Packaging & printing trade fairs opens today
The Middle East’s largest packaging and printing trade fairs open in Dubai today at the Airport Expo. Gulf Pack and Gulf Print’s official unveiling is set for 10AM, after which the show opens daily from 11AM – 8PM until Wednesday. Featuring over 350 exhibitors from 43 countries, including the largest names in the business such as Heidelberg, HP, Xerox and Crown, the trade fairs have grown by a third in little over a year.
According to Gulf Pack’s Project Manager, Sharla Hancock, they are expecting visitors from around the region and beyond. “Last year we recorded trade visitors from over 70 countries. Whilst most of these come from the Gulf and Iran, it’s gratifying to see how many visit from countries in Africa and South West Asia.”
Packaging is one of the world’s most substantial industries worth an estimated $485 Billion and growing at about 4 –5%, according to statistics provided by the World Packaging Organisation. One of the great achievements that Gulf Pack will be presenting at this year’s show is a comprehensive survey of the UAE’s packaging market, anticipated to reveal substantially higher rates of growth.
IMES, a leading international consulting firm, will be presenting the findings of the survey during Gulf Pack on Monday. According to Thorsten Hartmann, Director of IMES Consulting Group, the survey proves what a dynamic category packaging is in the UAE. “Exports of packaging material are booming, the domestic beverage can and glass industries are particularly strong exporters.”
The packaging trade fair is supported by a number of seminars including two sessions presented by Tetra Pak, the world’s leading manufacturer of liquid food packaging.
Running parallel, Gulf Print has also grown substantially with many major names now recognising the value of the event within the Gulf area. Lina Alousta, Project Manager, said that the show has always enjoyed popular support amongst many local agents and international manufacturers. “We’re building on strong foundations and delighted that many first time exhibitors such as Xerox and Agfa are now supporting Gulf Print and that all those visitors from the printing and graphics industries will find something fresh at the show.”
One example is the newly created ‘Ask the User Forum’ where publishers, commercial printers and packaging suppliers will be able to see the latest developments in the printing industry. The sessions will provide prospective buyers with the opportunity to find out first hand how the latest CTP technology performs relative to their own printing requirements. So far customers of Heidelberg, Presstek, Agfa and Creo have agreed to take part.
Facilitated by internationally acclaimed experts, Keith Hevenor and Laurel Brunner, six sessions will address a variety of topics including digital workflow solutions, the role of different file formats, Pdf v. Jdf, and the tremendous developments in digital printing.
An impressive 150 exhibitors will be taking part at Gulf Print, many of whom will be unveiling new technology and machines for the first time in the Middle East, such as HP. Exhibitors include major international manufacturers such as Heidelberg, Presstek, Du Pont, Xeikon - Imagemart and Xerox, along with the opportunity for visitors to buy used printing machines at the UPEX UK stand.
A regular feature of the Gulf Pack and Gulf Print events are the popular Student Design Awards. A large number of creative entries have been submitted by students attending colleges in the UAE for a range of categories including awards for graphic design, typography and packaging. One of the most valuable prizes on offer is a two week internship offered by Crown for the winning packaging designer to train at their UK head quarters.
F&E, organisers of the Gulf Pack and Gulf Print trade fairs are so delighted with the response to this year's show, that dates have already been set for 2006, 10-13 December, with the event spanning at least two massive halls at Airport Expo and the conference and seminar programme taking place in the adjacent reception building.