FRD Forum to position Qatar as shopping destination

Doha: Future Retail Destinations: Qatar Forum 2022 (FRD) is set to position the country as an inspirational and unique shopping and entertainment destination in the region.

“For its premier debut, the time is just right to collaborate and share knowledge, as we leverage the global awareness and focus on Qatar through FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” it said on its website. It carries the theme “Rethink, Reset, Reimagine,” for this year.

The forum will promote best practices in place-making and discuss the future of retail experiences and development in the region, along with leading international and local VIP speakers, leaders and pioneers, business owners, destination developers and investors. The event will take place on  June 9 and 10 at Sheraton Grand Doha. 

It added: “It is an annual event to address the retail habits of the nation, raising awareness of the retail developments in the country, highlighting success and fostering growth of the retail industry to fulfil the Qatar National Vision 2030.” 

Among its partners are Qatar Chamber, Qatar Tourism, Qatar Airways, MECS+R, Golden Business Magazine, MAPIC, Sheraton Grand Doha, and IACQatar.

Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani said in a statement: “We look forward to sharing our experiences as we continue to pursue the transformation of our local shopping malls into unique destinations and being inspired by the global leaders in the retail industry on how to collectively rethink strategies, to reset the market, and reimagine the retail experiences in the country and the wider region.”

FRD will feature presentations, collaborative workshops, and roundtable discussions. The two-day event will bring together leading voices from the retail industry to amplify the role of shopping malls as retail and entertainment destinations, with a focus on experience design and human connections.

Alessandro Gaffuri will be delivering the welcome address “Unveiling future retail destinations,” followed by another opening address “The Qatari vision of the future: A Wellspring for Growth.” Keynote address will be given by Gerard Groener, “Unlocking growth with future-proofed retail destinations”. 

It will be followed by Christian Recalcati talk “Beyond the Matchday: How retail, F&B, hospitality, leisure, services play a key role for sports stadiums to generate traffic and income all year round.” While Antonia Giacinti will discuss the Evolution of fashion retail, Designing authentic experiences and spaces will be headlined by Ibrahim Ibrahim and How to build a sustainable community market, and Fireside Chat: Reshaping Retail Experiences by Nada Ghaoui Abou Saab.

Middle East Roundtable: Rethinking destinations malls must catalyse community building and the first-of-its-kind interactive workshops: Discovering your secret sauce to create favourite meeting places: Your chance to imagine the ‘Shopping Mall of the future’ will take place. Four workshops will be held: Customer needs and desires by Ellen Zwienink, Co-Founder of Access to Quality Network; Understand the Customer World by Roel Van Den Berg, Owner of Access to Quality BV; Dare to be different by Dennis M A  Luijer, MSC, Visual Strategist/Director of Visually yours – Design Agency; and Space Optimisation by Gerard Groener, Senior Advisor and former Managing Director – Ingka Centres, IKEA’s Malls Division, and former CEO – CORIO.

FRD will be hosted by CELS Group, in collaboration with Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry bringing together top brand innovators from the retail sector. Its mission is to retain and innovate customer engagement, and to enhance and enrich the physical retail environment in the era of hybrid.