H.E. Mohamed Helal Al Muhairi Opens Smart Stores Expo 2017

The first-of-its-kind Expo introduces connected stores and virtual retail concepts in the region


H.E. Mohamed Helal Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Chamber, inaugurated the first edition of Smart Stores Expo 2017 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) on 23 January. The inaugural event opened its door to several leading retail professionals across the region to showcase the future of retail empowered by technological innovations and advancements.

Following the inauguration ceremony, H.E. Mohamed Helal Al Muhairi toured the exhibition area accompanied by a number of key officials and industry leaders where they were introduced to the latest technologies and developments in the retail business sphere.

The inaugural expo brings together the region’s most influential retailers and solution providers under one roof. The show not only focuses on the fast growing online shopping and innovative last mile delivery solutions, but also presents concepts like connected stores, virtual fitting rooms, and self-serve technologies that are taking over brick and mortar stores.

Jayaraman Nair, Chairman of VIS Exhibition, which is organising the show, said: “While the brick and mortar stores are undergoing a digital transformation, rising mCommerce has placed the Middle East among the top two regions in the world. It might explain that shoppers are not just purchasing products and services through multiple channels, but doing it differently from how the last generation used to. What we were experiencing is a rebalancing of the retail landscape, therefore retailers should think of their business as just one homogenous omnichannel and treat them as a whole and not as separate parts.”

He added, “The overwhelming response from the retail solution providers and pioneers in technology is a result of UAE’s coveted position as the retail growth hub and one of the advanced economies across the globe. Smart Stores Expo 2017 will showcase retail innovations in four broad categories: Smart Store Design, Smart Store Technologies, Smart Store Services and Smart Virtual Stores.”

Exhibitors said Smart Stores Expo 2017 is a platform to showcase their products and services, strengthen their business presence as well as forge new business relationships.

Jan De Daedeleir, CEO, Mofex, a leading shelving solutions provider, which is planning to tap the regional market with Smart Stores Expo, said: “Smart Stores Expo, in our opinion, is the best event to introduce our unique solutions in the region. It is an ideal platform with all stakeholders from the retail sector coming together. We are here to meet potential business partners from the region.”

Mohamad Jaber, Group Marketing and Communications Manager, Paris Gallery LLC, one of the leading retailer for multinational beauty brands, illustrated the strategies of boosting B2C sale to the region in the internet era opening the two-day conference organised as a part of the Expo and the session received overwhelming responses. On the coming two days, experts from the industry will be sharing their knowledge on a number of topics, such as big data analytics, digital integration of instore and online technologies, omnichannel retail, and innovative store design concepts.

Smart Stores Expo 2017 is well supported by both local and international retail leaders. The show will run until 25 January.