Since taking on the role in 2013, Debbie has turned Novo Cinemas into the household entertainment brand it is today, offering more than just a venue to watch movies, but an immersive state-of-the-art destination for a variety of entertainment options through strategic partnerships and organic growth. The UAE based cinema chain operates across the GCC region including the UAE and Bahrain, with further expansion plans to continue across the region in the coming years including KSA and Oman.

As an accomplished leader with more than 28 years of experience in the Entertainment, Events and MICE Hospitality industries, Debbie is a CEO with an extensive understanding of public, government and private organizations with a proven track record of driving growth and successful business development. In 2005 she moved to the Middle East to help establish the Bahrain Exhibition & Convention Authority, also assuming the role of CEO for the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre and then went on to become the CEO of events@bahrain, a company  established under Mumtalakat; Bahrain Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Respected by her peers and her partners, Debbie has worked with her Executive team to elevate Novo Cinemas from a standard cinema experience to an innovative events and entertainment hub through strategic partnerships, technological advancements, new experience offerings and alternative content opportunities for consumers. Under her leadership, leading global brands have partnered with Novo such as IMAX, Coca-Cola, Mashreq Bank, BEin Sports, Emirates Airline, Etisalat, HSBC, Qatar Airways and the Bolshoi Ballet.

Under Debbie’s guidance, further expansion throughout the GCC will see Novo Cinemas enter the newly opened Saudi Arabia cinema market.

Debbie’s vision and commitment have transformed Novo Cinemas into the regional go-to filmtertainment hub that it is today, featuring unparalleled film technology, diverse content, cinema design and comfort, all of which are served up to customers with gourmet concessions and the highest level of customer care. It is this level of leadership that has landed her in the top five on Top 50 Women in Global Cinema list by Film Journal International for the past four years as well as most recently voted one of Top 30 Most Influential Women in the Arab World 2019,  Middle East Female CEO of the Year 2018 and 2018  UAE Woman of Substance.


Awards include:

  • 2019 CEO of the Year – Technology Innovation in Entertainment by SMB Summit
  • 2019 Most Inspirational Woman in Entertainment Middle East
  • 2019 Cinema Group of the Year 2019 Middle East
  • 2019 CEO of the Year by IQPC 5th Annual Theme Parks & Entertainment  Development Forum Middle East
  • 2019 voted in Top 30 Most Influential Women in the Arab World
  • 2019 - #5 of Top 50 Women in Global Cinema & Entertainment – Box Office Magazine USA in collaboration with UNIC
  • 2018 Middle East Female CEO of the Year Awards – CEO Middle East Magazine
  • 2018 UAE Woman of Substance – Khaleej Times
  • MEA Award – Best Cinema Theatre Chain 2019 and 2018 Middle East and Most Innovative Entertainment Experience - GCC
  • Voted #4 of Top 50 Women in Global Cinema by Film Journal International & Celluloid Junkie- 2018
  • 2018 Guinness World Records record holder - Largest Human Maze for the launch of Movie Maze Runner – Death Cure
  • Voted #2 globally out of 25 Women CEO’s in the cinema Industry by Celluloid Junkie 2017
  • Most Innovative Cinema Award 2017 by Comicon
  • ICSC Global Awards – Best Social Media & Online Community 2017
  • Voted #4 globally out of 25 Women CEO’s in the cinema Industry by Celluloid Junkie 2017
  • MENA Digital Awards Best Use of Social Media 2016
  • VIVA Best of The Best Nominee 2016
  • 2015 Asia Retail Leadership Award
  • Regent Exhibitions, the Arabian Travel News Nov 2009
  • The Arabian Power 50 (voted #49) 2009
  • AEO Excellence Awards 2005 - Best Trade Visitor Experience (IMEX 2005)