MENALAC Conference and Awards to take place in April

RetailME Bureau

The Middle East & North Africa Leisure and Attraction Council (MENALAC) – the trade body for the Middle East and North African leisure market – has announced its one-day, annual, Leisure, Entertainment & Attractions Conference on April 8.

The conference, to be held in conjunction with DEAL 2018, will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre. It will focus on operational aspects of leisure facilities and will be sponsored by IEC, the organisers of DEAL 2018.

The MENALAC Conference will cover a range of operational topics from analysing the status of the leisure market in MENA to motivating staff via best HR practices, implementing loyalty programmes for repeat play, tracking attraction operations, using social media effectively, virtual reality (VR) and its operational nuances and benefitting from adventure-based leisure facilities.

These topics have been handpicked by the MENALAC Conference committee comprising Andrew Such, operations director Majid Al Futtaim Leisure & Entertainment; Mohamed Salem, CEO of Al Othaim Leisure & Entertainment; Prakash Vivekanand, managing director of Amusement Services International (ASI); and Peter Poyck, general manager operations, Adventure Land, UAE.

“The Conference Committee has a wealth of operations experience in the MENA Region and the program will specifically target to derive more impact from any type of leisure operation, be it theme parks, water parks, FECs & LBEs or play & edutainment venues. Our endeavour at MENALAC is always to create educational initiatives that are tailor-made to suit the operational characteristics of the MENA market and thus improve the operating standards in our region,” states Salem.

Further, the first edition of the MENALAC Awards – to be held on April 10 at Ritz Carlton, Dubai – has received an overwhelming response.

Aimed to recognise and reward excellence across 15 categories in the MENA leisure and attraction industry, MENALAC Awards has received 70 entries from leisure operations in the region. The best theme parks, water parks, FEC’s, visitor attractions as well as the best industry practices and operational managers will all vie for glory and recognition in their specific categories on the night of the awards.

An independent nine-member jury comprising eminent professionals from the global leisure, retail and real estate industry will scrutinise the entries received, short list nominees and identify their choice to an external audit firm, Horwath Mak Associates, who will then collate the results and announce the winners during the gala event. In addition, the event will also see a Hall of Fame Award recognising the contribution of an individual to the MENA leisure industry.

“We are indeed very pleased with the response we have received to the first MENALAC Awards gala. This kind of event is much needed. We have some of the best leisure & entertainment facilities and objectively recognising these wonderful facilities was long overdue. This is a celebration of the efforts of the investors and stakeholders in our business. We want this event to be a night of excellence that will help raise the profile of our industry even higher,” adds Silvio Liedtke, chairman of the events committee of MENALAC.

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