Seamless Middle East is the region's biggest exhibition for payments, fintech, eCommerce and retail. Over two huge days - 15th and 16th April - more than 350 exhibitors from across the globe showcased new products and innovations at the Dubai World Trade Centre, including 60 free sessions on topics such as digital payments, fintech, customer conversion, digital marketing, logistics and fulfilment.
Here is our Seamless Middle East 2018 Recap:
This year's headline speeches were by Greg Williams, Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine, Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO & co-founder SOUQ.com, and Paul Coby, CIO John Lewis, who spoke about adapting in a changing world:
From our observations of the conference, it seemed everybody was talking about improving online sales and focusing on omni-channel, mainly because the shopping malls in Dubai are a huge attraction. Two big pain points for brands we spoke to were final mile carriers and cash on delivery as a form of payment.
The exhibition floor itself was quite big and attracted a lot of people - not surprising given the event was free entry. To this end, it was difficult to find retailers at the event however eShopWorld was able to speak with several important players in the Middle East that are investing in people and local offices.
One of the most interesting exhibits at Seamless Middle East was CommerCity, an AED $2.7 billion ($735 million USD), 2.1-million square feet hub, dedicated solely to eCommerce in the MENA region. According to its website, CommerCity is "strategically intended to promote Dubai’s position as a leading platform for international eCommerce and to support economic diversification and smart transformation strategies". It will be built next to Dubai International Airport and will comprise of a Business Cluster, Logistic Cluster and Social Cluster, the latter built for shoppers.
Another highlight from the conference was the Seamless Awards, a night to recognise and reward companies and individuals who have excelled in the payments, eCommerce and retail industry. At the ceremony, held at the JW Marriott Marquis, eShopWorld presented the award for B2C Ecommerce Website Of The Year to Jumia:
Here are some other key moments from #SeamlessDXB:
— eShopWorld (@eShopWorld) April 16, 2018
— SeamlessDXB (@seamlessDXB) April 15, 2018
PANEL: Understanding how to reach tomorrow's shoppers. "The challenge is not just to gather data but to understand it and use it optimally." #ChalhoubGroup #OMD #VirginMegastore #AzurDigital #SeamlessDXB pic.twitter.com/YC1H95aoRU
— SeamlessDXB (@seamlessDXB) April 16, 2018
— eShopWorld (@eShopWorld) April 15, 2018