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Middle East Retail Forum 2018 gets PHYGITAL
(8 October 2018)


The seventh edition of the annual Middle East Retail Forum (MRF) will take place at the Palazzo Versace Dubai on 8th & 9th of October 2018. The prime focus at the MRF this year is ‘Phygital’. An extensive panellist comprising of retail business owners, CEOs and industry experts have been lined up for this years MRF.  The event will culminate with the eighth annual RetailME Awards, a celebration of retail achievements in the Middle East.  Tom Urquhart, a firm favourite from Dubai’s media circuit and a talented broadcaster will host the 2-day event. 

Retail will become stronger, channel agnostic and more agile to adapt to rapid, disruptive, changes. Stores will become inspirational spaces, morphed into lively, immersive environments. Retailers will engage with consumers differently, interacting with them at their preferred touchpoints. While businesses are being digitally-enabled, the role of the key people in the heart of every organisation would be to make their businesses more future proof. 

Says Amitabh Taneja, Chairman & Managing Director, Images Group, “Before dismissing ‘Phygital’ as yet another buzzword it's more evident that the consumers desire the best of both worlds.
The current retail landscape is rapidly evolving to how smart, experiential and differentiated we are to the ever-connected consumer; the Middle East Retail Forum is a platform to discuss, share and get the right answers.”  

“We thank all our partners Cityland Mall, Interstore & Schweitzer, Zebra, Zoom, Amrut Software, SDS, QwikCilver, LP Flex, Openbravo, Datalogic, Al-Futtaim Logistics, Al-Futtaim Logistics, Kalandoor, Dalma Mall, BI Solutions, Coffee Planet, Wooqer, Arvind Internet, Vinculum, Shoppyfier  and Adapty who have shown immense confidence and supporting us in putting this event together.”  

The Forum will begin with a session on  ‘What lies beyond 2020’ which will be addressed by Mohammed Shael Al Saadi, CEO – Business Development & Strategy Sector, Department of Economic Development (DED) and Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq). 

The Saudi Arabia-focused session on day 2 of the MRF, will bring together experts from the Kingdom for an engaging discussion on the on-going and upcoming legislative changes that will have a far-reaching impact on retail, leisure and entertainment, real estate and consumer behaviour.

The opening of cinemas after 35 years and women’s right to drive are among the far-reaching changes that Saudi Arabia saw. The Kingdom is already making significant strides to reduce dependence on oil revenues. Retail and leisure and entertainment sectors are witnessing substantial changes, including increased job opportunities for the local Saudi population and widening of amusement portfolio.  Speakers include Ahmad Bin Dawood, CEO, DanubeCo. Ltd & BinDawood Stores, Amr Banaja, CEO, General Entertainment Authority, Cameron Mitchell, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas & Majid Al Futtaim Leisure & Entertainment, Mazen Qandeel, Executive Director, Granada Center and Mohammad IB Alawi, Chairman of the Board, Saudi Sand Souvenir Co.
Master Class on Stimulating ‘Buying Emotions’ will be conducted by Michale Yacobian CEO Top-line Solutions and Dhwani Swaminarayan, Founder & Director Kiwings.

More than 75 key speakers have confirmed their participation in this year's forum. They include Adel Belcaid Principal AT Kearney, Zaid Alqufaidi, Managing Director, ENOC Retail, Vic Bageria, Chief Visionary Officer, Xpandretail, Abhijeet Paudwal, Chief Marketing Officer, Amrut Software, Pragati Deep Singh, Head Prepaid Cards, QwikCilver, Stephen Graham Holbrook, Deputy CEO, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group, Mazen Qandeel, Executive Director, Granada Center, Arun Bruce, Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group, to name a few for the whole list of speakers kindly visit:

The Middle East Retail Forum (MRF) is an independent retail knowledge platform in the Middle East. Established in Dubai in 2012, the annual MRF is a unique gathering of retailers discussing key issues facing the retail fraternity and exchanging best practices.


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