The 2016 Images RetailME Awards, which recognise Middle East’s best retailers, were presented at a gala ceremony held at the Conrad hotel Dubai, UAE.
The awards recognise excellence across a range of retail categories, turning the spotlight on the best performing retailers in the region and benchmarking best practices in this vibrant industry. The awards ceremony is among the most important dates in the Middle East Retail calendar.
Among the winners in 39 different categories were Fawaz Alhokair named Middle East Retailer of the Year; Jumbo Electronics in the Consumer Electronics category; Virgin Megastore in the Leisure category; Carrefour in the Hypermarket category; Chalhoub Group’s Level Shoes for Luxury; Apparel Group’s Club Apparel for its CRM initiatives; BinSina (Alphamed Pharmacy) under Pharmacy & Healthcare category; Homes R Us in the Home & Housewares category; Paul Café under Food Service (Casual Dining); Eataly for Fine Dining and Rising Star Retailer; and Shamiana under QSR, to name a few.
The RetailME Awards gala evening was presented by a leading media personality and anchor from India Mitali Mukherjee. A known voice in the Dubai music scene, Layla Kardan set the mood to the gala evening with her soulful and sultry voice.
Amitabh Taneja, chairman of the Images Group, said: “We thank every member of our jury for sparing the time and effort to evaluate the submissions and compile the results.
In order to make the judging process for the awards more competitive and transparent, the awards categories were segregated into self-nomination and industry nominated jury awards. Under the self-nomination category, retailers were free to nominate themselves in any of the eight categories – marketing campaign, social media campaign, retail launch, store design, online retailer, store manager, CRM initiatives and responsible retailer.
Their submissions were evaluated and judged by a jury comprising Mohammad Alawi, CEO of Red Sea Markets Co, Saudi Arabia; Roy Higgs, president of US- based Roy Higgs International; Alex Andarakis, founder & managing director of Dubai-based Andarakis Advisory Services, Dubai; Davide Padoa, CEO of UK-based Design International; and Maha Zeibak, principal of Vis a Vis Retail.
For the industry-nominated jury awards, the group conducted a survey covering more than 50 of the top regional shopping malls to short-list the best performing retailers at their malls and elsewhere. The names emerging from the survey were subsequently vetted by a panel of veterans and experts from the shopping centre industry that included Khalid S Al Jasser, CEO, Arabian Centres, Saudi Arabia; Brad Merchant, director, retail asset management at Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi; Mohamed Galal, chairman, TSM, Egypt; Mazen Qandeel, leasing director, Hamat Properties Company, Saudi Arabia; Christian Wistrom, general manager – leasing, GLA Management Company; and Andrew Williamson, director, head MENA retail.
The process helped nominate more than 250 of the top-performing brands under 29 categories.