Attendees represent 17 countries, and 2,000-plus ICT and CE retail outlets across the Middle East & North Africa region

Middle East, 28 May 2009: The fifth annual Digital Consumer Channel (DCC) Middle East & Africa (MEA) event successfully closed on May 21st 2009, registering over 1,000 one-on-one meetings between more than 450 participants. The region’s premier event for the consumer electronics and ICT retail channel also offered a mix of conference sessions, workshops, networking opportunities and awards for the MEA region’s retailers, distributors and vendors.

“We were pleased with the success of the event this year but not surprised,” explained Farouk Hemraj, CEO at DISTREE Events, the company behind DCC MEA. “DCC MEA’s success is built upon our ability to attract the real retail decision makers from across the region. We deliver a platform for vendors, retailers and distributors that allows them to maximise their opportunity to build and develop business relationships. It obviously makes sense to the savvy channel manager as is evident from the record number of vendors we had at this year’s event. Over 50 percent of these vendors are new or relatively new to the (Middle East) market.”

Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer for Jacky’s Group, said: “We managed to probably meet more suppliers and retailers who had decision making authority in 3 days than we would probably meet in 3 months.  DCC has been a great platform to express and understand different views on what is happening across the region, especially during periods as unstable as we have now. It has become more important now – more than ever before –  to ensure we are in sync with our industry peers.”

Amer Husaini, Dell’s General Manager MEA Consumer Business, another first time participant, said: "It was a great opportunity to meet with all the region’s key players in one location, both at a formal and informal level – we were very pleased with the show and especially the market reaction to the first sighting of our new Adamo range."

DCC MEA saw hundreds of retail executives from 17 countries, representing more than 2,000 outlets in the region meet with 61 vendors, including many of the leading international names in the consumer electronics and ICT segment. The event was supported by Etisalat and Pluto as Platinum sponsors; HTC, Navteq, and SanDisk as Gold sponsors; and Asbis, Dell and HP as Silver sponsors.

Rami El-Hussein, General Manager of Platinum sponsor, Pluto GT, said: “DCC is probably the single event every retailer and vendor should attend. Our investment in it has reaped benefits almost immediately. It is a must-go for all.”

Khalifa Al Forah, VP consumer marketing at Etisalat, also a Platinum sponsor at DCC MEA, commented: “DCC is a leading event in the Middle East that focuses on bringing together retail and channel partners on a single platform. By participating in this event, Etisalat wanted to showcase its products and services portfolio to this key audience, strengthen its existing retail alliances and also explore the opportunity of creating new strategic partnerships.”

Xavier Caminada of Extra in Saudi Arabia agrees. “Over the past few years, DCC MEA has not only strengthened its position year-on-year but it has managed to enhance its programme by bringing new vendors and providing solid intelligence about the latest market trends and developments,” he said. “The organisers have managed to assess, design, deliver and develop a complete “all-in-one” solution for better regional business interaction and better concurrence, so everyone becomes wiser.”

First time attendee, William Gove, Managing Director at Intertel Electronics (UAE), felt that the event was a professionally organised vendor and retailer forum, where pro-active retailers could network with their peers and share a common approach to discussing issues and opportunities with vendors. “I certainly found this beneficial as a first time attendee,” he commented.

Building on its continued success, DCC MEA 2009 featured keynote speeches from global industry experts, identifying the latest trends, statistics and product developments shaping the future of the CE and ICT retail market. This year’s event hosted 24 boardroom presentations by select vendors, 12 talk shows and 12 workshops. The organisers also hosted a special VIP session for select vendors and retailers to debate key issues faced by the industry in the region.

Shanker Iyer, General Manager at Emax (UAE), said: “The event is possibly the only platform for retailers like us, the vendors and the industry at large to not only unwind in a relaxed environment, but more importantly to discuss and debate critical and controversial issues in an open and friendly atmosphere with the objective of moving forward together.”

“This year, DCC MEA, as in the previous years, re-asserted itself as the primary industry event that is both practical, functional as well as being fun,” said Hussni Chammout, Regional Retail Director, CompuMe (UAE). “The VIP session was a good initiative that allowed the different channels to be heard; provided a platform for sharing ideas and a sense of comfort that you share the same challenges and obstacles as all the other competitors within the same channel.”

Emad Jaddo, UAE Managing Director at i2, said: “I believe this event has reached a mature stage this year with all parties realising the importance of the event.”

The event also hosted the annual ‘Middle East Retail Academy: 2009 Awards’ Gala Dinner with live voting session that saw a total of 22 awards distributed to vendors, retailers and distributors.

Hakim Amar, Business Manager IT at Alghanim Industries Kuwait – winner of the Retail Executive of the Year (Rest of the Gulf) Award – said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this award in recognition of my work and my achievements. DCC MEA gave us the opportunity to accelerate and improve our go-to-market retail strategy, especially in light of the current economic scenario.”

Details on DCC MEA are available on www.dcc-mea.com.

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