Sharjah, 29th April 2013 Sharjah is set to share some of the glitter from the world's gold hub Switzerland. Expo Centre Sharjah, which hosts the region's only biannual jewellery fair, is looking at a cooperation deal with the largest and most important global event in the watch and jewellery sector held in Switzerland. Aiming to explore opportunities of collaboration and sharing of expertise, a three-member Expo team visited Baselworld 2013 - the World Watch and Jewellery Show, which was held in Basel from April 25 to May 2, 2013.
The team, headed by Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, also held talks with senior executives of Baselworld. “Switzerland is home to most of the world's refined gold, with more than 80 per cent of the world's refined gold coming from just four giant companies in Switzerland. Similarly, Baselworld is the biggest and most important global event in the watch and jewellery sector, where the world's most renowned brands exclusively display their collections,” said Mr Midfa, ahead of the visit.
Every spring, some 1,800 companies from the watch, jewellery and precious-stone industries, showcase their latest developments and innovations in Basel, while the MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show, now in its 35th edition, is held twice a year – during spring and autumn — and is the longest running and most popular show of its kind the region. The Expo team, which also included Mr Amjed Mohammed, Project Manager, and Mr Abid Maqsood, Assistant Exhibition Manager, met Ms Sylvie Ritter, Managing Director, and Mr Martin Fergusson, Sales Director, of Baselworld on April 27.
During the meeting, Mr Midfa gave an overview of Expo Centre Sharjah, the MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show, and the importance accorded to the show by the jewellery sector from across the world. He invited a Baselworld delegation, including Ms Ritter and Mr Fergusson, to the upcoming edition of the show in October, and also explored possibilities of striking a cooperation deal between both the organizations. “
We are looking at a cooperation deal that can bring much more value to the MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show given that Baselworld is now in its 41st edition and attracts more than 100,000 visitors from 100 countries at about 160,000 square metres of exhibition space. Besides, the event is covered by more than 3,000 journalists from 70 countries,” said Mr Midfa. On her part, Ms Ritter, while welcoming the Sharjah team, said the Middle East is a completely untapped market for Baselworld and hence will be happy to associate with Expo Centre Sharjah once the modalities are looked into. Switzerland, which is perhaps the only country that regulates gold purity by law, refined 2,600 metric tonnes of raw gold out of the 2,700 tonnes mined in the world in 2011. This was a record, the quantity having more than doubled over the last ten years, not including the gold that transits through Swiss free ports, pointing at a vibrant industry that can tap into the fast-growing market in the Middle East through the MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show.
The spring edition of the MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show, held at Expo Centre Sharjah from March 26 to 30, 2013, attracted nearly 55,000 visitors, a three per cent rise against the past edition, during its five-day run. It featured 450 jewellers from all over the world at nearly 20,000 sq m of exhibition space, a Thai pavilion with a fashion show, several national pavilions and gave away a Mercedes Benz in mega prize to a lucky shopper. Ends About the show: The 35th MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show will be organized by Expo Centre Sharjah with the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry from October 1 to 5, 2013. It will be held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. It is expected to feature more than 450 jewellers from all over the world at nearly 20,000 sq m of exhibition space, displaying gold and diamond jewellery, diamonds, precious stones, loose pearls, pearl sets and watches.