October 27 2021  |  Associations

MEADFA prepares for conference, makes Africa a priority

By Wendy Morley

Sherif Toulan, President of MEADFA, addresses the press at the TFWA World Exhibition and Conference

While the Middle East has been growing and recovering relatively well compared to other regions, at the MEADFA press conference President Sherif Toulan stated that brand owners, retailers and landlords have their work cut out for them.

“Deep down, we all know this will come again. We all know we will have challenges every three to four years,” he said.

MEADFA and the board are calling on all the industry to reimagine and reinvent the way it has been operating, in order to help offset effects that come from these challenges that will come.

Support and flexibility are key drivers, according to Toulan. “Operators, brand owners, landlords and governments need to work together, sharing concerns and unifying efforts.” He added that this will bring us through the current crisis and also those in the future. “Right now the industry needs agility and diversification to safeguard against future threats.”

Toulan updated the press on some things MEADFA has been doing, including holding regular webinar intelligence sessions with members in collaboration with regional and global associations, to create awareness and to anticipate coming challenges.

In his invitation to the MEADFA conference, Toulan said delegates will have chance to meet and discuss business, and that during the conference speakers will visit a number of topics such as "Travel in a new world," "Reimagining Tourism," "Futureproofing retail," "Defending our industry" and more.

Networking opportunities for delegates attending the event in person include coffee breaks, lunches, a Welcome Cocktail on Sunday and Gala Dinner on Monday. Those unable to attend in person will be able to access the conference via a paid livestream service on the TFWA 365 digital platform.

MEADFA has tended to focus more on the Middle East and less on Africa, and Toulan says this is changing. The association has joined ACI Africa, and there will be more African delegates attending the conference than ever before. Both Toulan and the Association are strategically making more inroads into the African continent, which is a region offering fantastic growth opportunities in the coming years.

Online registration to the MEADFA Conference, taking place at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai on 21-23 November, will remain until November 6, accessible here. According to TFWA Managing Director John Rimmer, the limited number of spaces will be sold out soon, as capacity for the event will be limited due to health and safety measures put in place by the local authorities.

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