Organized by the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres & Retailers (MECS+R), Retail Congress Middle East & North Africa brings together shopping centre industry professionals, retailers, management and consulting companies, architects and design companies, entertainment and leisure companies, product and service providers to the industry, all under one roof for three days of networking, deal making and exploring new business opportunities.
David Rowan, founding Editor-in-chief of WIRED’s UK edition (2008-17), is the author of Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds (Transworld, 2019), a global quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption. He’s taken 130 flights in the past year to investigate the companies and entrepreneurs changing our world, and has spent time with the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen.His keynote talks have included events for banks, governments and Fortune 100 companies, and stage interviews have ranged from will.i.am to James Murdoch and David Cameron. David has been a technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times. He’s an early-stage investor in more than 50 tech companies and founder of Voyagers.io, a non-profit taking amazing people for weekend adventures designed to build close community. And he is still searching for the future.
David Blair is the Global CEO of FITCH. David was appointed Global CEO in 2017, assuming responsibility for building FITCH’s global network, helping clients grow, and enabling them to flourish in new markets and sectors.David started on the global development team at FITCH in 2005 before progressing to establish the company’s presence in India. He’s characterised by a relentless commitment to delivering the best work for global clients like Adidas, Dell and Ford.
Dina is currently heading the Greenhouse, Chalhoub Group’s entrepreneurship and innovation space. The Greenhouse houses a retail technology accelerator that partners with startups from all over the world that have innovative solutions to certain pain points in the industry. She also heads their innovation lab that incubates ideas submitted by Chalhoub employees. Dina has been with the Group for over 5 years heading Finance and Strategy for several divisions and was also one of the key members of the Level Shoes team when it launched. She worked with Noon as their Head of Finance and Planning before taking the role with Chalhoub to head the Accelerator. She also worked with Endeavor as a Search and Selection Associate which sparked her passion for entrepreneurship. Dina has an MBA from Harvard Business School and sat on the HBS Alumni Board of the GCC.
Lead managing the project with over 15 years’ experience in strategic consulting, marketing activation, mega-events, and retail promotion. Key project management includes the overall strategic direction of Dubai Shopping Malls Group since 2008, Qatar Tourism Authority for launching Qatar Summer promotion for shopping malls and Sheikha Fatima World Pearl Forum in Abu Dhabi.
Digital Innovation Director, Al Farwaniya Property Developments LLC (Reem Mall)
In August 2018, Harvard-alumni Milat Sayra Berirmen was announced as the mall’s digital innovation director in line with the developer’s ambition to turn the project into the world’s first fully digitally enabled mall.Berirmen has previously worked for some of the world’s leading business conglomerates such as Godiva, Ulker, Unilever and Northstar Innovation.He will be responsible for developing business strategies, assessing and analysing relevant digital technology providers, developing comprehensive ecosystems pertinent to the application of digital technologies and supervising the overall execution of the strategy.”
At Insider Trends, Cate has helped brands such as Chanel, Galeries Lafayette, Marks & Spencer, Swarovski, Fujitsu, Metro Group, Samsung, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes, Puig, Nike, Lego, Johnson & Johnson, Levi’s and EE innovate and create world-leading retail ecosystems.Cate frequently works with senior team members – including Unilever’s CEO, the General Manager of L’Oreal France, Mega Image’s CEO, House of Fraser’s CEO, Clarks’ Managing Director, Tom Tailor’s CEO, Carrefour’s Chief Operations Officer and the board of Hugo Boss. She is a very experienced speaker, regularly making keynote presentations to audiences of up to 800 people. In the past 12 months, she has given presentations in 11 European countries, as well as Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico City and New York.Cate’s experience of setting up two successful businesses in her twenties led to her being named a Future 100 and Startup 100 entrepreneur. She’s been quoted 4 times in Forbes magazine and is a RetailWire BrainTrust expert. LinkedIn named her one of the top 15 most listened to professionals in the UK. Vend ranked her as the world’s 26th most influential professional in retail.
Scott Ellis is the Retail Industry Lead for IBM Middle East. He is passionate about helping retailers take advantage of digital opportunities in the cognitive era in order to surprise and delight customers. Scott spent 5 years at Al Tayer Retail where he delivered new concepts and led digital change initiatives, including a new Bloomingdale’s department store in Kuwait. Scott has worked for Deloitte and Accenture in the US, UK and Europe. Based on successful work with his clients, Scott won the prestigious ’Consultant of the Year’ award from the Institute of Consulting and Chartered Management Institute (UK). Scott is a regular writer, speaker and panelist on the future of retail and digital transformation.
Owen Farrow leads the Consumer Industry for IBM Middle East and Africa. He works with well-known Retailers and Consumer Product brands across the region. Owen helps his clients take advantage of IBM’s large team of consultants, engineers, data scientists, creatives and software specialists to design, build, deploy and operate solutions that bring them closer to their customers and helping them compete more effectively in their markets. He has enjoyed a career in growth markets from Sydney to Singapore, onwards to Bangalore, before moving to Dubai where he has been for the last 10 years. This experience gives him a unique insight into the challenges and opportunities in the region.
General Manager of Marketing and Entertainment, Dubai Festival City Mall
Vanessa is the General Manager of Marketing and Entertainment for Dubai Festival City Mall, an Al-Futtaim Mall.Vanessa Hinton’s career spans 18 years of experience in delivering strategy, brand development and portfolio management across MENA, the UK and Australia. With technical expertise and leadership skills, Vanessa is responsible for driving the retail marketing strategy and entertainment experience.
A professional qualified in Retail Management and Retail Development Operations in highly competitive market with an entrepreneurial spirit and sharp business acumen; Shopping Center with experience in all fields of Operations of Shopping Centers including daily Operations, Marketing, Leasing, Projects, Sales and Marketing.Clear thinking and well organized with an ability to build motivate and develop teams; Successful in harnessing the diverse talents of others to achieve common goals, and in identifying the real issues and implementing solutions; Able to rapidly deliver results whilst adopting a creative approach.
Worked in the Shopping Centre Industry for over 20 years in Mall Marketing, Management and Development across the Middle East and Canada.Currently Chief Executive Officer at Tamdeen Mall Management Company K.S.C.C., Kuwait, (a Tamdeen Group Company) which manages a portfolio of 6 centres with 2 large developments in the pipeline, approximating 5 million sq.ft. Previously worked as General Manager at Oxford Properties, Toronto, Canada.Has served on the ICSC CMD committee for 6 years and been a MECSC Board Member for 4 years. As ICSC faculty, taught at the ICSC John T. Riordan School, Dubai and at IKEA Shopping Centers Moscow. Has been a judge on Industry Award Programs for several years - ICSC Global Awards MENA, ICSC VIVA Awards and SASC Awards.Holds the ICSC; CMD, CSM, CLS, CDP and CRX Designations and has received several ICSC Awards including the Maxi Merit, Maple Leaf and Global Awards.Prior to joining the Shopping Centre Industry, worked in advertising for 9 years with Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, Young & Rubicam and Saatchi & Saatchi.
After an apprenticeship in a bank and having completing studies in Business Administrations, Steffen Schaack began his career at the CRM provider FlowFact and later became Sales Director as well as VP and Business Unit Director in the real estate field. He then worked as Vice President Corporate Support Sales & Marketing for CompuGroup in Koblenz, Germany. Since 2018, he has been SVP Global Business Development Real Estate of Drooms, leading the international sales team of Drooms. Schaack brings long-standing management and sales experience to Drooms. Headquartered in Frankfurt, Drooms plans to further internationalise the business.
Ranked as one of the Global Top 10 most influential Leadership Gurus by Gurus International, Arthur F. Carmazzi has 21 years of experience specializing in psychological approaches to leadership and corporate culture transformation. He is a renowned motivational leadership keynote speaker and trainer in the Asian Region and has advanced Corporate Training with innovative techniques and tools that have been acknowledged by some of the world’s greatest organizations. He is a bestselling author with book titles like: “The 6 Dimensions of Top Achievers”, “The Colored Brain Communication Field Manual”, “Identity Intelligence”, “Lessons from the Monkey King” and “The Psychology of Selecting the RIGHT Employee”.Arthur is the developer of the CBCI (Colored Brain Communication Inventory) and HDMA Emotional profiling tools used for “Psycho-Productivity” management as well as the CCEE (Corporate Culture Evolution Evaluation). These tools have been implemented across a variety of HR and Leadership disciplines by numerous multinationals to generate greater efficiency of human capital. The unique “linked implementation” structure of Arthur’s training tools and methods have earned him and the Directive Communication methodology accreditation from the prestigious American Institute of Business Psychology.
Richard is a household name in the UAE as host of The Business Breakfast, the UAE’s top news radio show. He brings all his on-air energy and insight to his public speaking.EVENT HOSTAs host of your business event, Richard will add two priceless qualities. First, insight. He’s spent 20 years as a reporter and editor for Reuters, The Economist, The Financial Times and Bloomberg, giving him a unique take on global business. Second, personality. Richard injects life, energy and humour into every interaction, whether as and MC, moderator, interviewer or awards host.KEYNOTE SPEAKERRichard’s a sought-after keynote speaker. One Bold Vision and Five Brave Decisions is a brief history (and future) of the UAE economy; a must for executives visiting the region. It draws on two decades of journalistic experience, as well as his book Sink or Swim, which analyses Dubai’s boom-to-bust-to-boom economy of the late 2000sRichard’s latest keynote - Crowdpleaser: 100 Lessons from Great Public Speakers – draws on his forthcoming book of the same name. It’s a high octane, multi-media powerhouse that captures the greatest advice ever given on public speaking. From Aristotle to Elon Musk, as well as Arab speakers such as Queen Rania of Jordan and billionaire businessman Mohammed Alabbar, it’s inspirational and educational in equal measure.
Managing Director of Fitch Dubai , a brand design and experience consultancy having moved over from the London office to set up and run the Middle East offering in November 2015. I have overseen the growth of the agency managing the P&L and being responsible for New Business and senior client management as well as being responsible for our strategic offering. Our clients include Landmark, Lulu, Shurooq, Chalhoub, the Prime Minsters Office, Meraas, IFFCO, High Point, Deraah, Du and STC.Prior to the move to Dubai I was Client Services Director for Fitch London working across a diverse set of clients from retail, automotive, FMCG, grocery, sports, telecoms, banking and IT.Prior to moving into brand design I worked for over 15 years in blue-chip advertising and communications agencies in London including GGT Direct, Ogilvy One, BBH and CHI.My breadth of experience gives me a better understanding of client needs and enables me to identify structures and processes to deliver creative driven, business solutions.
With a career spanning 38 years in the retail industry, David is a regular contributor to local and international newspapers including Gulf News and Khaleej Times and numerous Magazines with articles on topics associated with current retail industry trends, commercial real estate and residential property challenges and opportunities. He has appeared on CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, Dubai One, Dubai City 7 TV, Selfie TV and Dubai Zee television as a retail expert in the MENA region. In radio, on Dubai Eye 103.8, David is regularly on air as the retail industry expert, retail property market commentator and guest.A Canadian, resident in the UAE for fifteen years. David has held leading roles in the region with major shopping centre development companies and advisory firms before taking over in 2013 as the CEO of the MECSC.
Nisha serves on the Board of the Landmark Group overseeing the strategic vision for leading home-grown brand Lifestyle. She is also spearheading Centrepoint’s vision for Stores of the Future – the reinvention of the physical stores through experiential design and technology. Along with her position on the Group’s Board and retail leadership roles, Nisha leads the business with her biggest passion – people. She heads Human Resources, Communications, and CSR for the Group. Nisha advocates her motto ‘People First’ as the driving force behind the Landmark Happiness Movement and Beat Diabetes, the Group’s flagship CSR initiative. She also chairs the GCC chapter for British Asian Trust.A fashion aficionado, Nisha is also the co-founder of Fashion Forward and is a board member for Dubai Design & Fashion Council and the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation.Nisha is an alumnus of King’s College, London and has also completed a Business Leadership Programme from Harvard Business School
Mr. Junk is a founding member of AFES (American Franchise Export Services) and has been involved in the development and delivery of international projects for over the past 10-years. Mr. Junk writes and speaks extensively. Recent publications include, Asian Hospital & Healthcare Management, Advanced Imaging, Modern Healthcare. Mr. Junk speaks frequently at conferences such as the American Healthcare Radiology Administrators, Healthcare Facilities Symposium and the Academy of Architecture for Health and most recently exhibited at Arab Health in Dubai. Mr. Junk has been involved with and experience in a variety of international funding options for growing US based companies in international markets.
David Allison is a bestselling author and founder of The Valuegraphics Database, the first statistically accurate measurement of what everyone in the world really cares about. He speaks to organizations internationally, and his latest book, WE ARE ALL THE SAME AGE NOW, was chosen by INC Magazine as one of the top leadership books of the year.His work has transformed philosophical conversations about shared human values into empirical data. Now we can use facts instead of intuition to understand a target audience, and dramatically increase the effectiveness of every dollar and hour we spend.Douglas Coupland says “David can see the patterns in the noise and tell us what the real signal is," and Dorian Carroll, the VP of Mobile Shopping for Amazon says "David knows how to understand, reach and motivate target audiences more effectively and efficiently."I think we are all very keen to hear what David has to say. Let’s welcome him to the stage.
Asma works at the intersection of strategy, customer experience and technology to help companies become players in an AI-poweredeconomy. A decade of experience in strategy and experience has put her in the driving seat to understand how customer data acts as afoundation for digital transformation.In her previous role as a leader in IBM’s Watson Internet of Things team, Asma established herself as a thought leader, speaking atnumerous public forums on AI and IoT. Before IBM, Asma was involved in public policy, behavioral change, brand & marketing and politicalcampaignsAsma is a Fulbright Scholar, the most prestigious and competitive fellowships in the world, and has a Diploma in Digital Business Strategydesigned in collaboration with MIT and Columbia. She has a Master’s in Public Relations from the University of Southern California, USAand was also awarded the Siemens Scholarship in 2004 to pursue a Masters and Bachelors in Business at the Institute of BusinessAdministration (IBA), Pakistan. Some of her other recognitions include being recognized as IBM Big Thinkers for her contribution to thefield of digital transformation, featured by The BrandBerries as Woman to Watch: Rule Breakers edition 2019 for driving thought leadershipon how AI and IoT will impact Customer Experience. She was also awarded Most Honorable by the Women in Marketing UK as theInspiration Leader in the Field of Customer Experience.
Engineer Wail has 20 years’ experience in different fields. He specializes in malls management and is currently the CEO of Sahat Property Management Company (Jabal Omar Subsidiary running the shopping malls inside Jabal Omar mega project in Makkah); a Board Member for the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres (MECSC) based in Dubai; member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) in New York; and headed the Shopping Centres Committee in Jeddah Chamber.
Mazen Qandeel is currently the Executive Director of Granada Investment Center Organization which manages the well-known Granada Complex in Riyadh City. Granada Center and Granada Business Park are the major two components in this complex. He is in this position since October 2017. Before that Mazen was handling the Leasing Department in Hamat Property Co for almost 4 years and half. 22 different scales of Retail projects were under his management in 10 different city in Saudi Arabia. From 2010 till 2013, Mazen worked in Research and Capital Markets departments in Jones Lang LaSalle. In 2008, Mazen Graduated from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals with Bachelor in Marketing.
Founded VIAFONE Technologies in 2009 with its headquarters in Dubai. Specialises in delivering improvements to corporate performance through the implementation of innovative customer engagement solutions such as value-added loyalty schemes via Artificial Intelligence CHATBOT and Deep Learning Predictive Analytics. For the past 10 years, his aim is to “translate data & customer experience into brand advocates”. He believes that modern businesses need a new model that is data driven, contextual, and personalised interactive CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Simultaneously, he now heads the Digital and Loyalty Solutions of CELS Group, tying in the digital aspect of the consumer’s holistic journey in retail and events.
With more than 25 years of industry experience, Avi Alkas is a trailblazer in the commercial real estate market. He is personally responsible for introducing the “mall” concept to Turkey in the late 1980’s and set the terms and standards for retail leasing, shopping center management and concept development in Turkey. Earlier in his career, he initiated and developed projects like Akmerkez, Carousel and the İzmir Outlet Center. In 1997, Avi established his own consulting company (Alkas CS Management) and then went on to develop a whole string of projects including Maxi, Karada Marina, Olivium, Tepe Nautilus, "Optimum, Armada, KayseriPark, KoruPark, İstinyePark and Kent Meydanı.
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“It’s a good networking event, you will get to know what other retailers are doing in the market, it’s a good chance to see what other shopping centres are evolving and developing. So it’s a good information sector to know what going on in the region.”
Mustafa Mohamed Al Marzooqi l General Manager- Community Retail at Aldar Properties PJSCMember Since 2015
“One of the biggest benefits of coming to this event is that we network with the industry professionals with all kinds of walks of life. You meet people from the industry, who are suppliers and vendors in the industry. RECon is where you get together, where you connect, you network, you learn from the conversation from each other, you learn the projects that are going on in the industry.”
Avijit Yadav, CMD, CSM, CDP, CLS, CRX | Chief Operating Officer at GLA ManagementMember Since 2002
“RECon has been important for us over the years. The networking is invaluable, and what we get from the networking from people here is very important for us as well as the conference room sessions that we get a lot of information from all over the word. We think bringing experts from the market from all over the world from retail sector category and shopping mall category only contributed positively over the year. We are also excited this year to see that there was a deal-making session being set-up, this has only completed our RECon experience.”
Marwan Eskandarani | Business Development Director at Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group LLCMember Since 2014
"Being involved in the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres has been a stepping stone in my career because ever since the first time I attended the RECon in 2012, I really understood the dynamics and the involvement of the association in the Middle East and how important it is to the health of the retail industry across the region."
The Middle East and North Africa Shopping Centre and Retailer Awards are designed to honour outstanding achievement in retail, marketing, NOI enhancement, and the design and development of retail properties. Each year, the MECS+R MENA Awards celebrates hard working and innovative retailers, shopping centres and service providers who have achieved excellence in their field and provides an opportunity to showcase their business.
Gold Winners of the Middle East and North Africa Shopping Centre Awards will be automatically submitted for the ICSC Best-of-the-Best Global “VIVA” (Vision, Innovation, Value, Achievement) Awards.
For more information please contact Lea at +971 4 359 7909 or email email@example.com
DEAL MAKING SESSION
What is MECS+R Deal Making?
MECS+R Deal Making is a platform that provides networking and right connection for decision makers in the Shopping Centre Industry to make and nail those important deals. It’s a gathering under on roof of developers, owners, retailers, franchise operators and product and service providers to do a year’s worth of work in just 2 days of deal making activities.
How will you benefit from this event?
We, at the MECS+R, will be the bridge to connect you or help you get the right connection to get those deals done!! As a Developer/ Shopping Mall Owner, it is important that you already have a list of potential Retailers and Franchise Operators that you would like to meet at the event. Concurrently, as a Retailer/Franchise Operator/Service Provider, a planned meeting with a Developer/Mall Owner/Other Retail Brands should already be in placed prior to the event. Let the MECS+R team know who you want to connect with, and we will introduce you to the proper person.
How does it work?
The Dealer books a table or a VIP room with MECS+R for 2 days. The table or room is used as a private meeting place for the Dealer and his invites. The Dealer needs to present a list of companies he/she wants to meet or select from the list of attendees or membership database of MECS+R. The MECS+R will then arrange an appointment to get them on the same table for 30 minutes or more of business discussion. A total of 10 guaranteed meetings can be arrange in two full days. Maximizing time to meet a year’s work and meetings in only two days. The Dealer if he wishes can also use the area for his/her own internal meetings.
How much does it cost to book a table or VIP room?
EXCLUSIVE VIP ROOM – USD 7,999
NON-EXCLUSIVE MEETING ROOM – USD 2,499
How to Register?
Send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Confirmation of registration will be sent upon completion of registration form and payment of applicable fees.