The leading players in duty free and travel retail from across the Middle East and Africa will once again be heading to Dubai in November for the 2016 MEADFA Conference, managed by TFWA.
Following a welcome by MEADFA president Sean Staunton, more top-flight speakers from the region and beyond will lead two days of lively debate focussing on the challenges facing the duty free and travel retail industry in the region. Among business leaders sharing their insights are Dubai Duty Free executive vice chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin, Lagardere Travel Retail chairman and CEO Dag Rasmussen, and Jack MacGowan, CEO of Aer Rianta International. They will be joined by senior representatives from leading regional retailers, including Tourvest Duty Free, Hamila Duty Free, Flemingo International, IDFTA and IDFS Morocco.
Among other speakers at the MEADFA Conference 2016, UN World Tourism Organization director for the Middle East Amr Abdel Ghaffar will be sharing his views on the development of the region, Richard Dean, one of the Gulf’s most experienced business commentators will explore the economic and business outlook, and Suzie Wokabi, one of the continent’s brightest young entrepreneurs will be looking at the business climate in Africa.
Delegates will also hear a Middle East perspective on the vital and growing consumer group, Millennials, from experts Vrinda Singh, industry analyst travel at Google and Elena Nikolova, the founder of influential website MuslimTravelGirl.com.
This year’s venue is the impressive Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre. Located close to Dubai International Airport, the hotel has recently undergone a major renovation, which included a full upgrade of its conference facilities, and the addition of a new residential wing called the Royal Club.
A lively and entertaining programme of social events will ensure there are plenty of opportunities for networking in addition to those within the conference halls. These include a welcome cocktail reception sponsored by Dufry at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre, and a gala dinner hosted by Dubai Duty Free at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.
Commenting on the event, Sean Staunton said; “After enjoying the famous Jordanian hospitality in 2015, we’re returning to Dubai this year for what I am sure will be an extremely lively and informative conference. We’re honoured that a number of senior industry leaders have accepted our invitation to address our event this year, and we’ll also be hearing from several experts on travel, tourism and consumer trends.
“This has been, and continues to be, a challenging period for many companies in the Middle East and Africa regions, and that makes it all the more vital for the stakeholders in our industry to come together to discuss ways to drive the business forward. As ever, the MEADFA Conference will gather all the region’s major retailers, brands and landlords for two days of debate, exchange and networking, at a fantastic venue.”
Erik Juul-Mortensen, president of TFWA, said; “The Middle East and Africa is one of duty free and travel retail’s most exciting regions and Dubai, as the region’s leading market by sales, is undoubtedly one of the world’s most important duty free locations. We are delighted to be returning to this exciting city in 2016 for what is promising to be an outstanding event.”