The MEADFA Conference
The MEADFA Conference 2018
The newly-published programme for this month’s MEADFA Conference mixes expert analysis with new research and a strong feel for regional trends. Delegates can look forward to a fresh, timely take on a region that’s changing fast.

Running from 28 to 30 January at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai, this year’s MEADFA Conference examines how economics, demographics and the broader business scene are affecting duty free and travel retail across the Middle East and Africa. The speaker line-up includes strong industry representation. Official Conference host Dubai Duty Free’s Chief Operating Officer Ramesh Cidambi will offer his thoughts about the current trading environment. Having achieved sales of $54m in a recent 72-hour promotional campaign, DDF is well-placed to comment on the latest passenger preferences. Oman Airports is the driving force behind the new Muscat International Airport, among the region’s most exciting infrastructure projects, and the authority’s General Manager of Commercial Operations, Samer Ahmed Al Nahbani, will share his company’s plans for the new hub.

The findings from two new studies commissioned exclusively for MEADFA will be presented at the Conference. Counter Intelligence Retail have investigated the behaviour of key travelling nationalities in the Middle East. Spend, purchase motivations and conversion rates are among the key indicators to be explored. In a broader, macro-based view of the region, Emerging Markets Intelligence & Research will report on growth projections, consumer spending, government and corporate strategy throughout the region.

Complementing the industry viewpoints and research conclusions are contributions by seasoned observers. Aviation consultant and former CEO of regional carrier South African Express Inati Ntshanga will explore ways to address the continent’s potentially huge travel market. Business broadcaster Richard Dean looks at the current state of flux in sectors like oil and energy and the impact on business in the region going forwards. The programme includes sessions on retail trends in the Gulf and Levant, Africa’s top brands, industry issues affecting the Middle East and Africa plus the MEADFA Challenge, which will showcase new initiatives that seek to engage travellers in the region.