May 28 2024  |  Associations

2024 MEADFA Conference to be held in Abu Dhabi

By Hibah Noor

The Middle East and Africa Duty Free Association (MEADFA) has announced that the 2024 MEADFA Conference will be held at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE, November 17-19.

The choice of the city as the location for this year’s event reflects Abu Dhabi’s commitment to enhancing its infrastructure and global connectivity.

An economic global powerhouse, Abu Dhabi accounts for approximately two thirds of the United Arab Emirates’ economy. While its rich history can be traced to the third millennium BC, it is today a contemporary and cosmopolitan capital that offers plenty for visitors, from stunning natural landscapes to world-class shopping and sporting facilities.

Abu Dhabi’s forward-thinking approach is exemplified by the opening of the new terminal at Zayed International Airport, a symbol of the emirate’s ambition and world-renowned hospitality. Designed to handle 45 million passengers annually, this state-of-the-art terminal doubles the airport’s previous capacity, aligning with Abu Dhabi’s vision to boost tourism and strengthen its status as a key aviation hub.

As Abu Dhabi’s new gateway to the world, and with more than 30 airlines calling it home, Zayed International Airport connects passengers to over 120 global destinations. The airport’s world-class facilities raise the bar for airport standards, blending technology and people to meet passengers' every need. Notably, Zayed International Airport is the first in the world to feature all nine biometric touchpoints throughout a passenger’s journey, enhancing safety and efficiency to create a sense of ease and offering an exceptional, memorable passenger experience.

Managed by TFWA, this year's MEADFA Conference is hosted by Abu Dhabi Airports. Abu Dhabi Airports and Avolta will host the Gala Dinner to “bring an unforgettable evening to our guests”. Details of the program and other practical information will follow in due course.

Sherif Toulan, MEADFA President, said, “This year, we proudly announce the MEADFA Conference to be held in Abu Dhabi. The MEADFA board and I consider it a privilege to return to the UAE and we extend our sincere gratitude to our hosts for their invaluable support. The duty free and travel retail industry in Abu Dhabi has always been vibrant and continues to flourish. We look forward to welcoming our friends and industry partners from the Middle East, Africa and across the globe to an event presenting an engaging program featuring a diverse lineup of speakers and offering valuable insights and perspectives on the latest trends and innovations in the industry.”

Elena Sorlini, Abu Dhabi Airports CEO, added, “Abu Dhabi Airports is honored to once again host the MEADFA Conference, following the successful event held in Abu Dhabi in 2008. This opportunity reaffirms our commitment to fostering innovation and partnership within the duty free and travel retail sector. As we welcome delegates from around the world, we are proud to showcase Abu Dhabi's ongoing growth and groundbreaking developments within this industry. Through these efforts, Abu Dhabi further establishes itself as a premier travel destination and a key hub for trade and tourism.”

Erik Juul-Mortensen, TFWA President, commented, “The MEADFA Conference is one of the highlights of the duty free and travel retail calendar, and TFWA is proud to support it once again. This event connects industry colleagues from the Middle East and Africa with counterparts from global markets, offering invaluable insights into the business dynamics of the region. Set against the dynamic backdrop of Abu Dhabi, this conference will yet again promise unmatched opportunities for learning and networking.”

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