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Registration opens for MEADFA Conference 2015

The annual conference for the duty free & travel retail industry in the Middle East and Africa is to be staged at the world-class King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre

The Middle East & Africa Duty Free Association is pleased to announce that registration for the 2015 MEADFA Conference (23-24 November), managed by TFWA, is now open at www.tfwa.com.

The annual conference for the duty free & travel retail industry in the Middle East and Africa is to be staged at the world-class King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre beside the Dead Sea in Jordan against the stunning backdrop of the lowest place on Earth.

At more than 400 metres below sea level, the location is the lowest land mass in the world making this a unique venue for an unmissable industry conference.

Following a welcome by Sean Staunton, President MEADFA, and a keynote address by His Excellency Akel Biltaji, Mayor of Amman, formerly Jordan’s Minister of Tourism & Antiquities with a distinguished career at Royal Jordanian Airlines, there will be a brief video review of the highlights of the duty free & travel retail business over the past year in the Middle East and Africa.

Terry Kane, Head of Auto, Finance, Telco & Travel MENA region at Facebook will fast forward with his vision of the future of travel and the connected traveller.

Delegates will then choose one of two focus workshops to attend.

‘Inflight 2.0’will assess new technology, promotional initiatives, crew incentives and product range in the context of onboard retail led by Tourvest Inflight Retail Services CEOClive Jones, Dutyfly Solutions Marketing & Commercial Director Baptiste Duguit and Qatar Airways Inflight Operations Manager Eoin Martin Cox.

Alternatively, in the ‘Technology: the future of retail’ workshop, speakers SITA Product Manager Alan Glasby, Near Director Research & Marketing Smriti Kataria and M2Mobi General Manager Michiel Munneke will investigate the potential of new tools and techniques such as beacon technology, wifi passenger tracking and tailored advertising.

Following his detailed analysis of the ‘The waking giant: Saudi Arabia’,Pedro CastroWorld Duty Free Group International Operations Director will join fellow retailers Keith Hunter, Senior VP Qatar Duty Free & Qatar Airways Inflight Duty Free, Blacky Komani, Ground Duty Free CEO Tourvest,Gerry Crawford, COO Aer Rianta Internationaland Sharon Beecham, Manager Purchasing & Vendor Support, Dubai Duty Free to discuss ‘Trading in a volatile world’ and the impact of political instability, exchange rate volatility, customer demographics and more.

Day two will open with an analysis of the geopolitical climate in the Middle East by Tim Sebastian, founder of the BBC’s Doha Debates, chair of The Arab Debates on Deutsche Welle TV and one of the region’s most respected voices.

Young entrepreneurs Mark Essien, founder of Hotels.ng and SoleRebels creator Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, will address the evolving role of tourism and luxury retail in ‘Young Africa: driving the continent’s future’.

The opening of the new Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) heralded ‘A new era in Jordan’. Kjeld Binger, CEO of airport operator Airport International Group, will explain the significance of this development and reveal plans to drive growth at a challenging time for the regional aviation business.

QAIA Commercial Director Deema Anani will join ATÜ Duty Free General Manager Ersan Arcan for the closing discussion ‘Targeting tomorrow’s traveller’ to explore how the regional industry is adapting to the changing needs and expectations of a new generation of travellers.

Organised by TFWA on behalf of MEADFA, the event will be moderated by Dermot Davitt, President of The Moodie Report and TFWA Conference, Research and Corporate Affairs Director John Rimmer.

Sean Staunton, President MEADFA, comments, “MEADFA is delighted to be hosting its annual conference in one of the most historic and beautiful destinations in the Middle East. We strongly urge all those who wish to develop their duty free and travel retail business in the Middle East and Africa to join us at what will undoubtedly be a unique and compelling conference.”

The MEADFA Conference will be preceded by an Opening Cocktail, kindly sponsored by Dufry Sharjah, on 22nd November on the terrace of the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre.World Duty Free Group will host the conference and sponsor the Gala Dinner at the Marriott Hotel.

The platinum sponsors are AerRianta International, Bahrain Duty Free and Dubai Duty Free; gold sponsorsFerrero, Haribo and JTI; silver sponsors Jordan Tourism Board and Aphrodite Duty Free Shop; smoking lounge sponsor and exhibitor Philip Morris; coffee break sponsor International Duty Free Trading & Agencies; exhibition stand Mars ITR; Lagardère Travel Retail will provide the lanyards.

The official carrier of the MEADFA Conference is Royal Jordanian Airlines which is offering discounts on air fares at http://www.rj.com/. Preferential room rates are being offered by the official hotels Jordan Valley Marriott Dead Sea and Mövenpick Dead Sea. The Jordan Tourism Board (www.visitjordan.com) will provide a free shuttle service from the official hotels to the conference venue.

For those who wish to explore this extraordinary region there will be pre-conference and post-conference 3-day excursions tovisit some of the sites including Petra, Bethany,Madaba, Mount Nebo, Jerash,Ajloun and Amman at specially negotiated rates.

The media partners of the MEADFA Conference are The Moodie Report, Travel Retail Business, Gulf-Africa Duty Free, Frontier & Frontier Brands, DFNI&Travel Retailer International.