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WALEED GHAFARI, is a prominent upscale business developer, entrepreneur and philanthropist with a 30-year track record in diversified markets, including automotive, hospitality and real estate, information technology, telecommunications and so>ware technology across North America, Europe and the Middle East.
Waleed is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of his latest venture Ares Performance, a leading automotive atelier providing bespoke luxury design and engineering. He is also remains the Chairman of GEE Hospitality Group, a boutique hospitality management company, which he founded to develop and manage grand-luxury branded boutique hotels and residences.
Waleed’s long-time appreciation and interest in arts and film, led him to be an integral part of the founding team of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). Today, Waleed continues to contribute his time to annual festival, and remains a key Advisor to DIFF’s CEO & Chairman. Proud of his Palestinian roots, he was the Executive Producer of Omar, a 2013 Palestinian drama film, that was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. It also won Best Feature Film at the 2013 Asian Pacific Screen Awards, and was screened at the United Nations in New York in May 2014. Waleed continues to work with other film producers and writers to develop films that address the Palestinian cause, and the misconceptions of the Middle East and Islam.
Apart from the world of business, Waleed is involved in various non-profit and philanthropic educational and medical initiatives in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine. He is a key supporter of Dubai Cares, an organization working to improve children’s access to quality primary education in developing countries.
Waleed holds an Advanced Maths Diploma from Oxford University and a joint degree in Advanced Mathematics and Information Management Science from Sunderland University.