University of Dubai joins hands with Retail Pro to offer

University of Dubai (UD) and Dubai Chamber of Commerce have signed an agreement with Retail Pro International on September 9, 2014, to deliver a new Retail Certification Series aiming at fostering sustained retail growth in the Middle East. The training series, delivered by the Universitys Center for Executive Development (CED), is the first of its kind in the UAE and the region aimed at equipping retailers with today's best practices and advancing their enterprises in a growing retail market. This series will offer two new courses, beginning November 2, 2014, which will be presented by the worlds top experts in retail strategy and management.

Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Eesa Bastaki, President of University of Dubai, said: The University of Dubai will devote its best resources for this unique project which is aligned with the UDs educational mission. As part of our commitment to provide education based on quality standards, the university will deliver the new Retail Certification Series to the leading business sector in Dubai and the UAE. Dr. Bastaki added: This unique collaboration is the result of the ongoing collective effort led by Dubai Chamber to empower the regions workforce in retail market.

Essa Al Zaabi, Senior Vice-President, Institutional Support Sector at Dubai Chamber, said: The Chambers involvement in this project comes at a time when the retail market in the region has become one of the worlds most attractive investment locations. Linking education and professional training to this sector will increase the flow of domestic and international investment to retail. Al Zaabi added: The Chambers role in this project is to create the right business environment for retail and promote Dubai as the regional business hub.

Kerry Lemos, CEO, Retail Pro International, said: Supporting the development of a sustained, world-class retail culture in the Middle East is a high priority for Retail Pro, and that is obviously an interest shared by many of our trusted partners in the region as well.

It is no secret that empowering the workforce with expertise and tools is an essential part of accomplishing this goal, because it is the employees who will ultimately enable the mechanisms that drive retail success in the Middle East. Our partners at the University of Dubai and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce agree passionately with this position, and so naturally, we were excited about a collaboration opportunity that would address this need. The first two courses in the series provide a foundation for future training and focus on retail management and execution, highlighting how both are augmented significantly by retail technology. Im really optimistic about the outcomes that the Retail Certification Series will produce, and its future prospects, Lemos added.

Recently a study commissioned by Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and conducted by Deloitte, revealed that the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of retail sector employees in the UAE is 2.61 per cent, a rate expected to exponentially increase in light of Dubais successful bid to host the Expo 2020.

Among the companies surveyed, 24 per cent expressed the opinion that lean operations and mall management were the skills most lacking among senior level employees, while 44 per cent of companies reported customer psychology and buying behavior, as well as category management skills, to be the most crucial skill gap among mid-level professionals.

The two courses offered by CED during the first semester of the Retail Certification Series focus on developing a retail strategy for store management and merchandising. Both will be taught by Dan Jablons, a recognized global retail strategy expert who has worked with retailers such as Walmart, Target, JC Penney, American Apparel, Betsey Johnson and Donna Karan (DNKY) among others.

The Center Executive Development (CED) is the continuing education arm of the University of Dubai. The university itself was founded as an educational initiative by Dubai Chamber. CED has been transforming lives and careers since 2004 and has trained more than 6,000 individuals, many of whom have moved on and are now holding senior positions in their organizations and making significant contributions in the field of business.

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