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by Stuart Wilson, Friday 15 April 2011

Digital Consumer Channel (DCC) Middle East & Africa (MEA), the region’s premier conference for the ICT & consumer electronics (CE) retail channel, has announced that it will once again host the ‘Middle East Retail Academy (MERA) Awards’ during this year’s event. MERA has also released the list of official nominations for this year’s product category awards.

’The MERA: 2011 Awards’ Gala Dinner, ceremony and live voting will take place on May 18th at Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah, UAE, in conjunction with DCC MEA.

MERA is an independent body comprising senior executives from retailers, distributors and vendors operating in the MEA retail channel. MERA members contribute feedback for a Monthly Monitor Report (MMR) on the health of the market – a service that has now been running for more than 18 months.

The wealth of data accumulated through the MMR service has now been incorporated into the planning for the ‘MERA: 2011 Awards’.

Farouk Hemraj, CEO at DISTREE Events, the organiser of DCC MEA, explained some of the changes: “Now in their fourth year, the MERA Awards have established a reputation for transparency and independence, reflecting real achievements in the retail channel. We have used the data supplied to us by retailers, and distributors during the last 12 months to compile the list of nominated companies for this year’s vendor awards.”

In total, there are 11 vendor award categories with five nominees per category. Hundreds of senior retail executives will determine the overall winner in each product category through a live electronic vote during the ‘MERA: 2011 Awards’ Gala Dinner on May 18th in Fujairah, UAE, at DCC MEA 2011. The vendor nominations for the ‘MERA: 2011 Awards’ listed in alphabetical order per category are as follows:

Desktop/Notebook/Netbook/ Tablet: Retail Vendor of the Year – Acer, Dell, HP, Samsung, Sony

Digital Lifestyle: Retail Vendor of the Year – Apple, Canon, Merlin, Samsung, Sony

Accessories: Retail Vendor of the Year – Belkin, Genius, Logitech, Microsoft, Promate

Imaging: Retail Vendor of the Year – Canon, Kodak, Nikon, Samsung, Sony

Printing: Retail Vendor of the Year – Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Samsung

Storage: Retail Vendor of the Year – Imation, Iomega, Sandisk, Seagate, WD

Home Networking: Retail Vendor of the Year – Belkin, D-Link, Edimax, Linksys by Cisco, Netgear

Gaming: Retail Vendor of the Year – EA, Logitech, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony

Mobile Communications: Retail Vendor of the Year – Apple, Blackberry, HTC, Nokia, Samsung

TVs: Retail Vendor of the Year – LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba

Software: Retail Vendor of the Year – Adobe, Kaspersky, Microsoft, Sage, Symantec

In total, 38 vendors have been shortlisted for the ‘MERA: 2011 Awards’ with Samsung and Sony leading the way with six and five nominations respectively. Canon and Microsoft both received three nominations with Apple, Belkin, HP and Logitech all appearing in two categories. The remaining 30 vendors received a nomination in a single category.

“Receiving a nomination is a huge achievement for all vendors and recognises their performance in the retail channel throughout the last 12 months,” added Hemraj. “We congratulate all of the nominated companies and look forward to welcoming their representatives to the ‘MERA: 2011 Awards’ Gala Dinner on the evening of May 18th.”

Delegates at DCC MEA receive complimentary access to the ‘MERA: 2011 Awards’ as part of their participation package. Belkin and Intel are now confirmed as Platinum Sponsor of DCC MEA with Dell, Kaspersky, Lenovo and Nokia all participating as Gold Sponsors. Asbis, Cisco Flip, Dicota, ITE Distribution and Navteq are this year’s Silver Sponsors. DCC MEA is an all-encompassing event, serving the needs of the largest retailers through to independent stores. Similarly, vendors at different levels of business development in MEA, all benefit from attending the event.

About MERA

The Middle East Retail Academy (MERA) is an independent trade organisation uniting retailers, distributors and vendors working in the region’s ICT & CE retail channel. MERA members contribute to the Monthly Monitor Report (MMR), providing them with access to retail trends and insight into sales, pricing and business confidence levels across the region. The annual ‘MERA Awards’ offer an independent platform for recognising channel excellence.

DCC MEA 2011

DCC is the ultimate professional networking event for senior executives from the consumer electronics, digital device and ICT products retail channel in the MEA region. DCC MEA is a focused event for retail executives based on the successful concept of bringing high-level buyers from emerging markets into productive contact with vendors.

DCC MEA regularly attracts hundreds of senior executives from MEA’s consumer electronics, digital device and ICT products retail channel. These include the powerful buyers and decision makers responsible for product selection for the retailers they represent. Not only is DCC MEA a powerful business platform, it is also an annual networking function allowing vendors to meet face-to-face with both existing and potential new retail partners from across the region.

For retail executives, attending DCC MEA is time well spent. In just three days you can hold dozens of face-to-face meetings with existing and potential new vendors, meet with your peers from across the region, find out more about the latest industry trends and market data. All this at one exclusive event: DCC MEA, the ‘must-attend’ event for vendors and retailers associated with MEA’s consumer electronics, digital device and ICT products channel. www.dcc-mea.com

Vendors, retailers and distributors wishing to participate in the event can also contact fhemraj@distree.com quoting code MEA11


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