Dubai will be the host for the 10th World Retail Congress (WRC), a retail event for senior executives, the first time the event is held outside Europe.
This reaffirms the emirate’s position as a market leader for the global retail sector and as a pioneer in retail innovation. The congress will be between April 12 and 14.
Retail remains a key pillar of the emirate’s economy, with sales expected to reach Dh160 billion this year, and 400,000 square metres of additional retail space expected to be completed by the end of the year across Dubai, according to real estate consultancy JLL.
In partnership with Majid Al Futtaim and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, WRC 2016 will be held under the theme ‘Attracting and Engaging the Modern Customer’. It will bring together over 1,000 top retailers and industry experts to showcase the region’s potential in the sector and discuss topics such as disruption and innovation within retail, how to effectively engage with customers, and what’s next for the sector, both within the region and globally.
Tommy Hilfiger, Principle Designer, The Tommy Hilfiger Group; Jo Malone, Founder, Jo Malone, and William Kim, CEO, All Saints are just a few of the high profile speakers confirmed to take part, alongside local retail experts Hamad Buamim, President, Dubai Chamber, Alain Beijjani, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim – Holding and Patrick Chalhoub, CEO, Chalhoub Group.
Ian McGarrigle, Chairman, World Retail Congress, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the 10th edition of the World Retail Congress in Dubai, which has firmly established itself as one of the world’s leading retail destinations, and is the perfect location for the Congress’ first time outside Europe.”
Buamim said: “We believe that these events are an opportunity for businesses/organizations from around the world to know what Dubai has to offer – its strategic location, access to 2 billion consumers in the region and a stable and safe economy.”
The retail and wholesale trade in the UAE is an important sector and it accounts for more than 11 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and close to 30 per cent of Dubai’s GDP.
Retailing in the UAE is expected to reach Dh200 billion by 2017, growing by a 5 per cent on average each year. Dubai was ranked as the second most important retail destination globally, by CBRE in its 2015 report.
WRC 2015, held in Rome in September 2015, bought together attendees from over 65 countries, including speakers and experts such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and James Curleigh, President at the Levi’s Brand.