October 7 2022  |  Associations

MEADFA announces Conference agenda details

By Mary Jane Pittilla, in Cannes, France

Sherif Toulan, MEADFA President in Cannes, France

Middle East & Africa Duty Free Association (MEADFA) gave details on the MEADFA Conference today in Cannes.

MEADFA will be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain from November 27 to 29 at The Art Hotel & Resort.

Global Travel Retail Magazine is a media partner for the event.

The Association reveals that an “encouraging” number of delegates have pre-registered for the eagerly-awaited event.

Managed by TFWA, the conference will open with MEADFA President Sherif Toulan giving a welcome address on Monday November 28.

MEADFA press conference took place at TFWA World Exhibition and Conference in Cannes, France

In the opening session, participants will hear from Bahrain’s leading industry experts, Gulf Air Acting CEO Waleed Abdulhameed al Alawi and Bahrain Duty Free Chief Executive Officer & Board Director Bassam Al Wardi.

Prominent figures from the region’s duty free and travel retail industry will assess the current and future state of the market in the Middle East and Africa.

Speakers include Rob Marriott, CEO of Aer Rianta International - Middle East, Ramesh Cidambi, COO of Dubai Duty Free, and Isabel Zarza, COO North & Central Europe, Russia & Africa at Dufry Group.

Afternoon sessions will explore the potential of West Africa, innovation, and insights into the regulations and challenges companies are facing.

Delegates hear from Kojo Bentum Williams, Founder and Publisher of VoyagesAfriq Travel Media and Lead Communications at UNWTO Africa; Gordon Clark, Vice President Business Development at ForwardKeys; Keith Hunter, Chief Retail Officer at Urban-Air Port; Waleed Khalaf, CEO of Smart Way Consultancy; Rob Marriott, Chair of the MEADFA Advocacy Working Group and MEADFA Board Members Roger Jackson and Mazen Kaddoura; and Sarah Branquinho, President of the Duty Free World Council.

Sustainability and cruise sessions
Day two will begin with a discussion on how businesses are implementing sustainable practices, led by Munif Mohammed, Lagardère Travel Retail CEO Saudi Arabia, Marcus Hudson, Mars Wrigley Global Sales Director, and Shivani Sathasivam, Bahraini, sustainability champion and Founder of New Normal Consultancy.

Attendees will then hear from Sharon Beecham, Senior Vice President Purchasing, Dubai Duty Free, and Christian Münstermann, General Manager Global Duty Free, Export and Travel Retail, Imperial Brands, on how global supply chains are transitioning.

Later in the day, market specialists Adrian Pittaway, Retail Director at MSC Cruises, and James Prescott, Managing Director at Harding Bros, discuss the growth of cruise lines in the region.

A session on rebuilding tourism in East Africa includes speakers Surafel Saketa, Country Manager at Ethiopian Airlines, and Baptiste Duguit, Vice President of Business Development at Lagardère Travel Retail.

Rounding off the conference, Kevin Alderweireldt, Co-Founder of creative tech company and metaverse specialist Bureau Béatrice, examines meta-retail.

Alongside the learning opportunities, visitors benefit from a packed social program, which includes an opening cocktail on Sunday, gala dinner on Monday, and networking coffee and lunch breaks.

At the Cannes press conference, TFWA says, "Our special thanks to official host Bahrain Duty Free for their incredible support of the event this year, and to Dufry for hosting the welcome cocktail, along with all of the sponsors, including Diamond Sponsors Imperial Brands, Mazaya and Swedish Match; Platinum Sponsors Dubai Duty Free, Aphrodite, Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail, JT International, and African + Eastern/Gulf Beverages; and Gold Sponsors ANDS and Mondelez."

Support is provided by Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail and African + Eastern/Gulf Beverages (wine and spirits sponsors), A. Loacker and Nestlé KitKat (coffee break sponsors).

Focus on Africa
"Featuring prominent industry leaders, we are happy to be bringing the MEADFA event to Bahrain and look forward to the thought-provoking debates and discussions that will take place during the conference, covering a wider regional array with an emphasis on Africa," says Sherif Toulan, President, MEADFA.

Erik Juul-Mortensen, President, TFWA, adds, "TFWA is delighted to continue our long-term partnership with MEADFA and we are glad to be supporting the MEADFA Conference once again. As an important air hub in the Gulf region, the Kingdom of Bahrain is the perfect location for the event, connecting industry colleagues from the region with those from other international markets, and vice versa."

Registration and more information can be found at https://www.tfwa.com/the-meadfa-conference.

REGION International

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