The resumption of transatlantic flights and easing of travel restrictions across multiple geographies mean the rebound for duty free and travel retail is clearly underway. But as much of Asia Pacific remains closed to international traffic, assessing industry progress is difficult. The MEADFA Conference at Dubai’s Jumeirah Creekside Hotel can help here. As the prime event for a region that includes the world’s leading airport for international passengers (Dubai International) alongside a fast-expanding regional aviation business driven by Africa’s rising middle classes, the Conference addresses several market sectors with wider resonance.
Managed by TFWA and hosted by Dubai Duty Free, the MEADFA gathering boasts a two-day programme rich in regional insight. Monday’s opening session brings together senior executives of retailers ARI, Dubai Duty Free, Lagardère Travel Retail and Dufry plus Abu Dhabi Airport’s commercial head to discuss the restart. Next up, delegates get an airline and airport perspective on ‘Travel in a new world’ with input from IATA’s and ACI’s regional leadership. A focus on regional travel data by ForwardKeys and the latest on Bahrain International Airport’s new terminal round off the day. Following a look at regional tourism with UNWTO and Delta Air Lines’ take on the current state of MEA aviation, Tuesday turns the spotlight on Africa in a session featuring several of the continent’s key players - the African Airline Association, Abidjan International Airport, the Africa Tourism Association and leading retailer Dufry. Preceded by an update on industry advocacy initiatives, the Conference’s final session sees Gebr. Heinemann and ARI Middle East tackle the idea of futureproofing retail, an intriguing challenge for any DF&TR professional.