MEADFA calls for rent relief strategy to assist retailers during Covid-19 crisis

By Andrew Pentol |

Haitham-Al-Majali-MEADFA19The Middle East and Africa Duty Free Association (MEADFA) is to use its full advocacy capacity to intensify engagements with governments to support the industry in its efforts to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

Primarily, the aim is to ensure countries African and the Middle Eastern countries understand that travel retail must be included in all financial support plans to safeguard transport and tourism.

The second objective is to ensure retailers are supported by the whole industry vis-a-vis landlords. MEADFA emphasises the need for a rent relief strategy, which enables landlords to support their retailers during this unprecedented period.

As reported, Dubai Airports, for example, has already waived 100% of minimum guarantees or equivalent fees for partners, which have been forced to cease trading.


On this basis, MEADFA will engage wherever necessary to protect and support the industry.

The MEADFA Board said in a statement: “Governments need to understand that travel retail in Africa and the Middle East is vital for the economy and accounts for more than 70,000 jobs. Beyond the immediate crisis period, we anticipate that the recovery of the travel and tourism sector will take time, as airlines and tour operators gradually build capacity in the system.

“Summer 2020 airline bookings will be dramatically below 2019 and previous years and winter capacity for 2020/2021 will probably be much lower as airlines take a cautious view of the market.”


The Middle East and Africa Duty Free Association says governments must understand that travel retail in the region is vital for the economy.

The Association concluded: “Our sector is of systemic importance for aviation, maritime trade and tourism because commercial revenues are absolutely critical to the financial and economic well-being of transport and tourism infrastructures.

“Lastly, all available means of digital communication will be used accordingly by MEADFA to properly engage with political and administrative authorities.”


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