Middle East Retail Forum to discuss best of new ideas, innovations in retail


Abdul Basit

Dubai – Middle East Retail Forum, starting on November 27 in Dubai, is all about the business of retail, its future and how it’s shaping, its organiser and chief convener Amitabh Taneja told The UAE News.

“So, the idea is to get the best of the worlds, the best of new ideas, the best of physicals, the best of digitals and put it all together. I think there is a lot to get from the event … I think everybody should benefit from it,” Taneja said during an exclusive interview ahead of the event.

The sixth edition of the Middle East Retail Forum (MRF) will be held at the One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai on 27th & 28th November 2017. It will focus on the positive power of disruption. The event has lined up an enviable gathering of retail business owners, CEOs and industry experts to share a treasure of unheard ideas, unspoken insights and unseen innovation to grow the business of retail sustainably.

He said MRF focuses only on retail and that’s the only forum in the region which is only talking about retail business. “We don’t talk about anything else other than retail,” he emphasised.

Talking about the past six years journey of MRF, he said, “It was tough, but fortunately we have been able to do a lot which has helped us visible at the show where finally we are able to show some of the finest retailers from the region. They realized that knowledge sharing is important. Previously, there was not much knowledge sharing was happening.”

He believes that retailers should not compete with each other but compete with consumers because the consumer is moving very fast. Retail is very large and important industry, he said adding that consumer is changing very rapidly so the retailers have to be on their toes and creating new ideas and innovation to attract consumers and with this new digital age the retail is going through a huge transformation.

He reiterated that retailers need to be always updated with innovation, modern technology, new ideas which are benefiting retail and how retail is going to be done in future.

He informed that one of the highlights of the event would be a white paper by the Boston Consulting Group in which the consultancy firm will reveal the biggest five innovations across the world. Another highlight is solo (stories, opinions, learnings, outcomes) sessions where three passionate people will talk about the entrepreneurship, important of culture and happiness within the retail business.

The event will culminate with the seventh annual RetailME Awards, a celebration of retail achievements in the Middle East. There are total 26 award categories including a new category of digital innovation.

A major focus this year is on the local retail startups. Year after year, ever since 2012, MRF has provided a platform to young entrepreneurs to share their bright ideas and voice their opinion on transforming the business of retail. This year, every session at MRF will see speakers spearheading thriving local businesses.
The MRF 2017 agenda also decodes technology in retail keeping people at heart, while focusing on ways to create a successful digital economy. On the other hand, today retail spaces go beyond shopping. These are social hubs for people to meet, greet and consume. MRF will see talks on creating inspiring retail spaces and ways for bricks and clicks to co-exist.

More than 60 key speakers have confirmed their participation in this year’s forum. They include Adel Belcaid Principal AT Kearney, Alexandre Teodoresco Founder Truckers DXB, Mansour Salameh Chief Solutions Manager MENA Facebook, Saoud Khoory General Manager YAS Mall, Yasser Shamsi Chairman El-Shamsi Group, Egypt, Mohammed Abdullah Al-Anjari Chairman Mohammad Al Anjeri Company, Mohammad Alawi Chairman of Shopping Malls Committee, Jeddah Chamber KSA, Saeed Mohammad Mesam Alfalasi Executive Director – Retail and Strategic Alliances Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment to name a few. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com