Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has been announced as the official partner of the World Retail Congress 2016.
The 10th edition of the Congress, which is the world's largest retail event, will be held in Dubai under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. It will be the first time the event will be held in the Middle East.
Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim - Holding said: "We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with the World Retail Congress and Dubai Chamber of Commerce to make 2016, the 10th anniversary of the World Retail Congress, an event that truly reflects the innovative thinking and pioneering spirit that Dubai is known for.
"Working closely with the Government to bring the World Retail Congress to Dubai is a reflection of Majid Al Futtaim's commitment to help drive investment into Dubai and MENA markets, while boosting Dubai to become the world's number one retail destination. We are confident that World Retail Congress 2016 will be the biggest and best yet."
The arrival of the event in Dubai will be a major milestone in the evolution of the Emirate's retail landscape. It will also create a platform for retail leaders across MENA to come together to share new thinking, showcase the region's potential in the sector, and continue to attract both local and international investment.
Dubai's retail sector has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years, and the Emirate has been named the second most important international shopping destination globally after London, according to real estate consultancy firm CBRE. Part of the fabric of Dubai's retail landscape, Majid Al Futtaim transformed the face of the industry in the region by introducing the model for integrated retail and luxury entertainment across the region two decades ago.
This year, Majid Al Futtaim is celebrating the 20th anniversary of City Centre Deira, now the largest branded mall network in the region, as well as the 20th anniversary of Carrefour and Magic Planet in Dubai, the 15th anniversary of VOX Cinemas and the 10th anniversary of The Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai.
Majid Al Futtaim continues to deliver innovative retail, leisure, entertainment and living experiences to new markets in the Middle East and North Africa. It is currently developing The Mall of Egypt, which includes the largest indoor snow resort in Africa, has developed an indoor water park in Bahrain and is delivering sustainable community developments to the people of Lebanon and Oman.
H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: "Hosting the 10th World Retail Congress will give impetus to Dubai's dynamic and robust retail sector while building on its strong foundation of being the 2nd most important retail destination in the world in 2015, as rated by CBRE.
“To add to this, this is the first time that the Congress is being held outside Europe, which is a testament to Dubai's reputation as a leader in the MICE industry and hosting world-class global events and exhibitions.
“Partnering with Majid Al Futtaim, a retail pioneer in the region, we believe World Retail Congress 2016 will set the benchmark for future editions of the world's largest annual retail event."
Dubai is home to more than 55 percent of the world's top international retail brands, as well as world-class shopping malls such as Mall of the Emirates and the City Centre malls network. The retail potential of Dubai's residents is valued at AED63 billion and is set to grow by 8.5 percent per annum. Tourist contributions stand at AED12.5 billion, which is an average of AED1,000 per visitor.
Ian McGarrigle, World Retail Congress chairman said: "Dubai is one of the most important and dynamic retail environments in the world and the MENA region represents tremendous growth potential for the companies that participate in the World Retail Congress.
“Our partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Majid Al Futtaim will help us use the 10th anniversary of the World Retail Congress to spotlight innovation in retail development and open doors to new investment and expansion opportunities for global brands to reach millions of new customers."
The World Retail Congress was founded in 2007 in response to retailers seeking a platform for senior leaders to come together to discuss the major issues and trends affecting the industry. Held annually, the Congress attracts leading industry stakeholders from retail, global economics, politics, finance and NGOs to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the global retail market.