MEDFA conference details released

By Charlotte Turner |

The Middle East Duty Free Association and TFWA have released details of the 2012 MEDFA Conference, taking place on 26th and 27th November in the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai.


In 2012, MEDFA organisers hope to beat the conference’s record of 470 delegates from last year’s 10th anniversary event.


The focus of this conference will be the Middle East’s “pivotal role in the global economy” and specifically in the aviation sector as it is major hub for international travel.


After an opening address by MEDFA President, John Sime, keynote speaker Dr Ghanem Al Hajri, Director General, Sharjah Airport Authority will provide his views on the state of the aviation industry in the Middle East, looking at key growth factors and how airports in the UAE are prepared for future economic fluctuations.



Dr Costas Verginis, Director, Consulting Real Estate & Hospitality, Deloitte & Touche will present a wider perspective of the Middle East within the global economy against the backdrop of recent political turmoil and of the impact of travel to and through the region by people from fast growing economies such as China and India.


In ‘About Africa: focus on business in North & South Africa’, retailers and operators will assess the growth drivers, recent performance and expectations for the future in their respective markets.


The focus will be turned on the consumer in ‘Shopper insights: downtown and duty free’ with analysis of the shopping behaviour of different customers in the two channels by specialists in Middle Eastern markets.


Engaging the customer at all stages of the travel experience is the subject of ‘360° Communication’ led by experts in communications technology and social media.



The keynote speaker on the second day will be Stephan Pichler, CEO, Jazeera Airways on ‘Building the brand in the Middle East’ with his insight to the future of the airline sector in the region.


There will be a session on ‘Excellence in the air’ where creating positive customer experiences at close quarters is key to successful retailing. This will be followed by a session on ‘Brand news: innovation in duty free & travel retail’ with contributions from international companies in the beauty, liquor and tobacco sectors.


Finally in ‘East meets West: a focus on China, India and the Chinese and Indian travellers in the Middle East’ the two Asian giants, which route millions of passengers through the Middle East, will go under the spotlight.


The list of official sponsors include: Official Carrier – Emirates Airline; Diamond Sponsor & Gala Dinner Host – Dubai Duty Free; Platinum Sponsors – Davidoff, Le Sportsac, Philip Morris, Pernod Ricard and Patron Spirits; Gold Sponsors – Aelia, Ferrero Travel Market, King’s Tobacco and Tourvest Duty Free; Silver Sponsors – Counter Intelligence Retail and Perfetti van Melle; Welcoming Cocktail – Dufry Sharjah; Lunch – Traveller Limited and Qatar Duty Free; Coffee break – Nestle And  International Duty Free Trading Agencies; Conference Portfolio & Bag – Travel Retail & Duty Free Markets; Badge Lanyards – The Moodie Report.


The full programme with details of speakers can be found at Pre-registration for the MEDFA Conference will open on 26th September.

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