Board makes unanimous decision to cancel 2020 MEADFA Conference

By Luke Barras-hill |


Haitham Al Majali, President, MEADFA speaking at last year’s event in Muscat.

This year’s Middle East and Africa Duty Free Association (MEADFA) Conference has been called off, the association has announced.

The event was due to be held on 23-24 November in Dubai, but the ongoing economic pain caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) and associated travel restrictions and uncertainty has scuppered the plan.

MEADFA President Haitham Al Majali said: “After continuously monitoring the current health crisis and staying in close contact with our partners and delegates, we have decided to cancel this year’s MEADFA Conference.

“This was an extremely difficult decision to take, given the importance of the event and its role in supporting our advocacy work, but the Board unanimously feels that it would not be appropriate to go ahead with the event in the current context.

“We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops, before announcing the dates for our next conference. We thank our members, sponsors and business partners across the region for their understanding.”


In a statement, MEADFA says it will launch in due course a series of interactive online forums, designed to present the views of retailers, brands and landlords.

A new e-learning format will support the association’s continued training event programme and members will receive further information soon. Membership fees have also been deferred for 12 months.


TFWA Managing Director John Rimmer onstage.

TFWA President Alain Maingreaud said: “MEADFA has the full support of TFWA at this challenging time for all of us in duty free and travel retail. We look forward to helping manage the rescheduled MEADFA Conference, which will provide an overdue opportunity for our industry to gather and plan the recovery in the Middle East and Africa.”


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