David Macadam, CEO of the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres & Retailers
The Middle East Council of Shopping Centers recently unveiled a comprehensive training schedule for the Gregory Vogt School (GVS) for Retail Professionals 2023.
This exclusive program, expertly crafted by seasoned retail real estate professionals, aims to serve as a beacon of knowledge and inspiration for those seeking advanced insights in the retail sector.
The program provides a unique opportunity for you to learn from a distinguished line-up of industry titans. These experts will generously share their vast knowledge, expertise, and insights, enhancing your understanding and skills in the retail real estate domain.
We met David Macadam, Chief Executive Officer of the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres & Retailers at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, located in Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai during the training programme.
GTM: Tell us about your current initiatives. I understand the school has had a very good response from retailers?
David Macadam: Yes, this is our 29th year of hosting this education program, and this is the 10th year that I have hosted it myself. The Middle East Council of Shopping Centers continues to go from strength to strength in terms of the number of school attendees.
We attract people from various countries, including Australia, Canada, the UK, Iraq, Iran, UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. So we have a great following and a diverse mix of instructors and students. It’s getting the attention we like, and it’s proving to be a resilient education program.
GTM: How many participants do you have this time around?
David Macadam: This year we have about 90 participants. In our best year in 2018, we had about 130. Considering the current market conditions, we’re quite happy with the turnout.
GTM: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE POPULAR COURSES THAT YOU GET REQUESTED?
David Macadam: There has been a great deal of requests for courses related to chat GPT-based information and digital dashboards for securing information from people counting systems, POS sales, and digital analysis of shopping center performance. Many people have requested these topics, and we have had some of the industry’s best and brightest deliver those courses for us.
GTM: WHAT’S THE UNIQUE SELLING POINT FOR THIS YEAR’S PROGRAM?
David Macadam: The unique selling point for us this year is having our faculty come from as far away as Australia and Canada. These individuals are renowned in their own right within the industry.
We have enjoyed having their guidance, and what we always try to do is bring the best and brightest into the region to share knowledge from outside the borders of the UAE. So while we have instructors from the UAE, we also bring in experts from other countries.
GTM: IN ADDITION TO THE SCHOOL, YOU HAVE A LOT OF OTHER ACTIVITIES HAPPENING THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. WHAT IS NEXT ON THE AGENDA?
David Macadam: Our retail conference is scheduled from October 22nd to 24th, 2023, and that is a big deal for our team. We are focusing a lot on that and planning networking events in Jordan and Kuwait, which will take place in September. Another significant push for us this year has been expanding into the Saudi market. We have been working for nine years to establish a foothold there, and we believe it will finally happen in December.