GCC Exhibition Industry remains strong despite global financial crisis, says international forum

Published December 8th, 2008 - 11:31 GMT

The exhibition industry in the GCC remains strong despite the global financial crisis, according to an international forum concluded in Dubai yesterday (Sunday 7th December, 2008) evening . The forum was organized by Octanorm manufacturer who specializes in exhibition and display systems controlling 75% of the world’s market.

Octanorm Vertriebs GmbH, Germany, culminated their stay in Dubai by meeting Sheikh Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum, Director of Information, Dubai and President, Al Fajer Group of Companies.  Over 200 C-suite delegates from 55 countries participated in this 10 day forum held in Oman and Dubai for the OSPIs (Octanorm Service Partner International).

Al Fajer Information & Services, the licensee as well as an OSPI member representing Octanorm Vertriebs GmbH, Germany, in the Gulf market were the local host for the biennial OSPI forum, specialized in discussing the latest exhibition stand building solutions and designs.

“Based on the vision of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Emirate is ranked as a leading regional commercial hub with a state-of-the-art infrastructure and a world class business atmosphere offering a pragmatic pro business attitude that backs business with fast track initiation facilities. The exhibition and conference industry will continue to play a significant role in supporting the diversification of Gulf economies by nurturing continued growth and injecting substantial capital in various local industries”, said Satish Khanna, General Manager, Al Fajer Information and Services.

Octanorm Vertriebs Gmbh, Germany, is worldwide considered the backbone of the exhibition stand building industry. Al Fajer stressed the importance of adopting stringent standards as well as taking action against those companies globally who plague the market with duplicate and fake systems which not only lower the standard of the exhibition industry but also cause great risk to human life, because of unstable characteristics.

"Organizing this forum in Dubai has high significance as the Emirate is well-positioned to maintain its rank as the Middle East’s best destination for international exhibitions and conferences. GCC states have succeeded in attracting numerous international exhibition organizers to the region," added Khanna.

According to a UFI report, 16 exhibition centers are in operation in the GCC states, providing a total net covered exhibition space of 243,300 m2. More than 75% of this exhibition space is located in the U.A.E., of which 40% of the total market is in Dubai.

The exhibition industry in the GCC market has entered a significant boom and adjustment period, reflecting the overall prosperity and modernization process of the region. The number of organized exhibitions continues to increase, while exhibition venues are being enlarged and modernized to match rising market needs.

This growth in exhibition industry echoes the current trend towards the development of the industrial infrastructures in the region. It also mirrors the government policy encouraging the development and expansion of the private sector and the attraction of foreign investment.

The GCC exhibition industry is led by the United Arab Emirates, and in particular Dubai, spearheaded by Dubai World Trade Centre in terms of exhibition space availability and number of organized events.  This position will be reinforced in the coming years despite the financial crisis. Other cities are positioning themselves as newly significant players on the GCC exhibition scene. These include Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Doha who are in the process of developing state-of-the-art exhibition venues.

Mr. Khanna added: "Al Fajer is licensed to manufacture the Octanorm system under a comprehensive technology transfer program and in accordance with German DIN for alloy composition and hardness values and tolerances to British Standards.  The locally manufactured products have passed the stringent standards set by the principals in Germany."

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