DWP Planner Powerlist 2023-24: Middle East & Africa

Destinations in Middle East and Africa have been popular among both planners and couples. With pristine backdrops, rich cultural heritage and exceptional hospitality, destinations in the Middle East & Africa have a lot to offer. Synonymous with lavish and opulent celebrations, wedding planners and designers from this region have their own signature style, and we are delighted to be able to share with you some of the biggest names in wedding planning & designing from this region. Here we go with the names listed from A-Z!

Adeola Okeshola, 2706 Events, Nigeria

Adeola Okeshola is the Principal Experience Manager and CEO of 2706 Events. In 2016, she was one of the top 20 wedding planners from around Africa invited and hosted by the King of Dubai, referencing her status as one of the top five wedding planners in Africa, today.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I enjoy traveling, organizing, cooking, baking, raising my kids and being a wife

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Dubai

Favourite motivational quote: “If you can dream it, you can do it!”


Ali Bakhtiar, Ali Bakhtiar Designs, UAE

Ali Bakhtiar is one of the most celebrated wedding designers in the Middle East. He has worked with a diverse clientele that includes politicians, royalty, Hollywood celebrities, and prominent figures. He is internationally acclaimed for accomplishments in interior architecture, bespoke floral decoration, and crafting sumptuous events.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I am ambitious and driven. I thrive on challenge and constantly set goals for myself, so I have something to strive towards. I am not comfortable with settling, and I am always looking for an opportunity to do better and achieve greatness

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Beautiful, Magic & Scenic Destinations

Favourite motivational quote: “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes determination and hard work”

Arun Bablani, Vivaah Weddings, UAE

Arun Bablani, has shaped up Vivaah Weddings as a bespoke wedding planning and management company that specializes in South Asian destination weddings which consists of Indian Weddings, Pakistani Weddings, Sri Lankan Weddings, and Bangladeshi Weddings. Vivaah Weddings has delivered some of the most memorable wedding celebrations for esteemed families and clients worldwide.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I define myself as a passionate advocate for exploration and creativity. Outside the industry I immerse myself in various pursuits from travel to culinary experiments

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Italy, Turkey, Morocco, Abu Dhabi & Dubai

Favourite motivational quote: “Embrace the beauty of every moment for within it lies the magic of endless possibilities”


Aseel Al Ansari, Weddings & Events Co, Bahrain

Aseel Al Ansari is one of the most experienced and renowned planners hailing from Bahrain. She is well known in the industry for planning and designing the weddings and celebrations of Royal Family members in the Middle East. She has worked extensively in the region and globally as well.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: Compassion & Empathy

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Italy

Favourite motivational quote: “Quality is the best business plan”


Benny Avisar & Tal Leibovitch, Sky Productions, Israel

Benny & Tal are the leaders of Sky Productions, a leading event production company in Israel. They are known for their luxurious setups and designs and are recognized as one of the leading production companies in the wedding sphere. They have worked internationally in destinations such as USA, UK, Morocco, Italy, India and many others.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: Making dreams into reality

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Natural places, castles, palaces, and museums all around the globe

Favourite motivational quote: “Seeing the joy and happiness on our guest’s faces when they enter our events”


Bibi Hayat, Bibi Hayat Designs, Kuwait

After working in the events and design industry for over 14 years, Bibi has created & curated over 350 events. From opulent weddings to sophisticated product launches, unique corporate events and creative special celebrations, Bibi and her dedicated team bring clients ideas to life.


Bisola Borha, Trendybee Elite Events, Nigeria

Bisola Borha is known as “The Planner Extraordinaire”. She is known for producing grand events in style having clienteles that includes private individuals, corporate bodies and top government agencies in different countries such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Zanzibar. She was also selected as one of the Top Event planners in Africa in 2016 by the Dubai Tourism Group for events she planned both within and outside Nigeria.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I am a Trendy Bee , A pace setter who loves to Create unforgettable Jaw dropping Event stories

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Qatar

Favourite motivational quote: “People do the things they do become that is what they know , if they know better they will do better”


Bryan Tachie- Menson, Whitechalk, Ghana

Bryan Tachie-Menson is a giant in the events planning industry in Ghana, West Africa and beyond. With more than 10 years and 1000+ weddings under his belt, his company, Whitechalk is a sought-after brand, known for creating unique and memorable weddings in Ghana, Nigeria, Dubai and in many other grand destinations.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: A high spirited person who believes that joy arises in helping people to become better versions of themselves and rise to the top

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Dubai & Mauritius

Favourite motivational quote: “Everything is possible for the one who believes”


Christina Holt, Wedding Concepts, South Africa

Christina is the Founder and Director of Wedding Concepts – responsible for creating some of the largest and most high profile African nuptials & exclusive events for a discerning international clientele. Regarded as one of Africa’s leading luxury wedding experts, Christina has lived and worked previously in the USA, UAE, UK and Germany and managed a multitude of international events before moving to Cape Town in 2004.

How do you define yourself outside of your work:I am a private and spiritual person. I meditate to recharge, love nature, traveling and exploring new destinations, my two beautiful dogs are an important part of my life. I enjoy photography, love a good cake & coffee and am proud of what I’ve achieved – with my husband Richard at my side

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Southern Africa

Favourite motivational quote: “You carry the passport to your own happiness”


Dalia Taha, By Dalia Taha, Qatar

Dalia Taha is a wedding planner & designer based in Doha, Qatar. Given her love for the industry she started her company 8 years ago and has in a very short span of time carved her own niche. Her designs are inspired by different cultures and she brings her own unique taste to each of her client’s visions.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I’m a wedding planner and designer and engineer with a master’s degree. I would like to describe myself as a powerful & talented woman 

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Italy , India , Qatar , Paris , Dubai , KSA , Bahrain

Favourite motivational quote: “Nothing is impossible”


Danielle Mallat Hadife, Caractere Events, Lebanon

Danielle is the founder of Caractere Events in Lebanon along with her husband Alain Hadife. They are both well known names in the Middle East who have built a company that resonates grandeur and elegance. Caractere Events are well know for the splendour and are regarded as one of the biggest players in the wedding design industry.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: A happy warrior with a daring and an adventurous Caractere

Favourite destination for planning weddings:Italy, France, Greece & Lebanon

Favourite motivational quote: “Overcoming yourself is the only endless race”


Dina Khamistoeche, White Wedding & Event Planners, Lebanon

White Wedding & Event Planners headed by Dina is a name synonymous to opulent wedding designs. Dina hails from Lebanon but has completed over the top large scale wedding design projects across the globe. Working with an elite clientele, Dina’s style of work reflects and exudes glamour, finesse, opulence and sheer luxury!


Fabrice Orlando, Cocoon Events, Morocco

Fabrice is the founder and CEO of Cocoon Events, a leading wedding & event planning company based in Morocco. Fabrice has successfully managed the production side of events for France 2, MCM, and the Disney Channel among many others. He has worked extensively across Morocco, France, Italy, UAE and many other destinations creating bespoke experiences.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I am a Family Man, not the one I have by blood but the one I have decided to be surrounded by, the ones in LA FAMILIA

Favourite destination for planning weddings: France, Morocco, Greece, Italy

Favourite motivational quote: “To take advantage of an opportunity you must first…recognize it”


Fadi Fattouh, Fadi Fattouh, Lebanon

Fadi Fattouh has over 18 years of experience in the event industry, specializing in designing and planning events, including weddings, engagements, anniversaries, and various social gatherings. While his main base is in Lebanon, he extends his services globally, orchestrating weddings and events around the world!

How do you define yourself outside of your work: Beyond my work, my family comes first since I am a family oriented person. I also enjoy traveling, attending expos and different exhibitions. Searching for Inspiration in places were inspiration is not offered is a passion for me. So to define myself in few words, Even outside the job, I think about my job

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Lebanon

Favourite motivational quote: “Design is not what it looks like, it is what you feel”


Firas Issa, Occasions Events by Firas, Qatar

Firas Issa is a wedding planner based in Qatar. In a short span of time he has managed to make a brand name for himself catering to some of the most exquisite weddings and special events in the region. His work is an amalgamation of modern and traditional aspects. He is extremely passionate about creating magic for his clients to make their special day a memorable one.


Funke Bucknor Obruthe, Zaphhaire Events, Nigeria

Funke Bucknor-Obruthe is the founder and CEO of Zapphaire Events and is regarded as one of Nigeria’s pioneering event planners. She has since gone on to plan and organize several high-profile events within and outside Nigeria and has won awards and recognition including being featured in CNN’s Inside Africa for planning a Nigerian royal wedding.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: A fun loving super woman

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, South of France, Italy

Favourite motivational quote: “You must constantly evolve and reinvent yourself”


Ghada Blanco, Ghada Blanco, Lebanon

For the past 20 years Ghada has grown out of the Lebanese market and become one of the most up-and-coming wedding planners across the Middle East and Europe. The party planner of choice for numerous members of royal families around the Middle East, what sets Ghada apart is her unique approach to design.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: Beyond my work and the industry, I define myself as an individual who values personal growth, relationships, and contributing to the greater good. I prioritize self-improvement by constantly seeking new experiences, learning, and challenging myself. I also invest in developing meaningful connections with family, friends, and others, as I believe relationships play a vital role in leading a fulfilling life. Additionally, I strive to make a positive impact in the world through acts of kindness, volunteering, and advocating for social causes that resonate with my values. Overall, I see myself as someone who embraces a well-rounded life that encompasses personal development, relationships, and making a difference in society

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Italy, Cannes & Istanbul

Favourite motivational quote: “Perseverance, secret of all triumphs” – Victor Hugo


Janette Duah, Jandel Ltd, Ghana

Janette Duah heads up one of Ghana’s leading wedding planning companies, Jandel Ltd. The company is well known for the extraordinary weddings curated in West Africa and beyond.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I’m a go getter and I have crazy passion for what I do

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Dubai

Favourite motivational quote: “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me”


Koby Bar Yehuda, KBY Designs, Israel

Koby Bar Yehuda is one of the world’s top event planners, known for his innovative, trend-setting events worldwide. As teh founder & creative director of KBY Designs, Koby has produced award-winning events around the globe earning him a devoted client base and global recognition.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: Beyond my role as a wedding planner/designer, I define myself as a highly curious individual with a wide range of interests, including technology, fashion, visual graphic, interior design, AI and cooking

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Israel, Morocco, USA, Maldives, Italy, Mexico, Greece, France

Favourite motivational quote: “We are in business of crafting dreams, remember: Every client is a new world waiting to be brought to life”


Lisa Shiner, BE Group, Israel

Lisa has over eleven years of experience in the luxury events industry. She and her team craft beautiful events in Israel and in other destinations across the globe. Lisa is the Founder of BE Group Productions in Israel. The company is one of Israel’s premiere wedding & special events company who target the global high net-worth clients. They are very popular for a USD 16 million wedding that was orchestrated by them in Israel. Lisa works with an international clientele and has organized weddings and events in Israel, USA, Mexico, France, UK, Italy and others.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I am an eternal learner and continually strive to enhance both my personal and professional knowledge. I believe that kindness and fairness are key to any well-functioning society and try to reflect this in my daily life, as well as in our company’s philosophy. I love creating and find inspiration in nature, drawing on a variety of references from the more obvious to the completely unrelated. I cherish my close network of family and friends and most enjoy downtime with them over a good meal and wine

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Greece, Israel, Italy, Spain, UK, USA

Favourite motivational quote: ““It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela


Majeda Kassir Bisharat, MY Event Designs, Jordan

Under the leadership of Creative Director, Majeda, the MY Event Design team is dedicated to carefully crafting personalized events in order to bring the clients’ stories to life. Although MY Event Design is based in Amman – Jordan, the company’s vision transcends borders and boundaries, covering events across the Middle East and Europe

How do you define yourself outside of your work: A loving mother

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Jordan

Favourite motivational quote: “Dream Big, Work Hard, Make It Happen”


Mohamad Ghayad, Le Mariage, Qatar

In a relatively short span of time Mohamad Ghayad has made a big name for himself in the wedding industry. He is well known not only in the region but also globally for his larger than life designs that simply can leave anyone spellbound. He is the founder & CEO of Le Mariage in Qatar. Mohamad and his team are architectural wedding designers that are experts in large-scale transformational weddings, based in the Middle East and ascended into different corners of the world.


Olivier Dolz, Olivier Dolz Wedding Agency, UAE

Olivier Dolz is one of the highly regarded wedding planners in the Middle East. Olivier takes pride in producing one-of-a-kind weddings, and he adapts his designs and concepts to each unique situation, cultural background and choice of venue.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I identify myself as a creative individual with a deep passion for adding beauty and happiness to the world. I perceive myself as an ambitious, empathetic individual who actively seeks fresh experiences and prospects for both personal and professional development

Favourite destination for planning weddings: UAE & France

Favourite motivational quote: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”


Paul Nasr, By Paul Nasr, Lebanon

Paul Nasr is one of the most renowned names in the Middle Eastern wedding market. He along with his team are known to orchestrate high end luxury events and weddings. He has worked extensively in the region and globally as well catering to an impressive client list including HNWIs and members of royalty as well. From the stunning Bosporus Bridge to Lake Como, he has planned some of the most romantic and luxurious weddings in dreamy locales.


Precious Thamaga, Precious Celebrations, South Africa

Precious is regarded as one of Africa’s top and sought after wedding planner and event designer. She has planned over 300 weddings, corporate events and private celebrations in South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia and Mauritius.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I am a lover and gives me joy bring happiness to the people I love the most in my life. Big hearted, hopeless romantic at heart. Optimistic about life and a big dreamer

Favourite destination for planning weddings: South Africa & Mauritius

Favourite motivational quote: “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough”


Rahul Kumar, Vivaah Celebrations, UAE

Rahul Kumar is the founder of Vivaah Celebrations, and is regarded as one of the top Indian wedding planners in UAE. He has planned weddings in 23 destinations for some of the most prestigious clients.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: Focused and Active while achieving the perfect work-life balance

Favourite destination for planning weddings:Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Monaco

Favourite motivational quote: “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore” – William Faulkler


Rasha Badran, The Purple Chair Events, UAE

Rasha Badran is the founder of The Purple Chair Events in UAE. The company is well known for their high-profile weddings and events and work with some of the most elite clientele in the region. Under the leadership of Rasha, The Purple Chair has been featured in leading magazines and blogs such as Harper’s Bazaar Interiors, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Martha Stewart, Style Me Pretty, Wedding Sparrow, Magnolia Rouge, Emirates Bride and more.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I am a business owner, a wife, a mother of 2 and an explorer. I take all my roles seriously and love them all!

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Portugal

Favourite motivational quote: “Believe you can, and you are halfway there” – Theodore Roosevelt


Robert Hykl, Robert Hykl, Lebanon

Robert HYKL has established himself as one of the top wedding planners in Lebanon, earning the trust and admiration of countless couples. Robert HYKL is known for his warm personality and ability to forge strong connections with his clients. He takes the time to understand their unique story and personal style, translating it into an unforgettable wedding celebration that reflects their love and individuality.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: I am a dreamer

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Each destination carries its own story & challenges

Favourite motivational quote: “No one can ever stop what God has planned for you, trust his timing”


Tapiwa Mukoti, RSVP Events, Zimbabwe

Tapiwa Mukoti is the founder & managing director of RSVP Events in Zimbabwe. She is a well known name in the African wedding world and has done some remarkable work in the region. She has great connections in the region and is extremely knowledgeable about the wedding fraternity and its future especially in Africa.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: Professional Conference Organiser, Curator of Travel Experience, Artist Manager and PR Agent

Favourite destination for planning weddings:Firenze, Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Bvumba, Aegina, Kefalonia

Favourite motivational quote: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path!”


Walid Baz, Baz Events, Lebanon

Walid Baz started this journey in 2009 and now stands as one of top wedding planners in Lebanon and the world. Today Baz Events is a Multinational Award Winning Event Design company whose main aim remains true to the initial purpose of creating quality customized event spaces.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: Project builder & Designer

Favourite destination for planning weddings: India

Favourite motivational quote: “History is not just written by the winners, it’s written about them”


Zainab AlSalih, Carousel Events, UAE

Zainab Alsalih is the founder and creative force behind Carousel. Her grace and attention to detail have made Carousel the most highly sought-after and recognized boutique wedding & designing firm in the region.

How do you define yourself outside of your work: A mother to my beloved three boys, a best friend to my husband, and a person who seeks to create beauty all around her

Favourite destination for planning weddings: Italy & Dubai

Favourite motivational quote: “In overwhelming anxiety, find overwhelming grace”


Ziad Raphael Nassar, ZRN Weddings, Lebanon

Ziad Raphael Nassar is recognized as one of the finest wedding designers in the Middle East. His incredible portfolio built over the last fifteen years includes an impressive array of royals & elite clients & his expertise has made him internationally sought after. Being the “Avant Gardiste” that he is, Ziad is now taking the world by storm and elevating his work to the next level by being the first wedding planner to transform his masterpieces to digital art and design virtual weddings.



Please Note: The DWP Congress & DWP Insider although belong to QnA International, they are two separate entities with no dependency on one another.The DWP Powerlist is curated based on recommendations & nominations received from industry professionals coupled with certain set criterias in place laid down by the DWP Insider Executive Committee. After thorough scrutiny is when planners are listed as part of the Powerlist.

The list includes planners that may or may not have been a part of the Congress in the past because that does not form a basis for the listing criteria.The list is purely a recognition for the exceptional work of wedding planners in one particular year, not over a couple of years. Which is why the list is released annually with names that might either be repeated from the previous year or with new names making entry to the list, completely depending on what their wedding scope looked like in the given year.

Email us at powerlist@dwp-insider.com if you have suggestions to be included in the list!