World Retail Congress 2016 kicks off in Dubai

RetailME Bureau

The tenth edition of the three-day World Retail Congress (WRC) has started today in Dubai. Taking place from April 12-14 at Madinat Jumeirah under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, WRC is being held for the first time outside of Europe, in Dubai.

In partnership with Majid Al Futtaim and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, WRC 2016 is being held under the theme ‘attracting and engaging the modern customer’. Over 1,000 leading retailers and industry experts are confirmed to attend over the next three days, showcasing the region’s potential in the sector and discussing topics such as disruption and innovation within retail, how to effectively engage with customers and what’s next for the sector, both within the region and globally.

“Retail is one of the UAE’s most promising sectors and forms a key part of our economic diversification plan and Vision 2021, which looks to promote sustainable development across the country,” comments Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Al Shehhi, undersecretary of the UAE Ministry for Economic Affairs, while opening the Congress.

“The retail industry currently contributes 23% of total foreign direct investment inflows to the UAE, and we expect to see further growth, thanks to the country’s robust infrastructure and advanced environment, which make the UAE an ideal place for doing business,” he adds.

“This is a special occasion for Dubai considering that WRC is being held outside Europe for the first time. As a leading global business hub, Dubai offers the perfect stage for the Congress, which has come as an opportunity to celebrate global excellence in retail. The broad platform offered by this event will help highlight the latest trends and provide a major opportunity to share experiences on the key developments in the retail industry. And Dubai Chamber has always encouraged retail development and promoted Dubai as an international business and retail centre,” says Majid Saif Al Ghurair, chairman, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“We are very excited to be here in Dubai for the 2016 WRC. When deciding where to host our milestone 10th Congress, Dubai, one of the most important retail capitals of the world, was the clear choice,” adds WRC chairman Ian McGarrigle.

“During the three-day Congress, experts from across the retail sector, both locally and internationally, will look at a number of key industry trends as well as challenges and opportunities across retail, and I greatly look forward to hearing the insights shared over the course of the next few days. I would also like to extend special thanks to everyone who has supported the 10th Congress, in particular our main partners, Majid Al Futtaim and Dubai Chamber, whose support has been invaluable in bringing the Congress to Dubai,” he continues.

“We are proud to have played a role in bringing WRC to Dubai, our home market. The importance of hosting it here for Dubai and the MENA region cannot be overstated. It provides local retailers and mall operators with the chance to showcase their innovation and offer to a global audience and highlight the immense growth potential of the retail sector here, and the opportunity this presents for international brands,” states Alain Bejjani, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim.