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Embracing Retail Innovation: McGill Master of Management in Retailing Explores Dubai

McGill University’s Master of Management in Retailing (MMR) students travelled to Dubai, immersing themselves in the dynamic landscape of retail innovation and strategy. Led by industry experts, the week-long study trip organized by the Bensadoun School of Retail Management (BSRM) offered unparalleled insights into the evolving retail ecosystem of the Gulf countries.

The adventure began with a tour of the Dubai Mall, guided by Hussam Raouf, Chief Advisor and Founder of Raouf Advisory. Students explored the ins and outs of retail space management and consumer engagement in one of the world's largest shopping destinations. Following this, the tour took students on a visit of the Carrefour store in the iconic Mall of the Emirates, providing a tangible example of retail excellence.

Another highlight was the opportunity to engage with Majid Al Futtaim Group, a leading conglomerate in the region, and with members of its management trainee program at Ibn Battuta Mall. Students explored retail operations under the guidance of Bertrand Loumaye, Carrefour Country Manager.

The study trip included a visit to DP World, a global leader in logistics and trade solutions. Led by Ahmed Abu Safia, Group Vice President of Business Learning and Development, students had the opportunity to delve into innovative initiatives like "BoxBay," showcasing the transformation of supply chain management.

MMR STudy Trip - Boxbay logistics

Students also experienced the fashion and beauty sectors with industry luminaries such as Kamal Kotak, Chief Business Officer at Apparel Group, and Jean Dominique de Ravignan, HR Director at L’Oreal. Discussions centered on market dynamics and consumer trends in the Gulf retail landscape.

A pivotal moment of the trip was a conversation on the future of retail, featuring speakers such as Imran Amed, CEO and editor-in-chief of The Business of Fashion (BoF), and Sima Ganwani Ved, Founder and Chairwoman of the Apparel group. Topics included disruptive technologies and sustainable practices that are shaping the industry's trajectory.

MMR Study Trip

On the final day of the trip, students were greeted with a warm welcome at Abu Dhabi University, where they had the opportunity to engage with faculty members and students, gaining a deeper understanding of the region’s educational landscape. Additionally, they explored Hub71, Abu Dhabi's global tech startup ecosystem. Immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of innovation and entrepreneurship, students witnessed firsthand the groundbreaking ideas and cutting-edge technologies shaping the future of the tech industry in the Gulf region.

Amidst cultural immersion experiences like desert safaris and visits to architectural marvels, students gained insight into the region's rich heritage and lifestyle. The safaris provided a glimpse into Bedouin traditions, while visits to landmarks like the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi showcased the region's rich history and Islamic heritage. These experiences fostered cultural understanding and appreciation among students.

Ashley Zhang

MMR student Ashley Zhang reflects on her travels, stating, “Each moment was a valuable learning opportunity. I'm leaving Dubai with a wealth of knowledge and a renewed passion for the retail industry."

This immersive journey to Dubai provides students with direct exposure to real-world retail challenges and solutions, fostering practical learning and critical thinking skills. These experiences, coupled with engaging discussions on the future of retail and cultural immersion activities, equip students to emerge as visionary leaders who will shape the future of the retail industry.

Organized by the Bensadoun School of Retail Management (BSRM), BSRM Executive Director Charles de Brabant, MMR Program Director Rony Chamoun and Advancement Associate Director Angela Kempf, the success of the study trip was made possible through the support of Sima Ved and Nilesh Ved.

MMR Program

Learn more about the McGill Master of Management in Retailing Program


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