Attracting a robust response from regional and international trade buyers and industry professionals alike, Paperworld Middle East 2014, confirmed the healthy growth prospects of the paper, office products and stationery market in the Middle East.
Initial figures released by organiser Epoc Messe Frankfurt, indicate that 6,540 trade visitors crossed the turnstiles over the three days of the show – an increase of 10.6% over that of last year. Over 40% of the visitors were from outside the UAE, coming from as many as 104 different countries, with India, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and Oman being the top five source countries.*
This growth in regional and international interest in the leading trade event for paper products and stationery in the Middle East, has been driven in part by the international success of the parent Paperworld brand, as well as increased interaction and engagement with regional stakeholders.
“Paperworld Middle East has been fortunate to play a part in promoting an industry sector that is growing across the region and which is attracting increasing interest from international manufacturers and suppliers,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt.
“Drawing in a wide range of influential trade buyers and industry professionals, the exhibition which is viewed as the premier trade platform, has continued to showcase a cornucopia of the latest trends and innovations in the industry as well as been the venue for the initiation of many a trade partnership or business deal,” Pauwels added.
The quality of trade visitors and the genuine interest shown by buyers drew praise from both regular exhibitors and those making their debut on the regional stage.
Rashid Al Kaitoob, owner of Dubai Library Distributors, a regular at Paperworld Middle East since its onset said: “Our participation this year was fruitful as always. We have been here since the very first Paperworld Middle East, which is an event where we can meet all the biggest names in the industry as well as quality business visitors interested in doing real deals.”
Long-time exhibitor and launch partner Farook International Stationery’s President, Farook Rahimtulla said: “We are glad to be at Paperwold ME 2014, the show is growing year after year and it is a great platform for us to meet our old customers and connect with new customers. Our stand was busy all through the exhibition.”
Paperworld Middle East 2014 featured a wide spectrum of exhibitors drawn from across the world, many of who were here to better access an otherwise tough to reach market.
Ronald Rozicky, President of Global Marketing and Management, the only exhibitor from the USA at the show, was pleasantly surprised at the strong interest received. “As the only American company participating here, we are so happy with the results at Paperworld ME this year. We have met people from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar and we will be glad to inform other companies back home about our fruitful and very good experience here.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Stefan Uitterhoeve, International Area Manager for UHU, who exhibited as part of the German Pavilion. “It was really a big surprise to see the number of visitors from Africa at Paperworld Middle East. We are here in this region to reach that market and to further extend our brand. We appreciate the German Pavilion idea and we are so happy with our participation this year,” he said.
The popular Gift Wrapping Competition organised alongside Paperworld Middle East 2014, saw intense competition from some of the leading exponents from the regional retail chains for the title of Wrap Star.
Coming away with the honours was Jeoffrey Gerolia of Dubai Duty Free (winner), Renan Hernandez from Hallmark (2nd) and last year’s title winner Abigail Jimenez from The Change Initiative, who finished in third place this time.
Co-located Playworld Middle East 2014, presented regional trade buyers with the world of kids: toys, games and children’s lifestyle products.
Making a considerable impact this year was the inaugural Kids Retail Forum, which generated wide interest from the children’s products industry.
A range of experts explained the processes and regulations that govern the children’s products industry in the region. Topics that attracted the most interest at the forum was the G-Mark certification for toy safety and the presentation by the Gulf Standards Organisation on the processes that regulate the children’s and lifestyle product business.
*Tentative visitor figures, combined with Playworld Middle East, which was running concurrently in the same halls.