The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres Newsletter for August 2018


Welcome to our September 2018 Newsletter

As we look into the last quarter of 2018 we see the busiest time of the year for the MECSC Team and our members. As the weather outside cools down, things for our members are really heating up. The team at the MECSC has done an amazing job of organizing events, confirming and briefing speakers, updating and finalizing the RECON Conference agenda, sending invoices and collecting from our members for sponsorship and membership and so many more activities. Thank you for your ongoing support!

RECON MENA 2018 Sponsors and Partners. The team at the MECSC truly appreciates the support of our members and sponsors ensuring the overall success of the RECON Conference. A heartfelt THANK YOU to all!! Visit for more details.


Conference Agenda and Expert Speakers. MECSC is fortunate to be welcoming expert speakers and contributors to the Shopping Centres and Retail Industry throughout the conference.

Our keynote speakers include David Meerman Scott, Lead Marketing Speaker at Tony Robinson Business Mastery; Kate Ancketill, one of the world’s top trend forecasters in the industry; Cornell Thomas, a motivational speakers, author, entrepreneur, former basketball player, coach, and trainer; Dr. Tommy Weir, an expert in emerging market leadership with 20 years of experience in leadership research and coaching CEOs with data science, and many, many more.

Download the Conference Agenda here. Visit for more details.


MECSC is Celebrating its 25 years in the business with the Launching of Souks to Malls - Retail Entertainment in the Gulf. Receive your complimentary copy of the New Souks to Malls when you attend the RECON 2018 - Kick off Cocktail Party Reception on October 28, 2018, 6:00 PM at the Sunken Garden in Ritz Carlton Hotel, DIFC, Dubai.


Presenting this year’s RECON MENA Awards Jury. One Hundred Forty Two (142) accepted submissions vying for awards. Finalists will be announced on 11th October 2018. Gold and Silver winners will be presented during the Gala Awards Dinner Awards on Tuesday, October 30th at 7PM at the Rtiz Carlton Hotel, DIFC, Dubai.

A huge thank you to the 2018 MENA Awards Jury who are now busy reviewing and judging all the submitted entries. Visit our website at for more details.


Power up with the MECSC Mobile Event App. With the MECSC's event mobile app, you will get all the latest information about RECON at the palm of your hands – Attendees List, Sponsors Line up, Speaker Profiles, Latest Schedule, Booth Locations, Awards Finalists and Deal Making information are now available.

    Our app is available to all registered attendees of RECON MENA 2018. Please contact Ian at or send whatsapp for details and more info on how you can use the app to enhance your event experience.

    Mobile App_Teaser 1

    Thank You to the MECSC Board of Directors for the term 2016-2018! Our grateful thanks to the MECSC Board Members who are finishing up their terms at the end of October 2018: Avijit YadavMarcello LarizzaMohammad AlawiMarwan EskandaraniMaimunah ShebaniAndrew WilliamsonLuca Cappuccitti and Khalid Al Jasser

    The past 2 years have been wonderful for all the MECSC members through the contribution of these individuals. To each of you with whom we have had the privilege to serve, thank you; thank you for your service, your loyalty, your leadership and your guidance.

    Board-Members_Edited_Final (1)

    Call for Nominations: MECSC Board of Directors for the term 2018-2020. The Annual General Meeting will take place on October 29, 2018 at 3:00 PM at the Samaya Ballroom of Ritz Carlton Hotel, DIFC, Dubai in which we will have the announcement of the newly elected MECSC Board of Directors. 

    For full details about the nomination and election please click here.


    Spring Board Networking Event – Kuwait – A Huge Success!!! Held last September 25, at the 360 Mall Main Atrium Kuwait. Click here to view some of the Event Photos.

    Kuwait Spring Board2

    Share News or articles on MECSC monthly newsletter! If you wish to include news or articles about your organization on our Monthly Newsletter, please email Ian at We aim to circulate the Newsletter on the last week of each month. Please submit your news or articles on or before the 23rd of every month.

    The MECSC is currently active in Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedInJoin the conversation using the hashtag #RECONMENA18. Over the coming weeks, we will be utilizing these social media in updating everyone regarding RECON. If you haven’t followed us on the social media platforms, please jump in and check the latest happenings in the industry. We truly appreciate the time you as members invest in following our organization and the new members within the social media programs.

    The role of the MECSC is to facilitate your business and to raise your personal profile in the retail industry. Our team is ready to assist your companies’ business growth and personal careers to flourish.  Successful business is all about successful relationships and we want to build these relationships with you, all you need to do is ask and participate.
    ~David Macadam
    Chief Executive Officer


    Last chance_sponsor

    Last Chance to be part of the RECON MENA Sponsors!!

    Promote your retail developments, retail concepts, products or services to a quality audience of decision makers at RECON MENA 2018.

    Sponsors will be able to showcase their brands/products/services in our exhibition area, website, digital displays and other branding opportunities for the event.

    The best and the brightest minds from the retail industry around the world are in Dubai for our RECON Event. Your ability to put your name and brand forward to those individuals making the corporate business decisions is what you can expect from being a sponsor.

    For further inquiries please contact,
    LEA VENEZUELA, Director
    T: +971 04 359 7909  / D: +971 04 359 2186
    M: +971 56 708 9235

    Don't miss out with your registration!

    All Inclusive Pass to all events from Day 1 to 3

    Member Rate: USD 1,250 (AED 4,600) plus VAT

    *Registration for individual events are also available (Conference or Gala), please contact Ian at

    Team Discount

    We offer a discount of AED 367 (USD 100) per delegate off the applicable fee when three or more delegates register at the same time from the same organization.

    For bulk registrations and inquiries contact,

    IAN BALDONANZA, Registration and Digital Content Executive

    T: +971 04 359 7909 ext. 16
    M: +971 52 633 2930



    Cornell Thomas' first book called The Power Of Positivity "Controlling where the ball bounces" and his latest book called Extraordinary "The Distance Between Good and Great" will be available at the RECON MENA 2018.
    You may purchase in advance and get your copy at the event.
    Click Here to Buy


    JLL_Retail Banner 5 aug 2018_

    1200x627 DMS 2018 v2


    Deal Making Logos_2

    Last year during the RECON MENA 2017, The MECSC arranged exactly 353 meetings and appointments for the Deal Making Sessions. 20 Companies as dealers participated and they have engaged maximum of 20 meetings each, from a range of different Retailers, Mall Developers & Owners, and Service Providers.

    This year, at the RECON MENA 2018, our team estimates to arrange more than 550 meetings and appointments for our dealers.

    The MECSC Deal Making Sessions is the forefront on making history and growth in the Retail and Shopping Centre Industry. The MECSC is honored to be together with the Dealers in achieving the most closed deals in two days.

    For more details please contact,

    T: +971 04 359 7909  / D: +971 04 359 2046
    M: +971 54 3208 359


    Membership at a Glance!

    Featured Member - Zainab Talati

    Zainab Talati3

    Our featured member for the month is Zainab Talati, Marketing Director for Gulf Related, who is responsible for The Galleria on Al Maryah Island and Al Maryah Central. Her role is to strategize and implement effective marketing plans for both world-class projects. 

    According to Zainab, the mall today is no longer just a shopping destination, it is a space where the community gathers to be entertained, to dine and to create memories.

    Zainab is very passionate about her work and admires influential global leaders such as Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi. She is inspired on a daily basis by her three amazing children.

     Know more about Zainab in this link.



    Welcome our new Corporate Members

    Lacasa joined us  as a Platinum Corporate Member and we have Al Hokair, Consec Security Consultancy LLC and Optifashion as new Bronze Corporate Members. Expect to see more companies join MECSC as corporate members over the next few months.

    We are extremely happy seeing an elevated level of involvement from our member by utilizing our newsletters and social media accounts in promoting their products and services.

    Corporate members 2

    Join as Corporate Members now and enjoy these awesome benefits.


    Become a Member now     View who recently joined MECSC

    Questions regarding membership?
    JC GAYOMA, Membership Manager

    T: +971 04 359 7909  / D: +971 04 359 0686
    M: +971 56

    The Retail People Magazine - 3rd Quarter Issue


    RETAIL DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION  - How Immersive Experiences are Shaping the Future of the Retail Industry?

    Shopping has always been a universal activity carried out to meet customer needs and promote social interaction. As technology keeps on changing and advancing the way that people interact and buy, the retail industry now relies on consumer interaction to build and 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. Juman Sleiman from Limelight Creative Services share a very informative ideas on how immersive experiences can shape the future of the retail industry.


    Click here to read the full content

    For the past 25 years, we have made it a priority within the MECSC to ensure that we have many channels of communication open to our members and to the retail industry at large. The Retail People Magazine is a very successful communication vehicle which is delivered quarterly since October 2014.

    In this issue, we are happy to share the news and updates of one of the best shopping malls in Bahrain. MODA Mall announced the leasing of 600 sqm of retail space with seven new outlets of lifestyle experienced added to its portfolio of mall offerings over the past year.

    Moda Mall2

    For any advertising opportunities, promotion or press releases you need such as cover stories, editorial or advertorial, inserts and bound-in inserts, customized bookmark, featured mall, featured retail brand or service providers, please contact:

    MARIZ MATOCDO, Marketing Officer
    T: +971 04 359 7909  / D: +971 04 359 1852
    M: +971 55 551 7605

    Spring Board Networking Events

    The Spring Board Networking Event brings Retail Industry professionals together in an environment to facilitate business development, knowledge-sharing and networking. 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.

    Spring Board Networking Event - Oman

    December 3, 2018 l Venue to be confirmed

    Click here to register

    Spring Board Networking Event - Abu Dhabi, UAE

    December 5, 2018 l Venue to be confirmed

    Click here to register

    MECSC Custom Education

    Our team at MECSC are able to custom create education programs for you!

    A large component of what our team does at the MECSC is to create unique opportunities for business development and career enhancement for our members and the retail industry at large. 

    Custom Education - Education continues to be a primary focus within the MECSC.  Our leadership role in the retail industry makes the MECSC the first choice in curriculum development and delivery. Our team appreciates your support in sourcing new educational opportunities.  When your organization or affiliated companies consider retail industry training programs, please contact us as we would be pleased to assist you with your training needs.

    For any inquiry please contact:

    KHAYE COMANDA, Associate Director
    T: +971 04 359 7909  / D: +971 04 359 2107
    M: +971 56 682 1634


    Industry Insights


    Join David Macadam as he speaks about the Importance of Employee Engagement in the Retail Sector at the Global Loyalty and Rewards Conference on the 3rd of October at the Rixos Premium, Dubai

    Business Breakfast

    David Macadam, CEO of MECSC discusses whether Abu Dhabi is getting too much mall space

    Business Breakfast

    Hard Lessons (Thanks, Amazon)
    Breathe New Life Into Retail Stores

    Arab World

    The Robot Restaurant Revolution: 'Jetsons-Like' Dream or Automation Nightmare?

    Hema Robot

    Burger Robot

    Robots Sheraton

    Members' Press Releases

    Turkey's only superior taste award-winning brand Bursa iskender Kebap Evi will open for service in Deerfields Mall in Abu Dhabi very soon

    L emaar

    Bursa Kebap Evi is the leading Brand chain in Turkey, continues to grow rapidly in Europe and the Middle East. Bursa Kebap Evi has 93 branches located in Germany at Saarbrucken and Duisburg and serves 36 cities in Turkey, continues to provide unique flavor of Bursa to its guests.
    Read More…

    Newlook Salon - Officially Opens in Al Quoz

    Newlook Ladies Salon

    Newlook Salon, the new beauty destination in Dubai, has officilaly opened its doors to the public. Located in the convenient and trendy location in aswaaq malls, Al Qouz 2, Dubai.
    Read more…

    Giordano Continues Expansion in the Region - 6 more Stores Open and On-Line Platform Relaunched in the Region


    Giordano, the global apparel brand known for its everyday wardrobe essentials, has opened 6 new stores in the region. The newly opened stores are at the Ajman City Center and Ibn Battuta Mall in the UAE, Riyadh Park, Villaggio Mall and Lulu Briman in Saudi Arabia and Al Kout Mall in Kuwait.
    Read more…

    Sales is to open in October at Centro Mall, Palestine

    Centro mall Sales

    City Grand malls, Centro Mall's Developer Company has officially announced that Centro Mall will be launching sales in October.
    Read more…

    Dar Al Arkan Signs Agreement with Majid Al Futtaim to Open Vox Cinemas Multiplex in Al Qasr Mall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


    Dar Al Arkan, the largest listed real estate developer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, announced today that it has signed an agreement with the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, Majid Al Futtaim, to open VOX Cinemas multiplex in Saudi Arabia.
    Read more…

    Semnox Solutions Launches All New Redemption Kiosk


    The all new redemption kiosk from Semnox Solutions is the first of its kind in the industry and offers a fast and hassle-free gift redemption process. Customers just need to scan their cards or ticket receipts to see the gifts available based on their available ticket limits.
    Read more…

    Semnox Successfully Completes Roll Out at SMAAASH Locations


    Semnox Solutions has successfully completed its roll out at leading FEC chain SMAAASH Entertainment Pvt. Ltd by covering over then location in the recent phase. With more than 30 store across country and abroad, SMAAASH hopes to cash in on its popularity and has significant expansion plans on the anvil.
    Read more…

    Red Sea Mall Launched its flagship productive families initiative for the third consecutive year


    Under the supervision of the Ministry of Labor in the Makkah region, Red Sea Mall handed over the keys to the kiosks, that were set up as outlets inside the mall, to the productive families. 
    Read more…

    5 Ways Shopping Malls benefit from using Visitors Analytics Technology l V-Count


    In response to the newly emerging retail scene, the traditional shopping mall has seen a decline in revenue generation. The digital age is upon us, and consumers are repeatedly opting to fulfill their shopping needs through online store as opposed to an in-person retail experience
    Read more…

    Shopping Centre & Retail News

    Al Baraka launches Europe's FIRST INTEREST FREE, DIGITAL ONLY banking service "insha" in Germany


    Manama - Albaraka Turk introduced the “insha” project to provide digital banking services in Europe, at an exclusive meeting in Germany amidst numerous guests, including Adnan Ahmed Yousif, Chairman of the Board of Albaraka Turk and President & Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group, Bahrain.
    Sept 30 l Zawya

    Bricks beat clicks: Most GCC residents still prefer shops over online retail


    Narratiive, the firm previously known as Effective Measure, said it had surveyed 3,276 residents of the six GCC countries between August 2017 and February 2018, and only 40 percent said they had shopped online.
    Sept 30 l Zawya

    Saudi Arabia's economic transformation benefiting business, says study


    The Korn Ferry 2018 Salary and Benefits Study claims that Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation strategy has led to impressive business results which are translating into measurable salary and bonus increases for employees at all levels, with high performers reaping the greatest benefit — landing bonuses of up to 120 percent more than the average.
    Sept 29 l Zawya

    Investment opportunities at Miral's Yas Bay project


    Miral announced the launch of ready-for-development land plots for sale at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The plots - 35 residential buildings plots, two retail plots and two school plots - are an integral part of Yas Bay, a 14 million sqft, mixed-used project by Miral, which is set to transform the southern end of Yas Island.
    Sept 29 l Khaleej Times

    Saudi Arabia beauty market now worth Dh20 billion


    If ever we needed proof of how important cosmetics are to the women of this region, the beauty industry in Saudi Arabia has been valued at a staggering US$5.7 billion (Dh20.9bn) this year.
    Sept 27 l The National

    Emaar Entertainment launches the most luxurious cinema experience in the world in Dubai


    Reel Cinemas has brought never-before-seen experiences to the world by elevating its cinemas to the next level of operational excellence, technology innovation, luxurious amenities and the highest standards of service.
    Sept 27 l Zawya

    Nakheel dives into winter with UAE's first floating pool at Palm Jumeirah

    sponsor1A new destination for poolside relaxation by day and a stunning venue for private events by night, the pool is a unique extension of Breeze Beach Grill at Club Vista Mare, one of Nakheel’s growing collection of clubs and restaurants across the emirate.
    Sept 27 l Zawya

    Amazon turns to toys, home goods in latest brick-and-mortar trial

    sponsor1 Inc on Wednesday said it is opening a general store in New York City that will sell toys, household goods and a range of other products highly rated on its website, marking its latest push into brick-and-mortar retail.
    Sept 26 l Zawya

    A'L BAHAR by Miral, to widen its leisure, entertainment and wellness offerings on Abu Dhabi's Corniche


    Miral, Abu Dhabi’s creator of destinations announced today that A’L BAHAR, an 80,000 sqm beachfront destination on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche, now complete, continues to bring leisure, entertainment, fun and wellness to the community of Abu Dhabi.
    Sept 26 l Zawya

    Nakheel awards AED35 million construction contract for sports, health and leisure hub at Jumeirah Park


    Dubai: Master developer Nakheel has awarded a contract worth AED35 million for the construction of a sports, health and leisure hub at Dubai’s Jumeirah Park community. 
    Sept 25 l Zawya

    Michael Kors buys Versace for $2.2 Billion


    Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. will buy Italian fashion label Gianni Versace SpA for 1.83 billion euros (Dh7.92 billion), bringing the American luxury company closer to its goal of becoming an international house of fashion brands.
    Sept 25 l The National

    O Boticario enters UAE beauty market, opens first international store in Dubai's City Centre Mirdif


    Dubai: O Boticário, the largest fragrance player in Brazil, has opened its first international Amphora concept store at City Centre Mirdif, Dubai.
    Sept 24 l Zawya

    The Waterfront Market & Lulu Group Sign Agreement To Open New Lulu Hypermarket in Dubai


    The Waterfront Market and Lulu Group have signed an agreement to open an anchor outlet in January 2019. 
    Sept 24 l Zawya

    Dunhill London opens new flagship store in Dubai


    Dunhill London, the storied British house, has opened a new chapter with the launch of its Middle Eastern flagship store in Dubai Mall.
    Sept 24 l Zawya

    Construction under way at Nakheel's AED713 million residential twin towers at Dragon City


    Dubai - Master developer Nakheel today signed a construction contract for Dragon Towers, its new, twin-building residential complex with a total development value of AED713 million, to be built at Dubai’s rapidly-expanding Dragon City mixed-use community.
    Sept 23 l Zawya

    Consul-General of Japan in Dubai for debut retail endeavour by Gunze


    His Excellency Dr. Akima Umezawa, Consul-General of Japan in Dubai, inaugurated the debut retail endeavour by Gunze, an apparel giant headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, in partnership with the iconic UAE enterprise, ITL Cosmos Group, at the Etihad Mall, Dubai, on September 19.
    Sept 23 l Zawya

    Saudi Arabia's Qiddiya project to create a self-sustaining ecosystem


    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman officially launched Qiddiya, the entertainment, sports and cultural destination that will be the first of its kind in the Kingdom. Spanning an area of 334 square kilometers, the new destination is just 40 kilometers west of the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
    Sept 23 l Zawya

    Makkah shopping mall supply to rise over 200% by 2030


    The number of malls and retail outlets in Makkah is expected to increase by over 200 percent in 2030, according to a new report from real estate advisory firm Colliers International. 
    Sept 19 l Arabian Business

    Hard Rock Cafe to open at DXB with great music, delicious food and iconic apparel


    Dubai, UAE - Dubai Airports has finalised an agreement with Hard Rock International and their regional franchise partners that will see the former launch its first Hard Rock Cafe, opening early November in DXB’s Concourse B.
    Sept 18 l Zawya

    Long-awaited mall Al Maryah Central announces 2019 opening date


    The opening of Abu Dhabi's long-awaited Al Maryah Central, which had been scheduled to open last month, has now been set for August 2019.
    Sept 18 l The National

    Middle East's first Nutella Cafe opens in Dubai


    Global confectionary company Ferrero has opened the Middle East’s first Nutella Café at Dubai International Airport (DXB).
    Sept 16 l Arabian Business

    UAE's Aldar Properties creates new subsidiary with $5.4bln assets


    ABU DHABI  - Abu Dhabi's largest developer Aldar Properties is spinning off its recurring-revenue assets worth 20 billion dirhams ($5.4 billion) into a new, fully-owned subsidiary as it seeks to achieve operational efficiencies and raise cheaper capital.
    Sept 12 l Zawya

    Dubai's Coffee Planet inks deal to expand into Oman


    Coffee Planet has signed a franchise agreement with Royal Management that will see 11 outlets of the brand open across Oman. 
    Sept 12 l Arabian Business

    Union Coop inks deal for new Dubai $25.7m retail project


    Retailer Union Coop has signed an investment contract with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), to establish a commercial centre worth AED94.4 million ($25.7 million).
    Sept 9 l Arabian Business

    Home Centre opens its biggest flagship store in Dhahran Mall


    HOME Centre, the largest home retailer in the Middle East, has launched its biggest new-format store in KSA in Dhahran Mall, Dammam The 5,650 retail space opened its doors this week, bringing the first-of-its-kind omnichannel experience to the home brand’s loyal patrons in the area.
    Sept 4 l Saudi Gazette

    Abu Dhabi's $1.2bn Reem Mall starts to take shape


    Construction on Abu Dhabi’s upcoming $1.2 billion project, Reem Mall, is well underway and in line with planned building and finance targets, according to developer Al Farwaniya Property Developments.
    Sept 2 l Arabian Business

    Disclaimer : The views expressed in this document are those of the contributor(s) and no liability can be accepted for any omissions, errors of fact or opinion.

    Our mailing address is:

    The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres
    Unit 507, Arenco Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road, Media City, PO Box 43972, Dubai, UAE
    +971 4 359 7909 E:

    Copyright 2018 MECSC, All rights reserved.

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