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

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 & Executive Board Member - BRG Holding, Egypt

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 Group of Companies

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.

Bridgett Lau
Bridgett Lau
Founder - One Good Thing

Bridgett Lau is a sales professional with two decades of global experience in solution sales in corporates and early stage ventures in Europe, North America and the Middle Eastern markets. Along with Michael Cooke, Lau launched an e-commerce social enterprise called One Good Thing in 2017. One Good Thing brings creators and customers together, allowing the sharing of authentic stories and the chance to do good. Featuring 15 brands with over 450 products, inspirational items range from one-of-a-kind jewellery and sustainable bags to reclaimed wood headphones, conservation-focused camping gear and an upcycled travel section. In January 2019, One Good Thing celebrated 365 days of real impact. Some examples include clearing over 6,800 sqft of landmines in Laos, repurposing 112 meters of decommissioned fire hoses and diverting them from landfills, helping 45 people hear for the very first time through hearing aids and reconnecting 11 grannies to the world and curing loneliness, among other achievements.

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.

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 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. 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.

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 as a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.

Nawal El Masri
Nawal El Masri
Founder - Exhale

Nawal El Masri is the founder and storyteller of Exhale, a mindful and conscious driven e-commerce brand that seeks to change perspectives through storytelling, art, visual journeys and clothing. El Masri believes that through Exhale she can bring awareness for mental wellness and break stigmas in order for the society to use the tools they have at hand to heal themselves. Artists from around the world, storytellers, writers, painters, illustrators and poets come together to tell stories with Exhale. The brand also teams up with educational awareness events such as The Global Teacher Prize to target and bring awareness to the millennials. El Masri has partnered with UNHCR to further initiate and activate the process of supporting and healing. She is a speaker at the American University of Sharjah advocating mental health, alongside forming a lecture collaboration at DIDI Institute in d3 for fashion students about mindful designing.

Piyush Kumar Chowhan
Piyush Kumar Chowhan
Group CIO - Lulu Group International

In his role at Lulu Group International, Piyush Kumar Chowhan is responsible for digital strategy and execution of technology for all its global businesses across 12 countries, which include retail, hypermarket and shopping malls. He has over 20 years of experience in driving businesses change using the latest technology innovations, thereby enhancing business value. Chowhan has acquired strong domain knowledge in retail, e-commerce and supply chain management while working for global retailers like Walmart, Target, Circuit City, Tesco and Best Buy. He has also been instrumental in leading the deployment of state-of-art, award-winning supply chain replenishment programme, defining the roadmap for future-ready retail stores and Artificial Intelligence and analytics. He has won many awards for his work and is a part of the Steering Committee of the Analytics and Data Science COE (jointly started by the Government of Karnataka and NASSCOM in Bangalore).

Middle East Retail Forum 2019 featured

Participating Companies
250+
Speakers
80+
Delegates
350+
C-Suites
53%
VPs/Directors/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.

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 CX sector

  5. Demonstrate your thought leadership to key decision-makers

  • Patrick Dorais
    Director of Sales
    Al Nassma Chocolate LLC

    Thanks again for everything around MRF. It was beneficial  as I met three retailers with whom I spoke about our new brand Samha

  • 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!

  • Mona Ataya
    CEO
    mumzworld.com

    Consistently high quality in speaker line-up and overall event organisation – MRF is one of our favourite events of the year

  • Nilesh Ved-chairman & founder Apparel Group
    Nilesh Ved
    Chairman & Founder
    Apparel Group

    The Middle East Retail Forum acts as a great platform bringing together retailers and representatives from the public sector to share values and vision to boost retail growth in the region. As part of the retail business community, we wholeheartedly support this initiative.

  • Steve Odak-CEO iMarketVend
    Steve S Odak
    CEO
    iMarketVend inc. USA

    Every year MRF is very exciting, attracting the top brass from retail together.

  • Lennard Otto-CEO IMG Worlds of Adventure
    Lennard Otto
    CEO
    IMG Worlds of Adventure

    It was a really good layout this year. The event was well attended, which was nice to see. In the upcoming editions, we would love to discuss more global retail trends.

  • Alasdair Lennox-Executive creative director-EMEA FITCH
    Alasdair Lennox
    Executive Creative Director
    EMEA, Fitch

    Thank you for inviting me to be part of a panel discussion and a jury member to judge the Images RetailME Awards. I very much enjoyed the expereince and trust to have made a positive contribution. We look forward to supporting you next year as well.

  • Fahad Al Othaim
    Vice Chairman
    Al Othaim Group

    Thank you to Images Retail Middle East and the Retail fraternity for honouring me as Retail Personality of the Year 2019.

Showreel

ENQUIRE NOW

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 (India):

Vidhi Rastogi
+91 – 9873578504
vidhirastogi@imagesgroup.in

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ADVISORY BOARD

Ahmed Ragab
Ahmed Ragab
Group CEO & Executive Board Member - BRG Holding, Egypt

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 Group of Companies

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 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. 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
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 of 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 an enviable brand reaching more than 2 million mothers across the region in 7 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 as a member of the Advisory Board for RetailME and MRF.