MEADFA Conference: Industry descends on Dubai

By Luke Barras-hill |

More than 380 DF&TR delegates ­– including decision makers from leading travel retailers – are gathering at Dubai’s Jumeirah Creekside Hotel ahead of the start of the Middle East & Africa Duty Free Association (MEADFA) Conference (21-23 November).

A diverse panoply of brand companies, agents and distributors are due to turn out in force for the regional association’s first physical event since 2019 when it was held in Muscat, Oman, and the first at Dubai Duty Free’s Jumeirah Creekside since January 2018.

Stay close to for coverage from the two-day conference programme, which kicks off in earnest on Monday 22 November.

To read the TRBusiness November special edition e-zine, which includes exclusive interviews with MEADFA President Sherif Toulan, Aer Rianta International Middle East CEO Richard Gray and Dubai Duty Free Chief Operating Officer Ramesh Cidambi, click here.

For a preview of the MEADFA conference programme, click here.


The MEADFA Conference has generated considerable interest from industry stakeholders keen to gauge the Middle East and Africa region’s socio-economic and political temperature and associated impact on travel retail amid ongoing travel restrictions.

Educational sessions will be livestreamed and replay sessions housed within the TFWA 365 platform.

Delegates will enjoy customary Arabian hospitality over the course of the event – the industry’s third in-person exhibition & conference to take place in as many months following October’s TFWA World Exhibition & Conference and the TRBusiness and m1nd-set hosted Travel Retail Consumer Forum in September.

MEADFA Conference Diamond sponsor Dufry operates a number of points of sale in the region including airport concessions in Marrakesh and Casablanca (pictured).

The opening cocktail, sponsored by Dufry, will welcome visitors at Jumeirah Creekside’s Secret Garden on the evening of 21 November.

Nestle and International Duty Free Trading & Agencies (IDFTA) are sponsoring the conference networking coffee breaks, shisha firm Mazaya is sponsoring the conference lunch on both days, and Dubai Duty Free is sponsoring the gala dinner on the evening of Monday 22 November.

During the conference programme, visitors will be able to visit exhibitor stands from Fire & Ice Beverages, Imperial Brands and Zyn by Swedish Match.

As is customary, Dubai Duty Free is offering delegates the chance to win some star-studded prizes, including entry for two people into the Finest Surprise and Millennium Millionaire raffle draws.

Bahrain Duty Free is also affording delegates the opportunity to enter into its raffle draw promotions to win one of two luxury cars.

The MEADFA Conference, managed by TFWA and hosted by Dubai Duty Free, returns to the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel near the Irish Village (21-23 November).

Meanwhile, the MEADFA Grand Raffle Draw courtesy of Dubai Duty Free is offering delegates the chance to win shopping vouchers valid at Dubai Duty Free stores and the Davidoff Raffle Draw will present a star prize.

As always, delegates must be ‘in it to win it’ by ensuring they are present inside conference the conference hall at the time of the draw.

The MEADFA Conference was due to be held at the same location last year, but was cancelled due to travel restrictions and economic uncertainty linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.


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