Retail real estate conference

Published May 2nd, 2010 - 01:01 GMT

Keynote addresses by Bloomingdale’s Terry Lundgren and interactive panel discussions about hard hitting topics facing the retail industry are top of the agenda at RECon Middle East & North Africa, a two day conference which starts today at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai.


The region’s leading conference and trade exhibition for the retail real estate sector has attracted a high profile audience of 250 delegates from around the Gulf.  Yesterday, ahead of the conference delegates enjoyed a full day guided touring of retail facilities in Dubai.


Many conferences catering to the retail sector have been postponed or even cancelled this year including the World Retail Congress 2010 which has been postponed until October.   Speaking about RECon Middle East & North Africa, Ms Kim Redman, Regional Director of Middle East Council of Shopping Centres said,


“Despite the economic slowdown we received strong registrations for the conference.  There is no denying businesses are facing tough times and although budgets are tighter we are very pleased with the response for the trade exhibition and the support of our sponsors Majid Al Futtaim Properties .”


Day 1 kicks off with the global outlook for the industry presented by the International Council of Shopping Centres asking delegates to look back at how things were handled and what has been learned as well as looking to the future and identifying growth hot spots.   Also on the first day is a session examining developers and their responses to the challenges of today and the strategies put in place to optimize the slow down.   Delegates will hear from Mr Peter Walichnowski, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Mr Mohammed Al Mubarak, CCO, Aldar, Mr Simon Wilcock, Director of Malls, Arabian Centres and Mr Eng Saleh Al Habib, Business Development Director, Mohammad Al Habib Real Estate Company. 


The highlight of the day will be Mr Terry Lundgren, CEO, Chairman of Macy’s Inc who will share his conviction of what makes Bloomingdale’s so successful after 138 years in business.   (11.15am – 12noon)


Post lunch, the conference will reconvene for an interactive panel session which will examine the challenges to both landlord and tenant in the face of current market conditions and how partnerships are more valuable now than ever.   In the hot seat for this panel will be Mr Shahram Shamsaee, SVP – Asset Management, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Mr Frederick Douglas, Director of Leasing, Aldar, Mr Shakeel Hussain, General Manager – Property Division, Landmark Gulf Group and Mr Manohar Jeswani, General Manager – Shoemart, Landmark Gulf Group.


Wrapping up day one is a case study by Ms Maxine Clark the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive of Build-A-Bear Workshops.    With more than 400 stores worldwide, she will share her entrepreneurial story and inspire the audience to dream big.


At the conclusion of day one of the conference, two hours  (4pm – 6pm) of networking on the trade exhibition floor attracts all the movers and shakers in advance of the official dinner event.  More than 2000 people are expected to visit the trade exhibition over the course of the event.

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