Retail Event, eCommerce Event, Knowledge Series, Conference, Exhibition & Awards in Dubai | Middle East Retail Forum (MRF) 2020
9th MIDDLE EAST RETAIL FORUM

25th November 2020

The Middle East Retail Forum (MRF) is a powerful aggregator of entrepreneurs, leaders, innovators and global retail trends. As the annual flagship knowledge-oriented forum that started in 2012, MRF facilitates charting out the future of retail’s blueprint in the Middle East and beyond. The forum is also a great opportunity to network with the top executives of the retail industry and learn what is relevant for the development of retail business in the Middle East

The Masterplan of Retail Transformation

MRF 2020: Difficult choices face retailers as they begin to cautiously emerge from a dramatic year. Rules of the game seem to have been re-calibrated and there are more questions than answers. Where do we go from here? Some answers will emerge at MRF 2020’s Masterplan of Retail Transformation, and the science of Future-fit Retail will be revealed

SPEAKERS 2020

Ahmed Ragab
Ahmed Ragab
Group CEO - Baraka Retail Group

Ahmed Ragab is the group CEO and executive board member of Egypt-based BRG Holding. He is the CEO and board member of Barak Optics Group, as well as board member of Baraka Folio Company and Sigma Construction. Ragab is also a selected entrepreneur with Endeavor Egypt. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the American University in Cairo, Master’s in Business Administration from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands. He also completed the Scaling Ventures Programme from Harvard Business School in the US. Ragab is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Amitabh Taneja
Amitabh Taneja
Chairman & Managing Director - Images Group
Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith
Regional Director - Ayton Global Research

Andrew Smith is the Regional Director for Ayton Global Research. When Founder and Managing Director of Ayton Global Research, Susan Ayton, looked to expand into the Middle East, Andrew offered his time and knowledge to help the company become established in this region.

Andrew will be introducing Susan Ayton. Susan Ayton is the Founder and Managing Director of Ayton Global Research Ltd and inventor and owner of Ayton System Software, which has been successfully trading for over 25 years. She has designed and ran consumer studies for over 400 international clients including; contract manufacturers such as PZ Cussons and Acheson & Acheson, large high street chains such as A.S. Watson, Tesco, Walgreen Boots Alliance and The Body Shop, as well as global brands such as Skinny Tan, Oriflame, Liz Earle and Temple Spa.

Susan has been nominated three times for the Who’s Who of Britain’s Business Elite and has won the Mendip Family Business and International Business Awards. Ayton System Software won a British Government Research and Development Grant because of its ability to provide an homogenous global research platform in real-time and in any language. Susan has a life of developing her business model hand-in-hand with some of the largest global cosmetics and toiletries corporations all across the world.

Ashish Panjabi
Ashish Panjabi
COO - Jacky’s Business Solutions and Jacky’s Retail LLC

Ashish Panjabi is the COO of Jacky’s Business Solutions. Panjabi also runs Jacky’s Retail LLC, which operates Samsung Brand Shops across the UAE and is a partner in Cutting Edge Solutions FZE. He is a board member and president-elect for the UAE Chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneur), where the focus is on fostering entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, education, funding and incubation. He is also involved in various mentorship activities, as a Tech Mentor at in5 Tech and at Techstars, which is a seed accelerator. Panjabi is also a board member of the Dubai Computer Group, which represents the interests of the computer industry in Dubai and is formed under the auspices of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is currently a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) MENA One Chapter as well as a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Bart Denolf
Bart Denolf
CEO – Franchise - Sacoor Brothers Group

Bart Denolf is currently the CEO – Franchise for the Sacoor Brothers Group. Since he joined the company in 2015, Denolf has been actively driving growth both offline and online and the company has since opened in more than 10 new countries. Prior to joining the Sacoor Brothers Group, he pursued a successful career at Pepe Jeans Group (Pepe Jeans, Hackett) from 2010-15 where he joined as global retail and expansion director and prior to that at MANGO from 2005-10, where he joined as area manager for expansion and became senior vice-president – business development, managing more than 35 countries. Denolf has a Degree in Law from the University of Ghent (Belgium) and a Master’s Degree in European Law from the University of Cantabria (Spain). He also has a second Master’s Degree in Marketing, Sales and Business Administration in ESIC (Madrid, Spain). In 2014 he did an executive programme in INSEAD, Paris. More recently, he has completed a course on application of AI in business strategy from MIT, USA.

Cameron Mitchell
Cameron Mitchell
CEO - Majid Al Futtaim Leisure & Entertainment and Cinemas

Cameron Mitchell has worked in the entertainment industry for 25 years, initially in various regional operational roles across Australia, specialising in the setup and opening of new complexes and cinema concepts across the country. He joined Majid Al Futtaim in January 2007, and as CEO oversees the existing entertainment businesses, coupled with the company’s aggressive expansion across the MENA region, which has seen VOX Cinemas become one of the region’s largest, and favourite cinema entertainment providers. Mitchell additionally oversees Majid Al Futtaim’s Leisure and Entertainment businesses, which includes 30 Magic Planet family entertainment centres and Majid Al Futtaim’s Ski business including the iconic Ski Dubai located in Mall of the Emirates and Mall of Egypt’s Ski Egypt, with Ski Saudi and Ski Oman under development. In addition to these attractions, Majid Al Futtaim also operates a number of other innovative leisure attractions, including VR experience centre Dreamscape in Mall of the Emirates, along with several other integrated entertainment centres.

Farah Emara
Farah Emara
Co-founder & CEO - FreshSource

Farah Emara has extensive experience with start-ups and SMEs. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Economic Development and Public Policy at Durham University and pursued a Master’s Degree in Management at the London School of Economics. Emara has worked in Procter & Gamble as the head of the strategic communications department as well as entrepreneur selection & growth manager at Endeavor. She has appeared as a judge on CBC’s Hona Al Shabab and awarded the Obama Presidential Award.

Grace Karim
Grace Karim
Co-founder - Bookends

Bookends is the first digital platform in the UAE for buying and selling pre-loved books. Bookends is a UAE-based start-up founded by mompreneurs Grace Karim and Somia Anwar. Karim is a mother of two enthusiastic readers Omar and Adam. While Anwar is also a mother of two avid readers Zoha and Abdullah. While their kids were growing older, they struggled to keep refreshing their book collections at affordable prices. Kids would outgrow the books quickly and always ready to buy new ones. This is where the idea of Bookends came into being. Today Bookends.ae offers a wide variety of books at affordable prices. Readers can buy books and sell their pre-loved books on Bookends.ae.

Halima Jumani
Halima Jumani
Director - Kibsons

Halima Jumani is director and part of the founding family of Kibsons Online Home Delivery Service, which focuses on distributing fresh, healthy food directly from market-to-door for thousands of UAE residents. Jumani has worked at Kibsons for over 10 years, having seen the company go from strength-to-strength and leading the expansion through the practical challenges of implementing several projects/initiatives in the world of operations and trading. Today she oversees finance and operations for Kibsons and a team of over 1,000 across the business and over 5,000 daily orders. Jumani graduated from the London Business School (UK) with an MBA. Whilst she was based in the UK, she worked with Barclays Global Investors as a Project Analyst in the Pooled Funds Division. Post-graduation, Jumani moved to Dubai where she worked with GE as a Six Sigma Black Belt, leading and executing projects to drive improvements in performance, as well as key business and customer processes within Employee and Financial Services.

Heba Al Fazari
Heba Al Fazari
Founder - Coveti

Emirati entrepreneur Heba Al Fazari is a visionary and founder of Coveti. A former diplomat, the first Emirati offshore engineer in 2002 and author of “Politics of fashion: The Global Sourcing Hacks Every Fashion Designers Need,” she has worked and lived in more than 10 countries. Armed with a Georgetown Global MBA and Foreign Relation, Al Fazari is an advisor in global sourcing and non-market strategies. With strong knowledge in factories relocation for best market access, Al Fazari uses many innovative strategies to expand her business across different territories. With Coveti, she has set out on a journey to support the new wave of emerging brands that would otherwise remain undiscovered and unheard. Al Fazari is now on a mission to create a global revolutionary data-driven platform to unite best-emerging brands with millions of people across the globe who are looking for their next unique treasure find.

Middle East Retail Forum 2019 featured

Participating Companies
250+
Speakers
80+
Delegates
350+
C-Suites
53%
VPs/Heads
28%
Senior Managers
19%
RetailME Awards

Celebrating retail Excellence

The Images RetailME Awards are more than just about winning in a competitive retail market like the Middle East. Serving as a motivational platform, the awards will recognise Retailers/ Technology partners that can demonstrate delivery of outstanding customer experiences to customers across all channels via best practices in tech through the retail value chain.

The 2020 entries for Images RetailME Awards are now open. If your retail company or brand attained some creditworthy performance numbers and/or raised the bar with outstanding innovation and pioneering initiatives during the past year, nominate your brand now to be counted among the region’s retail stars.

Partnerships

Top 5 reasons to sponsor
  1. Promote your products and service offering to make your brand top of mind

  2. Get quality face-time with 10+ hours of dedicated networking

  3. Source intelligence to help your clients

  4. Become a provider of choice in the Retail sector

  5. Demonstrate your thought leadership to key decision-makers

  • Shames Al Hashemi
    Director – Member of Board
    Dual Investments

    Thank you for inviting me to be a part of MRF 2019. It was a pleasure to engage with my colleagues in the retail sector. It was a great pleasure to join the CEOs Roundtable along so many successful colleagues and discuss the ever-changing landscape of our business  

  • Naim Maadad
    Chief Executive
    Gates Hospitality

    Congratulations on an extremely successful conference. It was great to see the industry partake in such a well-organised event. I really enjoyed being part of the panel discussion session. My best wishes for the future editions to come

  • Salim Sacoor-executive board member Sacoor Brothers Group
    Salim Sacoor
    Executive Board Member
    Sacoor Brothers Group

    This is a great opportunity to be present at MRF. Your big effort and great organisation made this forum successful!

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CONTACT US

Partnership Opportunities:

Justina Eitzinger
+971 50 841 9750
partnerships@imagesretailme.com

Awards & Delegate Inquiries:

Jehan Mandap
+971 44467555
jehan@imagesretailme.com

Speaking Opportunities:

Rupkatha Bhowmick
+971 52 981 1183
rupkatha@imagesretailme.com

Delegate Registration

David Vijay
+971 55 856 8164
davidvijay@imagesretailme.com

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ADVISORY BOARD

Ahmed Ragab
Ahmed Ragab
Group CEO - Baraka Retail Group

Ahmed Ragab is the group CEO and executive board member of Egypt-based BRG Holding. He is the CEO and board member of Barak Optics Group, as well as board member of Baraka Folio Company and Sigma Construction. Ragab is also a selected entrepreneur with Endeavor Egypt. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the American University in Cairo, Master’s in Business Administration from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands. He also completed the Scaling Ventures Programme from Harvard Business School in the US. Ragab is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Ashish Panjabi
Ashish Panjabi
COO - Jacky’s Business Solutions and Jacky’s Retail LLC

Ashish Panjabi is the COO of Jacky’s Business Solutions. Panjabi also runs Jacky’s Retail LLC, which operates Samsung Brand Shops across the UAE and is a partner in Cutting Edge Solutions FZE. He is a board member and president-elect for the UAE Chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneur), where the focus is on fostering entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, education, funding and incubation. He is also involved in various mentorship activities, as a Tech Mentor at in5 Tech and at Techstars, which is a seed accelerator. Panjabi is also a board member of the Dubai Computer Group, which represents the interests of the computer industry in Dubai and is formed under the auspices of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is currently a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) MENA One Chapter as well as a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Isobel Abulhoul
Isobel Abulhoul
Co-founder - Magrudy’s

Isobel Abulhoul co-founded Magrudy’s, a bookshop chain, in 1975. In addition to Magrudy’s, she was a co-founder of Jerboa Books, a publishing company which produces children’s books in Arabic and English. Abulhoul has a keen and abiding interest in education and literacy. Following a chance conversation and the support of Emirates Airline, she founded and directed the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, from its inception. In 2013, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and also the Festival patron, issued a Decree forming the Emirates Literature Foundation, naming Abulhoul as one of the trustees on the board. In addition, Abulhoul also holds the position of CEO of the Foundation. She is also a trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction Board, secretary general of the Kalimat Foundation and director of the board for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library and a member of the Supreme Committee for the Year of Tolerance. Abulhoul is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Kamal Jamjoom
Kamal Jamjoom
Chairman - Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group

Kamal Jamjoom is the owner and chairman of Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group LLC. Jamjoom graduated from Lanchester University, UK with a BSc in Production Engineering following his schooling in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. In 1987, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Est. (KOJ) was founded and is now a multi-channel retail group with operational headquarters in Dubai and regional offices in all the Gulf countries. The Group today has eight main chains of stores – Nayomi, Mikyajy, Mihyar, Nayomi Beauty Salon, Nayomi Abaya, The Body Shop, Early Learning Centre & Neals Yard Remedies. KOJ owns and operates 698 stores across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Morocco. Over the years the company has now become a franchisee, franchisor and own brand channel organisation. This depth of skills and knowledge allows for rapid deployment of strategies and tactical initiatives. The Group employs over 2000 staff through six countries. Jamjoom is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Khurshid Vakil
Khurshid Vakil
Co-founder - Marina Retail Corporation

Khurshid Vakil is co-founder of Marina Retail Corporation, under which Marina Home Interiors retail chain operates. The avant-garde lifestyle & home décor company, headquartered in Dubai, operates its large format stores across most Middle East markets, North Africa and the sub-continent. Born in India and having lived and worked in Switzerland, Spain and the UAE, Vakil understands cross-cultural influences that can be vividly seen coexisting in his company’s corporate culture and design harmony of the product mix at Marina Home Interiors. Vakil remains at the forefront of Marina Home’s expansion and brand building strategy with a vision to take the brand forward globally through company-owned operations and franchise licensing. He ensures Marina Home’s philosophy is clearly visible at its each leap of development, strategic approach, external interface and in its internal environment thus helping create tremendous passion at workplace, while bringing in global accolades for the organisation. Vakil is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Mark Tesseyman
Mark Tesseyman
CEO - LIWA Trading Enterprises

With over three decades of experience in the fashion retail industry, Mark Tesseyman has made his mark as an experienced and successful retailer across the GCC, North Africa, Russia in addition to Europe and the UK. Tesseyman was appointed CEO of LIWA Trading Enterprises in 2015 to restructure and grow the organisation. A key focus has been to target specific market sectors and evolve a retail strategy in line with shifting global trends. He has driven the change management agenda placing the customer first, improving performance and transforming the way the company operates. Tesseyman has extensive international experience, developing and implementing best practice retail management systems and working for industry-leading international companies, including Next Retail, Matalan Ltd, The Peacock Group and Alshaya Group. Prior to his current role, he held key senior positions at both large corporate PLC companies and family-owned organisations. He is also familiar with private equity-backed businesses. Tesseyman is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Marwan Moukarzel
Marwan Moukarzel
CEO - Fawaz Alhokair Fashion Retail

Marwan Moukarzel is the CEO of Fawaz Alhokair Fashion Retail, a leading fashion retail group in Saudi Arabia. At Fawaz Alhokair Fashion Retail, Moukarzel oversees all facets of the business, across all operating territories. He drives growth and maximises value for shareholders, brand owners and customers, pivoting the company to new heights of success. Prior to joining Fawaz Alhokair Fashion Retail, Moukarzel served as general manager of AZADEA Group. Under his leadership, AZADEA Group witnessed immense growth, entered new markets and fostered strong relationships with brand owners and major real estate developers. Prior to taking on this position, Moukarzel also served as the deputy CEO and CFO of the company. With over 25 years of professional experience, he has held various other positions – including external auditor with Deloitte (Abu Dhabi) and Ernst & Young (Lebanon) and head of internal audit for a major retail and wholesale operator in Qatar. Moukarzel is a certified public accountant (US), certified internal auditor (US) and holds a Bachelor Degree from Notre Dame University (Lebanon) and an Executive MBA from INSEAD.

Mishal Al Hokair
Mishal Al Hokair
Deputy CEO & GM – Entertainment - Al Hokair Group

Mishal Al Hokair has the direct responsibility for the family entertainment centres’ performance within Saudi Arabia-based Al Hokair Group. He took full operational responsibility for the entertainment division after gaining considerable experience as deputy CEO & vice president for marketing of the Al Hokair Group. In November 2010, he joined Al Hokair Group as a member of the board of directors and later on served as the deputy CEO and general manager of the entertainment division, a position he occupies today beside holding other positions – including chairman of LUX Entertainment Company and also a board member of MENALAC (Middle East and North America Leisure and Attractions Council). His passion for entertainment, solid marketing background and wide business experience have enabled Al Hokair to undertake remarkable evolution in all of the group business sectors, especially entertainment. He is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Mona Ataya
Mona Ataya
CEO & Founder - Mumzworld.com

Mona Ataya, CEO & founder of Mumzworld.com, has proven to be one of the Middle East’s most prominent women entrepreneurs. Beyond leading a successful and growing SME, and inspiring her employees and communities, Ataya is on a mission to change the region, one mum at a time. She has managed to grow Mumzworld from a business plan on paper to a leading brand reaching more than 2 million mothers across the region over the past nine years. Founded in 2011, Mumzworld has pioneered a revolutionary and gold standard e-commerce shopping experience for all things mother, baby and child in the Middle East region. Today, Mumzworld offers over 250,000 products, an engaged community, exclusive product offerings and delivery to over 20 different countries in the fastest, most convenient and cost-effective way, at everyday low prices. Under Ataya’s leadership, Mumzworld has undergone tremendous growth and successfully established itself as the regional leader in this vertical space. Ataya is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Naim Maadad
Naim Maadad
Chief Executive & Founder - Gates Hospitality

Naim Maadad comes with over 38 years of experience in the hospitality world across Australia, Asia and the Middle East in various senior management roles. He has launched and operated some of the world’s best hotels, resorts, spas and lifestyle F&B concepts. During his stint with international hospitality groups, Maadad was instrumental in nurturing sound relationships with owners, securing the best-possible locations, negotiating and formalising contractual agreements and appointing teams to infuse and reflect the ethos of the brands. Being based in the Middle East over the past 20 years, Maadad has witnessed tremendous industry growth, gained a deep cultural understanding and has been endorsed by principals & organisations alike. In 2010, he established Gates Hospitality, a home-grown hospitality company representing F&B brands, including Ultra Brasserie, Reform Social & Grill Dubai, Folly by Nick & Scott and Publique, to name a few. He is a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

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