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Robert Canning

General Manager, Suncoast, Gulf Marketing Group

An ambitious and dedicated general manager with over 20 years' experience in business development, project management, and managing retail including extensive experience working across the Middle East.

Demonstrates exceptional skills in leading new business setups and expansions in many countries including the UK, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Possesses outstanding analytical capabilities, diligently assessing sales figures, performance, and procedures to identify areas requiring improvement and devising creative strategies to enhance business efficiency and increase top-line performance and profitability.

Work History

Aug 2016Current

General Manager

Suncoast, GMG
  • Creating and developing the strategic vision of the company.
  • Hire, Mentor, Train and develop the Sales and Management team to ensure maximum efficiency.
  • Full budget and P&L responsibility and accountability.
  • Formulating and administering all company policies.
  • Directing and coordinating all departments’ activities to develop and implement long-range goals and objectives to meet business and profitability growth objectives.
  • Sales management of both the retail and B2B sales to provide cost reduction, meet customer requirements and ensure market growth.
  • Plan, create and implement a full marketing plan for all aspects of the business unit.
  • Sourcing and holding strategic negotiations with all suppliers to build strong relationships.
  • Stock selection and purchasing budget planning for the business unit’s stock holding.
  • Overseeing key projects, processes and performance reports, data and analysis.
Jun 2014Jul 2016

General Manager

En Vogue (GGICO)

The General Manager of En Vogue, a luxury home concept store, interior design and fit out company in Dubai serving both the residential and commercial markets. En Vogue also represents international design brands in the Middle Eastern market. Apart from the daily operation and implementation of all systems and policies of this new business concept, the main role is to find new suppliers from around the world and give them local presence.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Setting up a new luxury home concept, interior design and fit out business within the UAE
  • Responsible for planning and managing the P&L for all departments of the business
  • Finding and negotiating contracts and agreements with new suppliers
  • Hiring all team members for all aspects of the business
  • Devising and implementing all systems and policies across the business
  • Creating and implementing an on-going marketing strategy
Nov 2011Jun 2014

Regional Manager

BoConcept: MENA region
  • Providing a communication channel between the corporate organisation and existing/new franchisees, establishing and developing strong working relationships
  • Visiting franchisees in different countries to analyse business performance and designing structured business plans to facilitate the implementation of improvement strategies
  • Project managing all new store openings in existing countries and new markets, setting up the retail business and implementing effective strategies for establishing the brand in areas where it has no market presence
  • Fulfilling responsibilities for training and developing staff to ensure consistent standards of performance across stores in all countries
  • Designing and implementing effective marketing campaigns and creatively merchandising showrooms to raise the profile of the brand and grow the business
  • Successfully project managing store openings in U.A.E., Casablanca, Marrakech, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Tehran, Riyadh and Algeria
Aug 2008Nov 2011

Retail Area Manager, UAE

BoConcept: UAE, Qatar and Kuwait
  • Managing all business operations of BoConcept stores in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait, including overseeing financial and developmental aspects of each brand store and warehouse
  • Effectively coaching/mentoring staff and designing training programmes to meet organisation requirements and to maximise the potential of personnel, resulting in excellent performance and increased morale
  • Designing and implementing an innovative marketing strategy across all country stores, in addition to a creating a business wide plan
  • Continuously analysing performance and procedures, identifying areas requiring improvements and implementing creative solutions Performing regular on-site visits to all stores to monitor and assess performance and implement corrective measures where necessary to maintain optimum standards of performance
  • Significantly contributing to the re-structuring of the entire BoConcept brand organisation, including managing all aspects of HR, operations, sales, marketing and the product line
May 2007Aug 2008

General Manager

  • Fulfilling all responsibilities involved in the daily operation of a £3million turnover store, selling a wide variety of home furniture including kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Actively participating in a team project to design and implement induction and management training programmes.
  • Providing comprehensive management, sales, finance and product knowledge training and efficiently managing a professional installation/delivery team, ensuring high standards of quality and timely deliveries.
  • Managing and motivating personnel to achieve sales targets within deadlines and diligently analysing sales statistics, forecasting future sales volumes to maximise profits.
  • Analysing and interpreting trends to facilitate effective business planning
  • Perform data analysis/forward planning.
  • Consistently monitoring performance to ensure compliance with standards for quality, customer service and health and safety.
Jun 2005May 2007

Store Manager & Area Trainer


Store Manager (1 year 11 months)

Apr 2004Jun 2005

Store Manager

Bennetts Retail Limited

Store Manager (1 year 3 months)

Jan 2002Apr 2004

Night Manager


Night Manager (2 years 4 months)

Sep 1998Dec 2001

General Manager

Falaknaz Habitat

General Manager (3 years 4 months)



Business Studies

University of Bangor


Ellesmere college


Dubai College




University of cambridge



  • Short listed for" Most Admired Retail Launch" by the Retail Middle East Awards
  • Nominated for Identity Awards" Readers' Choice: Interiors Store Of The Year"
  • An advisory board member on improving the INDEX exhibition
  • Judge for the " Contemporary Majlis Competition" during INDEX
  • A guest speaker during the 2015 Middle East Retail Forum


Mr. Benoit Lamonerie

CEO, Gulf General Investment Company

+971 50 8548689

Mr. Ole Dahlsen

Managing Director, Four Frontiers (BoConcept)

+971 50 6588089