Retail People Magazine – Issue 16

Page 1

MODA MALL Expands its Retail Portfolio Page 20

MALL OF DILMUNIA Historical Dilmunia Meets Modern Bahrain Page 22

COMPLEMENTARY Retail Digital Solutions Page 36


Circulated in 45 countries


Managing Director & General Counsel Gulf Related

Speaks about “The Experience Evolution: Creating Next-Generation Retail Destinations”







C E N T R E S ’



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

04 Welcome Note 06 Contributors

in Dubai

33 Next Generation Networking Event

News Brief….

in Riyadh

08 Dare to be dropped from 100ft?

Carrefour Announces New Carrefour

City Store in Paris

09 Tamdeen Group opens Al Kout Mall

in Kuwait

Khaye Comanda Associate Director

Arabian Oud – 1,600 Shops by the

End of 2020

Mariz Matocdo Marketing Officer

10 Gateway26 Goes Digital with Semnox

Christian Baldonanza Registration / Digital Content Executive

Justin Espiritu Publishing & Database Manager

JC Gayoma Membership Manager

Parafait System

Featured Article... 35 What is Retail Digital Transformation? 36 Complementary Digital Solutions 38 Delivering the WOW Factor in Stores

with Retail Traffic Insights

39 SMART MALL – The New Shopping Experience 40 How Immersive Experiences are Shaping

Cover Story…

11 The Experience Evolution: Creating

41 Stimulating Retail Space

42 The Evolution of Food & Beverage in

Next-Generation Retail Destinations

the Future of Retail Industry

Shopping Destinations

Insights... 16 Retail Technology Trends for Digital

Transformation in 2018

Shopping Centre Update… 20 Moda Mall Expands its Retail Portfolio 22 Mall of Dilmunia – Historical Dilmunia Media One Tower, Dubai Media City PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE T: +971 4 427 3000 F: +971 4 428 2261

31 Next Generation Networking Event

meets Modern Bahrain

Events Gallery… 24 Custom Education Program

In Focus... 44 Why Differentiation is Key to Retail

Destination Strategy - Oman Avenues Mall

MECSC Members’ Segment 46 MECSC Members On-Board

Regional Representative’s Corner 48 Shaping The Future of Jordan’s

“From Idea to Successful Center”

Retail Market

26 John T. Riordan Global School for

Digitalization in Retail: It’s Here and

General Manager - Connect

It’s Real

Ingrid Valles

29 Next Generation Networking Event

Chris Capstick

Senior Projects Manager

Rouf Majid Art Director

Sunil Kumar General Manager - Production

Real Estate Professionals

in Oman

Featured Member

30 Next Generation Networking Event

50 One-on-One with Ahmad Mustafa

in Bahrain

Jameel Mujallid

Murali Krishnan 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.



MODA MALL Expands its Retail Portfolio Page 20

MALL OF DILMUNIA Historical Dilmunia Meets Modern Bahrain Page 22

COMPLEMENTARY Retail Digital Solutions Page 36


Circulated in 45 countries


Managing Director & General Counsel Gulf Related

Speaks about “The Experience Evolution: Creating Next-Generation Retail Destinations”







C E N T R E S ’


RP-16- 18July.indd 1

ON THE COVER: Daniel Parry Managing Director & General Counsel, Gulf Related

7/23/18 9:52 AM

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 Board Member Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Luca Cappuccitti

WELCOME A clear vision is our key to success at the Retail People Magazine. 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. Our success has helped us to understand that creating an organization and a 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 August / September 2018 issue is themed ‘Retail Digital Transformation’. On the cover this issue is Daniel Parry, Managing Director and General Counsel from Gulf Related in Abu Dhabi. The title of his article is The Experience Evolution: Creating Next-Generation Retail Destinations. Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi is home to comprehensive developments including Al Maryah Central, The Galleria, Abu Dhabi Global Market Square, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Our feature article outlines 23 retail digital trends. Insightful, interesting and relevant to all who want to understand the direction of retail today. from southern Orange County in California provided us with this great appreciation for what is happening in the global retail world. Other articles are from long time supporters of the MECSC - ShopperTrak, George Kasparis, who speaks about Delivering the WOW Factor. Zain Abu Sitteh our Regional Representative from Jordan has written an article about what has set Swefieh Village apart. Doris Hazzan, Regional Representative from UAE has penned an article about the Digitalization in Retail. From Oman Avenues Mall in Muscat, Derick Michael, General Manager, outlines how ‘Differentiation’ has achieved unique successes there. Industry veteran Rachel Walton Co-Founder and Managing Director of POP Retail and Upscale Retail speaks about how important activation of vacant areas in shopping centres is visually and financially. Learn how her company became the leader in the region for monetizing underutilized areas in shopping centres. From Saudi, Ahmad Mujallid, Manager at Kinan for Malls Marketing & Marketing Income is our Featured Member this issue. David Wee, Chairman of Abuzz Solutions describes what digital opportunities are available to the physical retail environments today. Koen Theunis and Rene Dietsche are partners in KT Consulting & Concepts. In their article the Evolution of Food & Beverage in Shopping Centres, learn about the three game changers in retail environments in the past few years. Stephen Clough, Technical Director of Black & White Engineering, in his article discusses Retail Digital Transformation. Eng. Mohammad Abdulsalam, Retail Design and Delivery Coordinator from GLA Management has contributed an article about the Smart Mall, The New Shopping Experience. From Bahrain, Moda Mall and Mall of Dilmunia describe the positive changes in the retail scene there. Juman Sleiman, Designer at Limelight Creative Services has delivered to us a well thought out article on Immersive Experiences in Retail. The team at the MECSC thank you all for delivering these timely articles which has taken your time, focus and interest to pen these compositions. 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


DAVID MACADAM Chief Executive Officer MECSC

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

WHERE FASHION MEANS BUSINESS MODA Mall is the perfect venue for retail and F&B outlets to make an elegant statement. Located at the landmark Bahrain World Trade Center, MODA Mall is the Kingdom’s fashion capital, playing host to the world’s most exquisite labels, gourmet cafés and restaurants. It’s the epitome of class. AN IMPRESSIVE CATCHMENT With its strategic location attracting premium business clients, MODA Mall is an exciting shopping destination for not just the shopper in Bahrain but also the neighbouring Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Additionally, it caters to a significant affluent target audience from the GCC visiting Bahrain for business or leisure, as well as visitors and tourists from around the world.




A RANGE OF DISTINGUISHED SERVICES • Valet Parking Service at Gate 2 • Dedicated Customer Service Desks • Banking & Financial Services • Hair Salon • Mosque with Imam • 24-Hr Security • Free Wi-Fi • Five-star Sheraton Hotel • Car Rental Service • Fitness and Health Club • 24-Hr Helpdesk • Ample parking For this great retail leasing opportunity, contact us today Kirsty Anne Leask - Leasing Manager CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD BAHRAIN WLL Bahrain World Trade Center, West Tower, 2nd Floor P.O. Box 75445, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain M: (+973) 33604141 T: (+973) 1332 3332 F: (+973) 1332 3200 E:


C NTRIBUTORS Daniel Parry Managing Director & General Counsel Gulf Related

Page 11 The Experience Evolution: Creating Next-Generation Retail Destinations

Stephen Clough Technical Director Black & White Engineering

Page 35 What is Retail Digital Transformation

David Wee Chairman Abuzz Solutions

Page 36 Complementary Digital Solutions

George Kasparis Regional Director ShopperTrak

Page 38 Delivering the WOW Factor in Stores with Retail Traffic Insights

Eng. Mohammad Abdulsalam Retail Design and Delivery Coordinator GLA Property Management

Page 39 Smart Mall - The New Shopping Experience

Juman Sleiman Designer, Interior & Branding Limelight Creative Services

Page 40 How Immersive Experience are Shaping the Future of the Retail Industry


Rachel Walton Managing Partner & Co-Founder Upscale Retail and Pop Retail

Page 41 Stimulating Retail Space

Koen Theunis and Rene Dietsche Partners KT Consulting & Concepts

Page 42 The Evolution of F&B in Shopping Destinations

Derick Michael General Manager Oman Avenues Mall

Page 44 Why Differentiation is Key to Retail Destination Strategy

Zain Abu Sitteh Leasing Manager Swefieh Village - Jordan

Page 48 Shaping the Future of Jordan's Retail Market

Doris Hazzan Senior Division Manager Retail Property Development Chalhoub Group

Page 48 Digitalization in Retail: It's Here and It's Real

Ahmed Mustafa Jameel Mujallid Manager, Malls Marketing & Marketing Income Kinan International Real Estate Development (CJSC)

Page 50 Featured Member

An Exceptional Location for Exceptional Brands 360 MALL, an iconic luxury retail destination is transforming into Kuwait’s first mixed-use retail, office, leisure and sports destination by Q4 of 2019. The mall will include 130,000 M2 of retail, the 300 room Grand Hyatt Hotel, Shaikh Jaber Al Abdullah Al Jaber Al Shabah International Tennis Complex, including a 5,000 capacity multipurpose arena and a world class Tennis Academy with 17 indoor and outdoor tennis courts. Fast track re-development has started with construction in progress. 360 MALL is once again raising the bar and taking retail, lifestyle, leisure and sport to the highest international standards to remain the destination of choice for discerning shoppers in the region. Trading at over US$ 1,100 per sq.ft annually, 360 MALL is currently leasing for premium, bridge and luxury brands.

130,000 M2


5,000 Seats




Parking Spaces

Multipurpose Arena

Hotel Rooms

Retail Stores

18 Million




Projected Footfall

Tennis Courts

Cinema Screens


For more details please Email: or Call: +965 65519579



News Brief Dare to be dropped from 100ft? Landmark Leisure, part of the Landmark Group, one of the UAE’s leading multi-faceted leisure and entertainment firms, has launched its new brand – Tridom in Manar Mall, Ras Al Khaimah. It is an extensive indoor theme park that boasts of a sky-high drop tower and the largest indoor play area in the UAE. A complete family experience, Tridom is open seven days a week for all ages. Silvio Liedtke, COO for Landmark Leisure, said: “Tridom has literally become a unique entertainment experience in the Northern Emirates - for sure it will ramp up the fun factor in Ras Al Khaimah. Tridom is a world of fun and thrills, a complete family experience that will guarantee laughter and excitement. “It is the latest addition to our portfolio which includes Fun City, Fun Ville, Fun Works, and Fun Block and continues our commitment to constantly deliver quality entertainment facilities with great value at its core,” added Liedtke. Its main attractions are the Sky Tower Ride, Play Zone, Ferris Wheel, Super Spin, Bumper Cars, Air Racer, Disk’ and many more. Tridom promises to deliver manic fun, whichever the ride, whichever the game!

Carrefour Announces New Carrefour City Store in Paris with Organic Focus Carrefour France has announced that it has opened a new Carrefour City store in Paris, dedicated to wellbeing and everything that's ‘good and beautiful’. The store, which opened on 21 June, is located at Beaupassage, in the 7th arrondissement, and features almost 6,000 SKUs and employs more than 20 staff. The new store offers a wide selection of organic, gluten-free and vegan products, in line with the group's aim of becoming one of the largest companies engaged in making organic products widely available by 2022. The store has a surface area of 600 square metres, a third of which is dedicated to approximately 1,500 SKUs of organic, gluten-free and vegan products. Home delivery and a click-and-collect service are available in the store, as well as a 'Monkey Locky' service, which gives customers access to connected lockers so they may securely pass keys to one another when renting apartments, etc. This new Carrefour City store has been built with the shopping experience in mind, and redesigned to function as a meeting place. It is built around a communal bar area and a terrace where people can dine, have coffee and even exchange books via a shared library. The French retailer opened its first high-tech store in Shanghai last month, and Carrefour said it sees China as the ideal location to develop new methods for attracting shoppers. Source: 2018 European Supermarket Magazine (


Dubai Duty Free announced as official partner of European Tour Dubai Duty Free, the world-renowned airport retail operator, has entered a new era in its commitment to the European Tour and the development of worldwide golf, becoming an official partner of the tour in a four-year agreement. Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, said, "We are pleased to join a stellar list of companies to become an official partner of European Tour. We have identified marketing opportunities for our brand across several tournaments as well as digital elements that will enable us to engage with our global customers. We are very excited about this partnership going forward and believe it will enhance our existing sponsorship portfolio." Source: WAM (

Khalifa Fund signs MoU with Majid Al Futtaim Hypermarkets to support local entrepreneurs Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with Majid Al Futtaim Hypermarkets as part of its efforts to support Khalifa Fund members and promote their entrepreneurship. The MoU aims to establish joint collaboration to create an appropriate business environment for the supply of fresh food, grocery, light household, textile and electronic products to all hypermarket stores under the Carrefour and Carrefour Market brands. Source: WAM (

Lulu Group to enter China, eyes expansion in Saudi Arabia Abu Dhabi: The Lulu Group plans to enter China and continue expanding in the Gulf with a Dh2 billion investment outlay in the short term, its chairman and managing director has said. This will be Lulu’s third East Asian market after Indonesia and Malaysia. Lulu is also present in India. “We are opening a hypermarket in China as there is a large population and food demand is expected to rise. We already have a logistics and sourcing office,” Chairman Yousuf Ali M.A. told Gulf News at the opening of a Lulu Hypermarket at The Mall, World Trade Centre, in Abu Dhabi. Source: Gulf News (


Tamdeen Group opens Al Kout Mall, largest shopping and entertainment destination in the South of Kuwait Latest Addition to Al Kout, Kuwait’s Largest Waterfront Retail and Leisure Destination

Kuwait: Tamdeen Group opened Al Kout Mall to the public as the latest addition to the Al Kout project, Kuwait’s Largest Waterfront Retail and Leisure Destination. Al Kout Mall is the latest dynamic development from Kuwait’s leading property developer, and the ultimate destination for shoppers, tourists and thrill-seekers from Kuwait and the region. Al Kout Mall is the latest addition to the large-scale Al Kout project and is interconnected to the rest of the six experiences. While there is a direct connection to the Al Kout Rotana hotel from the mall, a beautiful pedestrian bridge on the Mezzanine level connects to the modern Arabic-style Souq Al Kout with its iconic musical fountains. From Souq Al Kout, visitors can enjoy a seamless journey through the rest of the diverse experiences including Nag’at Al Kout, Marsa Al Kout, and Sahel Al Kout. With the addition of Al Kout Mall, the Al Kout Project now offers a total of 100,000 square meters of retail opportunities, across 360 retail outlets. Al Kout Mall’s retail offering, spread over three levels, features an extensive range of fashion outlets for women, men and children, including some of the world's most popular fashion, F&B and entertainment brands. With the convenience and comfort of visitors in mind, Al Kout project and Al Kout Mall offers a multi-level car park and external parking with a capacity of holding approximately 3,600 cars.

Arabian Oud – 1,600 Shops by the end of 2020 The new expanded and renovated shop featured in gold and brown colours and doubling the previous shop space, would offer our customers a wider collection with a great shopping experience. Six more new locations were added to the UAE market in the last two months with their latest concept and newly designed kiosk. Stores are located at the Mall of the Emirates, City Center Fujairah, Ibn Battuta and new location are in Abu Dhabi Mall, Souq Al Bahar and Marsa Al Seef. A research from Euromonitor International indicating that per capita consumption of fragrances in GCC overshadows the markets such as the US and the UK, it’s not surprising that the countries of the GCC are on international perfumers’ high-priority lists. The consumer in the GCC spent $385 per capita per year on perfumes, while a consumer in Europe spend $85 and $85 in the USA. And for every 100 milliliters fragrance sprayed all over the world 3 liters are sprayed in the middle east. With more than 800 shops around the world, Arabian Oud is at the heart of the retail mix. “We are committed to double the size of the company in the next two years”, says by Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Jasser, Founder and Chairman of Arabian Oud, during his speech in the Annual Employee Event. 1 Million Madawi perfume bottles sold in 1 year 4 Awards from the fragrance foundation Arabia 2017 Arabian Oud NY won the Niche fragrance retailer of the year 2017

A virtual mall promoted by Dubai tech firm is in the works A “virtual” mall backed by a Dubai-based tech firm is on the way. The venture — Mall.Global — is to go live in 2020 across multiple markets and feature 2,500 “stores”, according to the promoter. Apart from the merchandise, the platform will allow brands to tap into experiences offered up by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR), the promoter claims. According to the CEO, Sofya Shamuzova, “The platform is designed to address the most common wishes of customers with features like “try & buy”, where shoppers have the option of receiving certain products like apparel and footwear in a size above and below their chosen order to ensure 100 per cent satisfaction in every sense of the word. The platform will undergo testing with live customer sets early next year. Source: Gulf News – Business Sector (

Sharjah’s Eye of the Emirate relocated to "Island of Legends" at Al Montazah Parks Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has confirmed that Sharjah’s iconic Eye of the Emirates has been successfully relocated to its new home in the heart of Al Montazah Parks, where it will offer visitors even more spectacular bird’s eye views across the landscape when it begins operations later this year. The emirate’s most recognisable landmark will re-open to the public when Al Montazah Parks, Sharjah’s premiere amusement and water park is fully completed – one park, Pearls Kingdom, already welcomed its visitors on the first day of Eid Al Fitr. Source: WAM (

UAE's Al Futtaim plans new cinemas after signing JV deal UAE-based conglomerate Al-Futtaim and PVR Limited, the largest film exhibition company in India, have signed an agreement to explore opportunities for jointly developing a new cinema business in the MENA region. The joint venture will introduce a collection of unique experiential cinema formats to the region including PVR’s Director’s Cut, a format that blends the best in high-end hospitality and entertainment, a statement said. “We see great potential in the cinema business in the region, and particularly in Saudi Arabia, following the government’s decision to reopen the cinema industry,” said Marwan Shehadeh, Group Director, Corporate Development at Al-Futtaim. Source: Arabian Business (



Gateway26 Goes Digital With Semnox Parafait System In a first-of-its-kind implementation Semnox Solutions enabled Gateway26 Casino Arcade, the largest merchandise arcade in the state of New Jersey, to go digital by transitioning to its Parafait system for cashless operations. The well-planned implementation required several months of product development and testing efforts to fully replace the legacy loyalty and redemption management software that Gateway26 had been using for 30 years. “I understand how fortunate we are to have found such a wonderful group of people to work with. We are extremely appreciative of Semnox’ s efforts! I would give 11 stars on the scale of 1 to 10,” said Brian Sharpe, General Manager, Gateway26 Arcade Casino. The project involved seamless migration of data from the legacy system while ensuring that players retained their levels and benefits even after transition. “This is a significant milestone considering the great legacy of Gateway26. The engagement was very fulfilling given the complex nature of the business requirements,” said Kiran Karanki, Director, Semnox. Gateway26 also chose to install Semnox Lumin readers on redemption games with a couple of firsts in the cashless industry – the first roll poker on a card system and the first arcade video poker on a card system in the USA; an effort requiring in-depth research and precision.

1.4 Million People Visited Dubai Parks and Resorts in H1 2018 Dubai Parks and Resorts received over 1.4M visitors during the first half of 2018, an increase of 46% compared to the first half of 2017. The Dubai-based theme park operator said, ''April was a peak month, with the theme parks attracting over 300,000 visits on the back of an influx of tourists during the international school holiday season.” Mohammad Al Mulla, Chief Executive and Managing Director of DXB Entertainments, said: "We are pleased to announce continued year-on-year growth in our visitor and hotel occupancy numbers. The first half of 2018 has delivered over 46% growth compared to the same period last year and our results demonstrate Dubai Parks and Resorts is on a clear growth trajectory. We remain confident in our growth potential as we progress through our first full year of operations." Source: WAM (


The Galleria Façade

The Experience Evolution:

Creating Next-Generation Retail Destinations


Daniel Parry, Managing Director & General Counsel, Gulf Related

ith the rise of e-commerce over the past 15 years,the retail industry has witnessed a rapid transformation. Emerging technologies coupled with global economic trends have had an irreversible impact on consumer behavior and expectations – changes that have shaken up the old ways of doing business and created opportunities which didn’t exist before. In light of this, malls that only provide a shopping experience are unlikely to survive, and conversely those that harness these ever-changing consumer demands and shopping behaviours will flourish. Like never before, consumer power dictates the dynamics of a mall. 21st century malls should be social, public spaces and havens of entertainment that offer personalized shopping experiences and other valueadded services. Instead of functional destinations, malls need to become an integral part of the community’s lifestyle, where people choose to spend their valuable free time. To do this, we must rethink retail strategy from the ground up and attract consumers by virtue of a fantastic overall experience – beyond just shopping. This starts with the mall’s design, which must embrace the natural fabric of the area, and offer welcoming open public spaces for creative programming and activations; hardto-find experiences that can not be replicated online. In an increasingly online world, the store will continue to play a vital role in building customer loyalty. The need for sales staff to provide a friendly and knowledgeable service can not be underestimated. Having a customer



Chinese New Year 2018

Waterfront Promenade

walk into a store and leave as a brand ambassador should be the core objective of each sales assistant and embedded into each retailer’s business strategy. Equally, we must be smart and strategic about integrating technology into our bricks-and-mortar destinations. Omnichannel retail and the “Store 4.0” experience are the future of the industry. Rather than being intimidated, malls can use these powerful tools to amplify consumer engagement through data insights and develop innovative and fun in-store experiences that appeal to broad audiences. As a tech-savvy, dynamic and affluent nation where the mall plays a fundamental role within the fabric of society, the UAE is the perfect market to launch the “next generation” of retail experiences.

Changing Retail Landscape The retail industry has been a jewel in the crown of the UAE’s economy for the past decade, increasing in value by over $2 billion per year to hit a spending high of $69 billion per year in 20161. We have maintained the highest average consumer spending in the region, at over $23,960 per capita – and this strengthens our position as one of the greatest shopping capitals globally. In fact, over the past two years, Dubai has risen to become the number one market in the world for global retailers, with 59 new brands entering the market in 20172. Gulf Related has seen this trend reflected in the strong sales at The Galleria since its opening in 2013. We have seen Abu Dhabi’s consumers becoming more cosmopolitan and sophisticated in their decision-making and the local market has raised its expectations of the mall experience. In Abu Dhabi and globally, with consumer needs changing, gone are the days of isolated business parks, shopping malls and residential suburbs. With our busy lives, we want our offices and homes to be set within lively, integrated 1. AT Kearney, 2016 Global Retail Development Index report 2.


The Galleria: Level 2, The Great Room

communities, with smart, pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and all the necessities and comforts of everyday life on our doorstep. This is part of a broader lifestyle change in many dynamic cities around the world. In light of global economic shifts, shoppers across the board have become more price-conscious and savvy about using online resources to find alternative products and the best deals. At the same time, consumers are increasingly conscious of retailers’ corporate values and actions, and remain brand-loyal when they feel personal, emotional or social connections to the story being told. These new engagements are driven by social media and online platforms, which are transforming consumer attitudes, desires and expectations in real-time.

Rise of Digital and Mobile In the UAE, e-commerce has lagged noticeably behind international markets for several years, with our strong sales overwhelmingly predicated on in-store transactions. In 2017, that all changed. Major digital players including Amazon, and UberEats entered the market, and the delivery and banking infrastructure caught up with the online age. With mobile phone penetration above 220% in the UAE, we will see this market leapfrog desktop commerce and embrace retail on-the-go. Increasingly, digital media is a dual storefront and interestingly in the US in the first quarter of 2018, although

retail e-commerce sales totalled $114.4 billion, this was a decrease of 19.9% from the fourth quarter of 2017. This can be balanced by a strategic focus on in-store sales as in the US, e-commerce still only accounted for a mere 9.5% of total sales for the quarter. 3 The growth in mobile e-commerce goes hand in hand with tech-savvy consumers’ new cross-platform approach to purchasing. To capture the attention and spend of UAE consumers, retailers need to think beyond just ordering clothes online. Instead, retailers and mall developers need to be offering creative solutions for online and in-store experiences to complement, not cannibalize, each other to ensure the consumers’ brand experience is optimized.

Omnichannel Retail The shift to omni-channel retailing is one way that companies have already begun embracing digital developments. The technological revolution is changing every aspect of retail businesses from operations and supply chains to marketing. Historically, there has been a gap in the UAE’s industry for a clever first actor who can jump on upcoming innovations to maximize what Deloitte calls the “Store 4.0” experience. Now, we are seeing encouraging signs that the tide is changing. “Store 4.0” has technology built into every facet of a shopper’s visit – not as a gimmick, but to create a fun,




become ambassadors through personal engagement that inspires a connection with the brand story. High-quality customer service is the most effective way to improve the retail experience and cultivate consumer loyalty.

Creating Destinations

99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant

convenient and friction-free customer experience which also boosts sales. This means everything from augmented-reality changing rooms which scan your measurements and recommend the best clothing fit to push-button purchase functionality via digital wallets like Apple Pay. Building technology into the omni-channel retail experience enables retailers to collect significant quantities of refined consumer analytics data, which, interpreted well, can allow retailers to not only meet but consistently exceed customer's demands. Just like retailers, mall operators can use this data to activate multiple channels of customer engagement – such as geo-fencing physical locations to identify repeat customers and the areas of the mall where they spend most time, allowing for highly targeted mobile advertising. However, successful omni-channel retail also requires brands to invest in the in-store experience, ensuring that customers

With convenient online shopping options on the rise, technological change is requiring malls to focus on creating spaces that are not just functional, but also beautiful, pleasant destinations to spend time. Successful shopping centres are those that have evolved to become mix-use, full-service destinations. Big brands alone are no longer enough to bring shoppers in, and the role of the mall operator to create a unique physical experience is becoming an increasing priority. A successful mall should be the hub of the local community, somewhere that people can come together. Public space is a critical element of promoting this feeling. Modern malls need to offer creative retail experiences – such as concept stores, pop-ups and luxury shopper services – as well as entertainment and lifestyle elements like concert venues, gyms and parks. Recent research into Abu Dhabi’s consumer habits carried out by Gulf Related, illustrated that 89% of respondents ranked entertainment options as an important factor in their choice of mall. At The Galleria, curated and bespoke services ensure that visitors’ experiences are seamless and memorable. In the coming years, the proportion of free public space in malls, compared to tenant floor space, is set to increase significantly. This space will become the town square of the future, and offers exciting opportunities to develop programming – from art exhibitions to farmers’ markets – that complement the retail

La Petite Maison


mix4. At Al Maryah Central for example, we are creating three themed parks targeting different age groups. This is a shift in strategy for many malls, but the Gulf has been leading the way on the re-thinking of ‘the mall’ for many years and is well-placed to continue this trajectory.

Malls in the UAE Consumers in the UAE have a unique relationship and close affinity with malls as they play, and will continue to play, a central role in the social fabric of everyday life. In many other regions of the world, malls primarily serve a functional purpose as a place to go to browse and shop, so the convenience of e-commerce and online retail has easily drawn consumers away. However in this part of the world, malls serve a different purpose – they are social destinations and community centers, with over 70% visiting a mall at least once a week. Malls in the UAE are an essential part of how the community lives, works and entertains. As well as being shopping destinations, they represent a hub for social interactions of various kinds and inspire emotional and personal connections. In recent research commissioned by Gulf Related, 94% of respondents stated that visiting malls constitutes an important part of their leisure life. Consumers in the Middle East want to visit malls not purely for shopping, but also for entertainment, dining, exercising, and escaping the heat as well as other family and social activities – with 9 out of 10 always or usually dining out during a trip to the mall. As a result, UAE malls see exceptionally high visit frequency and length of stay. Al Maryah Central was built with this in mind,

offering a variety of entertainment options for visitors to stay all day – such as a 21 screen VOX cinema, family entertainment and parks.

Al Maryah Central’s Offering Abu Dhabi is already beginning to provide mixed-use lifestyle destinations to meet consumers’ changing needs, and Al Maryah Central is an exemplary blueprint. Al Maryah Central has focused on placemaking – creating public spaces that promote health, happiness and wellbeing through integrated design principles – developing a place for people to come together. We are at the forefront of nextgeneration mall development, with a beautiful and airy design built around natural materials. We will be the hub that connects Abu Dhabi’s new business district on Al Maryah Island and with half a million residents within a 10-minute drive, we’re expecting more than 20 million visitors per year. The buoyancy of the Abu Dhabi market is reflected in The Galleria’s impressive numbers year after year, and Al Maryah Central will build on this existing offering to reach new audiences. The total retail spend by trade area in 2018 is estimated at AED 22.7 billion, and that is forecasted to grow at around 4.4% per year to reach around AED 27.0 billion by 2022. These strong results set the stage for the completion of the development’s next phase, set to open in August 2019 as a game changer for the market. Building on The Galleria’s strong focus on luxury, Al Maryah Island will become the ultimate destination for retail, dining and entertainment, delivering an outstanding experience to the Abu Dhabi community and beyond.

Al Maryah Island, located in the UAE’s capital – Abu Dhabi, is the region’s new business and lifestyle destination 114 hectares mixed-use urban development Centrally located to Abu Dhabi Island, Reem Island, Saadiyat Island and Yas Island Two-tier road network with 8 operational bridges and 5 additional planned. Seamlessly connects to the island’s destinations, including: • Al Maryah Central • The Galleria on Al Maryah Island • Abu Dhabi Global Market Square • Rosewood Abu Dhabi • Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi • Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi • Future headquarters for prominent financial institutions 4.



Retail Technology Trends for Digital Transformation in 2018 • • • •

Brick-and-mortar is not dead thanks to retail technology AI, IoT, and VR on the rise Customers are in control The shopping experience is what matters

Credits: All Inclusive Retail Commerce Platform SHUUP.COM


iants like Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba are rapidly transforming the industry through retail technology advancements. To compete in today’s markets, all retailers must use technology to solve business processes and better satisfy customers. This surprisingly applies even more so to brick-and-mortar stores, thought to be a dying industry segment, not too long ago. Technology investments and showcases by big name retailers such as the new AmazonGo, have publicized some of these trends. 2018 retail expos like this year’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Conference also heavily focused on the future of retail technology.

New Retail: New retail expands on previous omnichannel trends. Coined by Jack Ma of Alibaba as “the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain. Data collected is used to streamline processes and create more accurate customer profiles to personalized shopping experiences. All the retail technology trends that follow are part of this New Retail industry sphere.


made advancements in automation, virtual reality, robotics, and IoT. AmazonGo launched with success and gained much tech and global news coverage. They have ramped up internal technology in logistics and operations, allowing for same day deliveries, and to take on the tough grocery delivery sector. Walmart has made strides in technology to streamline its own internal processes as well as to create better buying experiences. Its own technology incubator Store No 8 was set up to create internal advancements in retail tech. They recently acquired virtual reality startup Spatialand, to build VR products for the retailer's websites and physical stores. Walmart also internally uses tech like VR and AR for things like associate training. It was heavily noted at NRF that for digital transformation to work, retailers must focus first on the transformation part, and then to figure out where digital fits in. IT has to be part of planning and strategy from the get-go. Tech should solve business processes, not simply make things look futuristic.

Retailers are Tech Companies:

Omnichannel Commerce, Not Just E-Commerce: E-commerce

2017 was a huge year for retailers like Amazon and Walmart in terms of tech. Both companies

itself will no longer survive and must be omnichannel. This gives retailers deeper customer

insights across all sales channels. Shopping experiences can be heavily personalized based on collected customer data, everywhere they shop, whether it be mobile, online, or in-store. Customers expect a consistent, seamlessly connected experience across physical stores, social media, point of sale, catalogs, e-commerce websites, and other channels. —from the time they start searching for a product, through purchases, all the way to returns.

Mobile Continues to Expand: This is not a new trend. The past couple years have seen a dramatic rise in mobile shopping behavior, and the trend continues. Mobile applications and mobile pay have both contributed to mobile’s domination. New mobile innovations and improved security will show an increase in overall usage and more high-value purchases being made on phones.

TAKE YOUR RETAIL OPERATION MOBILE TODAY! Contactless Payments With the major acceptance of mobile pay terminals, NFC pay points, and online transactions, contactless payments are becoming mainstream. China leads the world in mobile payments and may become the first cashless society driven by WeChat Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay. Further advancements such as facial recognition (#19 below) are already making payments possible without a device or card.

Retail Technology in Physical Stores: Brick-andmortar stores are making a comeback despite many big-name retailers shutting doors on physical locations. Those that embrace retail technology and provide better shopping experiences will be the ones to stay standing. For retail technology to improve the real-world shopping experience, it must solve problems, be scalable, and be as complete as possible. PepsiCo uses Bluetooth Low Energy beacons to send mobile coupons to customers at just the right time. This turns foot traffic into sales. In-store technology trends utilized include VR and AR, location-tools, IoT, voice-activated assistance, and totally personalized shopping experiences based on collected big data. Short-term, most of the technology in brick-and-mortar stores will be for collecting data and analyzing customer behavior. Long-term tech advancements will augment the shopping experience itself, based on collected data. In-Store Shopping Behavior: Personalizing a single customer’s shopping experience requires creating an accurate buyer profile and analyzing their shopping and real-world behavior. Most retailers use only mobile devices and display/ kiosks to improve the in-store experience. Using advanced technologies such as mPOSs, BLE beacons, and Near Field Communications can further improve the experience and allow for increased data intake. Data collected is used to create personal suggestions or to assist the customer in the best way. Much of this analysis or computation will be done in the future, through machine learning or by Artificial Intelligence. RETAIL PEOPLE . AUG-SEP 2018 .17


IoT also serves a great deal of uses behind the scenes for optimizing logistics, inventory purchases and management, manufacturing, and processing. It helps solve problems in efficiency and loss prevention. Facial recognition, contactless payments, and other advancements will further streamline operations and shopping with IoT.

Voice Assistants with Conversational Commerce: Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are already performing numerous retail related tasks for customers, and this trend will grow. Consumers now can purchase items from the comfort of home just by asking. This gives retailers a personal interaction with customers and compels purchase. Assistants will soon also be popping up on retail floors in the form of interactive displays and personal shopping assistants, as brick-and-mortar stores take advantage of conversational commerce.

Facial Recognition: Facial recognition is seen daily in the form of accessing your locked mobile phone, but it is taking shape as another retail tech trend. Walmart has applied for a facial recognition patent to measure customer satisfaction. Customers in China can pay for food at KFC with just a face scan. Other payment processors such as Union Pay have also jumped on board with facial recognition payments.

Customers are More Demanding Than Ever: Artificial Intelligence: Personalization is maximized using AI to create a shopping experience using analytics and optimized inventory for each consumer. AI is also being used in call centers and customer service departments to improve retail experiences. Retailers must put into place data management technology that can ingest and feed data to analytics. As AI improves operations and data, it itself becomes less expensive and easier to use. This in turn streamlines operations further as AI turns data into actionable insights. Embedded AI “enables an innovative approach, changing the knowledge map from customer behavior to the characterization of its social context, potential needs and decision making”. It can help automate everything from customer service to low inventory re-orders based on holiday trends. To further streamline operations AI is combined with the Internet of Things.

IoT and Streamlining Shopping: IoT stands to eliminate a chunk of customer decision making, with devices making purchasing decisions. Smart refrigerators are already ordering groceries and are not tempted by impulse buys. Retailers want to achieve one-click checkout for quick customer experiences. This is already possible by combining RFID tags with POS systems and connected sensors. AmazonGo has already launched a working model and the tech is seen all over China.


Consumers now want nothing less than “access to a wide selection of quality, low-priced goods—delivered how and when they want,” notes the Retail Without Limits report. Price still matters most to consumers, followed by quality, choice, and convenience. Customer expectations are completely out of retailers’ control and hard to keep up with. People are willing to discuss bad experiences through social media, but not willing to deal with customer service. Companies must stay ahead of negative reviews and feedback by creating shopping experiences that delight and bring out the best in social talk.

Customer Experience: An iPhone is both a product and a service. Product quality must be integrated with experience quality from the beginning of the purchase process, through after service support. Demanding customers must be satisfied every step of the way. This is true for both on- and offline retail. Improving the process of buying must become a core strategy for retail owners, across all channels. In-store experiences are now becoming more streamlined through IoT and other technologies, and becoming more fun and informative, through tech like AR and VR. AR and VR will Expand the Retail Experience China is already digitally transforming the way people shop in person. Smart mirrors allow people to try on clothes and

makeup. Retailer customers in pop-up T-malls can try on cloud products through RFID and AR, and then purchase them immediately through contactless Alipay QR codes. These experiences attract new walk-by customers, provide value during the experience, showcase products in new exciting ways, and compel them to purchase. As these technologies advance and people begin to trust Augmented Reality overlays and fittings, we will be seeing more purchases of products like clothing from home.

Digital Workforce: Technology advancements will also help retail employees at their jobs and in their own job satisfaction. Retail employees will become more informed and be able to increase their effectiveness in making sales and customer satisfaction. As data about customer profiles are more easily accessible in real-time, shop floor workers can best help a customer select a product they will purchase. Retail managers will better optimize their stores for sales through data analysis and AI aided decisions.

Fast Delivery is a Must: Fast, instant shipping of

purchase online and through retail technology but are still wary of privacy and security. Credit card and personal information must be taken seriously by retailers. Companies are increasingly investing in secure POS systems, fraud prevention tools, and data management with encryption.

unlimited product varieties is becoming the norm. Propagated by giants such as Amazon with its Prime same day delivery and food delivery services such as GrubHub providing access to any restaurant at any time. People now see free shipping as necessary and often choose the competitor that offers it. This will only increase as retail technologies such as IoT and AI improve inventory and logistics speed and efficiency.

SETUP THE ULTIMATE DELIVERY OPERATION TODAY! Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing is still

Security and Privacy: Consumers are more willing to

Customer for Life: Loyalty and returning customers are still the name of the game. These technology advancements are set in place to provide the perfect shopping experience and product, at the perfect time. As shopping experiences continue to improve, customers become more loyal to the experiences they enjoy, creating customers for life.

seen as a top venue for marketing and advertising expenditures.

Amazon Marketing Services: Amazon Marketing Services also rank highly for 2018 acquisition marketing strategies.

Location Based Services: This goes way beyond the navigation app that takes you to the store. It aids in inventory processes and operational effectiveness. Logistics is streamlined through Data and product tracking. This allows for real-time catalog and retail floor display updates, improving sales and retail experience value.

Blockchain: The blockchain is not just for cryptocurrencies. It is now showing its way onto the retail scene and showing powerful potential for the grocery industry. Through its decentralized ecosystem, it becomes easier to trace products to their origins and along their retail path. This can be useful in completing recalls of defective products and analyzing supply chain effectiveness. Test pilot projects are already being conducted through a partnership between Walmart and IBM along with leading brands such as Kroger, Nestle, and Dole. Cryptocurrencies: Cryptocurrencies are now being analyzed along with blockchain for potential benefits in the retail industry. Retailers see it as able to ease currency issues and cross-border transactions. Rakuten has recently announced its new ‘borderless currency’ the Rakuten Coin. It hopes it will help with its international growth and brand recognition. They are also integrating their reward system into blockchain and its Rakuten Coin. Other retailers worldwide are also experimenting with cryptocurrency payments.

For Sponsorship Inquiries Please Contact: Mariz Matocdo

+971 4 359 1852 / +971 55 551 7605 Justin Espiritu

+971 4 359 2046 / +971 54 320 8359



MODA Mall Expands its Retail Portfolio with new Lifestyle Experiences


ahrain’s luxury shopping destination, MODA Mall announced the leasing of 600 square meters of retail space with seven new outlets of lifestyle experiences added to its portfolio of mall offerings over the past year. This led to an increase of 3.4% in mall’s leased retail space in 2017, featuring a portfolio of fashion brands commanding 72%, jewellery brands 15% and culinary brands 13%. This growth is attributed to new leases including additional fashion, lifestyle and culinary offerings, that further add a sense of novelty to MODA Mall and offer an unparalleled experience to its savvy consumers. Among the recent brands to launch their retail offerings at the mall include British Master Perfumer Roja Dove’s ROJA Parfums; one of the finest Italian luxury furniture brands, Bakokko; and an exquisite selection of decorative artifacts, Limited Edition. The mall has also enhanced its fashion and culinary portfolio with IZIQ Boutique, featuring a fusion of classic and


contemporary gowns; Healthy Calorie featuring healthy and calorie-focused meal plans; and Gadooa Sweets offering authentic Bahraini delicacies. This year, MODA Mall as part of its ongoing leasing strategy to evolve its portfolio with new retail and experiential offerings, plans to launch a luxury spa and wellness concept as well as a high-end, multi-brand jewellery store, amongst other new additions. Commenting on the new retail offerings, Bahrain World Trade Center and MODA Mall’s managing agent, Cushman & Wakefield Bahrain, Kelvin Crutchlow, Director & General Manager said, “As a luxury retail destination, we are constantly looking for new concepts and retailers that represent a diverse mix of local and international brands, which are distinct to the mall and customer requirements. Delivering on this strategy, we continue to upgrade our existing tenant mix with special incentive offers for our new retailers, and introducing new concepts that provide exciting and entertaining experiences to our customers.”

Designed by international experts Atkins, MODA Mall’s elegant atmosphere with world-class architecture, cool marble interiors and glass domes make shopping and dining an unrivaled pleasure. In addition, there is a host of other amenities providing shoppers and visitors with a unique experience, including valet parking service, free Wi-Fi, a beauty salon, a children’s soft play area, banks, a 5-star hotel, a fitness centre and a convenience store.

Facts of MODA Mall 1,700


ROJA Parfums Opening at Moda Mall

150 outlets

car parking spaces shared with BWTC

service at Gate 2 from 10am to 10pm

Retail boutiques

Cafés and restaurants

Children’s Soft Play Area


Over 80 high-end fashion brands

spanning over 16,500 square meters

Valet parking

About MODA MALL With a world-class address in the iconic Bahrain World Trade Center, MODA Mall stands out as Bahrain’s only luxury shopping destination offering the perfect blend of high profile retail brands, modern cafes and fine dining eateries. Whether meeting friends for coffee, dining with family or choosing that special gift, shoppers and visitors can find something for every special occasion at MODA Mall. Around 150 outlets are spread across MODA Mall’s interior, topped by two beautiful domes known as the Fashion and Jewellery Courts. Among them are more than 80 fashion labels showcasing haute couture, ready to wear and accessories collections, available for shoppers to discover including the timeless Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani, Dior, Fendi, Versace, Gucci, Burberry, Hermés and Dolce & Gabbana as well as Bottega Veneta, Ermenegildo Zegna, Missoni, Juicy Couture, Al Otthman and much more. MODA Mall shoppers can also enjoy their picks of luxury bags, footwear and accessories from fashion houses such as JB Martin, Baldinini, Valentino, MCM, Tod’s, Mont Blanc and more. The mall also features a variety of luxury brands for younger fashion lovers which includes Burberry, Missoni, Dolce & Gabbana and Armani Junior. To make the shopping experience even more exceptional, MODA Mall houses Bahrain’s largest fine jewellery portfolio with over 50 fine jewellery brands on offer. Visitors can shop from premier collections designed by some of the world’s leading craftsmen including Cartier, Tiffany & Co, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Chopard, Hublot, Officine Panerai and De Beers among others which start in the dazzling Jewellery Court and down the mall’s luxurious halls. Another luxury offering at MODA Mall is its array of international fine dining restaurants ranging from Italian at BICE and Japanese fusion at Maki to Middle Eastern cuisine at Abdel Wahab and more. Shoppers can relax at a range of cafés brought from around the world including Turkish confectionery café ( TIMELINE) Künefeci by Mado, Arabian Shai Latte Café, Bonbon Chocolates, Fauchon Café as well as classic coffeehouses such as Caribou Coffee and Costa Coffee. Visitors can also grab a quick bite at Chtaura Food Gourmet, Mrs Vanelli’s, Teriyaki and Subway all nestled under a skylight in the Dining Courtyard that brings a tranquil outdoor feel.

open daily from 10am to 10pm


from 8am to 11pm


customer service desks

Over 50 high-end jewellery brands


10 am to 10pm



with Imam

Stay in touch with MODA Mall on the following channels: On social media: modamall





Mall of Dilmunia

Historical Dilmunia meets Modern Bahrain


he Kingdom of Bahrain will be launching an exciting new mall concept. Mall of Dilmunia will become the perfect family destination in the region that brings together every member of the family and allows them to connect with one another through shared experiences. This mall, unlike others, seeks to engage with all age groups and demographic audiences by providing each visitor a unique experience. Mall of Dilmunia is


strategically located in the heart of Dilmunia Island, situated in the Arabian Gulf and lies off the northeastern coast of Muharraq Governorate (just 15 minutes away from Bahrain International Airport). The Kingdom of Bahrain is historically and culturally rooted in family values that celebrate a strong and culturally connected community, a characteristic that adds to Bahrain’s charm. Dilmunia has strategically been developed


to incorporate and strengthen that identity as an island for family tourism. The expected infrastructure developments such as the expansion of Bahrain international airport, the fourth causeway linking Muharraq to the main island and the King Hamad causeway connecting Bahrain to Saudi Arabia by road and rail, are estimated to have a positive impact to double the tourist capacity from 7 million to 14 million. The Mall of Dilmunia guarantees to have an unforgettable experience for visitors and exhibitors alike. It aims to introduce a variety of regional and global retail partners never seen before across the exceptionally vast retail spaces. The architecture of the mall is a balanced representation of modernistic and futuristic blending the worlds of historical Dilmunia and modern-day Bahrain. Through the partnership with entertainment facilitator, Funscape, the mall will enable children and young adults to engage in fun and educational entertainment facilities. The entertainment zones within the mall are divided into Adventure, Play, Ice and Sport. This includes rock climbing, Zipline, Teenage Thrill Zone, simulator games and video games, indoor football arenas, ice-skating rink and so much more! One of the key attractions of the mall consists of the Atrium where events, shows, exhibitions, etc. are brought

to life. It can also be used for exclusive attractions, seasonal events and sales promotion activities. One of the most spectacular attractions of the mall is the 3 stories high cylindrical aquarium, which levels out to create a feeding and petting zoo area, which plays a key role in generating traffic. Another great feature of the mall is it is surrounded by the Grand Canal of Dilmunia Island, which wraps around the mall from the East, North, and the West. Mall of Dilmunia appears to be redefining the mall concept by including an abundance of choices and a reason to explore and bond as a family. All of these exceptional features coupled with great brand promise is further complemented with an Open Air Sky Terrace CafĂŠ. Mall of Dilmunia is opened for leasing with limited spaces available! If you want to be part of this spectacular experience feel free to contact the Mall Management to book your location at the mall on their direct number+973 17203062 or e-mail them at






Custom Education Program “From Idea to Successful Center” Al Ra’idah Investment Company Date: March 27 - 28 and May 8 - 9 Venue: Crowne Plaza Hotel – RDC Hotel & Convention Center – Riyadh, KSA



Middle East Council of Shopping Centres Conducts the

“John T. Riordan Global School for Retail Real Estate Professionals” Date: April 16-19, 2018 Venue: Kempinski Hotel, MOE, Dubai, UAE


he Middle East Council of Shopping Centres hosted (JTR) – John T. Riordan Global School For Retail Real Estate Professionals at the Kempinski Hotel, in Mall of the Emirates from 16th until 19th of April. The MECSC is the region’s largest retail industry association representing shopping mall owners, developers, marketing and leasing managers, retailers consultants, property managers, financiers, accountants, government officials and industry suppliers from the retail industry.

MECSC is pleased to offer education and certification through conducting the John T. Riordan Global School for Retail Real Estate Professionals – the four-day program covers comprehensive, concentrated, rigorous course taught by prominent shopping centre industry experts from the USA, Europe and the Middle East who serve as faculty.” David Macadam, CEO, MECSC

One of the finest points of this year’s JTR are the expert instructors who are ready to provide the best learning possible while establishing solid foundation from real life examples on how to handle leasing, marketing, management and security challenges today.

JTR 2018 Level 1 Students


JTR 2018 Level 2 Students


Middle East Council of Shopping Centres’ Next Generation Networking Reception in Oman


he Middle East Council of Shopping Centres hosted the Next Generation Networking reception on Monday 19th of March at Grand Millennium Hotel in Muscat, Oman. The NextGen Networking Event brings retail industry professionals together in an environment to facilitate business development, knowledge-sharing and networking.

MECSC’s Next Generation Events – connecting retail professionals across Middle East

Next Gen events emphasizes on educating and offering a successful Networking platform to its members throughout the Middle East region. These events aim to bring together specialists from the Retail industry to share knowledge; we encourage everyone who is linked to the retail and shopping mall industry to attend this event and avail this unique platform to network and grow their business.” David Macadam, CEO, MECSC

Sponsors: MAIN SPONSORS: The Retail Agency, Asaas | GIFT SPONSOR: Liali Jewellery | VIDEO SPONSOR: Al Araimi Boulevard



Middle East Council of Shopping Centres’ Next Generation Networking Reception in Bahrain


he Middle East Council of Shopping Centres hosted the first ever Next Generation Networking reception on Tuesday 3rd of April from 6:30pm till 8:30pm at the Jewelry Court of Moda Mall in Bahrain. Over 40 delegates attended on this event. Middle East Council of Shopping Centres’ (MECSC) primary goal is to bring together regional leaders and professionals under one roof to network with key players in the retail sector and enable to meet and build relationships.

MECSC’s Next Generation Events – connecting retail professionals across Middle East

Next Gen events offer fantastic opportunities for professionals to network throughout the Middle East region. NextGen brings together specialists from the Retail industry to share knowledge; we encourage everyone who is linked to the retail and shopping mall industry to attend this event and avail this unique platform to network and grow their business.” David Macadam, CEO, MECSC

Sponsors: MAIN SPONSOR: Moda Mall | PLATINUM SPONSOR: EDB Bahrain | GOLD SPONSOR: Mall of Dilmunia


Middle East Council of Shopping Centres’ Next Generation Networking Reception in Dubai


he Middle East Council of Shopping Centres hosted the Next Generation Networking Event Dubai on Tuesday, 17th of April from 5:30pm till 8:30pm at Noir Restaurant, Kempinski Hotel, Dubai, UAE. Next Gen Dubai offers the ideal platform and opportunity for retail and shopping mall

MECSC’s Next Generation Events – connecting retail professionals across Middle East

professionals to network and grow their business. Next GEN Dubai is actively promoted through the MECSC database and social media. MECSC members and event attendees are also encouraged to forward the invitation to those who would benefit from attending the event.

Sponsors: PLATINUM SPONSORS: V-Count, Arabian Oud, Line Investments & Property LLC | SILVER SPONSOR: Oud Elite BRONZE SPONSOR: Capacitá | GIFT SPONSOR: Liali Jewellery | MEDIA PARTNER: Forbes Middle East




Middle East Council of Shopping Centres’ Next Generation Networking Event in Riyadh


he Middle East Council of Shopping Centres hosted the Next Generation Networking reception on Monday, 7th of May from 6:30pm till 9:00pm at the Crowne Plaza Riyadh RDC Hotel & Convention, Riyadh, KSA. The event was participated by over 280 delegates from the retail industry.

MECSC’s Next Generation Events – connecting retail professionals across Middle East

Next Gen in Riyadh will offer a promising Networking platform to its members. This event aims to bring together specialists from the Retail industry to share knowledge & contacts; we encourage everyone who is linked to the retail and shopping mall industry to attend this event and avail this unique platform to network and grow their business.” David Macadam, CEO, MECSC

Sponsors: MAIN SPONSOR: Al Ra’idah | PLATINUM SPONSORS: V-Count, Granada Centre and Line Investments and Property LLC GOLD SPONSOR: Al Rajhi Investment | SILVER SPONSOR: Apparel Group | BRONZE SPONSOR: UAPM & Saudi Bonyan LANYARD SPONSOR: Capacitá


What is Retail Digital Transformation?


t Black & White Engineering we interpret this as the use of digital technology to create business innovations. These innovations can often change or even replace existing business models by creating new ones. Apple Music is an example of this, where the delivery of the goods is no longer a physical exchange and the digitized media can be downloaded and used immediately. However, we are now seeing a trend where vinyl is making a comeback, which is perhaps a reflection of the artistic and whimsical nature of people. It is fair to say that Apple Music has had a significant impact on the CD and DVD market, but not only that, it has affected our homes and mobility where we no longer need CD and DVD players as we can simply plug in a USB stick or use Bluetooth to connect to another form of playback device. Shops trading in essential commodities such as bread, milk, rice, medicine etc. are an important part of everyday life and are too convenient to completely disappear. The digital transformation creates many new industries and enhances others, like IT, smartphones, electronic currencies, distribution warehousing, couriers, etc. DOES DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION MAKE GOODS CHEAPER? The simple answer to this is yes, it should, but this is heavily dependent on the efficiency of the distribution network. The compounded overheads and on-costs of manufacturers, distributors and retailers results in considerable escalation of the true cost of the goods being traded. This will be heavily dependent on quantities, the scale of economy and desirability of the goods. The current retail sector is under growing financial pressure and is more competitive than we have seen for some time. Digital Transformation is already with us as customers can buy, review and research at any time of the day and any place where WiFi or Data is available from our smartphones. We are also now seeing things like intelligent fridges, smart meters, etc. WILL MALLS BECOME A THING OF THE PAST? Malls will need to continue to evolve and grow and in some cases shrink to meet the market demands of the various era’s. They will need to be flexible and ensure that they have that wow factor, whether this be one of the longest indoor ski slopes, a place where you can learn to sky dive or see one of the largest aquariums in the world. HOW WILL THEY LOOK IN 20 YEARS’ TIME? These malls are competing for a reduced market share as they saturate the market not only with rival retail outlets but also fight against on line shopping platforms like Amazon, Souq, etc.

The Retail Digital Transformation has already developed within stores, the use of electronic payment methods like BEAM, Apple Pay, to mention just a few. Taking that a step further will money also be absorbed into the digital transformation? In summary, we believe that Malls will embrace digital transformation and continue to survive and be a focal point for retail activity. Whilst shopping online is becoming more and more accessible the personal contact with the goods, retail assistants, and the social nature of meeting to have coffee and shop, we think, will prove to be the deciding factor.

STEPHEN CLOUGH Technical Director Black & White Engineering Stephen is a technical director with over 25 years experience, working on projects in Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Stephen has delivered multiple projects of significant size and complexity to a high degree of technical excellence, ensuring that project goals are achieved in the Retail, Commercial and Data Centre sectors. He has successfully delivered many AED 600M+ projects within the Middle East and Europe, while building highly effective teams and company systems. A number of these have been iconic worldwide projects where he has utilised global expertise, leading a multidisicplinary team, to deliver on-time and to the client's satisfaction.



Complementary Digital Solutions


he experience of visiting a physical store offers customers something that online cannot, and retailers are finally realizing that digital should be embraced rather than fought against. The question is, what digital opportunities exist to further enhance that physical experience? What’s necessary are digital solutions that are complementary to the physical experience. Think about how digital has enhanced the experience of visiting historical sites like the Colosseum in Italy. You can scan QR codes to learn about points of interest, use audio tours as a guide or AR or VR content to visualize the space. The result is a coalescing of the physical and digital to form a more engaging experience for the visitor. This should be the way that retail thinks when it comes to in-store digital transformation. There are many opportunities to utilize existing online content in-store to enhance brand immersion and customer experience. Accessing the brand’s website in-store would allow customers to browse products and give them more information about sizing and availability, without the need to wait for busy store staff. Perhaps customers could scan a QR code to see more information or maybe view a feed from Instagram showing real people wearing the item. On the flip side, purely online retailers are starting to drive customers to physical retail centres by offering collection from pick up lockers or pop-up experience stores. This click-to-brick model is a great opportunity for online stores to capitalize on the experience of bricks-and-mortar, whilst simultaneously increasing foot traffic and driving sales in physical centres. Clever retailers are taking advantage of delivery services when they don’t have a product in stock. Rather than the inconvenience of customers travelling to a faraway store themselves or having the item sent to the current store for pick up the next day; stores are arranging for delivery directly to the customer. This enables stores to convert more sales on the spot whilst also improving customer experience. Since 2003, Abuzz has been successful in complementing the physical retail experience with digital wayfinding. It has achieved this by applying usercentred design principles to present complex information clearly and concisely. Through intelligent integrations with services such as car parking, restaurant booking, food menu and flight systems, Abuzz are contributing to the connected smart-city initiatives that are spreading across the globe. Whilst digital wayfinding in shopping centres has grown in popularity over the past 15 years, there is also an opportunity for the solution to help with the instore experience. With less staff and a push to automate the checkout process, larger stores are looking to Abuzz digital wayfinding to help maintain the level of customer service that customers expect.


DAVID WEE Chairman Abuzz Solutions David Wee graduated with a Bachelor of Business – followed with a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Administration and Epidemiology. David has wide entrepreneurial experience developing Medical Centres, Hospitals, Medical Software, Educational organisations, Hotel and Commercial property development. David pioneered Digital Wayfinding in 2002 acquiring and expanding Abuzz Technologies in 2008. David realised that Wayfinding was the first part of a whole digital data-driven revolution integrating the physical retail world with the digital world. By understanding the needs of the consumer and enhancing the whole retail experience mall owners can better embrace new digital technologies improving the shopper experience, increase sales and thus create additional value in their physical and digital assets.

Through Abuzz Analytics, retailers can gain insights into customer behaviour, which can inform product placement, marketing effort and static signage amongst other things. The result is a more satisfying interaction between the customer and the brand. With solutions in 200+ centres and over 1,500 screens, Abuzz are looking forward; embracing new technologies, and helping customers easily find and seamlessly connect with the physical world.


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.

Emotionalize your Mall! Our Decorations increase Footfall and Sale. Email Mobile +971 54 44 37 408


Delivering the WOW Factor in Stores with Retail Traffic Insights


lobally, retailers are working incredibly hard to re-align their stores to the needs of the new digital consumer. Back office systems that support omnichannel customer services and loyalty marketing should be in place. And at the front of store – particularly in the Middle East – drama, glamour, engagement, stimulation and the ultimate shopper experience must be delivered with aplomb. LET’S GET THE BASICS RIGHT FIRST GEORGE KASPARIS Regional Director ShopperTrak As Regional Director, George Kasparis is in charge of the growth of the ShopperTrak Dubai office, which encompasses the Middle East, India and Africa. With over eleven years’ experience in the region, he has followed its growth and built key relationships helping shopping centres and retailers optimise their shopping experience and improve profitability through data-driven insights.

The aim of all this investment and innovation is to keep shoppers streaming through your doors and to win their loyalty once they’re with you. But introducing change without measuring impact is a risky business, and for retailers with a large store estate, understanding traffic fluctuations and conversion rates will be crucial as the evolution of retail rolls on for the decade ahead. The simple count of footfall is a very good starting point. Retailers in Europe, North America and China have embraced the notion of using KPIs to measure store performance to get the basics of operational efficiency right and to help them make strategic decisions about what generates more sales in stores and what doesn’t. Now we’re seeing retailers in the Middle East eager to understand their traffic achievements, when the peak hours or days are expected, and what kinds of operational changes or marketing investments actually drive visitor numbers up. GATHER INSIGHT, THEN TAKE ACTION

With traffic counting technology and data insight, it’s possible to pinpoint stores, or


areas within stores, that aren’t performing, so that strategic improvements can be made. Staff scheduling can be optimised to ensure the best salespeople are on the shop floor exactly when the biggest sales opportunities are expected. Marketing can be insight-driven and vastly improved thanks to benchmarking, and of course, campaigns can be tailored to known seasonal peaks and troughs in trading. For retailers new to traffic counting, it’s a good idea to focus on peak hours. This is a great opportunity to introduce ways of raising the conversion rate when traffic levels are high – perhaps a dedicated greeter at the door, or a strategically timed Instagram promotion. A small conversion rate improvement can result in doubledigit percentage sales increases. Bhupinder Singh, General Manager & CFO of Dalma Mall, one the largest shopping malls in Abu Dhabi said in an interview with MECSC recently: "In the end, everything drills down to numbers and it’s my passion to see numbers move." Malls in the Middle East are committing to data insight, and it’s true that for retailers, managing stores professionally also requires KPIs to be in place, so that head office and store teams know where the successes have taken place, and where the pain points are. Numbers may lack glamour, but get them moving in the right direction, and the omnichannel retail party can roll on in style.

“SMART MALL” New Shopping Experience


ince I joined the retail industry, I’ve heard about the challenges in the online shopping that we all face in the industry. The technology has a major role in enhancing the shopping experience. I believe that the best way to face that challenge is to use our ENEMY to be our WEAPON!! Use the smartphones to have SMART MALLS….

SMART MALL – A Brief Imagination!!! The SMART MALL will run through smartphones via MALL application. This app will work inside the mall by Mall’s network (WIFI) only. The parking is the only feature that could work from any other internet source. SMART PARKING

• Smart Parking technology enables customers to find spaces quickly and easily. Parking location can be booked in the VIP Parking and the booking will be pre-paid which saves time. Less time parking means less stress and happier customers. SMART MALL FIT-OUT

• In today’s Smart Mall, huge digital screens are present everywhere which gives customers an information about the latest updates in the mall (new collections, discounts, events, etc.) It also provides entertainment shows to amuse the mall customers. • Not only the visual effect is required, but also the use of sound effects in the display windows which is integrated into the visual display will definitely add a value! The customers will enjoy different stories in front of each store as if they are walking inside the Facebook timeline. SHOPPING IN THE SMART MALL

• No more long queue at the cashier counter and the customers can experience the comfort of not carrying too much while shopping. The customers can have the option to physically check the items in the stores and then pay online through Smart Mall App. Delivery can be done within 24 hours. • All the stores are available at your hand through one-touch access. Through Smart Mall App, you can explore and shop from all the stores while enjoying your favorite coffee in the coffee shop with your friends. FOODCOURT AND RESTAURANT's IN THE SMART MALL

• In dining, all you need to do is to find your table. A number of restaurant’s menus are available and order can be placed through the Smart Mall App. INFORMATION DESKS IN THE SMART MALL

• Call center is also available to facilitate the customer experience in the smart mall

ENG. MOHAMMAD ABDULSALAM Retail Design and Delivery Coordinator GLA Management Mohammad Abdulsalam is a ‘Retail Design and Delivery Coordinator’ in GLA Property Management Company in Kuwait. He holds a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering. He has eight years of experience in various industries such as Construction, Engineering and Interior Design and Delivery. In 2015, Mohammad joined the retail industry through GLA Company. With the knowledge and experience in the engineering and technology, he wants to use his creativity to add value to the retail industry and this is his dream and passion.

In my view, SMART MALLS should be the goal of every shopping centre. All brands have their apps now. The challenge for these apps is, customers will have 50+ apps downloaded on their mobile phones as there are different categories available for each shop (i.e. accessories, men’s or women’s wear, sunglasses, watches, sport, furniture and others). If there is one app for Smart Mall, it will be much better to keep the customer in touch with all their favorite stores and offer them entertainment and products they need. In addition, it will also help the mall and the tenants to better understand the customer’s needs like never happened before.


or for more information go to It’s not about efficiency, it’s about experience when it comes to Food & Hospitality



How Immersive Experiences are

Shaping the Future of the Retail Industry


hopping has always been a universal activity carried out to meet customer needs and promote social interaction. As consumer needs from retailing have evolved over the years, it is no longer a story of goods on shelves which shoppers simply browse. Consumers today are looking for convenience, personalization and seamless transactions. It is not breaking news that e-commerce has expanded consumer choice exponentially as global access to goods and services are a click of a button away. With the internet changing the way that people interact and buy, the retail industry now relies on consumer interaction to build & support brand equity and the mall positioning, potential buyers are continuously browsing through websites, scrolling through social media platforms in search of value and solutions tailored to their individual needs. The impact of the digital age is now being felt in every retail sector, and there is no end in sight. With this in mind, the future of the retail industry can no longer be shaped by the traditional shopping mall format. People today are not shopping merely for a physical product but rather seeking unique brand experiences that engage. There are two major trends: the first being technological progress, which refers to all the improvements that enable the achievement of human purposes most effectively, through the use of computers, transportation, and so on. This has caused an important change in consumer behaviour: technology has become an integrated component of the retail experience, without it the experience is lacking depth and information. The second is increased mobility, through which people are able to access information much faster and more efficiently. This bridges the gap between offline and online, allowing us to obtain a human centric experience and forming the foundation of an immersive experience. In 2017, Samsung launched a human/ immersive experience and opened its doors to the Samsung 837 in New York. Known as a “technology playground and cultural destination” and positioning itself as a unique retail store, one cannot actually purchase


a Samsung product anywhere inside the space. It is simply a physical manifestation of the brand promise. It consists of 96 55-inch displays that extend across the three storey building and hold special events. It also includes selfie stations, 4D VR experiences, AR Emoji booths and many more. Samsung 837 is not focused on the products but on the experiences, and emotions that are provided by the products, a subtle but important distinction. There are four key success factors integrated into the Samsung 837 customer experience which, in part, the future of the retail industry relies upon: • Since consumers now have choice across multiple platforms, they are at the core of every brand. The customer is in charge. • Retailers need to be adaptive and agile in responding to the evolution of technology as an integral part of the shopping process. • There needs to be a convergence between digital and physical retailing to create an omnichannel experience and maximize convenience. • Retail stores will potentially function as social venues with little or no inventory

as retailers shift from commerce centric stores to engaging brand experiences.

JUMAN SLEIMAN Designer, Interiors & Branding Limelight Creative Services Juman is a multi-disciplinary designer with passions across the fields of architecture, interiors, design, experiences and branding. After obtaining her B.A. in Interior Architecture, she completed her Master of Design in Luxury Brand Management Innovation from the University of Arts London. As a designer for interiors & branding at Limelight, she combines her creativity & understanding of brand strategies to drive innovation across all brands. Limelight is a Dubai-based boutique strategy and design agency focused on creative excellence in architecture & interiors.

Stimulating Retail Space


he retail industry in the MENA region, specifically in the UAE, is one of the fastest growing markets. The UAE has established itself as a global industry hub through innovation and dynamic solutions, giving it a competitive edge. Upscale Retail and POP Retail are two influential companies that actively play a leading role in altering perceptions of retail space environments. Upscale Retail is a consultancy that targets commercialisation and retail space stimulation, which is deployed through activating previously dormant retail space to introduce and develop concepts with diverse retailers. They specialise in hiring a variety of exciting temporary solutions such as kiosks, bespoke units, outdoor markets and many other activations. POP Retail focuses on bringing inactive inline retail space to life, by turning inactive hoardings into temporary shop units. POP has developed Pocketshops, a unique modular steel unit that can be installed and dismantled quickly. Their commutable form allows them to be reused in other locations to accommodate different commercialisation strategies. Both Upscale Retail and Pop Retail have offered a new approach to retailing and retailing space developments by creating a low risk, low-cost entry to market which allows brands and concepts a way to enter the market. They have successfully helped a variety of popular brands such as DHL, Caribou Café, Agatha, Virgin Redbox, along with incubating emerging homegrown concepts in the UAE. Active in over 200 locations within Majid Al Futtaim Malls, Nakheel Malls. Dubai Retail, and Oasis Malls. Activating lifeless retail spaces can position and reposition various products, brands or services in consumers’ minds. It also provides shoppers and visitors with a spontaneous and engaging experience.

RACHEL WALTON Managing Partner Upscale Retail and POP Retail Rachel Walton has over 20 years of global experience across Europe, US and South Africa in specialty retail and commercialization. Her expertise in the MENA region also extends across over 12 years as a Senior Retail Real Estate professional. As Co-founder and Managing Partner of Upscale Retail since 2006 and Pop Retail since 2001, she has had the opportunity to work with all major shopping mall developers, her clients including Wafi and Emaar Malls. Rachel also specializes in supporting retail groups focusing on the UAE and the GCC in addition to international brands looking to enter the market.

acquire untapped retail potential, while longterm tenants reap the benefits of increased foot traffic. Rachel’s management demonstrates that the activation of dormant spaces in retail destinations brings new life to the area, and also adds more value to the retail environment. This is a tremendously positive component to any customer shopping destination.

Over the past 12 years, Rachel Walton, Founder of Upscale Retail and Managing Partner of POP Retail, has contributed to the innovation and development of retail markets across the MENA region. Having over 20 years of experience in real estate across Europe, US and South Africa in commercialisation. By managing activation projects through the two companies, Rachel believes that new brands, as well as existing ones, can test the market to

Our goal, ultimately, is to drive financial growth for landlords as well as retailers, together we can effectively achieve this by exploiting the ‘blind spots’ of retail space and presenting new ideas through temporary leasing opportunities”. Rachel Walton

Managing Partner of Upscale Retail and POP Retail



The Evolution of Food & Beverage in Shopping Destinations


ince our arrival in the Middle East in 2003, we have seen a drastic change in the way shopping destinations have increased their gross GLA portion of F&B, leisure and entertainment. This was inevitable with the increasing popularity of stand-alone restaurants outside the shopping environment; the mall industry had to follow in order to compete. For mall operators, the F&B scene is a vital component of their business model as it 1) brings footfall, 2) increases dwelling time of shoppers and 3) the rate per square foot is very attractive for a relatively small space compared to larger retailers. We have seen three game changers in malls in the last 5 to 10 years: • INCREASE IN GLA Ten years ago, F&B used to make up 5% to 8% of the GLA while today this has evolved to 12% to 18% for larger shopping destinations. The increase in GLA has mostly been taken up by casual dining and this should not surprise us as the warm climate in the Middle East dictates where people spend their time: mostly indoors. Malls have adapted to a more complete experience. • THE POPULARITY OF CASUAL AND FAST-CASUAL DINING Casual dining is finding its place firmly in both stand-alone units as well as in a separate dining destination. This allows for a different 1) target audience, 2) spend per head and 3) diversification of experience. Fast food is losing ground to more fast-casual and casual concepts as in this family and friend-oriented culture, lingering over a meal on an evening or weekend is preferable to grabbing something on the run. It is important to note it is not only international franchise brands that have flooded the casual market, but more local homegrown concepts have given them a run for their money. • ADAPTED BUSINESS MODELS Landlords have traditionally managed an aggressive leasing strategy that was based on high rents combined with a revenue-based incentive of 10% -15%. Leasing periods have been in terms of 3 to 5 years, while the tenants were fully responsible for the entire fit-out of their store. This model suits the larger franchise operators and owners with deeper pockets, but not the smaller entrepreneur with limited capital for investment. More recently, more mall operators are looking to include entrepreneurial concepts in their mix and are assisting them with a shorter lease term and partial fit-out with


regards to the back of house equipment. For the mall, the turnaround in changing a brand will decrease and the mall operator is able to innovate with new trends on regular basis. The tenant’s reward is a smaller investment upfront. We anticipate more smaller shopping and F&B destinations will pop up with a business model focused on homegrown casual dining, preferably from a local chef that brings a following with him/ her. If you are a mall operator, developer, franchise collector or entrepreneur who could benefit from our F&B expertise in this market and region, we would be happy to talk with you.

17, Iridium Building, Umm Suqeim Street, Dubai, UAE or

Who we are… Koen Theunis and Rene Dietsche are partners in KTConsulting & Concepts. The agency was formed in 2012 and specializes in F&B concept development, operations management, master planning and operational audits. Both have held senior roles with Emaar Hospitality Group, Jumeirah, MAF, TDIC and ADNH. We place a large emphasis on “guest experience” and “sustainability” in our projects. (L-R: Rene Dietsche, Koen Theunis)


Why Differentiation is Key to Retail Destination Strategy


man Avenues Mall, a part of the Lulu Group International is the largest mall in the Sultanate of Oman. This ultimate shopping destination has an impressive line-up of retailers unrivaled by any other shopping centre in Oman. Located in the heart of the city with a host of unparalleled amenities and services, Oman Avenues Mall will provide the most refreshing experience that you have ever had. Within its striking architecture, is an eclectic ensemble of retail offerings spread over a sprawling 105,000 sqm land parcel with a total leasable area of 85,000 sqm. Spread across 5 levels, the spacious mall with 2,500 car park facilities opened in 2015 features 200 stores, including high street fashion brands, department stores, entertainment, home furnishing, electronics, a large variety of restaurants / cafes and banquet facilities that help to attract the locals, expatriates and international tourist crowd. To overcome the commoditization problem, we have focussed on specific consumer segments and creating specific zones within the mall that allow consumer to find an area that caters to them. Accordingly, the mall is divided into 12 zones based on the category mix such as Fashion Exchange, Ladies Mile, Silk Route, Tech City, Home & Design, Food Nation, The Hub, The Arena, Sports Union, Sky Lounge, Kids Zone and Beauty Works.


Apart from the wide selection of shopping, entertainment and dining, Oman Avenues Mall hosts the best events and campaigns throughout the year, focusing on children and families. The Family Entertainment Centre “FUNTAZMO” is the largest in the Sultanate of Oman, spreading over 5,000 sqm forms an integral part of the society by providing a platform to children for social interaction and active play in a safe secure environment. Very soon we will be introducing the mall’s loyalty cards with its exclusive benefits for privileged members. These programs will provide means to establish a direct relationship with customers that goes beyond each visit to the mall. Good maintenance of the mall, effective and interesting co-branded marketing initiatives to attract the right customers and mall up-gradation, revamping and renovation activities are some of the aspects we keep constantly focusing on which becomes the key to run successful centres. Committed to setting the highest standards of excellence in every facet of a leisure destination, Oman Avenues Mall is undergoing an extensive transformation to deliver a superlative experience to its esteemed customers. Our future attraction would be the opening of the cinemas. Oman Avenues Mall and Cinepolis, a leading world-class cinema exhibitor, have already announced an agreement to develop a large multiplex with 15 screens to provide a premium moviegoing experience to the residents of Muscat. The agreement will bring to Oman Cinepolis' 15-screen halls and 1,474 seat multiplex which includes Luxury, Macro XE and Junior concepts. It also marks the exhibitor's first movie theatre in the Sultanate. The 4,396-square meter cinema is expected

DERICK MICHAEL General Manager Oman Avenues Mall, Muscat Multifaceted senior professional with a wealth of experience of over 22 years’ spearheading largescale operations involving setting up sate of the art shopping malls that includes Food & Beverage, retail outlets, multiplex cinemas and entertainment areas in addition to offices and other exclusive outlets having multifaceted facilities and amenities.

to open in the last quarter of 2018 and will offer guests a start-of-the-art cinema experience. Our future expansion plan will have in addition the planned mixed-development project which will be a destination of international standing with high-street shopping, restaurants and cafes, serviced offices, premium residences, a four-star hotel, creating a completely new urban experience for Muscat.

A great customer experience consists of small details and one of the most important is the smile. We believe in bringing a smile to every customer's face, a smiling customer is a happy customer and that smile denotes that we’ve done our job well.” Derick Michael

General Manager, Oman Avenues Mall, Muscat








Look Who’s Joined MECSC!!! New and Renewed Individual Members from April to June 2018 AUSTRALIA Zak Lewin

KUWAIT Saravana Sainath MBA, CMD

Sanjay Madhok Haitham Laithy Stephen Davies Abdulaziz El-Souri Lauren Hanson Aram Mkrtchyan Leyla Palmer Mesh'al Khaled Alshihah Anish Varghese Bassem Bitar Tania Khoury Zayoun

BAHRAIN Ayazan Haddad Kelvin Crutchlow Surajit Biswas CSM

Khaled Badawy Hajar Al Saei Kawthar Al Khaja Isa Al Wazzan Ahmed Al Ansari Mohammad Al Qaed BELGIUM Ruzha Karaatanasova CANADA Phillip Richardson

OMAN Gogi George Asif Hussein Ali Amur Al Ghaithi Nasser Al Najidi


Michael Mielnichuk CSM CPM, GSC

Judith Sinclair EGYPT Tamer Abdulaziz Ehab Maamoun HUNGARY Andrea Gellei INDIA Gurvineet Singh KENYA James Muriu

PAKISTAN Zahid Nayeem

Mazen Hamza Qandeel Faisal Alfaraj Abdulsalam Al Agil Rayan Al Hindi Magejana Masilela Zakir Hussain Saeed Al-Shomrani Hana Alamro Majdi Al Tamimi Abdulaziz Al Goshayan Nada Al Ateegi Howaya Al Sobaie Ghada Abdullah Selim Chidiac Khalid Ibrahim Youssef Al-luhidan Sultan Alnofaie SOUTH AFRICA Dave Bennie UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Shane Eldstrom

SAUDI ARABIA Ahmed Al Sarheed Awad Mahmoud Fahad Al Tamimi Hattan Samman El Hassan Gibril Amer Zin Alabden Hathal Al Utaibi Ziad Moghrabiah Ghassan Mtier Bader Alboqami Osama Alghaith Mostapha Mneimneh


Stephanie-Alexandra Chartier, CMD Peter Lazarus Ria Grenas Maria Rowena Barillos Raffi Ayad Faisal Hamdan Shadi Samra Maria Josefa Mariano Zahra Al Ali Rosanna Sulliva Omar Al Dhiyebi Shakir Ullah

Jessica Walker Saeda Al-Dakkak Duncan Howes Archesh Patel Shatha Al Rumaithi Sunil Bhardwaj Dorgham Shaaban Hiyas Bayani Maria Socorro Macapagal Basel Hussein Patrick Lawrence Ehsan Chizari Michael J Davidson Shawqi Ghanem Alison McElroy Dalia Finj Kevin Ryan Kenneth A Himmel Ronie Pinero Nancy Saade Daniel Parry Peter Anderson Zainab Talati Sherif Anis Aarne Mustakallio Feras Salah Gurpreet Singh Ashraf Ali Muslimveettil Abdul Kader John Hadden Radovan Podracky Mohamed Balbaa Charo Sayno Shaikha Salim Amit Kumar Sen Mouien Al Madhoun


Gergely Bodo Rami Abi Sleiman Loubna El-Darbi Majid Saleh Ali Shady El Mongy Taji Sajith Kumar Sheetal Phal Panagiotis Karakasidis Jad Mouhawej Abdallah Ahmed Abdallah Hassanein Haitham Sleiman CSM, CLS

Cecilia Dador Walid Mahmoud Tarek Tohamy Ahmad Al Otaibi Chelsea Copenhaver Amit Puri Jihad Dirani Bernadette Pigao Surender Kumar Adria Massaguer Bassel Zein Chelsea Lauren Walsh Laura Choueri Mark Atkinson Riyad Magdy Riyad El Metwaly Ghassan Assi Kim Buus Overbye Abhilash Puthan Veetil Patrick Fallmann UNITED KINGDOM Simon Thomson

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


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DaviD MeerMan Scott Global online marketing strategist Creator of "newsjacking" Author, 10 books - including 3 international bestsellers - with strategies to grow business online in 2018

Kate ancKetill One of the world’s top trend forecasters for retailers, retail and product brands. Her work in consumer expectation, retail innovations and technology provides confidence to senior business decision makers about where to innovate, adapt and invest resources.

For further information: l Email or call +971 4 359 7909


MECSC Regional Representative's Corner Shaping the Future of Jordan’s Retail Market Zain Abu Sitteh is a leasing professional in the retail industry with more than 5 years experience in a variety sections within the retail sector. She recently joined an upcoming urban outdoor retail project known as “Swefieh Village” as the Leasing Manager. Previously, she was the Senior Leasing and Marketing Executive at The Boulevard, a mixed-use urban development in Jordan. Zain holds a B.Sc. in Marketing and is certified in 2 levels of John T. Riordan School of Management, Marketing and Leasing, as well as in Retail Delivery. ZAIN ABU SITTEH, Leasing Manager Swefieh Village – Jordan


series of retail trends are converging all at once to upgrade the role of a shopping centre in the lives of consumers. Owing in part to the onslaught of the e-commerce boom, people are straying from conventional shopping and now calling for useful, engaging experiences. Recognizing this quickly changing environment and consumer demand, we bring you the future of shopping – Swefieh Village – in the first quarter of 2019. Located in the heart of the Kingdom’s capital, Amman, Swefieh Village is a vibrant entertaining and convenient retail hub with a unique design and architecture to enhance the customer experience. As an upcoming urban destination, Swefieh Village seeks to reinvent the Jordanian market and transform the customer journey into an exceptional authentic experience by introducing emerging artisan artists; entertainment, art, music and culture options; as well as a mix of local brands.

We are catering to a mix of retailers who will sell experiences and build upon customers’ needs. Locals are bringing new concepts to reality with an innovative twist, including lifestyle and fashion boutiques, concept shops, upscale cafés and restaurants overlooking outdoor green terraces, rooftop gardens, beauty anchor stores in addition to leisure and entertainment services. For the first time in Jordan, we will introduce a rooftop outdoor theater and an organic farmer’s market. Ultimately, Swefieh Village is a place where past, present and future generations can call home and enjoy a world-class lifestyle experience. Our vision is to support young locals with boundless talents, emerging designers, entrepreneurs and artists, who are ready to transform their ideas into reality so as to gain maximum global exposure, in order to create a desirable place to work, eat and play.

Digitalization in Retail: It’s Here and It’s Real Doris holds the role of Senior Division Manager in the Retail Property Development division at Chalhoub Group. The group represents major leading international brands. She is responsible for sourcing prospective locations for Chalhoub Group and making strategic recommendations for the most relevant retail market and / or project based on brand-driven expansion strategies in the Middle East. DORIS HAZZAN, Senior Division Manager Retail Property Development, Chalhoub Group


t is no secret that retailers all over the world are consolidating stores and re-thinking expansion strategies. However this is not because demand for the physical store is decreasing – multiple studies have reiterated the fact that the modern consumer still prefers to shop in-store – but because digitalization across the retail market is prevalent, and it will continue to be so in the long term. The expectations for today’s ‘omni-channel’ shopper is such that the entire process of acquiring any new product must be digitalized, from browsing, to selection, to price comparison, to purchase, and then to customer service and follow up. Retailers that are not adapting their strategies to compete with others who are embracing these changes will suffer in markets and industries that are increasingly saturated and require points of differentiation. It is imperative for retailers to find opportunities to utilize the data gathered from customers in a way that translates these information points into insight and actions for


the customer, and in turn, creates new services and ways of engagement to fulfil them. Regardless of the technological advances made by brands, superior customer service remains at the forefront of the consumer mind and employing knowledgeable, passionate staff will continue to be a key focus of investment. From both a mall and tenant view, it is critical to form a partnership that focuses on creating a consumer-centric offer, more personalized experience, and a truly seamless omnichannel shopping journey. One thing is for certain and that is digitalization in retail is real. It is no longer just about selling items, but about the experience of buying items. While this is no longer a ‘new’ challenge, it will be interesting to witness the evolution of retail as digital transformation continues to manifest strongly in the traditional retail model.

2018 Middle east and miDDle anD north aFriCa africa shopping Centre centre anD and retailer aWarDs awards

CALL fOR ENTRIES DEADlinE: 13 SEpTEmbER 2018 Best neW teChnologY in retail (NEW CATEGORY) Examples of performance and initiatives accomplished within the period commencing 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018 For entries in the traDitional marketing anD noi enhanCement Categories: The majority of the programmes must have been implemented between 1 August 2017 to 31 August 2018 For entries in the Design anD Development Categories: Retail projects and stores opened within the period commencing 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2018 For entries in the retail eXCellenCe, retail proFessional oF the Year, Best mena retail BranD Examples of performance and initiatives accomplished within the period commencing 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018

For Further inFormation: visit To register contact or call +971 (0)4 359 7909


One-on-One With ... Briefly introduce yourself, where are you from and your current profession now. I am Ahmad Mustafa Mujallid, currently works as a Manager in Kinan International Real Estate. Being with the company for more than 10 years, I have managed several areas of the company such as Commercial Corporate and Real Estates. As of the moment, I am managing the marketing, advertisement, branding and marketing income of 10 malls across KSA.

What’s your passion in life and what inspires you? Marketing the products I believe in has been a passion. Presenting them to customers and consumers in an appealing way engages them to patronize the products which escalate its brand to the highest level. Attaining the goal and objectives of the company through creative thinking is what inspires to do my job with a smile.

Name some of the biggest accomplishments in your life today and why? I conceptualized successful campaigns which won at the major competitions and awards across KSA, Middle East and North Africa. I worked on achieving gold and silver awards for fantastic campaigns and events in variable ways, I achieved best integrated marketing campaign which combined latest technology and promotional engagement with the customers, best creative themes for Ramadan and Eid, best international standard campaigns in Kinan malls, as well as best innovation design and representation for Kinan new malls & new expansions.


Ahmad Mustafa Jameel Mujallid JOB TITLE:

Manager, Malls Marketing & Marketing Income

If you could have a dinner with 3 leaders, who would that 3 leaders be and why?


First one would be Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, to get inspired on how to drive the company through worldwide challenges, intelligent marketing and representation to be the world most valuable and leader company for many years. The second person would be Philip Kotler, the genius and guru of marketing, to know the latest tricks and ways to market the products in alignment with the modern technology, and the challenges connected to it. The third person would be Amazon CEO, Jeffrey Preston Bezos. I want to know the innovation ways that led the company to break through the records to become second most valuable and profitable company in the world .

KINAN International Real Estate

Are there people under you? What’s harder - leading at home or leading at work? I have people led by me, for me it’s the same challenge and way of leadership, having the leadership style which makes them do their duties and missions with their full desire and passion to help me and both to achieve the same results, is becoming my method in life, which makes all parties happy and satisfied about their positions & missions.

As a member of MECSC, how does MECSC benefit you? Would you recommend MECSC to others? MECSC delivers great content and full engagement with the leadership of shopping centers managers and CEOs. It also provides the best up to date knowledge about the market and the future challenges coming in the market. Also, it gives us the opportunity to challenge our creative events and campaigns with other leading malls and retail sectors. Delivers insightful conferences and gala on yearly basis.




Technology, Sports, Cars, Travels & tourism EDUCATION:

Bachelor and Master Degree in Marketing

Energized for Tomorrow

Real Estate Runs On Yardi Yardi Voyager 7S Centralise your property data to minimise risk and deliver key performance metrics, while using mobile technology to revolutionise interaction with prospects and tenants. + 971-4-4322679

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