Returning to the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai, the third annual RLI Connect MENA event took place on the 7-8 October, and introduced a new twist to the MENA region, Retailtainment. The event offered two days of pure deal-making and networking with the best of the best in the retail & leisure industry.

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Following the highly successful inaugural RLI Connect MENA event in Dubai in 2016 and the exceptional RLI Connect Istanbul event in Turkey last year, RLI Connect MENA this year returned to Dubai and introduced a new twist – Retailtainment.

The event in association with Headline Partner Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority) kicked off with a pre-day's filming of Shurooq's projects by RLI Partner DreamScope TV from the UK, using the latest augmented 360 Technology allowing one to immerse themselves in their developments to give a true representation of all entailed. See the footage here:

Al Majaz Waterfront

Souq Al Shanasiyah

Heritage Museums

Souq Al Arsah

Al Qasba

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A city of the world, Dubai has long established itself as one of the most vibrant, innovative and attractive retail locations on the planet, attracting business from all corners and generating interest like no other market can. With the UAE’s increasingly pivotal role in the global economy, it is one of the world’s most modern urban landscapes, with a passion for bringing people together, none more apparent than in its successful bid to host EXPO 2020, a universal exposition under the theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

Entertainment is now an integral part of the evolution of retail real estate, enhancing the customer experience and boosting the attraction of shopping venues. With an added focus on Retailtainment and building on the success of RLI and our deal-making events to date this year’s event brought together top entertainment concepts and global retail brands to connect with Investors, Developers and Franchise Partners from across the GCC and wider MENA region.

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RLI Connect MENA Retailtainment was all about transforming shopping centres into world-class destinations, bringing the world of Retail and Entertainment together under one roof and created a networking atmosphere unlike any other. From pre-arranged meetings to networking lounges and a networking drinks reception at the close of day one, there was one very simple objective from this event, to help you do business.

Developers showcased their portfolio and upcoming projects to new, unique and innovative concepts that were eagerly looking for the perfect scheme for their expansion into the region. Headline Partner Shurooq portrayed not only their own projects but also those of their partners including Eagle Hills who displayed a magnificent model of Kalba Waterfront Mall in the networking lounge.


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Jayne Rafter

"A big thank you to my team, our partners, colleagues and friends who made it
once again a huge success & to our Headline Partner Shurooq for their support."

Jayne Rafter