Retail Event, eCommerce Event, Knowledge Series, Conference, Exhibition & Awards in Dubai | Middle East Retail Forum (MRF) 2019

RetailNEXT: The New Wave of People, Products & Processes

Retail is – and will always remain — a people’s business. Be that interpreted as customer service, shopper analytics or in-store engagement, people are at the front and centre of every retailer’s strategy. But are retail professionals themselves innovating and evolving enough to service the dynamic consumer universe of today? Along with technology, the future of successful retail will determined by the depth of ideas, innovations and people skilled at managing – and benefiting from — the unpredictability of future shopping behaviours. MRF 2019 will bring together the Middle East’s most powerful retail influencers and leaders to focus on the 4 fundamentals driving profitable innovation in retail: People, Products, Processes and Technology.

Our Speakers

Be a part of Middle East’s biggest retail congregation and learn directly from retail visionaries in our conference sessions.

Timothy Ernest
Timothy Ernest
Group Director/CEO - Al-Futtaim Malls

In his current role, Timothy Ernest manages a range of assets including super-regional iconic destinations in Qatar, the UAE and North Africa under the Festival City Malls brand, totalling 70 million visitors, 1,300 retailers and two additional assets under development in Dubai and Morocco. Ernest’s passion and expertise is building and executing an organisation as a preferred business partner, generating sustainable growth and long-term value creation while delivering exceptional stakeholder experiences that produce safe, exciting and enriching shopping environments. He is a seasoned executive with a solid 30-year career within the Simon Property Group in the US where his last role was executive vice president – property management, responsible for the regional malls portfolio, where he managed day-to-day operations for over 200 malls, 5,000 employees, $3.2-billion in EBITDA, $1.3-billion in expenses, $100-million in OPEX and $350-million in development. Ernest brings a thorough understanding of retail dynamics and shopping mall management in addition to relevant best practice capabilities.

Naim Maadad
Naim Maadad
Chief Executive - Gates Hospitality

Naim Maadad come 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. Maadad’s philosophy and approach are simple – connecting like-minded investors, operators and brands to define concepts, successful portfolios and continue to shape the hospitality industry.

Mona Ataya
Mona Ataya
CEO & Founder -

As the CEO and founder of, Mona Ataya has proved 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. A transformational leader and a change agent in every sense of the word, Ataya has managed to grow Mumzworld from a business plan on paper to an enviable brand reaching more than two million mothers across the region in seven 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. Under Ataya’s leadership, Mumzworld has seen tremendous growth – with six rounds of funding, great investors on board and a solid business plan – and successfully established itself as the regional leader in the mother, baby and child vertical space.

Lots Of Innovations

Coming Soon

Our Partners 2018

Platinum Partner


Silver Partner
Retail Interiors Partner
  • Shawn Sipman-Executive: customer engagement and commerce UCS Solutions
    Shawn Sipman
    executive: customer engagement and commerce
    UCS Solutions

    I really liked the format of the sessions. It was highly insightful than just being a presentation overload

  • Mona Ataya-Founder & CEO Mumzworld
    Mona Ataya,

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

  • Louay Moursel-Food & beverage retail manager Eataly
    Louay Moursel,
    AZADEA Group

    The event was well-managed & well-organised

  • Lennard Otto-General manager IMG Worlds of Adventure
    Lennard Otto,
    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

  • Garry Wells-Property manager Lush Middle East
    Garry Wells,
    property manager,
    Lush Middle East

    The event was very well organised.

  • AbdulKhader Pattillath-IT director, LSH Holding
    AbdulKhader Pattillath,
    Regional IT director,
    LSH Holding Co.

    It was an excellently coordinated and well-hosted event

  • Steve Odak-CEO iMarketVend
    Steve S Odak,
    iMarketVend inc. USA (MRF 2014)

    “Every year MRF is very exciting, attracting the top brass from retail together” – “Every year MRF is very exciting, attracting the top brass from retail together”

  • Alasdair Lennox-Executive creative director-EMEA FITCH
    Alasdair Lennox,
    Executive Creative Director,
    EMEA, Fitch (MRF 2014)

    “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 experience and trust to have made a positive contribution. We look forward to supporting you next year as well”

  • Rajiv Suri-CEO Majid Al Futtaim Fashion
    Rajiv Suri,
    Majid Al Futtaim Fashion (MRF 2014)

    “It was a great gathering. Thank you for organising the conference with a very relevant theme. Well done! It was very useful listening to the speakers and CEOs – in our research for a perfect omni channel strategy”

  • Salim Sacoor-executive board member Sacoor Brothers Group
    Salim Sacoor,
    Executive Board Member,
    Sacoor Brothers Group (MRF 2014)

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



Partnership Opportunities:


Awards & Delegate Inquiries:

Caitlin Aldendorf
+971 44467553, +971 509114885

Speaking Opportunities:

Rupkatha Bhowmick
+971 52 981 1183

Delegate Registration (India):

Vidhi Rastogi
+91 – 9873578504

Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre
Airport Road,Garhoud - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Attendees Over The Years
Dharmin Ved,Chief Executive Office, / Frank-Matthias Kuntermann,CEO,ABC Group,Lebonon / Mohammed Salem,Chief Operating Officer,Abdullah Al Othaim Leisure & Tourism Co.,UAE / Kelly Heffey,Director, Abra Cards,UAE / Abbas Bhinderwala,Founder & CEO,Adapty,India / ALESSANDRO GAFFURI,Founder and CEO, CELS Group,Al Araimi Boulevard,Oman / SHAKIR AL ZADJALI,Managing Director,Al Araimi Boulevard,Oman / Ashley,Business Development Manager,Al Futtaim Group Real Estate,UAE / Ivy Dela Cruz,Al Islami Foods,Corporate Branding and Communications Manager,UAE / Kamal Vachani,Group Director,Al Maya,UAE / Abdul Rahman Al Saeedi,Chartered Accountant,Al Samadi Retail,UAE / Ebraheem Al Samadi,CEO,Al Samadi Retail,UAE / Eman Al Tayer,Senior Division Marketing Manager – Harvey Nichol's – Dubai & Jewelry,Al Tayer,UAE / Emma Rymer,Senior Division PR Manager - Bloomingdale's & Home,Al Tayer,UAE / Hayley McGregor,Senior Buyer, Omni-channel,Al Tayer,UAE / CKara Davis,Division Social Media Manager – Department Stores, Home & Jewelry,Al Tayer,UAE / Nicola Fineran,Division Marketing Manager - Lifestyle,Al Tayer,UAE / Nahed Atallah,VP Planning - VP - Department Stores, E-commerce, Home & Jewelry,Al Tayer,UAE / Tina Sharp,General Manager, Bloomingdale's Kuwait,Al Tayer, UAE / Brad Merchant,Director of retail asset management,ALDAR Properties PJSC,UAE / Richa Nair,Sr. Marketing Manager,Aldo,UAE / Mohammed Aldheyabi,Aljazera Supermarket,UAE / Ankur Joshi,Co-Founder & COO,Ambab,India / Bhavik Jhaveri,Founder & CEO,Ambab,India / Alex Andarakis,Founder & Managing Director,Andarakis,UAE / Nada Alawi,Founder & Creative Director,Annada,Bahrain / Kinda Mofleh,Sr. Executive - Digital Marketing, Marketing,Apparel Group,UAE / Ahmad Alkhaja,Vice President Retail Channel,Arc Worldwide,UAE / Tejinder Singh,COO,Arvind Internet,India / Mukul Bafana,Co-founder & CEO,Arvind Internet,India / Mohamed Faraidooni,General Manager - Real Estate,Aswaaq,UAE / Adel Belcaid,Principal,AT Kearney Middle East,UAE / Nitesh Kumar,Vice President, Footwear Division,Athlete's Co,UAE / Ulugbek Yuldashev,CEO,,UAE / James Whelton,Chief Technology Officer,AYM,UAE / Alexander Prietz,Founder and Managing Partner,B&T Brands and Trade Services Middle East DMCC,UAE / Richard Collins Babyshop Chief Executive Officer UAE / Aimee Changco,Co-founder,Baembu,UAE / Matthew King,Co-founder,Baembu, UAE / Saleema Shurrab,General Manager,BinSina,UAE / Paresh Thawani,Sr. Brand Manager,Birkenstock,UAE / Nita Odedra,Business Development Manager,Blue Rhine,UAE / Arun Bruce,Partner & Managing Director,Boston Consulting Group,UAE / Mufid Samo,Country Manager,BTC Fashion,UAE / Shaikha Ahmad Al Bishri,Director,Business Excellence Department, Dubai Economy,UAE / Riyaz Muhammed,Director Business Development,Capillary,UAE / Tina Oberoi,COO,Carter's,UAE / Zeynep Sarsar Sanus,Manager - Retail Agency,CBRE,UAE / Ahamed Wahab,Centrepoint Mall Manager, Mall of the Emirates,Centrepoint,UAE / ASHISH SHUKLA,CEO,Cinepolis - Gulf Entertainment LLC,UAE / Fahimuddin,Chief Executive Officer, Cityland Group,Cityland Mall,UAE / Metro / Sahil Malik,CEO,Da Milano,UAE / Sunil Kumar,Director,Daehsan Trading,UAE / Bhupinder Singh,GM & CFO,Dalma Mall,UAE / Next / Nike / BEJOY CHANDY,SALES MANAGER,DATA CAPTURE SYSTEMS,UAE / Chris Mahiat,Chief Operating officer,Datalogic,UAE / Fahd Siddiqui,Leasing Manager,DI Mall Management,UAE / Warren Krawchuk,Senior Vice President,DIFC,UAE / Rachel McArthur,Managing Editor,Digital Ink Media,UAE / Juan de Lascurain,Chief Dreamer,Dream Big World / Ray Ban / Sean Stauntan,Senior Vice President-Retail Sales,Dubai Duty Free,UAE / Anu singhal,Award Coordinator,Dubai Economy,UAE / Maysa Mohammad Fuda,Senior Executive,Dubai Economy,UAE / Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO,Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment,UA