Page 1

GASTRONOMICA Diverse & Agile – Staying Successful in a Fierce Market Page 30

THE GALLERIA Luxury Shopping & Dining at its Finest in Abu Dhabi Page 40

OUD ELITE The Affordable Luxury Page 43


Circulated in 45 countries


Group Vice Chairman Al Hokair Group

Leadership in the world of Hospitality and Entertainment







C E N T R E S ’


RP-15F.indd 2

3/25/18 2:03 PM


CONTENTS Middle East Council of Shopping Centres Unit 507, 5th Floor, Arenco Tower Media City, Sheikh Zayed Road PO Box 43972, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 359 7909 Fax: +971 4 355 8818 David Macadam Chief Executive Officer Lea Venezuela Director Khaye Comanda Associate Director


Welcome Note

Featured Article…




Hospitality in Malls Insights… 06

The Advantages of Disadvantages


VIP Parking Control

News Brief…. 11

Mariz Matocdo Marketing Officer Christian Baldonanza Registration / Digital Content Executive Justin Espiritu Publishing & Database Management Coordinator

The Rise and Rise of Food &

Newly transformed Matajer Al Juraina Mall has increased in size by a third, bringing contemporary new brands to Sharjah Cityland Mall to launch in Q4 2018 and showcase the world’s first ‘natureinspired’ shopping destination in Dubai


Rugby Player Sonny Bill Williams Visits Red Sea Mall Dubai Mall’s Massive Extension Opens


JC Gayoma Membership Manager


Zaatar w Zeit Operator Cravia Eyes New Stores This Year


Diverse & Agile – Staying Successful in a Fierce Market


Mall Dining: More of the Same or Fresh Approach to Entertainment


LifeOnScreen: A New Technology will Increase Profits and Change the Future of Advertising


Why Differentiation is Key to Retail Destination Strategy


When Business Intelligence Brings Mall Management to Another Level


Enhancing Business Performances

In Focus…. 40

Featured Mall: The Galleria - Luxury Shopping and Dining at its Finest in Abu Dhabi

Heston Blumenthal to Open Dubai Restaurant in 2019


Food Delivery Apps are not to Everyone’s Taste


Featured Retail Brand: Arabian Oud From Local to Global Featured Retail Brand: Oud Elite The Affordable Luxury

Pepsi Looks for Young Emiratis to Join its Leadership Programme

MECSC Members’ Segment Media One Tower, Dubai Media City PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE T: +971 4 427 3000 F: +971 4 428 2261

Cover Story…

Chris Capstick

Shopping Centre Update…


Ingrid Valles Projects Manager

Rouf Majid



My Mall – Mall for All


Reem Mall - Mall of the Future: a place to eat, play and shop

Senior Designer

Sunil Kumar General Manager - Production

Majed Al Hokair – Leadership in the world of Hospitality and Entertainment


Cairo Festival City Mall (CFCM)… Not a Destination, “The” Destination


MECSC Members On-Board

Regional Representative’s Corner… 47

Redefining Sharjah’s Retail Landscape


The Fine Art of Leasing in Kuwait

Featured Member… 49

One-on-One with Bhupinder Singh, GM & CFO of Dalma Mall

Binu Purandaran Assistant Production Manager Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai

Disclaimer: The viewpoints, articles and opinions contained in the Retail People Magazine are not necessarily those of the MECSC.


RP-15F.indd 3

3/26/18 12:22 PM


GASTRONOMICA Diverse & Agile – Staying Successful in a Fierce Market Page 30

OUD ELITE The Affordable Luxury Page 43

THE GALLERIA Luxury Shopping & Dining at its Finest in Abu Dhabi Page 40


Circulated in 45 countries


Group Vice Chairman Al Hokair Group

Leadership in the world of Hospitality and Entertainment







C E N T R E S ’


ON THE COVER: Majed Al Hokair Group Vice Chairman Al Hokair Group

Thank you to

Younus Al Mulla MECSC Chairman

Marwan Eskandarani

MECSC Board President Group Business Development Director – GCC Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group LLC

Andrew Williamson

National Director Head of Retail MENA, JLL

Avijit Yadav, CMD, CSM, CLS, CDP, CRX Chief Operating Officer GLA Property Management Co. LLC

Khalid Suleiman Aljasser

Chief Executive Officer Arabian Centres Real Estate Co.

Luca Cappuccitti

WELCOME Over the past five years, the team at the MECSC has been focused on our strong sense of vision for our members and our organization. We have had the discipline, despite the market variables, to never veer from our vision in the process. Everything we have done has worked towards our vision today and into the future. Our role at the MECSC is to help you all to facilitate your business and to raise the personal profile of everyone locally, regionally and globally. We have held each other accountable for the vision’s realization, and utilized it every day to guide our decisions at the MECSC. Our success has helped us to understand that creating an organization and lasting product with a clear vision is the only way to connect with our audience who are our members, customers, partners or employees. A clear vision gives our audience a way to tell the outside world who they are and what they believe. It inspires trust and loyalty. Our Retail People Magazine inspires trust and loyalty. The MECSC was founded on these values. Knowing your vision is essential for lasting success and the ability to rise above the others. The Retail People Magazine is one avenue which our team at the MECSC uses to promote our vision for our members and readership. The April 2018 issue is themed 'Global Trends on Food, Entertainment, Media and Technology'. We have received several great articles penned by NEW members. In addition we have received some very informative, insightful articles from seasoned members which you will also enjoy. Majed Al Hokair, Member of the Board of Directors at Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chairman of the Al Hokair Group writes about the opportunities in Saudi with the new hospitality and entertainment growth taking place. Majed graces our cover with his photo this issue. One on one with Bhupinder Singh. MECSC Regional Representatives Jamal Al Shawish and Lina Abbas have well thought out articles. Lina speaks about how to lease retail space in Kuwait, back to basics. Francis Loughran joins the Retail People Magazine again with a new view on food. NEWCOMERS – First time authors contributing to the Retail People Magazine. James Damian, a newcomer to the Retail People authors writes about a new view on the customer experience. Another new author for us is Susan Seibert who writes about a new disruptive technology called LifeOnScreen. Stefan Breg writes about Keane Brands and the large footprint appearing in the MENA region for the growth of new food concepts. Ben Chesser from Coniq writes about another disruptive technology in CRM. Chadi Habr writes about the bright future of VIP Parking Control and how this industry in other areas of the world has impacted our lives in positive ways. Cedric Ficheux has penned an article on IT and how retailers and shopping centre owners are just now realizing the benefits of utilizing data to increase Enterprise Performance Management. The team at the MECSC thanks you all for delivering these timely articles which has taken your time, focus and interest to pen these compositions. Stated many times before, we all have a stake in the future of the retail industry locally, regionally and globally in the many forms which retail will morph into. The MECSC is committed to work with all stakeholders to ensure everyone is brought up to date on the latest news through our many channels of communication. Thank you to our members, advertisers, authors and supporters who make each Retail People Magazine issue better and more meaningful with every quarter we publish.

Head of Global Business Development & Strategy Design International

Maimunah Shebani Managing Director The Retail Agency

Marcello Larizza, CSM, CRX

General Manager Line Investments & Property LLC

Mohammad Alawi

Partner & CEO Real Estate Development Solution Member - ICSC Board of Trustees

DAVID MACADAM Chief Executive Officer MECSC

MARWAN ESKANDARANI MECSC Board President Group Business Development Director – GCC Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group LLC


RP-15F.indd 4

3/25/18 2:03 PM


C NTRIBUTORS James Damian Founding Partner – ZHI Think Tank Founder and Principal - Brand Integration Strategy Page 06

Chadi Habr CEO VIP Parking Control Page 08

Ali Rao CEO My Mall LLC Page 22

Shane Eldstrom CEO Al Farwaniya Property Developments LLC Page 24

Mayer Zeid Retail Analyst Cairo Festival City Mall Al Futtaim Group Real Estate Page 26

Francis Loughran Managing Director Future Food Page 28

Georgy John Executive Vice President Gastronomica Middle East Page 30

Stefan Breg Group Strategy Director Keane Page 32

Susan Seibert Business Development Director - Middle East LifeOnScreen Page 34

Ben Chesser CEO and Founder Coniq Page 36

Cedric Ficheux Co-Founder & CEO Solution BI Middle East Page 37

Demirhan Büyüközcü Co-Founder & CEO V-Count Page 38

Jamal Al Shawish Director of Leasing & Sales Alef Group Page 47

Lina Abbas Leasing Manager GLA Property Management Page 47


RP-15F.indd 5

3/25/18 2:03 PM

The Advantages of Disadvantages Complacency is Destroying the Customer Experience By James Damian – Founding Partner - ZHI Think Tank Founder and Principal of Brand Integration Strategy

ADVANTAGE DESIGN Einstein said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” The world of physical retail today lives in a state of anxiety due to the accelerated ease of use of all things digital, specifically the convenience of purchasing online. This comfort level has created new rituals and behaviors in our daily lives. •

We live in a creatively customized world that is constantly adapting and improving how we connect with all things of interest

We freely enter digital portals of discovery enabled through immediate access

We control consumption, distribution and destination without physical contact

We are the empowered communication vehicle of networked consumer reports

We are the influential force in the retail economy

We now go online to visit our convenient shopping boulevards. And our digital express train continues to move at higher speeds and feeds while our physical retail store experience feels like it moves in slow motion. Why? Human behavior tends to repeat what is tried, true and comfortable. The demise of physical retail could be explained by the absence of an intellectually curious retail culture without an organizational innovation capability. Perhaps it’s the hubris of leadership’s conditioning of prior success. Or the challenge of change in the magnitude of size and scale of our legacy retail institutions. These and external forces, such as mobile technology placing the power of immediacy in the hands of the user, have thwarted a creative resolve. Retail leaders face an existential dichotomy: consumer curiosity and consumption awakened in the midst of corporate complacency. Internet sales increase by double digits in the high teens as we witness more store closings with abandoned valuable real estate yearning for a new purpose.


RP-15F.indd 6

3/25/18 2:04 PM


I fear the day when technology surpasses humanity. – Albert Einstein

When we forge the creative mind with the logical mind it lifts us to a higher purpose, fostering possibility, productivity, knowledge and imagination. This design thinking process helps us remove the missteps of previous behavior. This is why retail reinvention is so critical in keeping up with the changing behaviors of our digital evolution. Retail store leaders and Real Estate developers must be the agents of change in service of the employee and the customer. This calls for courageous visionary leadership powered with imagination in response to this social challenge. If not, the fear of Einstein’s warning, technology will surpass humanity and then the word apocalyptic will replace opportunistic. Technology must not cause the disintermediation of life. The design must lead by creating the experience from the mobile device, to the website and then to the store, the way the customer behaves. We must stand committed to human experience… the future of retail. Design creates the future, it is the advantage of disadvantages. Advantage Design!

JAMES DAMIAN Founding Partner – ZHI Think Tank Founder and Principal of Brand Integration Strategy Experience Design Group, a group he created during his time at Best Buy from 1998 through 2010. This design thinking practice helped lead the company to extraordinary growth focused on the employee and customer experience. During his time at Best Buy he was invited to the Board of Directors at Buffalo Wild Wings where he became Chairman of the Board, a company that also participated in extraordinary shareholder returns over 900 percent over his 10 year term. His mission and purpose are to bring humanity together with capitalism from the board level to the line level, celebrating the human dignity of the employee. It is the higher purpose that unites the people and the people are the precious interface to the customer. It is with and through both that the economic results are delivered.


RP-15F.indd 7

3/25/18 2:04 PM


VIP Parking Control


ack in 2002, VIP Parking Control started in Lebanon as an integral contributor to traffic management solutions. Since then, we offer valet and self-parking comprehensive management service that continues to make us the undisputed leader in our business. With thousands of parking bays under management across the different business sector, our 1000+ professional workforces continue to deliver unparalleled customer experience. We view ourselves as a cohesive element of the customer journey since we are the first and last point of contact between the client and the organisation he is visiting. Throughout the years, we have always been conscious of the need to benchmark our standards and practices against the best of the breed. Therefore, we continue to invest in systems, assets, resources and above all human capital. This continued investment coupled with effective leadership and efficient management and operational practices have gained us the accolades of our clients and competitors alike. Empowered by success, competencies and resources we have started to expand beyond our national borders. In record times, we have established the first and only parking Management Company in Erbil. After that, we had our expansion to Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Dubai. VIP Parking Control services aim to be the destination clients seek for all parking management related services. From

CHADI HABR CEO VIP Parking Control Chadi Habr graduated with a degree in law in 2000 but his passion was entrepreneurship. Working with many businesses through the family’s aluminum factory, he envisioned the opportunity in valet parking services where he landed his first location in 2001. He established VIP Parking Control. Since then, VIP witnessed continuous growth in the sector and became regional. Chadi’s leadership is empowering, keeping VIP modern with systems and rich with human capital.







RP-15F.indd 8

3/25/18 2:04 PM

consultancy to concept design of the parking facility, traffic impact studies, to execution and operations management, we have become the trusted partner for growth, profitability and success of our clients. We are the first to invest in related advanced technologies to continuously improve customer handling and protection of client’s vehicles and properties. Our services include but are not limited to: •

Design and optimization of the parking space

Execution of the parking facility

Provision of hardware and software solutions and equipment’s for the management of the parking facilities

Valet and Self-Parking services

Directional signage and monitoring sensors

Onsite vehicles environment-friendly car wash services

Ability to manage vehicles parking management for large events, concerts, exhibitions, etc.

We have well-documented systems of operations management that are ISO certified and validated. VIP teams understands that we need to keep two groups of clients extremely delighted: The owners of the parking facilities we are managing and the end customer whose vehicle we are taking care of. Therefore, we are very keen on being the most customer-centric organization in our field; this uncompromising attitude towards quality has always set us apart from the competition. We are continuously expanding our technologybased systems of management across all functions of our organization. Lately, we have completed the development of our own parking management App that promises to even provide more convenience, control and monitoring to our clients. In conclusion, our role transcends only business into serving the societies we operate under and becoming part of the solutions they require.


RP-15F.indd 9

3/25/18 2:04 PM

210.82x271.78 mag ad BLUE.pdf



8:55 AM



RP-15F.indd 10

3/25/18 2:04 PM


News Brief Newly transformed Matajer Al Juraina Mall has increased in size by a third, bringing contemporary new brands to Sharjah Expansion offers more variety and convenience-based services to residents in Sharjah’s fast-growing university community

Sharjah Holding PJSC, a partnership between Majid Al Futtaim-Properties and Sharjah Asset Management, inaugurated today, February 13, 2018, the AED 56 million extension of Matajer Al Juraina, with 16 exciting new brands and restaurants, increasing the community mall’s size by a third. Matajer Al Juraina’s enhancement project has increased the size of the mall from 6,000 to 9,000 square metres (sqm), with number of stores growing from 35 to 51, and the carpark now featuring 281 spaces for visitors. “Majid Al Futtaim is changing the face of community malls by bringing well-loved brands and dining concepts closer to residents of fast-growing neighbourhoods such as Sharjah’s university area,” said Ghaith Shocair, Chief Executive Officer, Shopping Malls, Majid Al Futtaim – Properties. “The expansion and upgrade of Matajer Al Juraina highlights our focus on serving the everyday needs of surrounding areas by broadening the range of dining and retail options on offer, making our parking more accessible, and enhancing the overall community mall experience. Majid Al Futtaim’s focus on the Matajer brand in Sharjah also reaffirms our commitment to increasing our total investment in the UAE by AED 30 billion by 2026.”

Cityland Mall to launch in Q4 2018 and showcase the world’s first ‘nature-inspired’ shopping destination in Dubai Cityland Mall which will be the world’s first ‘nature-inspired’ shopping destination remains on track for opening in Q4 2018 with the construction of the mall continuing at a consistent pace. In terms of construction, 60% of the project has been completed as of February 2018. In parallel, the leasing of the mall has also made considerable progress with over 50% of retail spaces being leased and committed. Construction work for the Carrefour hypermarket is nearly complete and it will be ready for handover on or before the end of March 2018. This will be the largest hypermarket in the Dubailand area. Construction work for the two major entertainment anchors - VOX Cinemas and Fabyland are progressing at a fast pace and will also be ready for handover within the next 6-8 weeks. By the end of Q2, 2018 the site will be open for most of the mall tenants to come in and commence their fit-out works. According to Fahimuddin Sharfuddin, CEO and Board Member, Cityland Group, “With consistent progress on both the construction and leasing side, we look forward to launching Cityland Mall to the public during the Q4 of this year and add a unique dimension in terms of retail to the UAE market. We have received strong interest from retailers and we are working to conclude the leasing activities by adding an additional 30% of leased retail space by yearend. We anticipate the balance of the retail area to be fully committed by end of Q1 2019.” In terms of family entertainment options, visitors to Cityland Mall will be served by a stunning 45,000 sq. feet VOX Cinemas with 10 screens using the latest projection and audio technology. Next-door will be the Fabyland Family Entertainment Centre, an indoor amusement park of close to 40,000 sq. feet.

BinSina Pharmacy to open 15 new outlets in UAE UAE-based pharmacy chain BinSina announced that they will open 15 new outlets across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah, with the rollout having started last February. “In line with the UAE’s vision to offer world-class healthcare, we are also fully committed to offering convenience and excellence to consumers looking for quality health and beauty products,” said Saleema Shurrab, GM of BinSina Pharmacy. Source: Arabian Business (

Infinite EDI Suite Deployment at NTDE Group in the UAE NTDE – the leading FMCG distributor in the UAE, along with its sister 3PL company – INL, decided to deploy Infinite EDI Suite to support its supply chain network. Under the contract concluded, the EDI provider – Infinite IT Solutions – is to establish Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between NTDE Group and its business partners across the globe. NTDE Group opted for the services of Infinite IT Solutions given the provider’s experience in implementing EDI solutions in the Middle East and substantial business knowledge of logistics and FMCG industries.

Shurooq and Eagle Hills unveil AED 2.7 billion of new Sharjah real estate projects Sharjah, UAE - Three ground-breaking real estate projects have been unveiled in Sharjah, worth a total of AED 2.7 billion (US$ 734m). The trio of projects is the result of a joint project between Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Eagle Hills, an Abu Dhabibased private real estate investment and development company. Source: RETALK MENA (


RP-15F.indd 11

3/25/18 2:04 PM


Rugby Player Sonny Bill Williams Visits Red Sea Mall Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: The Marketing Manager at Red Sea Mall, Mohammed Al Asiri, admire the support of His Royal Highness, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, and His Royal Highness, The Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for the different sports in Saudi Arabia. He also commended the President of the General Sports Authority, Turki Al Shiekh for upkeeping and improving athletic performances of various games, pointing out that the support and interest are highly appreciated by the Saudi Community. The international Rugby Player Sonny Williams visited Red Sea Mall after he performed his Ummrah rituals and visited the Holy Mosque in Madinah as he previously converted to Islam in 2009 by the Imam at the Prophet’s Mosque. The Rugby Player was greeted with great hospitality and during the short tour, he was introduced to the center as well as the brands and restaurants both local and international. Sonny expressed his happiness and delight for being in Saudi especially for the spirituality at the Prophet's Mosque and Makkah. Sonny Bill Williams is a Muslim athlete from New Zealand that plays Rugby and Boxing among other sports. Sonny previously played in Australia and took the best player title, after that he decided to move to boxing alongside Rugby. His athletic and muscular physique helped him win the title of World Boxing champion and the New Zealand Boxing Champion title. Sonny is well known for his humane sense, where he passed his golden medal after the World Rugby championship to a kid in the crowd, which had an impact on international news.

Look: Dubai Mall's massive extension opens Dubai: Emaar has opened the doors to the massive extension of Dubai Mall, offering ample retail space to the world’s largest shopping destination. The newly completed high-end section has expanded the mall’s Fashion Avenue and now houses a number of luxury brands, including Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, Rolex and Cartier, among many others. It was earlier announced that the expansion will add another one million square feet of built-up area and more than 150 brands, as well as restaurants, to Dubai Mall. So far, most of the shops that have opened are fashion brands, although a few food and beverage outlets, including L’eto and Starbucks, are now operational. The fountainfacing restaurants are still closed. The extension can be accessed through the main atrium of the old Fashion Avenue, just opposite Armani Café on the ground floor. Three levels of the extension have been opened so far, with some spaces at the top floor designated for perfume shops, and first and ground floor for fine jewellery. Spaces for dining and fashion are spread across all levels. The mall's roof design allows an abundance of natural light to pour in. And with the expansive skylights, shoppers can enjoy the views of the iconic Burj Khalifa as they wander about inside the mall. Exclusive design concepts, including art pieces and Instagram-worthy corners, await visitors as well. Source: Gulf News – Business Sectors (

Lego to build Middle East market with new Dubai office Danish toy manufacturer Lego will open up an office in Dubai towards the end of the year as it seeks to expand operations in the Middle East in Africa. “In 2018, we will stabilize the business and invest to build sustainable growth in the longerterm,” said Lego CEO Niels Christiansen. Source: Arabian Business (

Zara to lure millennials with augmented-reality displays A Coruna, Spain (Reuters) - Zara, the fashion chain owned by the world’s biggest clothing retailer Inditex (ITX.MC), will introduce augmented reality displays from April, it said on Tuesday, in an effort to lure millennials into its stores. Clothing retailers are having to invest in memorable product demonstrations and storespecific content to attract customers in their twenties and early thirties, whose increasing use of online players such as Amazon has ravaged bricks-andmortar retail chains in recent years. Source: Reuters (

Marks & Spencer Unveils Its Brand New E-Commerce Website in the UAE Shopping for spring just got even better for Marks & Spencer devotees. The iconic retailer, known for its up-to-the-minute seasonal trends and quintessentially British staples, is now furthering its reach in the UAE with the launch of own e-commerce site - marking the first time bringing to the region more UK exclusive clothing lines and homeware products which you won’t find in the brick and mortar stores. Source: Khaleej Times (


RP-15F.indd 12

3/25/18 2:04 PM

Zaatar w Zeit operator Cravia eyes new stores this year Dubai-based restaurant franchisee Cravia will open a number of new outlets this year, and add a new franchise to its portfolio by 2019. Cravia operates the likes of Zaatar w Zeit, Cinnabon, and Seattle’s Best Coffee in the UAE, in addition to Five Guys in Saudi Arabia. “Our motto is, if you don’t grow, you die. So we’re definitely expanding in the UAE this year, with probably eight or nine new stores, particularly Zaatar w Zeit,” Walid Hajj, Cravia’s Chief Executive, told Gulf News in a telephone interview earlier this week. Outside the UAE, Hajj said that he had an eye on the rest of the region. Already present in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE, the CEO said that he was exploring opportunities to expand into the rest of the Gulf, whilst also “looking at the rest of the Middle East and North Africa.” Hajj made specific mention of Egypt as a market of interest for expanding Zaatar W Zeit. “Zaatar, for example, we know what works; it becomes a matter of plug and play in other markets,” he said. Across its five brands, which also include the ice cream chain Carvel, the company expects to operate 91 restaurants across the Gulf countries by the end of 2018. Hajj also said that the company was looking at a wide variety of styles of food for its next brand. “It might be a healthy concept, or chicken, or pizza, we’re looking at different sectors across the board,” Hajj said. “We probably won’t announce anything this year, but we’ll have a new franchise in 2019,” he added. “We look for scalability. It is very important,” Hajj said, adding that however the group acquired a brand, be it a pre-existing international chain or an internally grown concept, Cravia’s strength was in understanding how to get the most from that business. Source: Gulf News – Business Sector (

Heston Blumenthal to open Dubai restaurant in 2019 World-renowned Chef Heston Blumenthal will open a restaurant in the Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in 2019. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is the first named restaurant to open within the property and will be the third outpost of the culinary concept developed by the Michelin-star chef after London and Melbourne. Located on the crescent of The Palm next to the iconic Atlantis, The Palm resort, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will be located in the heart of the resort and will include a dedicated bar, two outside terraces and a private dining room. The restaurant will offer contemporary dishes inspired by historic gastronomic recipes dating back to the 1300’s. “I am truly excited about opening in this incredible location. It is not often that an opportunity in such a perfect space comes along. The backdrop is outstanding and the views of the Dubai skyline over the Gulf are quite unique," said Blumenthal. He said the idea behind Dinner stems from his fascination with history and gastronomy, which was triggered in the late 90s after reading a 15-century manuscript known as The Vivendier. Serge Zaalof, Chief Operating Officer for Atlantis Resorts & Residences said: “Similar to Atlantis, The Palm, the superb culinary offering at The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences will lie at the property’s heart. This is the first of many exciting culinary introductions and we look forward to wowing our guests and residents with what is sure to be one of the most talked about restaurants in the region. Source: Arabian Business (

US cinema brand inks deal to enter Saudi Arabia iPic Entertainment, the US-based luxury restaurant and theatre brand, has announced the signing of an agreement to develop cinemas in Saudi Arabia. “We are thrilled to be working with BAS Global which we believe will be excellent local partners to lead the growth of the iPic brand throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Hamid Hashemi, Founder and CEO of iPic Entertainment. Source: Arabian Business (

Centrepoint partners with Anghami to launch new talent sessions Jeddah: The region’s largest fashion retailer, Centrepoint, has joined forces with Anghami - the leading music streaming platform in the Middle East (exclusively represented by DMS) for a new season of Anghami Sessions. The collaboration will see the retailer supporting the popular concept, with the aim of nurturing musical talent from the region. Source: Zawya (

AAW picks Infinite EDI Suite for its Kuwait Operations Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co – AAW Consumer Department, has entrusted the project of establishing EDI connection with its business partner to Infinite IT Solutions. With the EDI portal, trade documents will be exchanged electronically, thus removing manual document handling. Also, Infinite IT Solutions will integrate the EDI solution with the ERP software to ensure a smooth transfer of business data.

Seef Properties plans new waterfront project Manama: Seef Properties, an integrated real estate developer, has established a new real estate company in collaboration with strategic partners, to develop a new mixed-use waterfront project in the Capital Governorate. The company’s chairman Essa Najibi said the announcement was part of a strategy to further expand the investment portfolio to strengthen its position in the real estate sector. Source: Zawya (


RP-15F.indd 13

3/25/18 2:04 PM


Food delivery apps are not to everyone’s taste Freedom Pizza founder says these are getting in the way of true customer experience

Dubai: Ian Ohan doesn’t much care for any of the food delivery apps that show up on everyone’s smartphone these days. The founder of the Freedom Pizza chain would rather retain full control of taking the orders... and making the deliveries. “The problem with third-party delivery companies is they put themselves between you and the customer,” Ohan said. “And there’s no way the food company can control the customer experience when someone else is doing the delivery. In the end, we get disconnected from our customers. “What’s happening is a third-party gets to have ultimate control of the customer and the pricing — for food companies, there is a cost to doing that. It costs us money because we have to pay the credit card fees.” In a little over two years, food delivery apps and operators have become a common feature on UAE residents’ smartphones and on the roads. The consensus belief in the F&B industry was that this would help grow the market exponentially and allow even newer F&B entrants to try and catch the eye of consumers. Freedom Pizza proceeded to develop its own online order and delivery platform. And it brought in 135 of its own delivery drivers. “Right now, 52% of our total sales are coming through online and that could go up to 75% in the next 18 months,” said Ohan. “A lot of customers don’t know where our stores are. There’s no denying that today’s consumers want the convenience of ordering through apps/online. The only difference is that we are doing it ourselves. Freedom operates 10 locations in Dubai and Sharjah, with the latter being a franchise operation. It is in the process of tapping investors ahead of its launch in the UK. “We plan to commit about 3 million to set up proof-of-concept stores in the UK and then get the franchisees in,” said Ohan. “It’s a simple enough reason why we plan to be in the UK — it’s [the] third largest pizza market in the world. Our plan is to scale up to 100 store locations there and we want to be in a position to compete with anyone who delivers.” Source: Gulf News – Business Sector (

Pepsi looks for young Emiratis to join its leadership programme The company is inviting prospective candidates to meet with representatives from its 'Tomorrow's Leaders' programme at the UAE career fair at the Dubai World Trade Center Global food and beverage giant, Pepsico, is looking to hire young Emiratis to join its Leadership Placement programme, the company has announced. The company is currently inviting prospective candidates to meet with representatives at the UAE career fair being held from March 13-15 at the Dubai World Trade Center. PepsiCo will offer summer internships to “passionate Emirati students” keen to gain insights into the global company’s Middle East operations. Fresh graduates, as well as those with up to two years’ experience under their belts who are selected for the company’s Tomorrow’s Leaders programme, can also gain a permanent position within PepsiCo. “We are very impressed with the young Emirati talent and PepsiCo is committed to providing opportunities for young Emiratis to join our company. We want to play a key role in the UAE Vision 2021 to develop a knowledge-based economy. We aim to elevate talented nationals to leadership roles by providing the training and guidance needed to realize their full potential,” said Pavan Bhatia, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at PepsiCo MENA and Asia.

Dubai shopping mall inks deal for new 18-screen cinema Al Ghurair Centre, the Middle East’s first shopping centre, has signed an agreement with Emaar Entertainment, to operate a new 18-screen Reel Cinemas megaplex. The cinema, which is set to open its doors to the public in the fourth quarter of 2018, is part of Al Ghurair Centre’s revitalisation plan, with further plans in the pipeline. Sultan Al Ghurair, CEO of Al Ghurair Properties said: “We are excited to announce the recent signing that confirms our partnership with Emaar Entertainment.” Source: Arabian Business (

Design International opens doors at d3 office London-based architecture firm Design International has opened its first office in the Middle East. The company marked the launch of the property in Dubai Design District (d3) with an event attended by dignitaries and the local design community. Davide Padoa, CEO of Design International, said: “We are delighted to open our new office in Dubai. This is a testament to our longstanding connection with the region and reflects our admiration for the way the city of Dubai has chosen to embrace the architecture and design industries.” Source: The Big 5 Hub News (

US tech giant picks UAE for first Middle East data hubs Microsoft announced on Wednesday it will open two new data centres in the UAE, marking its first such foray into a growing market for cloud services in the Middle East. Initial availability for Microsoft’s Cloud based services is expected in 2019. The company counts organisations such as The Emirates Group, Emaar Properties, Etihad Airways, Majid Al Futtaim, and Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, among its clients that will benefit with its new announcement. Source: Arabian Bussiness (

Source: Arabian Business Business Sector (


RP-15F.indd 14

3/25/18 2:04 PM



DAVID MEERM DAVI MEERM MAN AN SCOTT Global online marketing strategist Creator of "newsjacking" Author, 10 books including 3 international bestsellers - with strategies to grow business online in 2018

David, you delivered the most practical and powerful marketing presentation I’ve seen. Outstanding! Thank you!” - Tony Robbins

For further information: visit l To register contact: or call +971 (0)4 359 7909

RP-15F.indd 15

3/25/18 2:04 PM


Majed Al Hokair

Leadership in the world of Hospitality and Entertainment


ajed Al Hokair, Group Vice Chairman of the Al Hokair Group, discusses his family’s commitment to entertainment in Saudi Arabia. The name Al Hokair is synonymous with fun. Driving past the colourful facade of Al Hokair Land on Riyadh’s Eastern Ring Road 20 years ago was the beginning in our early days. Over a generation later, and the Al Hokair name is still associated with fun. Founded in 1975, the Al Hokair Group set its sights on becoming the nation’s pioneer in entertainment. We dipped our feet into the proverbial entertainment pool with a park that only had three rides. The entertainment scene at that time was practically nonexistent. This was the first endeavor of its kind in Saudi. We had an influx of people coming to the park, from royalty to everyday people. The reception this little three-ride park garnered pushed the company to invest more in the field. We partnered with Italian companies to import more games. Now we have over 80+ entertainment centers all over the key cities of Saudi Arabia and UAE both indoors and outdoors. Al Hokair’s father, Abdulmohsin, was always nontraditional and always sought to take the path least traveled. As a leader, he wanted to pursue things that were related to the community. We could have gone into many businesses, but our passion has always been in entertainment. We need to promote the human element.

What makes the Al Hokair Group special is its reach. We have never settled for just being in places like Riyadh or Jeddah. Our aim has always been to provide a truly widespread presence by investing in smaller cities throughout the country. This strategy has made us very successful. In the late ‘80s, the group expanded into hospitality. When you have stayed in any Hilton, Holiday Inn, Novotel, Golden Tulip or a Radisson in Saudi Arabia, you have stayed with the Al Hokair Group. We have two decades worth of experience and over 40 hotels.


RP-15F.indd 16

3/25/18 2:04 PM

Our corporate vision in the Al Hokair Group is to stay connected to Al Hokair from the early years into adulthood. This is our business strategy. Al Hokair’s vision is to curate a person’s entire experience; from the moment you land, everything from transportation, accommodation, entertainment and even sightseeing. The Riyadh Red Bus Tours have recently launched. The Al Hokair Group is now also the leader in sightseeing in Saudi. The company’s future is bright. Al Hokair is keeping up with all the most recent trends in entertainment. With the knowledge that the majority of the country’s demographic is young. With recent trends in Entertainment and Cinemas in Saudi, Al Hokair is happily catering to thousands of more Saudis. The young generation needs outlets, and needs companies to start considering them. They’re combining entertainment and physical activity to combat idleness with projects like Sky Zone in Riyadh and Jeddah or Snowy Forest in Damman, Jeddah, Madinah, Jizan and Riyadh. Al Hokair’s successful range of FEC’s host more than 10 million visitors a year and considered to be the pioneering and leading Family Entertainment Center Group in Saudi Arabia. The opening of the first “Al Hokair Time” in Damman located at Al Shatea Mall in April 2017, marks the new beginning of ‘Al Hokair Time’ FEC. The ‘Al Hokair Time’ FEC has a mixture of Sparky’s, Snowy and Skyzone Trampoline, all available in one popular area

in the shopping centre with the accessibility of tasty food and beverage outlets such as Pezzo, La Mode and other kiosks which are always ready to serve all the visitors. The Al Hokair Group also sees potential in the Kingdom to become a health destination and a go-to spot for natural tourism. Many Saudis travel abroad to countries such as the Czech Republic for rehabilitation and treatment, a trend the Al Hokair is hoping to embellish by establishing rehabilitation centers within the Kingdom. We are also investing in nature tourism to share the countries beauty, as well as rekindling national pride. The Al Hokair Group has a focus on more growth, more options, resilience, variety and longevity. These qualities are going to be our anchor in the changing face of the Kingdom. In Riyadh especially with the completion of the metro, we’re going to see drastic shift both economically and socially. No one else is more prepared for it than the Al Hokair Group.


RP-15F.indd 17

3/25/18 2:04 PM

‫وأضاف‪« :‬ر يتنا الم سسية في مجموعة الحكير تكمن في البقاء‬ ‫على تواصل مع الحكير وإرث السنوات األولى حتى وصولنا إلى مرحلة‬ ‫النضو ‪ .‬وهذه هي استراتيجية عملنا»‪.‬‬ ‫وتتمثل ر ية الحكير في تن يم تجربة شخصية متكاملة‪ ،‬من‬ ‫الوصول إلى المطار‪ ،‬وما يتبعها من خدمات االستقبال واإلقامة‬ ‫وصوال إلى استكشاف المعالم السياحية‪ .‬وقد قامت‬ ‫والترفيه‪،‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫خرا بإطالق رحالت الحافالت الحمراء في الرياض‪،‬‬ ‫المجموعة م‬ ‫حي تعتبر الحكير رائدة في مجال الرحالت السياحية بالمملكة‬ ‫العربية السعودية‪.‬‬ ‫كما ترسم مجموعة الحكير خطو مستقبل مشرق وواعد‪ ،‬وتتبنى‬ ‫أحدث االتجاهات في قطاع الترفيه‪ .‬ومع األخذ باالعتبار أن غالبية‬ ‫التشكيلة السكانية هم من الشباب‪ ،‬وتصاعد التوجهات الحديثة في‬ ‫الترفيه والسينما بالمملكة العربية السعودية‪ ،‬فإن مجموعة الحكير‬ ‫على تلبية احتياجات ا الف من السعوديين‪.‬‬ ‫تحر‬ ‫فاليوم يتطلع جيل الشباب إلى منافذ تمكنهم من االستمتاع‬ ‫بالترفيه‪ ،‬ولهذا يتوجب على الشركات العمل والن ر بجدية إلى ما‬ ‫يلبي تطلعاتهم‪ .‬فمن شأن المشاريع الترفيهية التي تجمع بين الترفيه‬ ‫النشا البدني‪ ،‬مثل سكاي زون في الرياض وجدة أو الغابة الثلجية‬ ‫في الدمام وجدة والمدينة المنورة وجيزان والرياض‪ ،‬أن تسهم جميعها‬ ‫في ب النشا في الجسم ومكافحة الكسل وملء أوقات الفرا ‪.‬‬ ‫وتستقبل مجمعات الترفيه العائلي من مجموعة الحكير أكثر من‬ ‫ً‬ ‫سنويا‪ ،‬حي تعد المجموعة رائدة في الترفيه العائلي‬ ‫‪ 10‬ماليين زائر‬ ‫بالمملكة العربية السعودية‪ .‬ويمثل افتتا مجمع «الحكير تايم» الكائن‬ ‫في الشاط مول بمنطقة الدمام في أبريل ‪ ،2017‬بداية جديدة‬ ‫لسلسلة مجمعات «الحكير تايم» للترفيه العائلي‪ ،‬حي يحتضن هذا‬ ‫المجمع الذي يعد األول من نوعه‪ ،‬مجموعة من المرافق الترفيهية التي‬

‫تشمل «‪ »Sparky‬و«‪»Snowy‬‬ ‫و«‪،»Skyzone Trampoline‬‬ ‫والتي توجد جميعها في‬ ‫منطقة واحدة وتحت سقف‬ ‫مركز تسوق‪ ،‬يتيح لجميع الزوار‬ ‫الوصول إلى منافذ بيع الطعام‬ ‫والشراب الفريدة‪ ،‬مثل «‪»Pezzo‬‬ ‫و«‪ »La Mode‬وغيرها من المحال التجارية‬ ‫واألكشاك الرائدة‪.‬‬ ‫وت كد مجموعة الحكير على أن الفرصة متاحة في أن تغدو‬ ‫المملكة وجهة للرعاية الصحية والسياحة الطبيعية‪ ،‬حي إن العديد‬ ‫من السعوديين يسافرون إلى بلدان مثل جمهورية التشيك من أجل‬ ‫التأهيل والرعاية الصحية‪ ،‬وهو اتجاه تأمل مجموعة الحكير في تحويله‬ ‫لما فيه مصلحة المملكة العربية السعودية‪ ،‬وذلك عبر إنشاء مراكز‬ ‫إلعادة التأهيل داخل البالد‪ .‬كما أنها تستثمر في السياحة الطبيعية‬ ‫فضال عن تأجي مشاعر الفخر‬ ‫لتعريف العالم بجمال األماكن فيها‪،‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫مجموعة الحكير على النمو والتطور‪،‬‬ ‫واالنتماء لهذا الوطن‪ .‬وتحر‬ ‫وتقديم المزيد من الخيارات والمرونة والتنوع واالستدامة‪ .‬ومن‬ ‫شأن جميع هذه الصفات أن تكون راسخة في الوجه المتغير للمملكة‪.‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫واجتماعيا في الرياض‪ ،‬خاصة مع‬ ‫اقتصاديا‬ ‫جذريا‬ ‫تحوال‬ ‫وسنشهد‬ ‫ً‬ ‫اكتمال مشروع المترو واالنتهاء من بنائه‪ .‬فال يوجد أحد آخر أكثر‬ ‫ً‬ ‫استعدادا من مجموعة الحكير‪.‬‬


‫‪Arabic cover so‬‬

‫‪3/25/18‬‬ ‫‪3/25/18 4:41‬‬ ‫‪4:57 PM‬‬ ‫‪PM‬‬

‫‪Arabic cover sotry.indd‬‬ ‫‪2‬‬ ‫‪RP-15F.indd‬‬ ‫‪18‬‬

‫ﻣﻮﺿﻮﻉ ﺍﻟﻐﻼﻑ‬

‫اﻟﺮﻳﺎدة ﻓﻲ ﻋﺎﻟﻢ اﻟﻀﻴﺎﻓﺔ واﻟﺘﺮﻓﻴﻪ‬ ‫ﺇﻥ‬

‫ﻣﺎﺟﺪ ﺍﻟﺤﻜﻴﺮ‪ ،‬ﻧﺎﺋﺐ ﺭﺋﻴﺲ ﻣﺠﻤﻮﻋﺔ ﺍﻟﺤﻜﻴﺮ‪ ،‬ﻳﻨﺎﻗﺶ ﺍﻟﺘﺰﺍﻡ‬ ‫ﺃﺳﺮﺗﻪ ﺑﺎﻟﺘﺮﻓﻴﻪ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻤﻤﻠﻜﺔ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ ﺍﻟﺴﻌﻮﺩﻳﺔ‪.‬‬

‫اسم الحكير مرادف للمتعة والترفيه‪ .‬كانت البداية بجانب‬ ‫الواجهة الملونة لـ «الحكير الند» على طريق الرياض الدائري‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫مرتبطا‬ ‫عاما‪ .‬وبعد أكثر من جيل ما زال اسم الحكير‬ ‫الشرقي قبل عشرين‬ ‫بقطاع الترفيه العائلي‪.‬‬ ‫وقد تأسست مجموعة الحكير عام ‪ ،1975‬وحرصت على أن تصبح‬ ‫رائدة في مجال الترفيه‪ .‬وضعنا بصمتنا في عالم الترفيه ‪ -‬إن صح‬ ‫التعبير ‪ -‬المليء بالمغامرات‪ ،‬إذ بدأنا بتشييد حديقة تضم ﺛالث‬ ‫جوالت فقﻂ‪.‬‬

‫‪3/25/18‬‬ ‫‪3/25/18 4:41‬‬ ‫‪4:57PM‬‬ ‫‪PM‬‬

‫ً‬ ‫عمليا‪ ،‬وكانت‬ ‫كان المشهد الترفيهي في ذلك الوقت غير موجود‬ ‫هذه الحديقة األولى من نوعها في السعودية‪ ،‬ﺛم بدأ الناﺱ من‬ ‫مختلف األجناﺱ والفﺌات العمرية يتوافدون إلى الحديقة كل يوم‪،‬‬ ‫فضال عن أفراد من األسرة الحاكمة‪ .‬وقد دفع التوجه المتزايد على‬ ‫ً‬ ‫الحديقة الترفيهية التي كانت تضم ﺛالث ألعاب فقﻂ آنذاك‪ ،‬إلى زيادة‬ ‫استثمارات الشركة في هذا المجال‪ .‬وبالفعل‪ ،‬دخلنا في شراكة مع‬ ‫الشركات اإليطالية الستيراد المزيد من األلعاب‪ .‬واليوم‪ ،‬لدينا أكثر‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ترفيهيا في جميع أنحاء المدن الرئيسة بالمملكة العربية‬ ‫مركزا‬ ‫من ‪80‬‬ ‫السعودية واإلمارات العربية المتحدة‪.‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫شخصا غير تقليدي‬ ‫كان والد الحكير‪ ،‬السيد عبد المحسن الحكير‪،‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫دائما إلى اكتشاف طرق جديدة ومبتكرة‪ .‬ولكونه رائد أعمال‬ ‫يسعى‬ ‫ً‬ ‫فذا‪،‬أراد توفير خدمات ترفيهية ألفراد المجتمع كافة‪ .‬يقول ماجد‪« :‬كان‬ ‫بإمكاننا تأسيﺲ مجموعة مختلفة من المشاريع واألعمال‪ ،‬لكن شغفنا‬ ‫ً‬ ‫دائما ينصب في الترفيه والحاجة إلى تعزيز العنصر البشري»‪.‬‬ ‫كان‬ ‫ومتفردة فيما تقدمه‪ ،‬يقول ماجد‪« :‬لم‬ ‫وتعد مجموعة الحكير رائدة‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫نُ ِرد االستقرار في مكان واحد‪ ،‬مثل الرياض أو جدة‪ ،‬فلطالما كان هدفنا‬ ‫يكمن في ترسيﺦ وجودنا على نطاق واسع من خالل االستثمار في‬ ‫المدن الصغيرة حول العالم‪ .‬هذه االستراتيجية جعلتنا ناجحين ً‬ ‫جدا»‪.‬‬ ‫في أواخر ﺛمانينيات القرن الماضي‪ ،‬توسعت مجموعة الحكير‬ ‫لتشمل الضيافة‪ ،‬يقول ماجد‪« :‬عندما تكون قد أقمت في أي من‬ ‫فنادق هيلتون أو هوليداي إن أو نوفوتيل أو جولدن توليب أو راديسون‬ ‫في المملكة العربية السعودية‪ ،‬فقد أقمت مع مجموعة الحكير‪ .‬فنحن‬ ‫ً‬ ‫فندقا»‪.‬‬ ‫نتمتع بخبرة تزيد على عقدين من الزمن ولدينا أكثر من ‪40‬‬

‫‪Arabic cover sotry.indd‬‬ ‫‪1‬‬ ‫‪RP-15F.indd‬‬ ‫‪19‬‬

‫‪3/25/18 4:41 PM‬‬


We are a network of international experts that foster and manage customer engagement and experiences.

ALESSANDRO GAFFURI Founder & CEO of CELS Group Shopping centers as the “heart of a community”: this is what we believe in. We foster strong relationships based on emotions, for venues where culture, art, food, music, and entertainment provide experiences that truly engage customers. Our aim is to help manage retail hubs, where social bounds prove to be just as relevant as shopping-related interests. We support our clients in creating Preferred Meeting Places centers for a community — their most valuable asset.








UNIQUE RP-15F.indd 20

3/25/18 2:04 PM











LEADING EVENTS 3/25/18 2:04 PM


My Mall – Mall For All •

The mall is going to be ready for operation during the Q4 of 2018 surrounded by more than 5-7 high end freehold local communities with 100% occupancy and upcoming developments

The structure of the Mall is ready and value renovation has begun. Project completion will be in 8 months


y Mall is the leading lifestyle destination in Ajman, bringing a dynamic fusion of retail, leisure and dining to the Northern Emirates. We are pioneers in experiential retail, hosting an array of established international brands within a distinctive and engaging environment. Our creative approach brings innovation and diversity to the region, a vibrant social hub for the whole community to enjoy. The leasing of the mall has also made considerable progress with over 40 per cent of retail spaces being leased and committed. The structure of the Mall is already ready and redevelopment including façade works, external and internal finishes are about to start in full swing and will be completed in next 8 months.


RP-15F.indd 22

3/25/18 2:04 PM

Pillars, Attributes and Personality honing in detail PILLARS Innovative: Our inventive concept re-imagines retail to provide a unique and vibrant regional hub. Diverse: A contemporary “mall for all”, we welcome an inclusive range of visitors and locals. Established: With strong local looks, our team are passionate about developing and enhancing the community.

ATTRIBUTES We are committed to creating and maintaining a thriving destination that will elevate the area. We want to develop an innovative brand story internationally and build series of reputed, established and trusted Malls that portrays the unique character. We don’t mind competition, in fact it makes us try harder and refine our approach. Egypt, Africa, Austria….. We are ready for international expansion and joint venture (JV). We are confident that our knowledge will represent a significant competitive advantage. Ali Rao, CEO – My Mall LLC

Imaginative: Our experience-focused activations bring a dynamic and engaging environment to the region Contemporary: We utilize the latest in design technology to elevate and diversify the visitor and retailer experience Stylish: We host an exceptional range of leading international fashion, lifestyle and dining brands

PERSONALITY Proactive: Our positive attitude provides a warm, friendly environment for our diverse range of visitors Positive: We are committed to creating and maintaining a thriving destination that will elevate the area Engaging: Our unique location goes beyond retail to offer an all-inclusive, immersive experience

My Mall Overview The Mall is laid out in a strip over the three levels: a ground floor and first level facing the main road and an upper ground floor at the rear of the building. Surface parking is available at the front and rear of the property. The services and facilities provided at My Mall will ensure visitors have a convenient, enjoyable and relaxed shopping experience. Target Retail Tenants includes Hypermarket, value fashion and home fashion concepts, Quality Sports and selection of cafes, restaurants and fast food units. BUA: Approx. 430,000 Sqft GLA: 400,000 Sqft Units: 115+

According to the demographics study and analysis the expected footfall for My Mall in the 1st Year is approximately 3 Million. A family friend retail, dining and entertainment destination appealing mainly to the residents of Northern Ajman, but also to visitors from across the rest of the city and as far as Umm al Quwain. Providing a dynamic and exciting, yet pleasant and safe family environment. The development will be a key driver in the expansion of the city’s leisure and entertainment offerings.


RP-15F.indd 23

3/25/18 2:05 PM


Mall of the future: a place to Eat



alls all over the world have been going through a revolution during the past decade. Long gone are the days of traditional shopping arcades and functional food courts. Instead, billions of dollars have been poured into upscale restaurants, premium movie theatres with dine-in options, bowling alleys and similar amenities. With the rise of e-commerce and ever-evolving customer expectations, mall operators are turning swaths of space into health clubs and celebrity eateries. Others are undergoing no less than a ground-up transformation to make room for office space, hotels and even apartments. Carving out space for entertainment and food is by no means a new strategy. What's noteworthy is the degree to which mall owners are now counting on tenants that sell experiences, rather than just physical goods. Getting the right mix of big name chains, independent outlets and pop-ups to cater for today’s food-savvy, globally aware shoppers is key.


Research from International Council of Shopping Centers in conjunction with JLL found that the right line-up of entertainment and food & beverage (F&B) had a “halo effect” – shopper traffic increased, customers spent more time in the mall, and overall sales grew. Twenty years ago, shopping was all about the transaction – you buy something, then you leave. To attract and hold more customers, shopping centers need to offer an experience – and in creating that experience, forward-thinking landlords are increasingly reviewing their entertainment and F&B options. This is a strategy that formed the basis of Reem Mall development concept in Abu Dhabi. As the UAE’s upcoming fashion, entertainment and dining destination, Reem Mall will deliver 2 million sq. ft. of retail, leisure, dining and entertainment offerings. In fact, the entertainment offering will make up almost 202,000 sq. ft., which accounts for 10 per cent of the total mall space, emphasizing the growing significance of leisure in the success of a modern retail environment.


RP-15F.indd 24

3/25/18 2:05 PM


Comprising around 450 stores housing local and international brands, 85 of which will be F&B outlets, as well as a range of family-focused entertainment and edutainment anchors, Reem Mall will be a unique addition to Abu Dhabi’s family leisure attractions. Key to Reem Mall’s entertainment offering is our partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Ventures – the leisure, entertainment, fashion and business arm of Majid Al Futtaim. Through this partnership, Reem Mall will become home to the next generation of concepts from award-winning VOX Cinemas, including the large format MAX screens, fine dining Theatre by Rhodes and the children focused VOX Kids. For the first time, VOX Cinemas will be fused with Magic Planet, the region’s largest network of family entertainment centres, to create an all – new leisure environment. The star attraction of Reem Mall though is set to be a bespoke 125,000 sq. ft. snow attraction featuring a snow park and including a variety of activities and experiences to be enjoyed by the entire family – from sledging to zorbing to luge. We know that for Reem Mall to be a success, we have to bring something new to our highly connected and discerning customer base. With first-of-a-kind world class leisure, entertainment and F&B options, we are determined to drive forward the retail revolution in Abu Dhabi and beyond. And who knows, perhaps in the future, we won’t even refer to malls or shopping centers anymore – we will simply refer to places, offering a great experience that includes stores, restaurants and entertainment destinations. Whether in the form of a snow park or gourmet burger restaurant, food and entertainment will play a greater part in creating that place than ever before.

SHANE ELDSTROM Chief Executive Officer Al Farwaniya Property Developments LLC Shane Eldstrom is the Chief Executive Officer of Al Farwaniya, the developer of Abu Dhabi’s upand-coming $1.2 billion entertainment, dining and leisure destination Reem Mall. With a career that spans more than 20 years in Commercial Real Estate specialising in Retail, Shane has held senior and executive positions in several globally renowned organisations, including working with Bentall Capital, Ivanhoe Cambridge, Dubai Properties and Al Ghurair Group in the operation, leasing and development of large scale enclosed shopping centres. He graduated the University of British Columbia Urban Land Economics program. He also served as President of MECSC from 2014 to 2016.


RP-15F.indd 25

3/25/18 2:05 PM


CFCM… Not a Destination “The” Destination


ince opening its doors in 2013, Cairo Festival City Mall has positioned itself not only as a premier Shopping destination but as the place that has it all. As well as offering customers the latest trends and high street favorites through International and local brands; Cairo Festival City offers a world-class diverse dining experience and first-rate Entertainment facilities. Aerodium is the first wind air tunnel in Egypt. The International Sensation, Bounce is also unique in CFCM. CFCM has, in turn, changed the mindset of the Egyptian customer when it comes to Shopping Malls. They are now navigating towards seeing Malls as a place to do it all; shop, dine and get entertained! For example, at CFCM customers can enjoy the world-famous food court options for those who like to eat on the go; and then enjoy a movie in the interlinked Galaxy Cineplex with the latest visual and sound technology. They can also enjoy our multinational cuisines in the Village Area as they watch our one of a kind Dancing Fountain.

MAYAR ZEID Retail Analyst Cairo Festival City Mall (CFCM) Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate

Since joining Al Futtaim in 2013, Mayar has worked to raise the profile of CFCM and her own personal profile. Mayar’s experience her keen eye for detail have produced extensive reports and a great vision to support and grow the business at CFCM.


RP-15F.indd 26

3/25/18 2:05 PM



It is due to the diversification of Shopping, Entertainment and Dining that CFCM was also ranked by shoppers, customers and tourists alike as the country’s number one shopping destination on TripAdvisor. In addition to this, CFCM has now positioned itself as a venue for major Events and activations such as hosting two Amr Diab concerts, which brought in over 50,000 people. CFCM social media is also growing extremely fast being ranked as number two worldwide for social media engagement. Such an achievement proves even greater given the instability of the Egyptian Market at present. The relationship with the tenants is also of utmost importance. By working as partners, we are able to grow


RP-15F.indd 27

and sustain value creation. This reflects on the service our tenants provide to the customer thereby enhancing customer loyalty. We are extremely excited to see what the future holds for CFCM and for the Egyptian Market. We will continue to strive to innovate and lead when it comes to leasing, activations and Marketing activities.

V-Count’s cloud based Business Intelligence Platform collects all visitors analytics, heatmap and queue data and delivers you accurate reports together with actionable information about your shopping malls, stores, campaigns, products and operations.

3/25/18 2:05 PM


The Rise and Rise of

Food & Hospitality in Malls


rom the social and business events to the personal hunger, the multidisciplinary ways we eat, dine and socialize are changing dramatically with future trends being clearly identified. The science of the art of food and hospitality master planning and its ability to set your malls apart is now very clear. The transition to a “Lifestyle Destination” has been confirmed. A deeper understanding of these key trends in food and hospitality is crucial to the success of future centres of consumer engagement. Francis Loughran is a global leader in the foresight of food in food and hospitality trends. He’s a trend subject industry specialist with over forty years experience in translating hospitality, cultural and consumer research into a highly effective strategy for the world’s leading malls developers. In this article, Francis not only identifies the current and future trends affecting our malls, but he explains the relationship between the multi-disciplined approach which is converting our malls into mixeduse developments. Is it possible that the modern lifestyle destination will drop the four-letter word M.A.L.L. as it reinvents itself as a mixed-use project featuring food, hospitality, entertainment and other experiential asset-growth segments? Looking across the Middle East and the world, it is clear that our shopping centres, malls, retail precincts - whatever you want to call them - are

no longer single-purpose shopping malls, they are mixed-use projects offering so much more than product-focused retail. Changing customer needs and behaviors bring new opportunities to our lifestyle destinations through food, hospitality, and entertainment. The ever-changing demands of consumers are one of the biggest concerns our clients have, as they seek to tailor buildings, spaces, and experiences fit for the modern lifestyle destination. Those consumer behaviors are constantly evolving. Reacting and responding to global trends and individual needs, consumers now demand a highly customized lifestyle. As people seek more ways to connect in real time and extend their social experiences, food is a big component of this.



RP-15F.indd 28

3/25/18 2:05 PM


• Visitors to the modern mall are engaging to with the food and hospitality in numbers that were unthinkable a decade ago. • Millennials will increase their critical reviews of food in malls, therefore adding pressure for improved experiences. • Entertainment will continue to diversify as food and hospitality increases. • Food tenancies will grow sales by focusing on home, office and venue deliveries. As advisors to the retail industry, every day we are witnessing a number of important changes in the sector:

• Malls will be defined by their food and hospitality credibility – Lifestyle Dining Destinations.

• The mall is now a food and hospitality destination which must market itself as one big restaurant – one destination – 100 cuisine choices.

• Quick service restaurant operators are elevating their food propositions to introduce table service, crockery and “restaurant” style menus offering healthier choices.

• Cookie Cutter franchise coffee shops are declining in growth and “Beautiful” cafes and restaurants are flourishing across the Middle East. See Flamingo Room by tashas ( • Beautiful Café food is being elevated to restaurant style food by chefs and passionate foodies. • Modern Lifestyle Destinations malls such as Westfield Chermside are offering 24 hours beautiful café service E.g. Café 63 ( au/chermside/stores/all-stores/cafe-63/61135).

In summary, food and hospitality in malls will continue to grow. Food and Hospitality will establish a true and recognizable point of difference, provided the Lifestyle Destination offers many memorable experiences.

• Specialist Hospitality Groups are replacing fast food franchises in providing quality food. • 100% Vegan and vegetarian options are growing fast. Millennials are demanding quality and choice. E.g. By Chloe ( Fast food is no longer the go-to food. • Fresh food markets are continuing to grow in the form of the modern supermarkets or community markets such as Ripe Markets (

FRANCIS LOUGHRAN Managing Director Future Food

Francis has been involved in the retail, food, restaurant and hospitality industries for over 40 years and has built a wealth of knowledge and experience using a customer-centric approach in concept development, food service strategic planning, design, retailing and food service management. His global work includes a diverse list of projects, involving planning and development of shopping centres, waterfront developments, restaurants, cafés, food courts and fresh food markets, art and restaurant precincts, sports stadiums, airports, mixed-use developments, leisure, business and entertainment precincts.


RP-15F.indd 29

3/25/18 2:05 PM


Diverse & Agile

Staying Successful in a Fierce Market


he Restaurant Industry in the GCC is dynamic with a range of locally developed concepts, restaurants by celebrity chefs, international franchises and family-owned shops, offering something for every craving. Standing apart in such a fierce market and achieving growth is a challenge. Diverse competition, ever-changing socio-economic trends and economic climates all make being a restaurant operator

The newest Slider Station in Adliya Bahrain

in the region a constant battle. To stand unaffected by these influences and grow, it is imperative to be progressive, enhancing your products and offerings on a consistent basis. At Gastronomica we focus on this. Gastronomica was founded in 2003 by Basil Al Salem resulting from his passion to bring a better quality dining experience to the region. The first concept was Burger Boutique; a designer restaurant concept taking a green and natural approach. Burgers made from organic grass-fed beef devoid of antibiotics and hormones; domination of concrete, live green wall, black metal, and wood in design; packaging solutions made from recycled paper justifying the approach. It also features a cutting-edge limited edition version named Black which takes a minimalistic approach to all things haute cuisine, the décor and menu revolving around one theme, Black. The upmarket concept Slider Station was inspired from the American gas stations of the 1940s; the first “Conveyer Belt” American restaurant in the world. This “Industrial Chic” restaurant specializes in tapas as well as a wide range of typical American specialties. Following the success of Slider Station Gastronomica took a leap into the international market with a toned down version of B+f Burger Boutique named B+f Roadside Diner. The classic diners of the 1950’s used materials that reflected the industrial strength of the day; with the use of corrugated sheets, wire meshes and neon lighting. At Roadside Diner, these elements are reinterpreted to reflect today’s symbols of industrial strength. With the advent of Roadside Diner, Gastronomica emerged as a leading operator of quality dining concepts in the region, Cocoa Room being the latest. Cocoa Room provides contemporary modern elegance from the focus and attention to detail on design elements, such as herringbone wooden walls featuring unique authentic auctioned paintings through to reflections of aged brass and bespoke wood features to handmade crockery, operating all day with an extensive lunch and dinner menu featuring a breakfast that can be best described as American Breakfast redefined.


RP-15F.indd 30

3/25/18 2:05 PM

White Robata in Kuwait

The Conveyer Belt at Slider Station Dubai

In the year 2009, the company opened its flagship restaurant in Kuwait named B+f Open Flame Kitchen. An upscale designer restaurant focused on serving high-end globally influenced food items in a splendid action filled environment. OFK added pomp and splendor with its stunning design and an international menu mix. Keeping a close eye on the latest trends in the industry, OFK featured a real show charcoal grill performing a dual function of production and entertainment. Guests could not only enjoy a wide range of gourmet food products but also cherish the entertainment created by flame cooking. With the success of OFK which created the first true open kitchen concept centered on American Cuisine, providing theatrics and a connection between the customer and the food, White Robata is yet another open kitchen concept the company created; revolving around the idea of the Robata: which is short for Robatayaki in Japanese, an open pit BBQ. This concept is the culmination of Basil Al Salem’s trips not only to Japan but also to the US and Australia which has huge Asian influence and superb beef. Many of the items are either cooked in the Robata or finished there, from starters to desserts. Operating out of a vintage 1973 Airstream truck, the concept Nomad Kitchen was launched in 2014; offering not only high-quality food, but also a one of a kind experience by popping up at undisclosed locations after last-minute announcements posted on social media. Gastronomica coined the term Total Dining Experience (TDE) and ensures all concepts created offer TDE by making sure all five senses of a customer are satisfied. At Gastronomica, Customer is King and everything is approached from a customer’s point of view. The company believes in its culture, having culture ambassadors who ensure that the culture is transferred to all of the territories it is operating in. Gastronomica is all about quality. From quality of ingredients to quality of materials to quality of people. Gastronomica believes that “Quality and only quality will bring business.” The company has opted to follow non-conventional KPIs like Active Waitlist and Zero Customer Complaints. The company sets beating its own quality benchmark as its target, year after year.

Wood fire pizza oven and open charcoal grill at Open Flame Kitchen Kuwait

Burger Boutique Black

GEORGY JOHN Executive Vice President Gastronomica Georgy John has extensive managerial experience of more than 22 years in hospitality. A graduate from the Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai, he started his career as a Management Trainee with the Carlson Hospitality Group. Georgy is the first employee of Gastronomica, having joined the company at its inception. Georgy joined as Operations Manager in 2003 and grew over the years to be the Executive Vice President. He has been involved from day one in setting up projects as well as operations for all its restaurants, from scratch. Other than operations, his main tasks includes managing corporate finance, corporate HR, handling JV relationships, project management, business development, recruiting management, designing kitchens, corporate marketing and logistics.

At present, the company has 20 operational venues with 8 core concepts that operate across all GCC countries. This is an exciting time for the company as it shows no signs of slowing down. With multiple venues set to open this year, new and exciting things are yet to be seen from this original operator.


RP-15F.indd 31

3/26/18 11:48 AM


Mall Dining: More of the same or fresh approach to entertainment


ave you noticed how malls have evolved their food offer in the Middle East over the years? Back in the day, every mall had a shiny new food court usually resplendent in shades of red and yellow. Then came malls with 2 food courts (thank you Mall of the Emirates!). After years of brown food and browner trays, the culinary aerobics of foodcourts had to evolve and it did so with a bang. Avenues Mall Kuwait and Dubai Mall saw full-scale restaurants gain a strong foothold. This trend to bigger food footprints matched both the needs and aspirations of mall visitors and a recognition by developers that ‘dwell time’ was an important tool in improving mall returns. So, what comes next? Park Chinois, London

We’ve reached the point where most international and, let’s be frank, American, brands are represented but does the table service model work for millennials? Do the next generation have the patience to wait for a server, read a printed menu, order food and wait for the cook to finish his magic before asking for the bill? Is dining in malls entertaining enough or do customers rely on Instagramming dishes to keep them busy? Ask yourself this question: If we didn’t have 4G phones, would you sit for an hour and eat as you do now, 3-4 times a week?

We’ve had ‘eatertainment’ in the vernacular for a decade now and this would seem the natural next step for mall eating. We, at Keane, have seen free-standing ‘eatertainment' evolve in my hometown of London, which remains a hotbed of entrepreneurialism in restaurants and leisure, where quirkiness often stands alongside tradition and history. One hot genre is ‘Vibe Dining’ as epitomized by STK (new opening on Jumeirah Beach Road), Sushi Samba and more recently our own development MNKY HSE in Mayfair, London with its Latin American menu and ‘dine, drink & play‘ as its ethos. At the high end, restaurants are endeavouring to add new dimensions to standard meat and fish offers such as the hugely popular Sexy Fish.

Is dining in malls entertaining enough or do customers rely on Instagramming dishes to keep them busy? Birdies, London


RP-15F.indd 32

3/25/18 2:05 PM

Taking red meat to its core is Temper, with two sites in London, featuring BBQ’s and open pit fires where whole animals are brought in, prepared and cooked in front of guests on an enormous feature grill. Soft theming has been around for a long time and the one that stands out recently with a dose of 1930s nostalgia, is Alan Yau’s Shanghai-styled Park Chinois in London. Getting creative with food may not be enough for some people so other ‘hooks’ are being used; Flight Club combines darts, the fun competitive parlour sport, with drinking and dining. The image of golf as tweed and funny shoes has been spiked at Birdies and Ghetto Golf pairing golf with DJ’s, cocktails, food and custard (www.ghettogolf. Or as a tribute to Viking days, axe throwing at

MNKY HSE, London, UK

Another thought for mall developers to consider is Time Out who are are shaking up city centres with their concept of quality food, drink, entertainment and education with Time Out as the ‘social companion’. Their venture in Lisbon, Portugal is in its 3rd year and has become the city’s no1 tourist destination with 20,000 diners per day. Time Out have taken a strategic approach to their development;

Whistle Punks, Manchester, UK

STEFAN BREG Group Strategy Director Stefan is Group Strategy Director at Keane ( providing the lead on strategic F&B consulting, masterplanning and concept development for Keane’s design studios in London, Birmingham, Dubai, KL and Singapore. He was previously Senior Director of F&B at Marriott for Middle East & Africa. He has over 250 F&B concepts to his name, is a Visiting Professor at Emirates Academy and was recently voted No. 4 in the Middle East on the Restaurant Power list for Caterer/Hotelier magazine.

Time Out, Lisbon

Time Out pays fit outs allowing their operating partner/tenants to flourish without onerous leases or capital exposure. This is a powerful model rejuvenating city centres with further locations planned in London, Miami, Chicago and Boston. New York is fast approaching the planets’ leading food hall city; a new competitor for malls to consider.


RP-15F.indd 33

3/25/18 2:05 PM


LifeOnScreen: A New Technology will Increase Profits and Change the Future of Advertising


he advertising landscape worldwide is undergoing fundamental changes. Global trends combined with continued innovation is making TV and print advertising budgets shrink by the day due to lack of effectiveness. Meanwhile, Out-Of-Home Advertising, the only traditional ad format, is still growing, making Digital OutOf-Home (DOOH) Advertising the biggest hype. The key to a successful and dynamic DOOH Advertising strategy is location, intelligence and the effective use of location data to target the right audience and deliver an advertisement. This is critical to maintain growth and gain exposure in a world where consumers are often looking down at their smartphones more than up at billboards. LifeOnScreen Global is a company that took these facts and created groundbreaking technology to establish a new DOOH concept. Advertisers can better target their audiences and delivers an advertisement on a digital screen without having to contact a middleman. Now, a new digital advertising industry is born by a click of a button via an online portal, In a world where everything is available online, we thought “why not use similar technology for worldwide on-screen advertising�. The result is an online ecosystem for advertisers locally and globally and a new source of revenue for businesses that own screens of any size. Advertisers (content owners)' perception/view (Direct Clients or Agencies)

To achieve this, LifeOnScreen developed an intuitive portal that enables advertisers to connect to their target audiences via Screen Owners at any location (gyms, shopping centers, hotels, grocery stores, gas stations, banks). We help Screen-Owners unleash a new source of revenue, and enable advertisers to display their public message to their target market at the right time and the right place. Deciding where to launch LifeOnScreen was not difficult. With its rapid urbanization and infrastructure growth, Dubai is the perfect place for screen-owners and advertisers alike to connect and capitalize on the growth of Digital Out Of Home media with our new founded technology.

SUSAN SEIBERT Business Development Director Middle East LifeOnScreen





Speed: time to market LifeOnScreen

Easy to use

Specific location choice


Focus target market

Print Media Ads

Fun/attraction for viewers TV Ads

Flexibility in plans/sizes

Susan studied International Relations and obtained international experience in sales and marketing in various industries. Before settling down in Dubai in 2014, she lived in a total of 9 countries and speaks six languages. In 2017, she joined LifeOnScreen Global as a Regional Business Development Director. LifeOnScreen is launching a technology-led innovation with a vision to shift the advertising industry from a local to a global scale. Susan is inspired by the groundbreaking technology and enjoys the development of innovative concepts and target group specific marketing strategies.


RP-15F.indd 34

3/26/18 11:49 AM

Ad 265x205

Ad 265x205 35 new4Mall.indd 1 RP-15F.indd

15/07/2017 11:05 3/26/18 11:52 AM


Why Differentiation is Key to Retail Destination Strategy


oniq works with many of the world’s leading retail destination brands – our client list includes Westfield, Value Retail and Unibail-Radamco, and despite the large variety of businesses we work with, we are often called to help them answer the same question: “With an abundance of high-quality shopping malls both under development and already established, how do we differentiate ourselves from the competition?” Good retail has always been about focusing on the customers, understanding their needs, rewarding their loyalty and ultimately enticing them to spend more. Customers increasingly want a personalised experience, where technology is used to enhance their visit or remove the friction to make their shopping experience as good as it possibly can be. Data has become a key pillar of retail destination strategy, if used correctly it not only helps enhance customer experience and build brand loyalty, but it is increasingly being seen as a valuable asset in its own right. For many retail businesses, the information they have about their shoppers is worth as much, or more than, the physical retail destinations. This is why Coniq was formed and what we exist for. Leading retail destinations have an abundance of data, helping them understand how these multiple sources can be coordinated to create a richer shopping experience is not only driving spend but enhancing brand engagement. Our methodology is simple, we define the level and type of loyalty programme that is right for the destination; we look at customer segments, the ideal customer journeys, the touch points that are important to the different audiences and the level of sophistication they will expect. Whether the customer is an international tourist, a high net worth individual or a loyal regular visitor, the ability to identify the customer, analyse their behaviour and automatically serve them relevant content in real time during their visit is allowing offline retail locations to incorporate the best of internet shopping in an experience that an online retailer can never compete with.

BEN CHESSER CEO and Founder Coniq Ben is an experienced CEO with a passion for marketchanging disruptive technologies. For the last 10 years, he has focussed on bringing the rigor and measurability of the online retail world into offline businesses, helping retailers and shopping malls understand the true value of their customers. Ben is one of the industry’s most experienced and respected figures and is often asked to speak at conferences on retail destination engagement. Under Ben’s leadership, Coniq has established itself as an international leader in CRM and loyalty solutions, working with companies such as Westfield, Value Retail, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Unibail-Radamco, and VIA Outlets.

As McKinsey recently stated “Malls will want to create tools and applications that allow them to meet all segments of shopper needs and demands in a way that makes the shopping experience frictionless, pleasurable, and memorable. Loyal mall shoppers who show up for quick trips, for instance, should be able to get free valet parking, and those who make long weekend trips should have easy access to mall navigation on their app and the option to have their purchases dropped off at home” Having been recently asked to work with several organisations who are MECSC members, I am delighted that we are accelerating our expansion strategy in the Middle East. We have recently established an office in Dubai and Justin Cagwin, our EVP for Strategic Growth is now dedicating his time to develop this territory. Myself and our Chief Commercial Officer Sean Curtis are also visiting frequently to meet with clients and Coniq will be attending the key MECSC events across the year. I recently said that 2018 was the year where customer data came of age – it’s certainly shaping up that way!


RP-15F.indd 36

3/25/18 2:05 PM


When Business Intelligence Brings Mall Management to Another Level


all and shopping center managers work in a fast-paced environment. The range of their tasks is very large going from leasing management to marketing and passing through finance, human resources and more. Plenty of professional tools have been developed to help executives achieving their goals. As technology is taking up more and more space in this industry, a new issue arises: How to deal with all these solutions without losing time and crucial information? In the era of data-driven decision making, managers are not allowed to make strategic decisions in an arbitrary fashion anymore. Data analytics is becoming more than a support, it is a key success factor. Clients and investors ask operators to take effective actions at the right time. To meet their needs, they require getting all their crucial information in a single interface. In the same way, the software has to be able to alert them each time a key figure is dropping. Information has to come to the executives and not the contrary. Based on this observation, Solution BI has developed a professional application dedicated to mall owners and managers. Thanks to many years of experience making reporting and creating custom applications for its worldwide customers. This growing business intelligence company has launched OptiMall analytics. This tool which has been developed in cooperation with professional consultants answer to 90% of the industry needs. OptiMall provides at a glance : •

• • •

Detailed KPIs including footfall, occupancy, receivables, P&L, tenant information, customers satisfaction... Easy-to-read Graphics Drill Down to the Details Trend Analysis Comparison

This solution also offers powerful features as: • • • •

Easy Development of Customized Dashboards Automatic Report Distribution Dynamic Update for PDF and Microsoft Office Documents Critical Alerts for Monitoring Business Metrics



Ahmed Seddiqi

Al Shaya

Al Tayer




CÉDRIC FICHEUX Co-Founder & CEO Solution BI Middle East Cédric has a master degree in International Business. Simultaneously, he studied Finance and Management. He began his career as a Financial Controller in multinational companies. After 5 years in this field, he moved to IT by focusing on the development of Business Intelligence projects, with an expertise in EPM (Enterprise Performance Management). In 2009 he founded Solution B.I. to provide cutting-edge Business Intelligence solutions combining advanced technologies and sectoral know-how.

The application works 24/7, thanks to its offline access. Managers can decide what information co-workers will see by moderating staff’s access. It also allows discovering hidden details of the activity using filters and segmentation. To resume, this innovative solution provides accurate analysis based on data so that business executives can act quickly and more efficiently. Indeed, satisfying the stakeholders is much easier with a deeper knowledge of its activity. The slogan of this ambitious company truly reflects what they offer to customers: “Your data is a treasure, we provide you the key to unlock them.”



RP-15F.indd 37

3/25/18 2:05 PM


Enhancing Business Performance Visitor Analytics in Shopping Malls


he future is now! Visitor Analytics cracks open the door to the next era of shopping, using data to advance service and boost profits. Home to world’s biggest shopping malls, Middle East has always been a leading force adapting new technologies. The tremendous value of using this immediately actionable real-time data, generated by visitor analytics devices such as people counting, queue management and multicamera heatmap, is not only increasing conversions but ensuring your customers to choose your mall repeatedly over competitors and even online shopping. As setting the goal of being the best customer-centric visitor analytics technology company in the field, V-Count was born a decade ago. Today, with 25.000 devices installed around the world and partnering with 100+ shopping malls and 300+ retailers, our company has evolved into a success story and a leading global manufacturer of state-of-the-art people counting sensors able to measure not only every visitor coming in a shopping mall but also their age group, the specific areas they have visited, which floors were the most popular, which stores had the biggest engagement/ footfall, how visitor traffic changes day to day or year to year, the correlation between visitor traffic and weather patterns. In addition, malls can measure the performance of each corridor’s footfall activity, which will allow them to validate and adjust accordingly the rents of their tenants based on actual data. Measuring day-to-day the traffic of every store and therefore their conversion rate, shopping malls can also keep track of the stores with the highest revenue contribution. Our continuous effort to push the technological boundaries further and provide our customers with revolutionary new features such as

DEMIRHAN BÜYÜKÖZCÜ Co-Founder & CEO V-Count Demirhan, who has a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence and an MBA, is the Co-Founder & CEO of V-Count, the global technology leader in visitor analytics solutions. He has also developed computer vision and machine learning solutions for retail, military, security and automation industries over the course of 13 years. He has co-founded Onedio. com, which is the 3rd most visited website in Turkey, with more than 80% of Turkish internet population visiting monthly.

gender recognition and AI based forecasting compliments our 98% data accuracy rate. Due to our persistence to our customers’ safety and privacy is the reason, all data collected by our sensors are stored and analyzed on our own cloud-based Business Intelligence Platform powered by Amazon Web Services. We keep working hard to tailor our solutions to the needs of our customers while we provide 24/7 support. To support our clients in the best possible way, we opened our latest office in Dubai, which will be leading all operations in the Middle East. Our offices in Dubai, Istanbul and Miami, as well as planned new offices in Singapore and London, are a testament to our commitment to great service. This commitment together with our goal to be the best in business has been complemented by our 100% annual growth and two major European venture capitals who have invested more than $4 million in V-Count.


RP-15F.indd 38

3/25/18 2:06 PM


RP-15F.indd 39

3/25/18 2:06 PM


La Petite Maison

The Galleria on Al Maryah Island Luxury Shopping and Dining at its Finest in Abu Dhabi


hopping centers around the United Arab Emirates have become the go-to destination for residents and visitors when it comes to lifestyle and entertainment. People are looking for places to meet which is why it is as important as ever for malls to offer extraordinary services, dining options, entertainment, great shopping, convenient parking and memorable experiences. The Galleria on Al Maryah Island is doing just that. Home to some of the world’s most iconic luxury brands and worldclass restaurants, the shopping center is strategically located in the heart of the capital, just minutes’ drive from the main island of Abu Dhabi. A joint venture between Mubadala Investment Company and Gulf Related, the luxury shopping and dining destination has 149 brands that are spread out across two levels, totalling 34,000 square meters.

The Galleria façade


RP-15F.indd 40

3/26/18 11:52 AM


Chinese New Year 2018

The Galleria has become known for its flagship events and activities such as Chinese New Year, Winter Wonderland and the New Year’s Eve firework celebrations; of all which have become a favourite and must see in the capital. The Galleria boasts a unique F&B offering, The Dining Collection, which comprises a myriad of fine dining options. The collection includes world-renowned restaurant brands such as Zuma, Nusr-Et, La Petite Maison, COYA and Roberto’s, all situated along the waterfront promenade. When it comes to luxury shopping, The Galleria has an impressive mix of fashion brands including Dior, Louis Vuitton and Gucci to covetable jewellery brands such as Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier. The Galleria has positioned itself as the epitome of luxury within the capital and will soon be augmented by the upcoming opening of Al Maryah Central bringing a vibrant, fully-integrated community of world-class shops, restaurants, parks and entertainment to Al Maryah Island. The Galleria together with Al Maryah Central will offer a total of 400 fashion brands, 100 restaurants and cafes which will range from fine to casual dining as well as world-class entertainment including a 21-screen flagship VOX cinemas with IMAX. With The Galleria and Al Maryah Island combined, visitors to Abu Dhabi can experience a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment like nowhere else in the region. All its efforts have resulted in The Galleria receiving numerous awards and was most recently awarded three accolades at the International Shopping Centre and Retailer Awards 2017 for the MENA region; achieving two Gold awards and one Silver. The accolades recognise the region’s most innovative shopping centres for outstanding achievement in retail, retail store design, Luxury shopping marketing as well as design and development.


RP-15F.indd 41

3/25/18 2:06 PM

Arabian Oud From Local to Global

The Leading Brand in Perfumes and Incense Industry


rabian Oud, established in 1982, is the largest company operating in the eastern perfume industry with over 35 years of experience. It was ranked first as the most selling perfume company in the MENA region, and the 11th globally as per the certified report issued by Euromonitor. Arabian Oud operates more than 850 stores in more than 36 countries across the world, and it is recognized as the most famous global brand. This was due to its proficiency and uniqueness in producing incense, Eastern perfumes and aromatic oils. Arabian Oud has won 22 major awards in the FiFi Arabia Fragrance Oscar since it started, in 2017 our shop in Times Square NYC has won the Oscar of the Niche Fragrance Retailer of the year adding to the three more Oscars achieved for the finest perfumes and oils. Abdullah Al Dawish, Vice President, “The Fragrance Oscars serves as a great motivation and inspiration for Arabian Oud as we aim to satisfy the high expectations of our customers in the Middle East and around the world. Moreover, these distinctions reflect the company’s passion for excellence in creating award-winning fragrances using only the finest oils.” Arabian Oud is playing an important role in putting Arabic culture under the spotlight and promoting it through the company’s fragrances and its image. Perfumes have always been one of the things that gather all people in harmony. Because we appreciate the great role of women and how hard it is to reach their level of sophistication and success, we made sure that we come up with a unique collection for women to reflect every woman's unique personality. When it comes to men, we understand

their different interests and how each one has a different soul, therefore we challenged ourselves to make every single perfume able to convey their characters, shapes, habits and desires. Perfumes come from different origins and each scent reflects the culture from where it originates. The East has its own charm while the West is full of Creativity. We decided to come up with something unique by blending the charm of the East with the Creativity of the West and amaze the East and the West with our Philosophy of selected Fragrances. Recently Arabian Oud set a new benchmark by opening its first store in Times Square, New York City – one of the most prominent landmarks in the world – confirming Arabian Oud’s international positioning as leading brand in the Eastern perfume industry. UAE Market: The newly renovated and allocated Arabian Oud shop with its latest design to open in the UAE was at Ajman City Center in January 2018. Arabian Oud is working on four more shops to open at the end of April. The 65sqm shop has a fresh new look with a wide range of perfumes scents including Oriental, Fresh, Woody and Floral which are the finest Oud products available.


RP-15F.indd 42

3/26/18 11:53 AM


Oud Elite

The Affordable Luxury


n 2007 Oud Elite emerged as a new trendy fragrance brand. Oud Elite began in a market that expects a new fragrance every new day. Our first challenge for Oud Elite concept was to deliver on this promise. In the Arabian Peninsula, fragrance is considered to be part of the culture and a fashion statement. Oud Elite was launched to take the lead in creating a mix between traditional and contemporary; luxury and affordable. Since our launch, Oud Elite has embraced change in order to reach its wide customer base. Our customers are now enjoying an incomparable shopping experience. Our Oud Elite shops have created a different ambience that was readily accepted in the market. The brand name consists of two words Oud & Elite, representing something rare and valuable. At Oud Elite we have created a unique experience and have made it available for fragrance lovers. With no compromise on quality, the fragrance, packaging, shop fit-out quality, concept and customer service have combined to deliver on a unique experience. The growing success of the 350 stores of Oud Elite is the testament of our appeal to our customers. The wide range of sprays are available from oriental to western with fragrances for the younger aged customers through to seniors. The concept design of Oud Elite stores is an inspiration for our shoppers. Neat, clean and crisp giving the focus on the fragrances. The bottles on the shelves create a captivating contrast providing synergy with a brilliant white background. Embracing a variety of modern yet traditional feelings, that continue to attract the shoppers. Our customers love to try the fragrances, to feel the experience of taking a trip down memory lane. Oud Elite began its journey originating in KSA. Now with 350 stores in the GCC and Iraq with plans to open in every possible city. We believe that we are filling a gap in the market with our trendy brand. Our research has shown that we have a very wide customer base as our products are suitable for all ages and nationalities. At Oud Elite we provide a fragrance for personal use and fragrances for gift shopping. Our fragrance range is for oriental and western tastes. Most importantly the best quality fragrances at Oud Elite comes with best value for our customers.


RP-15F.indd 43

3/25/18 2:06 PM

RP-15F.indd 44

3/25/18 2:06 PM


Look Who’s Joined MECSC!!! New and Renewed Members from January to February 2018

Bahrain Ahmad Jahangir Mirza Ahmed Yusuf Abdulla Yusuf Andrew Petty Donald M Bradley Hamad Mohamed Hazeem Hesham Abdulla Al Haddad Mohammed Al Kooheji Paresh Bhatia

Egypt Ahmed Hussein Elhamy Elkerdany Mohamed Ashraf El Banna Mohamed Fouad Abouelyazid Mohamed Said Nour El Banna Reham Eissa

Jordan Imad Bukhari

Kuwait AlAshban AlAshban Fatme El Mouabi Hamad Al Qallaf Nawaf Tareq AlMarzouq Talal Al-Fozan Yasmin Abou Elmakarem Yousef Alsarraf

Lebanon Hani Hachache Joseph Cremesty Nabil Gebrael

Oman Aruna Tavarkhed Talib Ibrahim Omar

Saudi Arabia Abdulmalik Aldarwish Ahmed Yassin Bandar Ahmed Shabib Hani Alsulaimani

RP-15F.indd 45

Hesham Metwally Khalid A. Al Sehaibany Khalid Hashim Tahir Mazen Makarem Meshari Monef Mohammad I.B. Alawi Motasem Alchikh Ali Mustafa Al Baroudi Shaukat Ali Khan

United Arab Emirates Abdel Karim Al Barghouthi Ahmed Ouf Albert Thomas Ankur Kochhar, CSM Ashif Kambalabettu Avinash Bal Aya Soliman Ben Ganley Biswesar Ghosh Chandresh Gandhi David Cassidy David Myers Edwin D'Souza Ela Ozbay Eldem Elizabeth Rothman Ferzin Irani Gurguis Kelada Hamid Abdelmajeed Mohammed Alzarouni Hany Abd El-Hamid Hassan Hawara Hisham Shebaro Hitesh Ramesh Mirchandani Ibrahim Gilani James Poole Jeffery Harold Rossely

Jenny Angeles Khalid Al-Damen Lizelle Fitoussi Louisa Thompson Ma. Socorro Cruz Matthew Reay Mohammed Sorour Moinudeen Umar Muhammad Atif Altaf Myra Searle Nada Abou Saab Nasr Sleiman Niruban Chakaravarthi Osama Rashad Abdel Hafez Oulimata Sarr Patrick Dorais Pedro Santos Pinkesh Shroff Rachel Walton Rahul Ahuja Rahul Lal Ramu Vecha Ritesh Mohan Robert Muller Samer Ajaman Scott Michael Marston Sherif Hussein Mohamed Hussein Soufia Belgian Stephanie Durand Ba'Shammakh Sultan Shattaf Susan Seibert Taher Patrawala Vic Bageria

United States of America Roan Miles, CLS, MBA

JOIN MECSC NOW! Connect with us at:

Contact JC Gayoma: +971 56 477 6536 You will always be delighted when you see your career takes off

3/25/18 2:06 PM


Ramadan and National Day are coming Thrill your customers with amazing decorations!

City Centre Bahrain

Mall of the Emirates, UAE


e believe, our design for mall décor is the best in the world”, Dr. Kersten Rosenau, CEO of First Christmas (Germany) and retail emotions (Dubai) says. His customers are Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi, Kingdom Centre and Al Nakheel (both Riyadh), Mall of Egypt, Cairo, Westfield, London and several hundred more in Europe and the GCC-region. “Emotional design is key for huge foot fall, happy clients and great turnover”, Rosenau adds. The really likeable German started as a lawyer and politician, was a Member of Parliament in Germany for Chancellor Merkel´s Conservative Party before he started his current business. In Dubai he has support from Mr. Kacy Abouali, Director for Business Development at Retail Emotions, a former Events & Promotions Manager at Mall of the Emirates, Majid Al Futtaim. Contact:;

Al Nakheel Mall, Riyadh

Mall of the Emirates, UAE


RP-15F.indd 46

3/26/18 11:54 AM


MECSC Regional Representative's Corner Redefining Sharjah’s Retail Landscape Jamal Al Shawish is an expert in the field of shopping malls and Real Estate development in the GCC with more than 14 years of field experience. Jamal is currently managing over 1.8 million sq.ft of GLA/NSA. JAMAL AL SHAWISH

Director of Leasing & Sales Alef Group


enowned as the UAE’s cultural capital, Sharjah offers visitors a rich historical legacy. The cultural identity of the emirate continues to evolve, as it embraces modernity to position itself as a contemporary, family-friendly destination with a universal appeal. Informed and inspired by the latest consumer trends and the aspirations of its community, this transformation has had a profound influence across all industries, and the retail sector is no exception. For example, our younger generation no longer sees malls as just shopping centres, but all-inclusive lifestyle destinations where they can enjoy a full spectrum of retail, dining and entertainment options – all under one roof. Although Sharjah

is home to a growing number of malls, the emirate lacks a dedicated world-class venue that will cater to all of these requirements while also strengthening Sharjah’s evolving mix of offerings for tech-savvy millennials. Having identified this gap and guided by the vision of our Chairman H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Alef Group is committed to pioneering ‘Designed Lifestyle Experiences’ that will bring a fresh approach to the local retail landscape and harness Sharjah’s exceptional potential as an evolving modern metropolis. The first project to come to life as part of this vision is our upcoming Zero6 development, which will explore the synergies between tradition and modernity by incorporating innovative design elements that complement the emirate’s rich architectural heritage. Offering an unparalleled family-friendly leisure experience with easy accessibility, Zero6 will bring to Sharjah, for the first time, a collection of highly sought-after regional and international brands including the UAE’s largest IMAX screen, and an impressive mix of recreational and dining options. Representing the next generation of contemporary lifestyle experiences, Zero6 heralds a new era for the local retail sector, and in doing so, further enhances Sharjah’s growing reputation as a vibrant destination for both residents and tourists.

The Fine Art of Leasing in Kuwait Lina Abbas has over 14 years’ experience in the Retail Real Estate Industry for Shopping Centre’s Leasing and in the Retail & FMCG businesses and she is the regional representative for MECSC for Kuwait. LINA ABBAS

Leasing Manager GLA Property Management, Kuwait


or long, Leasing has been a numbers and negotiation game. It used to be 80% math and 20% relationship when malls were in huge demand and space was limited. Today the tables have turned and increase in projects, over supply of retail space, retailer bankruptcy and sameness has resulted in leasing becoming 80% relationship and 20% math. This is more so in Kuwait, which is more social than commercial. In other words, you need to be social to achieve your commercial goals in an authentic and transparent manner. No need for slick salesmanship or glitzy showmanship. Understanding the aspirations and needs of the retailer and trying to get the best fit for them in our malls is what works best. This works best with the homegrown local entrepreneurs and is refreshing for international and regional retailers.

While malls position themselves on the basis of a distinct merchandising mix, this is becoming difficult due to the fact that the same brands are found in most malls. In Kuwait, options exist as the country is very entrepreneurial. Many Kuwaitis are educated abroad and well-travelled. They have experienced the best, expect the best and have the means to create their own concepts. Home grown fashion brands perform as well as international brands when it comes to sales productivity and brand loyalty. On the F&B front some of the finest ideas have evolved in Kuwait and have been exported regionally to the UAE, Oman and Qatar. The coffee shop culture abounds, and young entrepreneurs have created engaging environments serving enriching vibes, unique experiences and some coffee on the side, which has allowed them to perform as retail magnets. Such local innovations gravitate to anti-mall locations such as the high street, industrial areas and beach front to form F&B clusters. Curating some of these brands alongside international and regional brands on a foundation of strong relationships to create a distinct and unique mall positioning is the fine art of leasing in Kuwait. This trend has started and will only increase. It will mean re-looking at the math and balancing it with the new experiences that will be flexible and engaging and will offer value to the millennial customer who is looking for that authentic experience. Add onto that mall common area programming with pop-ups and activations and we can then be certain of a win-win situation.


RP-15F.indd 47

3/25/18 2:06 PM

RP-15F.indd 48

3/25/18 2:06 PM


One-on-One With ... Name:

Bhupinder Singh

Nick Name: Bhupi Job Title:

General Manager & CFO


Dalma Mall


June 7

Nationality: Indian Hobbies:

Traveling, News, Reading, Music and Stock Markets

Education: Chartered Accountant (CA)

For those who don't know you, what or how you want people to know you as a person, as an individual and as the General Manager & CFO of Dalma Mall? Can you share it briefly?

Having spent the last over 20 years in the UAE and Oman, I have had the honor of serving in some of the biggest retail names in the region, namely MAF Investments, Emaar Malls Group, Meraas Holding and presently working with The Developers Holding, in the capacity of General Manager and Chief Financial Officer at Dalma Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in Abu Dhabi and other businesses. In short, basically handling Assets in and across the region. Asset is like a treasure, the very sense of guarding a treasure being a custodian is itself a great drive. And then the numbers. In the end, everything drills down to numbers and it’s my passion to see numbers move.

For 2018, what can we expect from Dalma Mall? Are there any new products/services or developments will be launch for this year? Can you share briefly what your customers can expect for?

In our organization, we believe in togetherness and teamwork. Trust, delegation and teamwork have been the 3 pillars of our culture and that has bloomed and you can smell its fragrance around in the mall. At Dalma, we always keep the development stage on the go. 2018 is going to be a very happening year for Dalma with great offerings for our customers wherein we are opening our New state of the art Bowling Center “Zeal” which would be the largest in Abu Dhabi. We are also opening doors for our customers to various food eateries like Mila’s, Fish & Co, Villa Beirut, Barbeque Nation etc. On the Fashion and Store section, we have DSW and LC Waikiki which opened earlier this year and Hobbs is opening soon. We are also developing a new parking area and overall enhancement of the existing parking to ease traffic flow. Overall we are in a continuous endeavor to ensure to deliver an awesome shopping experience for our patrons.

With a new influx of digital innovations, the brick-andmortar and e-commerce, how does Dalma Mall prepare for this or what can you say about this? To what extent does social media help your company in marketing your services?

In this part of the world (because of high temperatures across almost 9 months), Malls are not just shopping stores but a part of culture and lifestyle. The malls have evolved into entertainment and leisure hubs. Digital World thus compliments the shopping malls and not compete with it. Hence we try to offer to all customer’s right product mix, ample entertainment, films, food with various choices, day to day services and most importantly a place to socialize thereby creating an overall experience for the customers. Our principle is very clear, give what the customer wants. Make them aware of your offerings, engage with them and then retain them. The 3 magical steps of Marketing Mantra. We are the first mall in UAE to join hands with Akyasi to deliver hands-free shopping in the mall with the option of delivery to your doorsteps which our patrons are now making full advantage of increasing dwell time in the mall. On the other hand, we fully acknowledge that this is the era of Digital Marketing. We have been focussing our efforts on Social Media. Our objective is never buying likes or followers but working on AECCC strategies i.e. Access, Engage, Connect, Collaborate and Customize and have noticed Awareness and Engagement metrics on the rise. We have an in-house social media team to deliver us the key performances.

As a longtime member of MECSC, how does MECSC benefit you? Would you recommend MECSC to others? I have been a proud member of MECSC for over 16 years now and I would like to say that in the last 5 years we have seen a huge uplift in the organisation and its deliverables. MECSC today is a platform and main stage for the industry where we connect and engage with our industry colleagues. It’s also a forum to learn, share and group towards enhancing our industry. MECSC today is a mandatory association of industry professionals and our pride.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer to an individual looking to start a career in your industry? Our Shopping Centre industry is much more than shop floor sales people in retail outlets. Visual merchandising, marketing, leasing, security, promotion, facility management, finance, General Management and many other components of the operational aspects of shopping centers are important sources for employment, particularly in the UAE. And with new and newer developments springing up in the region, there are lots for all of us to explore and achieve.

What is your personal life philosophy? I strongly believe in one motto be loyal to your asset. Whenever you take a decision, think like you own the asset. Your decisions then would always be right. Always believe in yourselves, your team and the Almighty.


RP-15F.indd 49

3/25/18 2:06 PM



M a

Are you planning just another mall or a lifestyle destination? Food is the Future when it comes to driving dwell times and spending. One size does not fit all when planning to engage tomorrow’s customers

Pacific Fair, Australia

The Galleria, Abu Dhabi

Please contact Francis Loughran at Future Food on +61 418 586 149 to arrange a personal appointment or for more information go to

RP-15F.indd 50


3/25/18 2:06 PM

Retail people A

Energized for Tomorrow

Maximise value for owners and reduce operational costs Yardi Voyager 7S Smart information exchange and mobile access to real-time business intelligence engenders loyalty and helps reduce retail associated risk to maximise value for centre owners.

+ 971-4-4322679


Retail people August 17 V1.indd 1 RP-15F.indd 51

15/08/2017 09:07 3/25/18 2:06 PM

RP-15F.indd 52

3/25/18 2:07 PM

Retail People Magazine – Issue 15  
Retail People Magazine – Issue 15