September 21 2011, 3:13 PM


Recent political and social developments in the Middle East and North Africa will underpin discussions at the two-day Middle East Duty Free Conference which opens in Dubai on Monday 21st November 2011.

However the primary theme of the two-day event, which is organised by TFWA, will be the rapid development of the duty free and travel retail industry in the region with new facilities, innovative retailing concepts and a spirit of determination driving impressive growth.

The wide-ranging programme of the Conference, themed ‘Creating a Future’, draws on industry lessons over the ten years since MEDFA was founded, with forthright analysis of recent geopolitical developments and an exploration of innovative business strategies.

Details of the programme and registration information can now be found on the TFWA website:

Following an opening address by MEDFA President John Sime (Vice President Retail Services & General Manager Emirates High Street), Gary Chapman, President, Group Services & DNATA, Emirates Group will analyse the evolution of the region’s aviation market and commercial opportunities for airlines and airports.

In ‘Understanding the Future’ BBC Middle East Business Report presenter Nima Abu-Wardeh will draw on her extensive regional experience to assess the recent social and political events and their implications for business in the Middle East.

Several of the region’s leading airport companies and retailers will participate in two ‘Business Insider’ panel discussions, considering developments in the industry over the past year and identifying challenges and opportunities of the future. Top executives from airports in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Jordan, India, Muscat and Qatar among others will provide their perspective on duty free and travel retail in their countries.

A supplier-led session ‘Driving Innovation’ will study new approaches to managing categories in the airport retail environment. Alan Brennan, Customer Marketing Manager, Nestlé International Travel Retail and Uwe Faber, Global Category Manager, P&G Prestige will demonstrate the tangible benefits to rethinking the category management in terms of design, layout and product choice, proposing innovations which can apply to any category and any retailer.

The opening session on day two will address human resources management in ‘Great engagement: the importance of people’. Gunnar Heinemann, co-owner Gebr. Heinemann will look at some of the challenges involved with staff retention, training and motivation – all key to maintaining excellent customer service – and a panel of speakers will contribute their perspectives.

Research will be a key component of the programme. Peter Mohn, Partner, m1ind-set will present highlights from TFWA’s global airport travel retail consumer survey and Gary Stansiuleveicuis, Managing Director, Counter Intelligence Retail will look at the behaviour of travel retail consumers through observations of thousands of consumers using in-store cameras, which monitor their journey through the store.

In ‘Small steps, big rewards: from design to digital’ Lewis Allen, Director, Portland, Dan Hayter, Initium Onboard and Steve O’Connor, AerRianta Middle East / Delhi Duty Free will provide insights into ways stakeholders can innovate and engage with consumers in order to increase store penetration and spend.

The final session will look at the issues facing the industry association today, its current missions and future ambitions.

The MEDFA Conference 2011 will be moderated by Dermot Davitt, Editor, The Moodie Report and John Sutcliffe, Director, AerRianta International Middle East.

Last year’s MEDFA conference in Cairo attracted 338 delegates, including landlords and concessionaires from the Middle East, Africa and India, as well as brand owners from across the world.

MEDFA and TFWA would like to thank the sponsors for their generous support: official carrier – Emirates Airline; platinum and social events sponsors – Dufry Sharjah, Dubai Duty Free, Traveller Limited, Patron Spirits, LeSportsac, Qatar Duty Free and Imperial Tobacco International; silver sponsors – Perfetti van Melle, Hershey’s and Protégé International; and also Nestlé, IDF, Bardinet Vins, Toblerone, Brown-Forman, Travel Retail & Duty Free Markets and The Moodie Report.

The conference media partners are The Moodie Report, Duty Free News International, Travel Retail & Duty Free Markets, Frontier, Travel Retail Business, Travel Retailer International, Gulf Africa Duty Free Magazine and the Decision Makers.

For further information please contact
TFWA Press Office – Kate TeagleTel: +44 1784 434 666