The MEADFA Conference to be held in Dubai, at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, on 28-30 January 2018

Dubai, UAE, 2017-Nov-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Following the recent announcement of the rescheduling of its annual Conference, the Middle East & Africa Duty Free Association is pleased to confirm the new dates and venue for the event. The MEADFA Conference will now be held in Dubai, at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, on 28-30 January 2018. The event was initially scheduled to take place in Beirut in November.

Dubai Duty Free will be the Official Host of the Conference.

The MEADFA President Haitham al Majali said: “For all of us at MEADFA, the decision to move our annual Conference from Beirut was a very difficult one, and we remain hugely grateful to all our friends and partners in Lebanon and elsewhere for their support. We hope to take the event to Beirut in the near future.

“Having taken into account feedback from our delegates, we are confident that Dubai will be a popular choice to host the rescheduled conference. Dubai Duty Free has always been a most convivial host for this event, and we are grateful once again to them for their support.

“We are of course aware of the inconvenience that the postponement and change of venue has caused to all those involved in the Conference: not least our partners in Lebanon, but also our sponsors, speakers and delegates. We are grateful for their understanding and hope that the industry will get behind the event in its new location. It is more important than ever that we are able to gather together as one industry, and we look forward to welcoming our friends and partners to Dubai for what I am sure will be an insightful and enjoyable MEADFA Conference.”

Full details of the updated Conference programme will be published shortly, along with details on how to confirm your place at the rescheduled event.

For any enquiries regarding registration, please contact Myriem Chalabi at

Source: MEADFA

Majid Al Futtaim celebrates topping out milestone for the new Aloft City Centre Deira, Dubai

Majid Al Futtaim celebrates topping out milestone for the new Aloft City Centre Deira, Dubai

Dubai, UAE, 2017-Sep-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, today celebrated the topping out milestone for the new Aloft City Centre Deira, Dubai. Announced in collaboration with Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR); the hotel development broke ground in June 2016 with the installation of the initial guide beam and has now completed the installation of the final concrete pour for the project.

Located in the historic heart of Dubai, the Aloft City Centre Deira, Dubai, offers tourists and the local community access to an all-star line-up of hotels surrounding the iconic City Centre Deira. The hotel development marks the 13th addition to the Majid Al Futtaim – Hotels portfolio and sixth hotel development in Deira and; introducing a distinctive destination experience to the vibrant heart of the city, powered on an integrated mix of world class hospitality, leading retail, leisure and entertainment offerings.

Set to open in Q1 2018, the hotel spans an area of 28,800 square meters and aims to redefine the upscale hospitality offering in the GCC. Designed to meet the needs of diverse audiences, with a special emphasis on millennials, the cinema-themed hotel is intended to extend a novel experience through the integration of intelligent technologies, vibrant interiors and ambience, and memorable dining, leisure and entertainment options.

Aloft City Centre Deira, Dubai, features 304 spacious guest rooms, including 29 suites and offers direct connectivity to the shopping mall via a direct link on Level 2. Guestrooms on Level 5 of the hotel, comprising of four suite rooms, 25 standard rooms and associated public circulation areas, will immerse guests in a ‘world cinema’ and experiential journey.

“The Aloft City Centre Deira, Dubai, is a significant milestone in Majid Al Futtaim’s ambitions and investments to bring our integrated destination offering to life. We look forward to opening the doors of an all new urban lifestyle experience and technology driven vision to both engage and enthral our guests, with our partners Marriott International. It has been an exciting 15 months since we broke ground and it is thanks to the dedication and passion of our teams that we continue to achieve new milestones and establish new benchmarks for the hospitality sector in the region,” said Jalil Mekouar, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim – Hotels.

Laing O’Rourke Middle East (Holdings) Ltd., a leading international construction company was awarded the project contract and has successfully handled all site constraints and challenges around logistics and traffic management without any disruptions to the operations of the pioneering mall. The project was developed using pre-fabrication techniques with approximately 40% MEP units installed on-site. In addition to using off-site prefabrication techniques and systemized modulation, development teams have successfully completed 100% installation of over 300 plus bathroom pods. With topping out now complete, wall cladding work is well underway and will soon be followed by fitting out and finishing work to ensure expedite construction for launch in Q1 2018. Hotel project design and construction continues to meet LEED Gold requirements in line with Majid Al Futtaim’s sustainability standards.

The hotel will be home to an exclusive range of food and beverage options including the brand’s signature W XYZ Bar, a social public space where guests can mix and mingle over great music; a specialty dining restaurant Re:Fuel by Aloft and Re:Mix Lounge for light bites. In addition, it offers complimentary Bliss® amenities and pool, suites with sweeping views of the golf course and historic Dubai Creek. Designed for the savvy next-generation traveller, Aloft City Centre Deira, Dubai will feature state-of-the-art SPG Keyless technology – the industry-first keyless entry system that enables guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch as a room key.

Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International added, “Aloft City Centre Deira continues to make great progress and we are excited about introducing the Aloft brand in the heart of Deira early next year. While we continue to work closely with the Majid Al Futtaim team on the project, we are also focusing on bringing on the right talent to ensure the service levels and overall guest experience are in line with Aloft standards.”

The Aloft City Centre Deira, Dubai marks the fourth hotel partnership between Majid Al Futtaim and Marriott International, which already includes Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates, Le Meridien City Centre Bahrain, and Westin City Centre Bahrain.


Majid Al Futtaim Headquarters
Tower 1, 10th Floor,
City Centre Deira Complex
PO Box 91100
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone: +9714 2949999


Alshaya and chef Thomas Keller to launch Bouchon Bakeries in Dubai, Kuwait and Qatar

Alshaya and chef Thomas Keller to launch Bouchon Bakeries in Dubai, Kuwait and Qatar


Kuwait, 2017-May-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — International retail franchise operator M.H. Alshaya Co. has announced its franchise partnership with acclaimed chef Thomas Keller to launch the first three Bouchon Bakeries outside the United States in Dubai, Kuwait and Qatar this year.

The first Bouchon Bakery opened in July 2003 by Keller, the award-winning American chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author, as a place that would foster community and provide one-of-a-kind breads in Yountville, California. Since then, the bakery has quickly blossomed beyond the Napa Valley into an important landmark throughout the United States which offers a genuine style of classic French boulangeries and a wide selection of artisanal breads and classic desserts inspired by Chef Keller’s childhood memories and of his time in France.

Keller is the first and only American chef to have been awarded simultaneous three star Michelin ratings for two different restaurants. He currently holds seven Michelin stars: three at Per Se, three at The French Laundry, and one at Bouchon Bistro.

Bouchon Bakery also features an array of sweet delights including classic viennoiserie, such as croissants and pain au chocolat, breakfast items like muffins and streusel cakes as well as an ever-changing selection of tarts, cookies, sandwiches, quiche, soups and salads. Bouchon Bakery exclusively carries the rich and complex Thomas Keller Espresso blend, the product of a 15-year collaboration between Chef Keller and Equator Coffees &Teas.

“As we expand outside the United States, we are pleased to partner with Alshaya, which has a track record of successfully franchising international brands. Together we will make Bouchon Bakery an outstanding destination for our Middle East guests and visitors alike. I’m eagerly looking forward to our official debut,” Chef/Proprietor Keller said, commenting on the new partnership.

Mohammed Alshaya, Executive Chairman of M.H. Alshaya Co. said: “We are very pleased to partner with Bouchon Bakery, which has a well-deserved reputation for excellence, under the leadership of Thomas Keller. We look forward to introducing this innovative dining experience to customers in the Middle East and anticipate an exciting future together.”


+965 2224 2475
+965 2224 3626

Source: Alshaya


Majid Al Futtaim Healthcare opens its 5th City Centre Clinic located in the Bel Remaitha Sports Club in Dubai

Majid Al Futtaim Healthcare opens its 5th City Centre Clinic located in the Bel Remaitha Sports Club in Dubai


Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2017-Feb-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — After Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, announced its investment in the UAE, Majid Al Futtaim Healthcare has started to implement its plan to launch an integrated network of clinics across the UAE. The new clinic is the 5th branch of City Centre Clinic after community clinics launched in My City Centre Barsha and Ibn Battuta at the end of 2016.

City Centre Clinic – Nad Al Hammar is located in the Bel Remaitha Sports Club and plans to service the neighbouring area of Nad Al Hammar and an approximate population of 43,000. The clinic will cater to the immediate needs of the patients and, as part of the larger integrated healthcare network, will refer patients to the hub clinic in Deira when necessary. The community clinic will offer key specialities such as general practice, family medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, dentistry and others. The clinic will soon introduce endocrinology, orthopaedics and dermatology to the offering.

Majid Al Futtaim Healthcare’s ambitious plan comes as a response to the growing demand for healthcare services in the UAE. According to Alpen Capital’s new Healthcare Industry report; the GCC is witnessing “an era of demographic transition accompanied by rising prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases”. The same source stated that the GCC healthcare market is estimated to develop at a 12.1 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from $40.3 billion in 2015 to $71.3 billion in 2020.

Mohamed Al Hashemi, Business Development Director at Majid Al Futtaim – Healthcare said: “The healthcare industry in the GCC is going through a rapid period of growth and transformation with customers’ demand and expectations increasing exponentially. In response to these trends and in line with the UAE Government’s efforts to expand healthcare infrastructure, we are constantly investing to build a local, interconnected network of outpatient clinics.

“This is a revolutionary approach to healthcare customer services that will allow patients to benefit from City Centre Clinics’ premium offerings across different locations and various facilities, depending on their needs”.

Remaining true to Majid Al Futtaim’s ‘Great Moments’ philosophy, the new City Centre Clinics have partnered with Majid Al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment to enhance the experience for their littlest patients. Each new clinic will be fitted with a Little Explorer’s play area in the waiting room to develop the spatial awareness of our young visitors and stimulate their quest for knowledge. Additionally, City Centre Clinics will be offering complementary loaded Magic Planet cards that young patients can enjoy at Magic Planet, their favourite family entertainment centres.

Speaking on the partnership, Mohamed Al Hashemi, Business Development Director said: “Our aim is to provide customers across the region with great moments every day, not only with exceptional healthcare expertise but with an enhanced experience which guarantees the full Majid Al Futtaim offering. By strategically partnering with our sister business unit, we are merging healthcare and happiness to ensure a robust patient experience.”


Phone: +9714 2949999

Source: Majid Al Futtaim


LuLu Group International announces plan to develop malls in Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah and Dubai

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2016-Nov-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — LuLu Group International has announced its biggest ever investment in the UAE with a 2 billion Dh plan to develop three malls in Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah and Dubai in the next two years. The mall development and management division of LuLu Group, Line Investments & Property aims to build and operate the three malls within the next three years.

The Mall of Umm Al Quwain is to be a single level strip mall of 20,000 square meters with a seven screen cinema due at the end of 2017 while the project in Sharjah, the Avenues Mall will cover 43,000 sq meters with premium restaurants and entertainment avenues is scheduled to be launched in 2019 while the Avenues Mall at Dubai’s Silicon Oasis is expected to extend over 82,500 sq. meters and has been designed as a premium retail and leisure destination which will be launched at the end of 2018. The Silicon Oasis Mall will compete with the new Cityland Mall which was announced last week and is located 5 kms away. Marcello Larizza, the general manager at Line Investments and Property explained that this would be the biggest investment by LuLu Group in the UAE but it was simultaneously building three malls in India and another three in Saudi Arabia.


Tel: +971 2 4182000
Fax: +971 2 6421716


LuLu Group International announces plan to develop malls in Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah and Dubai
LuLu Group International announces plan to develop malls in Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah and Dubai


Source: LuLu Group International

Dubai: 7‑Eleven franchisee opens the first 7‑Eleven store in United Arab Emirates

Seven Emirates Celebrates Its First Store in Dubai

DUBAI, 2015-10-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Residents, workers and visitors in Dubai can now enjoy convenience, 7‑Eleven style. Seven Emirates Investment LLC, a master franchisee of 7‑Eleven, Inc., this week celebrated the opening of its first 7‑Eleven store in the United Arab Emirates.

The store opened for business Oct. 6, and the company held an event today with a ribbon-cutting, VIP attendance and celebratory dinner for suppliers, contractors and other guests. The location of 7‑Eleven’s first store in the Middle East is Bay Square, Building #4, near downtown Dubai and the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa Tower.

The new 2,000-square-foot store carries some 2,500 products that are both typical of 7‑Eleven stores and special to that part of the world.

The currently company-operated store employs 18, who reflect the diversity of the United Arab Emirates.

“We worked closely with Seven Emirates and our parent company Seven-Eleven Japan to ensure we are providing the neighborhood with the products they expect from 7‑Eleven as well as fresh foods typically consumed there,” said Chris Tanco, 7‑Eleven executive vice president and head of International. “Guests to this store can find 7‑Eleven favorites like Slurpee® and Big Gulp® beverages, fresh foods and high-quality, value-priced 7-Select™ snacks.”

The prepared fresh-daily foods include Arabian, Indian and Asian lunch-box meals, like chicken biryani and rice balls. Also for meal or snack times, the store carries samosas, curries and falafel wraps, hummus, Greek and tabouleh salads. Orange date muffins and Umm Ali are among the pastry and dessert selections. And 7‑Eleven’s iconic Slurpee drinks are already a hit with the locals.

The store boasts a number of special features and customer conveniences. For example, an indoor counter faces outdoors where customers can eat and charge their mobile devices; a mini-office area with ATM, bill payment and copier machines, and delivery bicycles outside for on-demand service.

The store is operated now by Seven Emirates and expected to be franchised in the future after the infrastructure that supports 7‑Eleven stores is fully built. This includes partnerships with third parties that would make and deliver fresh foods daily and 7‑Eleven’s proprietary retail information system.

Seven Emirates plans to open a second 7‑Eleven store in December in the high-profile Dubai Marina neighborhood.

About 7‑Eleven, Inc.
7‑Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7‑Eleven operates, franchises or licenses some 10,600 7‑Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, there are more than 57,200 7‑Eleven stores in 16 countries. 7‑Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include:  #1 on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2014 Top Global Franchise list; #2 on Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies for 2013; #10 spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list for 2015, and #3 in Forbes magazine’s Top 20 Franchises to Start. 7‑Eleven is No. 3 on Fast Company magazine’s 2013 list of the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail.” 7‑Eleven places among Top Veteran-Friendly Companies for 2014 by U.S. Veterans Magazine and is among GI Jobs magazine’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers for 2014. Hispanic Magazine named 7‑Eleven among its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7‑Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S. and expanding through organic growth, acquisitions and its Business Conversion Program. Find out more online at www.7‑


Margaret Chabris