The MEADFA Conference
The MEADFA Conference 2018

Business experts and key industry players from across the Middle East and Africa will head an impressive line-up at the 2018 MEADFA Conference, managed by TFWA. 

In the opening session, Dubai Duty Free Chief Operating Officer Ramesh Cidambi will share his views on how the industry can thrive and still position itself as an indispensable component in every traveller’s journey. As part of a strong element on the travel and tourism outlook in Africa, the conference will also hear from the former CEO of SA Express Airways and aviation consultant Inati Ntshanga, who will offer his perspective on the steps the travel industry needs to take to realise the continent’s undoubted potential. Broadcaster, branding and African business expert Victor Kgomoeswana, meanwhile, will explore the current climate for brands and retailers in Africa amid the rapid growth of the continent’s middle class.

In a session focusing on new airport developments in the Middle East, Oman Airports General Manager Commercial Operations Samer Ahmed Al Nabhani will reveal the company’s ambitious commercial plans for the new airport hub in Muscat. Counter Intelligence Retail Research Director Stephen Hillam will follow this with a look at today’s travelling consumer in the Middle East and will present the findings of an exclusive new study for MEADFA.

In the light of the fragile oil and energy sector in the Middle East, amid other challenges to regional economies, one of Dubai’s leading business experts, Richard Dean, presenter of daily radio show Business Breakfast on Dubai Eye, will offer his perspective on the region’s current state of flux and suggest how this will affect regional commerce in the mid- to long-term. 

The first day of the conference will close with a session entitled ‘the MEADFA Challenge’, designed to showcase initiatives that will help engage the regional traveller in new ways. 

Tuesday’s programme will open with an examination of the business outlook for the Middle East featuring an exclusive report for the MEADFA Conference by Emerging Markets Intelligence & Research (EMIR) featuring their Senior Analysts Gary McFarlane and Samir Sweida-Metwally. The conference programme will also feature a strong focus on the Middle Eastern consumer, courtesy of Karl Nader, Partner with Strategy& (part of the PwC network) and the co-leader of the firm’s consumer and retail business in the Middle East.  

Middle East Airlines Head of In-Flight and Catering Purchases Mounir Seifeddine, Inflight Sales Group Europe President Karen Durban-Villeval and Inati Ntshanga will explore the outlook of the airline industry in the Middle East and Africa and the role inflight retail can play in ensuring a positive experience for passengers in a session titled ‘The Airline Perspective’. 

MEADFA Vice President and Aer Rianta International Middle East CEO Nuno Amaral, ETRC President Sarah Branquinho (External Affairs Director, Dufry) and Dubai Duty Free Senior Vice President – Finance Bernard Creed will discuss the latest on regulatory and other challenges facing the industry in the Middle East and Africa.  
The conference will run between 29th and 30th January at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai. A packed social programme will ensure there are plenty of opportunities for networking outside the formal conference arena. The event will begin on Sunday with the Opening Cocktail on the Nomad Terrace of the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, kindly sponsored by Dufry. On Monday, the Gala Dinner, which will be sponsored by Official Host Dubai Duty Free, will take place in the Secret Garden of the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel. 

Full details of the conference along with information on how to confirm your place at the event and arrange hotel bookings can be found on the TFWA website at For any enquiries regarding registration, please contact Myriem Chalabi at 

Roda Al Bustan, Al Garhoud is also an official MEADFA Conference hotel and will provide a regular shuttle service during the event.