22 October 2016
The Annual Meeting of Retailers and Directors of Shopping Centers, was organized recently in Jeddah by the Middle East Council of Shopping Centers (MECSC) at Park Hyatt Hotel and attended by elite businessmen, top executives and prominent shopping experts in the Middle East.
The meeting aimed to enhance, develop and facilitate information exchange and promote communication with respect to the shopping center industry, in particular, and the Saudi retail sector, in general. It discussed new ways and frameworks to reinforce the retail sector future growth and meet all requirements to achieve this goal, given that the retail industry is one of the foundations of national economy.
“Jeddah is a global business hub where 80 percent of families living in it run their own businesses. It is a commercial and tourist center with an attractive location that sees different meetings and conferences all the time,” said Adnan Mandourah, secretary general of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).
There are, according to MECSC statistics, 120 shopping malls in Jeddah and they all play a pivotal role in promoting business and bolstering economy, he noted.
“A global annual meeting for shopping centers around the world will be held in Dubai this month. Jeddah will host it next year,” said Mohammad Alawi, chief executive officer at Red Sea Markets Company Limited, chairman of the committee of shopping centers at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a MECSC member.
The Saudi retail market, in particular, and the Gulf retail industry, in general, attract the most global investors. The volume of retail market in the Kingdom has exceeded SR170 billion, accounting for the largest percentage of the Gulf region’s volume of total retail sales, which amounts to SR270 billion.
Alawi spoke highly of retail pioneer companies, shopping center developers and retailers who supported the meeting, which was held for the second time in Jeddah and thanked them for their valuable contribution to the growth of the sector and domestic tourism.
“It is our duty to support and boost the retail sector and contribute to its development,” said Alawi.
On the occasion of the NextGEN Event, David MacAdam, chief executive officer, MECSC, said the annual meeting held in Jeddah is a very important one. It gives the pioneer developers of shopping centers an opportunity to get together and exchange opinions and insights. Moreover, it brings together elite retailers who own and develop shopping centers and acts at the same time as a platform for exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas that help develop and improve the retail industry performance, as the industry creates a large number of job opportunities and contributes to the development of regional and global economies.
He thanked the following sponsors: Arabian Centers, Asala Holding Company (Riyadh Mall Park and Tabuk Malla Park), Red Sea Mall, Kinan Company, SEDCO Company (Al-Mahmal Shopping Center), Wojooh Company, Al Hokair Sparky’s, and the following service providers: MallzApp, Faden Media and JLL Company, a pioneer real estate and retail consultant.
The MECSC is a non-profit organization representing the shopping center industry in 17 Arab countries, MacAdam said. It is affiliated to the International Council of Shopping Centers and has a network of around 700 experts around the world. It has been operating in the region for over 20 years.
This meeting takes place every year in a number of major metropolitan cities in the Arab countries. It has been held before in Kuwait, Cairo, Dubai, Oman, Abu Dhabi and Doha.
© The Saudi Gazette 2016