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World retail leaders to converge in Dubai

Abdul Basit/Dubai
Filed on January 28, 2016
World retail leaders to converge in Dubai

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Majid Al Futtaim have joined hands with the organiser for the WRC, which will be held under the theme 'Attracting and engaging the modern customer'.

Dubai will host the 10th edition of the World Retail Congress (WRC) from April 12 to 14 this year. This is the first time the retail event will be held outside Europe. 

Retail remains a key pillar of Dubai's economy, with sales expected to reach Dh160 billion this year, and 400,000 square metres of additional retail space is expected to be completed by the year end across the emirate, consultancy JLL said in a recent report. 

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Majid Al Futtaim have joined hands with the organiser for the WRC, which will be held under the theme 'Attracting and engaging the modern customer'. 

It will bring together over 1,000 leading retailers and industry experts to showcase the region's potential in the sector and discuss topics such as disruption and innovation within retail, how to effectively engage with customers and what's next for the sector, both in the region and globally. 

Dubai is the perfect location for the Congress' first foray outside Europe, World Retail Congress chairman Ian McGarrigle told a media briefing in Dubai on Wednesday. 

Talking about the 10th edition, the chairman said this year's programme and inspirational speakers will cover some of the most important topics and trends affecting the retail industry. 

"I am confident that the Congress will provide an excellent platform for local, regional and international retailers to shine the spotlight on innovation in this sector," he said. 

"The Congress also provides an opportunity for the industry to work together to discuss ways to pioneer retail development both within the Middle East and around the world." 

The Dubai Chamber has been instrumental in bringing the Congress to Dubai as part of its strategy to drive investment into Dubai and Mena markets, while boosting Dubai's position to the world's number one retail destination. 

"We believe that these events are an opportunity for businesses and organisations from around the world to know what Dubai has to offer - its strategic location, access to two billion consumers in the region and a stable and safe economy," Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of the Dubai Chamber, said. 

Retail and wholesale trade is an important sector in the UAE economy and accounts for more than 11 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and close to 30 per cent of Dubai's GDP. 

Retailing in the UAE is expected to reach Dh200 billion by 2017, growing five per cent on average each year. CBRE ranked Dubai as the second most important retail destination globally in its 2015 report. 

Alain Bejjani, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim - Holding, said: "By working together, we believe we can make the World Retail Congress 2016 the most engaging, inspiring and thought provoking to date. It will be a pleasure to welcome fellow retail leaders from across the world to Dubai." 

- abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com 





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