Welcome address by Haitham al Majali, President of MEADFA
Few countries in the Middle East offer the same rich potential for the tourism industry as Lebanon; the country’s history, geography and cuisine helped make it a favoured destination for tourists. Recent conflicts and geopolitical tensions have, however, had an inevitable impact on the Lebanese tourist industry. How is the country’s government seeking to restore Lebanon’s prime location on the regional tourist map?
The 2017 MEADFA Conference is honoured to be held under the patronage of Lebanese Minister of Tourism Avedis Guidanian, who will address delegates on the future for tourism in the country at a time of regional turbulence.
Airports across Africa are increasingly aware of the need to develop their commercial revenue, if they are to make the investment needed to improve infrastructure and to become profitable. In this session Ali Tounsi, Secretary General of ACI Africa, will explore the current climate for African airports, and discuss the steps they need to take to exploit the continent’s undoubted potential for duty free & travel retail.
Phoenicia Trading Company, both through its cigar retail business and through its long-standing partnership with Aer Rianta International in Beirut Duty Free, is one of the pioneers of quality retailing in Lebanon. Chairman Mohamed Zeidan has been confronted by most challenges during 40 years of doing business in the country but, as he will explain to delegates, believes there has never been a better time to invest in duty free in Lebanon and in the region as a whole.
Globally, social media continues to shape consumer behaviour, and the rise of m- and e-commerce is forcing a rethink of traditional retail. What does this mean for companies operating in the Middle East? How should brands and retailers adapt their strategies to better engage consumers in the region?
Retail and consumer expert Karl Nader, Partner at Strategy& (part of the PwC network) and the co-leader of the firm’s Consumer and Retail business in the Middle East, will share his insights into the rapidly-changing, increasingly youthful consumer base in the Gulf and Levant.
The customer profile in the Middle East is more diverse than ever, as travel to and from markets such as Iran and Indonesia becomes more accessible. In this session Counter Intelligence Retail Managing Director Garry Stasiulevicuis will present an exclusive new study for MEADFA, including details on key travelling nationalities in the Middle East, spending levels, purchase drivers and rates of footfall and conversion. Based on direct interviews with recent travellers, the study will offer a complete picture of retail behaviour and perceptions among today’s travelling consumers in the Middle East.
This session of the MEADFA Conference will put the spotlight on new innovation and initiatives that are creating excitement in duty free & travel retail across the Middle East and Africa, and engaging travellers in new and imaginative ways. Through the MEADFA Challenge, the conference will champion industry excellence and creativity, and look at the ways in which our industry should adapt in order to drive durable growth.
If your company would like to be part of the MEADFA Challenge, please contact John Rimmer at email@example.com.
At a challenging time for business in the region, amid low oil prices and sluggish growth, what are the factors that will shape the business, economic and travel environment in the Middle East over the years to come? This session will feature an exclusive report for the MEADFA Conference compiled by EMIR (Emerging Markets Intelligence & Research) Founder & Chief Analyst Trevor McFarlane, including data and insights on growth projections, consumer spending, government and corporate strategies and other key issues and trends.
The ambition of state-run airport authority Oman Airports is to create world-class new facilities at the two main gateways to the country, Muscat and Salalah. The New Muscat International Airport, in particular, is among the region’s most exciting new aviation projects. Oman Airports General Manager Commercial Operations Samer Ahmed Mohammed Al Nabhani will reveal commercial plans for the new hub, and discuss how both Muscat and Salalah will cater for a new influx of visitors to Oman.
The fall in oil prices has helped many airlines return to profitability, but the aviation markets remains fragile, as shown by the difficulties faced by airlines such as South African Airways and Alitalia. What is the outlook for the airline industry in the Middle East and Africa? And what role can inflight retail play in ensuring a positive experience for passengers? Exploring these and other questions will be African aviation consultant and former CEO of SA Express Airways Inati Ntshanga and Middle East Airlines Director of Purchasing Mounir Seifeddine.
An update on the most significant issues affecting duty free & travel retail in the Middle East, Africa and beyond, including changes to tax regimes in the Gulf. Among speakers in this session will be MEADFA President Haitham al Majali, ETRC President Sarah Branquinho and Dubai Duty Free Senior Vice President – Finance Bernard Creed
As consumer markets in Africa develop, in line with the growing middle-class across the continent, what are the brands that are enjoying most success? What are they doing right, and what are the lessons for our industry? Victor Kgomoeswana is a broadcaster, branding and business expert on Africa, and the author of Africa is Open for Business. He will address current consumer trends across the continent, and offer a personal view on the future for business in key African countries.