September 10 2014, 11:50 AM

The Middle East & Africa Duty Free Association (MEADFA) and TFWA are delighted to reveal details of the programme of this year’s MEADFA Conference, which will be staged at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Dubai on 24th and 25th November. Registration for the event is now open.

As Dubai prepares to host Expo 2020 and continues with an ambitious programme of enhancements to its transport infrastructure, the Emirate is reconfirming its position at the hub of the global air transport network. The MEADFA Conference 2014 will explore the retail opportunities that will arise here and across the region.

Following a welcome to the conference from President MEADFA, Sean Staunton, there will be an opening address by Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism & Commerce Marketing, who will outline how Dubai plans to achieve its aim to become a world leader in tourism. The Conference will also hear from Dubai Airports on the development of Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) and its “totally new approach” to the way in which services are delivered to customers.

Infrastructure developments elsewhere will also be explored in depth, notably Abu Dhabi’s new Midfield Terminal. Abu Dhabi Airports Company Senior Vice-President Business Development Dan Cappell will update delegates on the commercial vision for the Midfield Terminal as it takes shape.

Broadening the scope of the conference, in ‘Retail Reinvented’ Matthew Brown of respected retail consultancy Echochamber will explore how travel retail can take inspiration from the latest commercial concepts and sales techniques in domestic markets around the world.

Interactivity is key to the success of this annual duty free & travel retail event and two workshops will provide delegates with the opportunity to engage directly with experts in this dynamic region.

Workshop A ‘Inflight: to the next level’ will explore how new developments in technology and connectivity have the potential to raise inflight retail to a new level with regard to marketing, customer engagement, product range and assortment display, with contributions from inflight experts including Inflight Service Director of Business Development John Baumgartner.

Running concurrently, Workshop B ‘Understanding BRIC Travellers’ will draw on the latest TFWA research into the shopping behaviour of travellers from Brazil, Russia, India and China to discuss whether the current airport retail offer is adapted to their needs. Garry Stasiulevicuis of Counter Intelligence Retail will present highlights of the research, with further insights provided by Gebr Heinemann Executive Director Peter Irion and Simone Horn, Imperial Tobacco.

Delegate interaction will also be central to The MEADFA Debate, a session in which two ‘teams’ of debaters will contest the motion ‘Do retailers do enough to support premium brands in Middle Eastern airport retail?’. As throughout the conference, delegates will be encouraged to voice their opinion via the use of electronic tablets, allowing them to take part in real-time votes and to make their points direct to the moderators.

Africa will be the focus of the opening session on day two of the conference in ‘Reimagining Africa’, when branding expert Thebe Ikalafeng will explore the potential for major international brands to adapt their offer to the new wave of affluent African consumers. The session will also feature comment from two travel retail executives with experience in the region: Arnaud Piorkowski of Philip Morris and Blacky Komani of Tourvest.

Stepping beyond the realms of airports and airlines, ‘New Frontiers’ will explore the potential of duty free & travel retail at borders, seaports, diplomatic stores and onboard ferries with testimony from leading retailers in these sectors.

The session ‘Challenges to growth in the Middle East’ will feature a run-down of the regulatory and legislative threats posed currently in the travel retail domain.

Sean Staunton, President MEADFA, said, “The programme for the 2014 MEADFA Conference is a mix of presentation and debate, information gathering and networking. We are delighted that we will welcome a very strong line-up of eminent speakers who will help us to navigate through the facts, the figures and what we believe is the very positive future we face. In this region we are seeing sustained growth in passenger numbers, exciting infrastructure developments and extraordinary evolution in the retail environment. We urge all those who are serious about their business in this region to join us in Dubai for what promises to be a landmark event.”

The Official Carrier for the MEADFA Conference is Emirates Airline, the Gala Dinner sponsor is Dubai Duty Free, the Welcoming Cocktail is provided by Dufry Sharjah and the coffee breaks by Nestle and Mars ITR.

The confirmed Platinum Sponsors are AERRIANTA Middle East International, Airstyle Travel Retail, Bahrain Duty Free, Gebr Heinemann and Pernod Ricard; Gold Sponsors are Ferrero, Kings Tobacco International and Tourvest Duty Free; Silver Sponsors are Gulf Beverages and Tyko Travel Retail; Lanyard sponsor is LS Travel Retail.

The Media Partners are Duty Free News International, Frontier, Frontier Brands, Gulf-Africa Duty Free, The Decision Makers, The Moodie Report, Travel Retail Business and Travel Retailer International.

Further details of the 2014 MEADFA Conference and information on how to register are available at