08:30 - 09:00

Welcome coffee & delegate registration

09:00 - 09:05

Welcome from moderators

09:05 - 09:30

Welcome address

Haitham al Majali, President of MEADFA

09:30 - 10:15

Seizing the moment

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.

10:15 - 11:00

Re-assessing Africa’s airports

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.

11:00 - 11:45

Coffee break

11:45 - 12:30

The climate for retail

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.

12:30 - 13:15

Today’s travelling consumer in the Middle East

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 Research Director Stephen Hillam 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. 

13:15 - 14:00

The MEADFA Challenge

This session of the MEADFA Conference will put the spotlight on innovation and initiatives that are creating excitement in the regional duty free & travel retail industry, and engaging travellers in new and imaginative ways. Among the initiatives featured will be a new, app-led pre-order service soon to be launched by Beirut Duty Free in partnership with Inflyter, plus a new marketing campaign by Dufry that breaks new ground for a travel retail operator.


Lunch followed by afternoon networking

20:00 - 23:00

Gala Dinner

Music Hall, Starco

A night to remember in a mythical theatre where the heart of world fusion music beats with live musical acts and performances.

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