Marafeq Qatar in March 2012. 
He held the position of Deputy CEO in the same company since its establishment in 2009. 
Prior to that, he worked as a Business Development Manager in Barwa Cool, which was the district cooling arm of Barwa Real Estate. 
He began his professional Career in 1998 with the Qatari Ministry of Interior overseeing projects of the ministry being handled by Engineering Department.
He holds a BSc in Engineering and Executive Masters in Business Administration.

Joyce Honeine
Program Management Director, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy

Joyce Honeine is senior strategy and program management professional with 15 years of experience supporting regional governments in defining, designing and delivering transformational strategies with a strong focus on advancing energy efficiency in the built environment and sustainability.

Joyce currently leads Dubai’s Demand Side Management (DSM)/energy efficiency strategy at the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, which aims to reduce electricity and water consumption in Dubai by 30% by 2030. The strategy reinforces Dubai’s goal of becoming a leader and role model in energy and water efficiency by improving efficiency levels in the built environment. This includes buildings and infrastructure, equipment and processes, efficient water resource management processes, as well as green mobility.

Prior to joining DSCE, Joyce was a Manager with Strategy& where she supported governments across the GCC in large-scale transformation and in devising national policy agendas and strategies.

She holds an MBA from INSEAD, an MSc in Finance from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut.


Robert P. Thornton
President & CEO, IDEA

Robert P. Thornton is President & CEO of the International District Energy Association (IDEA), founded in 1909 to advance efficient and sustainable district energy systems in cities, communities and campuses.  In this role since 2000, he represents about 3,000 IDEA members in 28 countries and serves as principal industry advocate for a more favorable policy and regulatory environment for district energy systems.   
Mr. Thornton has briefed the President of the United States, Cabinet members, Senate, House members and senior leaders at US DOE, US EPA, and Commerce as well as countless national, state, provincial and local government agencies.  
Over 36 years in district energy, Mr. Thornton helped launch and expand downtown district energy systems in three U.S. cities. He represents the USA on the Executive Committee of the International Energy Agency (IEA) District Energy Implementing Agreement and is a founding partner of the UN Environment District Energy in Cities Initiative.  Rob is a graduate of Tufts University, where he first conducted research on climate change in 1978, leading to a career in solar, geothermal and district energy.