The world’s top retail executives gathered Dubai today to attend the 10th annual World Retail Congress.

The three-day conference, which opened at Madinat Jumeirah this morning, will see more than 1,000 retailers and industry experts discuss changing customer behaviours, the rise of mobile shopping, the challenges of expanding internationally and the future of retail.

Speakers include Tommy Hilfiger; Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director of marketing and international at Marks & Spencer; Sir Ian Cheshire, chairman of Debenhams; and Denis Davies, deputy head of retail and luxury at UKTI.

Associates from LVMH, Deloitte, Saks and Swarovski will also speak at the event.

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Over the course of the show, there will be an emphasis on providing insight into new innovation. Day two will host a Dragon’s Den-style pitch-off between new, tech start-ups in the retail sector. Their ideas will be judged by some of the industry’s most senior retailers.

The conference also will run an invitation-only programme for retail leaders. This is designed to provide CEOs with opportunities to network with their peers, discuss key issues of the day, participate in leadership mentoring by Oxford University’s Business School and to have special access to the keynote speakers.

The 2016 Congress is taking place in Dubai for the first time, after previously being held in Barcelona, Rome, Paris and London.

Launched in 2007, the World Retail Congress has established itself as an important and unique meeting place for the global retail industry.

Attracting retail leaders from across all sectors and geographies, it has come to represent a barometer for the latest ideas and innovations that will help the industry move forward.