Five of the Best Events to Attend in the Middle East

By Sheree Hanna

Keeping abreast of latest industry trends, new products, new investment opportunities and new ways of thinking has never been easier with the plethora of industry sector exhibitions and conferences held in the Middle East.

There are hundreds of events to choose from across the region covering many sectors including those that are the biggest economy boosters for the area such as oil and gas, banking and finance, and the ever-growing retail market.

Here are our five of the best:

1 Middle East Banking Innovation Summit 2014

More than 400 C-level executives are expected to attend this year’s event which has fast become the premier banking technology conference in the GCC.

Among them will be IT experts, retail banking specialists and senior finance professionals all eager to learn more of the opportunities that this rapidly growing sector in the Middle East is providing.

With the United Arab Emirates (UAE) fast becoming a key international trading and transaction hub and with the local retail and hospitality sectors booming it is expected that the global Islamic finance industry is set for double-digit growth this year.

This not-to-be missed event will cover crucial issues such as how banks and financial institutions meet the challenges of compliance and risk management. Many of them will be investing in flexible technology solutions that move away from the outdated legacy systems.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Dr Marwan Barakat, Group Chief Economist of Bank Audi and Zubair Ahmed, Vice President, Head of IT & Business Innovation, Emirates Islamic Bank.

WHERE: Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai

WHEN: September 29 & 30


CONTACT: +9714.4542135

2 Abu Dhabi Conference

Aimed at both government and private sector leaders the conference highlights the many opportunities that exist for investment in Abu Dhabi’s diverse economy.

Representatives from a wide range of sectors will attend including power, water, infrastructure and housing, real estate, tourism, healthcare, education, transport, manufacturing and banking and finance.

This annual event provides a real chance for attendees to find out how they can profit from some of the world’s most significant projects and promises access to the most powerful players in the region.

WHERE: Venue to be confirmed

WHEN: December 8 & 9 2014.


CONTACT: +971 (0) 4 81 80313

3 Emerging Markets Retail Summit

The key objective of the summit is to provide a platform for the key influencers within the sector to discuss a wide range of topics and develop a broader understanding of the many emerging opportunities within the retail market.

The conference will focus on expansion strategies and retailing reality in some of the hottest markets of Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Global retailers will divulge their strategies and innovative approaches to expand successfully in the emerging economies of GCC and beyond.

The spotlight will also be fixed on areas such as supermarkets and luxury retailing in this prime event set to attract senior executives and heads of international expansion.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Nisreen Shocair, President Virgin Megastore Middle East and Dr Jannie Chan Tay, Executive Vice-Chairman The Hour Glass and President of the Singapore Retailers Association.

WHERE: Burj Al Arab, Jumeira, Dubai

WHEN: November 10 & 11, 2014


CONTACT: Kat Eletskih

4 Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference 2015

Organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, it will be the 19th annual event and will showcase some of the oil and gas industry’s largest corporations.

It will enable attendees to explore new technologies, business opportunities and partnerships and include an exhibition covering 14,800sqm of floorspace.

The most established event of its kind featuring products and services from the sector and all areas of the upstream business, this three-day event regularly attracts some 7,000 visitors.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: More than 300 quality technical presentations and panel sessions led by vice presidents and CEOs from within the sector.

WHERE: Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre

WHEN: March 8-11, 2015


CONTACT: +971 4 457 5800

5 Riyadh Travel Fair

Leading travel and tourism companies from the Gulf Region will converge on Riyadh for the fourth annual fair which aims to give an insight into the world of tourist products, services and investments.

The fair aims to bring international manufacturers and suppliers under one roof and allow them to connect with buyers, agents and distributors.

The event has become a major travel industry fixture and also welcomes leading officials from the Gulf region and international markets.

WHERE: Riyadh Four Seasons Hotel, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

WHEN: April 14-17 2015


CONTACT: +966 01 466 5064


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