9:00 - 10:00 AM #RCM2021

Registration & Coffee

Welcome to the Retail Congress MENA Event 2021

Welcome to the Retail Congress MENA Event 2021

10:00 - 10:15 AM #RCM2021

Conference Official Opening & Welcome

👉 David Macadam, CEO, Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R)

👉 David Macadam, CEO, Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R)

10:15 - 10:30 AM #RCM2021

Welcome Addresses

👉 Younus Al Mulla, Chairman, Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R) 👉 Wail Balkhair, Board

👉 Younus Al Mulla, Chairman, Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R)

👉 Wail Balkhair, Board President, Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R)

10:30 – 10:45 AM #RCM2021

Keynote Address: Dubai – The Global City of the Future

👉 Ahmed Alkhaja – CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, Dubai Tourism, United Arab Emirates The ultimate goal

👉 Ahmed Alkhaja – CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, Dubai Tourism, United Arab Emirates

The ultimate goal of Dubai is to become the world’s most visited city. Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2025 is the strategic roadmap with the key objective of attracting 25 million visitors per year by 2025. Making Dubai the first choice for international leisure and business travelers, Retail is a key component for attracting repeat visitors from around the globe. Ahmed will discuss the great initiatives of the Government of Dubai for supporting the growth of sustainable tourism in Dubai and the importance of a lively, vital and evolving retail global presence.

10:45 - 11:15 AM #RCM2021

Keynote Address: Omni-channel is Dead: Retail's Future is Hybrid & Harmonized?

👉 Steve Dennis has been named the top global retail influencer. His thoughts on retail are shared in

👉 Steve Dennis has been named the top global retail influencer. His thoughts on retail are shared in Forbes where Steve is a Forbes Senior Contributor. He is also the author of Remarkable Retail.

In a world where even very good is no longer good enough, retail success is not about being everywhere, it's about showing up in remarkably customer relevant ways where it really matters. As the lines between physical and digital continue to blur, we must see the customer as the channel and work to deliver well harmonized experience, anytime, anywhere, anyway. This fundamentally changes what the stores of the future must look like and how retailers overall go-to-market strategies must evolve.

11:15 - 11:30 AM #RCM2021

Designing Experiences To Connect With Our Customers’ Emotional Level

👉 Claire Boscq- Scott, No 3 Customer Service Global Guru, UK Top 20 CX Influencer and CX Thought

👉 Claire Boscq- Scott, No 3 Customer Service Global Guru, UK Top 20 CX Influencer and CX Thought Leader 2021, with three decades of expertise in Customer Service

Your business will only differentiate itself and add value for its customers by focusing on the highest levels of the “emotional drivers” of customer satisfaction. Let’s take a look at your environment and create Sensorial experiences with harmonious workplaces, retail spaces and environments by making simple but powerful changes which will increase your employees’ productivity, wellbeing, reduce sickness, churn, and so many more benefits for your people. Leaving your customers with positive, trusting feelings toward your business, increase their loyalty and your brand awareness, ultimately impact human care.

11:30 - 12:00 PM #RCM2021

On Stage Discussion: Retail Leaders Setting The Future Of Shopping Centre Innovation

Come to learn what the regional industry leaders are doing to ramp up the performance of their retail

Come to learn what the regional industry leaders are doing to ramp up the performance of their retail and shopping centres. The guests on stage have decades of experience with the strongest brands in the most successful shopping centres regionally.

👉 Artin Malatjalian – Chief Commercial Officer (COO) Al Othaim Group, Saudi Arabia

With a career spanning decades in KSA, Artin is the leading figure regionally for retail real estate and shopping centres. Previously Artin was with MAF Shopping Centres, Vice President of Shopping Centres at Intimaa and delivering the landmark Red Sea Mall in Jeddah. Artin delivers on providing innovative solutions to all portfolios he handles. We look forward to hearing from him on what the future shopping centres will include and will not include. Come and join this interactive session.

👉 Alfie Gibbs – CEO Future Retail Advisors, United Arab Emirates

Alfie is the legend of leasing and revenue generation in the MENA region. With a career spanning decades with Majid Al Futtaim, Chief Retail Officer of Dubai Holdings and other senior roles, Alfie has been involved at the highest level with retail shopping centres locally and regionally. Diriyah Gate Development Authority in Riyadh is the next massive project where Alfie is involved. Alfie always has a considered approach to retail and the development of shopping centres in the region. Come and join the session to understand what these industry leaders have in mind for shopping centres to be delivered in the next five years.

12:00 - 12:30 PM #RCM2021

Aleta Planet & Union Pay – 240 Million Credit Card Holders from China

👉 Stephen Richards Evans, Regional CEO EMEA, Aleta Planet Over one million mainland Chinese nationals are forecast to

👉 Stephen Richards Evans, Regional CEO EMEA, Aleta Planet

Over one million mainland Chinese nationals are forecast to reside in the UAE by 2022. This digital financial platform Aleta Planet & Union Pay provide open access to more than 240 million credit card holders from China. From online retail purchases, contactless payment, supply chain wholesale settlements in China and the Far East. Even the ability to purchase residential real estate in the UAE via international transfers is facilitated by Aleta Planet & Union Pay.

All retailers and shopping centre owners in the GCC MUST have Aleta Planet & Union Pay as part of their updated offering to the customer base which is rapidly evolving globally. Come and hear from Stephen Richards Evans the CEO EMEA for Aleta Planet and Union Pay. Stephen is a career banker with 40+ year’s global experience from Hong Kong to London, Dubai to Paris. Residing now in Dubai, Stephen is well placed to expand the footprint of this massive digital financial platform throughout the GCC and beyond.

Learn why throughout the GCC Aleta Planet and Union Pay are vital to your success as a retailer and shopping centre owner.

12:30 - 1:00 PM #RCM2021

Gen Z- Driving New Formula For Consumer Engagement And Successful Retail. How successful Retail Is Evolving.

Gen Z is pushing brands out of their comfort zones — and reshaping the very definition of what

Gen Z is pushing brands out of their comfort zones — and reshaping the very definition of what a brand is. Concept stores combine culture with the business of selling a certain lifestyle or theme. Department stores have fallen out of favor with the younger customers. Concept Stores are now generating the Buzz in retail.

Pushing the boundaries of thought, innovation, ingenuity and investment create the most successful Concept Stores. What are the Concept Stores all about? What is their future? How can you create your own customized Concept Store?

👉 Ekaterina Ilieva, Head of Retail Development - Fashion & Luxury, Msheireb Downtown, Doha, Qatar

Ekaterina Ilieva is a retail leader in Qatar for over a decade. Currently with Msheireb Properties her work with Sheikha Moza, the Queen Mother of Qatar has created great opportunities for new Concept Stores. Kat’s history of working with the leading retail groups in Qatar as a buyer, merchandiser, brand creator and leasing director has brought her in close contact with all the leading global luxury brands. Recently Harrods Department Store digital Concept store roll out is part of her experience.

👉Ramit Harisinghani, General Manager, B8ta – Chalhoub Group Concept Stores – Dubai Mall

Ramit is well known in the Middle East’s tech and retail industry for his experience and expertise in managing multimillion-dollar projects and commercial implementation of revolutionary experiences around mixed reality and mobility. He has also worked with various government bodies to create new-ecosystems and is great at building CXO level relationships, by continuously striving to provide a positive customer experience.

Come listen to an open discussion on stage with one of the leading experts in the GCC on what a successful Concept Store is all about. How to create a successful Concept Store.

1:00 - 1:45 PM #RCM2021

Panel Discussion: Rethinking Marketing Strategies For 2021 And Beyond

👉 Vanessa Hinton, Director - Marketing & Customer Service, Nakheel 👉Lizelle Fitoussi, Digital Marketing & Communications Consultant, Dubai

👉 Vanessa Hinton, Director - Marketing & Customer Service, Nakheel

👉Lizelle Fitoussi, Digital Marketing & Communications Consultant, Dubai Tourism

How has the pandemic changed the way we work? Learn from the experts how to make marketing work in your social media accounts, at your retail organization and within your shopping centre. Marketing programs throughout the retail industry have been transformed. The marketing experts Vanessa and Lizelle will be on stage to tell us how to revamp and succeed in building shopping centre and retailer marketing programs to bolster traffic and increase sales. Social media plays a leading role in all marketing roles today. Come and learn how to ensure your Social Media Program is operating at the highest level.

1:45 – 3:00 PM #RCM2021

Networking Lunch

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3:00 PM #RCM2021

Close of Conference Day One

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3:00 - 3:20 PM #RCM2021

MECSC Annual General Meeting

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9:30 - 10:00 AM #RCM2021

Registration and Coffee

Welcome to the Retail Congress MENA Event 2021

Welcome to the Retail Congress MENA Event 2021

10:00 - 10:15 AM #RCM2021

Opening and Welcome Remarks

👉 David Macadam, CEO, Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R)

👉 David Macadam, CEO, Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R)

10:30 - 10:50 AM #RCM2021

Keynote Address: A Discussion On Stage: The Impact Of Israel In The GCC Retail Market

👉 Avi Alkas and Harel Wiesel, CEO, Fox-Wizel Fox was founded in 1942 as Trico Fox. Now an

👉 Avi Alkas and Harel Wiesel, CEO, Fox-Wizel Fox was founded in 1942 as Trico Fox. Now an international apparel retail chain with headquarters in Israel, Fox has retail shops in Israel, Russia, Singapore, China, Bulgaria, Croatia, Canada, India, Romania, Thailand, Panama as well as other retailers, wholesalers and franchisers abroad. Fox-Wizel designs, manufactures and markets apparel, fabrics and fashion accessories through their global chain of retail stores. With the opening of business relations with Israel, the UAE and the GCC will soon be home to more Fox retail outlets. Come to learn about the history of Fox and the dramatic growth of the company through a discussion on stage with Avi Alkas from Istanbul and the CEO of Fox-Wizel, Harel Wiesel.

Avi Alkas is no stranger to the global retail industry and the MECS+R. Avi’s business which is headquartered in Istanbul, range throughout Europe, the GCC and the Far East over the past many decades. Past Chairman of JLL Turkey for many years, Avi now is Chairman of JLL in Israel. Join us to hear from these retail legends during a frank, open and candid discussion on stage to learn more about the Fox expansion initiatives.

10:50 – 11:20 AM #RCM2021

CEO in the Retail Industry – Rebound Plan

👉 Shahram Shamsaee – Chief Executive Officer, Merex Investment Group LLC How do you plan for a rebound

👉 Shahram Shamsaee – Chief Executive Officer, Merex Investment Group LLC

How do you plan for a rebound that may or may not come? How do you drive your corporate strategy going forward? Technology, changing business models, adapting quickly to pandemics, and updates to services and offerings in the evolving market conditions. The role of a CEO has never been as complicated as it is today.

Making strategic decisions based on evolving conditions in the retail industry and consumer behaviors requires a steady vision and faith.

Shahram Shamsaee is the CEO of Merex Investment headquartered in Dubai. The portfolio includes assets from Meraas Retail and Brookfield Properties assets. A veteran of the retail industry in the GCC and particularly Dubai for two decades Shahram is known as the man who can find solutions and create successful sustainable revenue models with the strongest retail mix.

We look forward to hearing from Shahram on his current role and what he sees in the coming months for the retail industry locally, regionally and globally.

11:20 – 11:40 AM #RCM2021

Disruption is the Mother of Innovation

👉 Bill Kistler, Founder and Managing Partner, urbanOvation Our industry is in the midst of accelerating through an

👉 Bill Kistler, Founder and Managing Partner, urbanOvation

Our industry is in the midst of accelerating through an unprecedented change. Your career and the success or failure of your organization depends on your ability to adapt, collaborate and innovate. This fireside chat will explore the forces driving change and the opportunities they create. Bill is a leader in the European retail world.

Bill has resided in London for many years. Several of his various roles have included heading up ULI in the GCC and beyond, Executive in Korn Ferry recruitment, European leader of ICSC. Bill is an extraordinary networker and great speaker. Come to learn about what Bill has been spending his time doing in the past months. Expanding his reach and our knowledge in the retail industry, Bill will invite us all to become supporters of his latest initiative.

11:40 – 12:00 PM #RCM2021

Digital retail shopping from your home or anywhere - from the palm of your hand.

👉 Michael Ruckman, CEO, Senteo An American, speaking Spanish, Russian, English and other languages, Michael has been living

👉 Michael Ruckman, CEO, Senteo

An American, speaking Spanish, Russian, English and other languages, Michael has been living in Moscow for many years. Through his business called Senteo, he and his team deliver leading insights and consulting to the banking industry globally. Michael has long been a global leader in the retail world for education programs and for promoting the latest technologies. In this interesting session Michael discusses ‘Eyezon’ and other current technology which is available and in use now. These new technologies are already adopted by the most forward-thinking companies. Come to learn how you can increase your business footprint with technology.

12:00 -12:45 PM #RCM2021

New Shopping Centre Designs – how to plan for the next five years with physical and phygital real estate

Retail/Lifestyle Destination & Safe Customer Experience - The Transformation Creating destination, staying visible, new rules of involvement and

Retail/Lifestyle Destination & Safe Customer Experience - The Transformation

Creating destination, staying visible, new rules of involvement and places of attachment, keeping customers engaged. Brick and mortar stores must deliver vastly positive and memorable physical and media experiences. Brand impressions must add radical experiential value for all customers.

Shopping centres and retailers now are community gathering places, brand culture hubs, and experiential playgrounds.

Now the retail experience begins with the media experience - Tik Tok, Instagram, YouTube are important. The actual physical experience of tomorrow’s new shopping centres must surpass the expectations created with the use of the social media.

Learn how these leading industry professionals are creating new experiences and sustainable communities worthy of our time.

👉Paul Firth – CallisonRTKL – New Lifestyle Centres – FEC and Entertainment are the focus.

Paul is a leading architect in the MENA region with Callison RTKL. With knowledge of what is being planned in the coming years throughout the MENA region and beyond, Paul will describe how the shopping centre design process has evolved. With insights into what we can expect and how existing centres can be meaningfully updated, Paul will lead us through the next phase of design for the creation of successful shopping centres.

👉John Harris – Executive Director Asset Management – Roshn, Riyadh With decades of experience from Canada to Dubai to Riyadh John’s career places him at the forefront of Asset Management locally, regionally and globally. The recent roles at Raza and now Roshn have given John great insights into what the future of retail looks like. We look forward to hearing from John on how the Riyadh retail world is quickly evolving and what we can expect in the future.

👉Amit Puri – MRICS – Vice President Retail – DAMAC Properties

Amit joins the stage for discussions with us on what the future of retail looks like, especially in community centres. With over a decade of hands-on experience in the retail business as an investor, developer and consultant, we look forward to hearing from him what plans DAMAC has for their retail portfolio.

In his capacity to handle DAMAC’s retail and residential Leasing P&L, Amit’s core focus is to establish DAMAC as a strong retail player in the Region including the new territories of KSA, Iraq and Jordan. We will learn how the evolution of retail is envisioned and delivered.

12:45 – 1:15 PM #RCM2021

The Great Resignation – Workplace realignment – Fact or Fiction

👉 Phil Bedford, International speaker and Int'l #1 Best Selling Author owner of Asentiv GCC and The Rebel

👉 Phil Bedford, International speaker and Int'l #1 Best Selling Author owner of Asentiv GCC and The Rebel Networker

👉 Shane Phillips, CEO, The Phillips Group, recruitment business leaders in the GCC

Phil’s message is clear. Relationship based marketing is the best and only way forward. The idea that following the time proven 15 steps to ensure you are able to succeed in any circumstance in business and life. Phil’s education program is worth your time to explore. Personal success is the outcome. Phil’s audiences globally are keen hear his story and proven steps for success - again and again.

Shane is well known locally and regionally through hosting his many radio shows, education programs and providing career advise. An author of two books and a tireless networker Shane is a force of nature. Shane’s education programs are industry leading. His primary business is sourcing CEO’s for the many successful businesses in the region. Shane’s team enable the transition from good to best in the industry.

Come to learn what the employers of today are looking for in their search for the best talent. Both Shane and Phil have decades of experience in the region. How to be your best at work and for living the life you aspire to. Come learn from these industry leaders.

1:15 – 3:00 PM #RCM2021

Networking Lunch

3:00 – 5:00 PM #RCM2021

MECSC MENA Awards Presentation (Afternoon at Samaya Ballroom, no gala dinner)

6:00 PM #RCM2021

MECSC Awards Cocktail Celebration (Evening at Olive Garden)

Event Schedule

Here’s a selection of the brightest names in branding that OnBrand will be hosting and boasting on October 10, 2019.

Registration & Coffee

9:00 - 10:00 AM RCM2021

Welcome to the Retail Congress MENA Event 2021

Conference Official Opening & Welcome

10:00 - 10:15 AM RCM2021

👉 David Macadam, CEO, Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R)

Welcome Addresses

10:15 - 10:30 AM RCM2021

👉 Younus Al Mulla, Chairman, Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R)

👉 Wail Balkhair, Board President, Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R)

Registration and Coffee

9:30 - 10:00 AM RCM2021

Welcome to the Retail Congress MENA Event 2021

Opening and Welcome Remarks

10:00 - 10:15 AM RCM2021

👉 David Macadam, CEO, Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R)

Keynote Address: A Discussion On Stage: The Impact Of Israel In The GCC Retail Market

10:30 - 10:50 AM RCM2021

👉 Avi Alkas and Harel Wiesel, CEO, Fox-Wizel Fox was founded in 1942 as Trico Fox. Now an international apparel retail chain with headquarters in Israel, Fox has retail shops in Israel, Russia, Singapore, China, Bulgaria, Croatia, Canada, India, Romania, Thailand, Panama as well as other retailers, wholesalers and franchisers abroad. Fox-Wizel designs, manufactures and markets apparel, fabrics and fashion accessories through their global chain of retail stores. With the opening of business relations with Israel, the UAE and the GCC will soon be home to more Fox retail outlets. Come to learn about the history of Fox and the dramatic growth of the company through a discussion on stage with Avi Alkas from Istanbul and the CEO of Fox-Wizel, Harel Wiesel.

Avi Alkas is no stranger to the global retail industry and the MECS+R. Avi’s business which is headquartered in Istanbul, range throughout Europe, the GCC and the Far East over the past many decades. Past Chairman of JLL Turkey for many years, Avi now is Chairman of JLL in Israel. Join us to hear from these retail legends during a frank, open and candid discussion on stage to learn more about the Fox expansion initiatives.