Dubai, UAE: Paperworld Middle East, the region’s largest trade fair for paper, office supplies, and stationery, is eyeing continued growth, as its launch partners lead the charge of returning exhibitors with high hopes for a big year in 2016.
With more than 250 exhibitors from 42 countries expected this year, the sixth edition of the three-day event in Dubai will be nearly 50 per cent larger in size than the inaugural edition in 2011, which featured 202 exhibitors covering 3,500 sqm of exhibition space.
According to its organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the growth of Paperworld Middle East can be attributed to the globally recognised Paperworld brand, while the strategic location in Dubai presents the ideal gateway for international manufacturers to target emerging regional markets throughout the Middle East and Africa.
That in turn has led to a steady increase in international buyers to the dedicated annual trade show – from 4,420 in 2011 to 6,099 from 115 countries in 2015 – as the wider region keeps pace with expanding economies and a surging population base.
Another major indicator of the show’s success is the continued support from its five Launch Partners, which will all line-up again when Paperworld Middle East returns from 1-3 March 2016 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
These are headed by UAE-based manufacturer Farook International Stationery (FIS), which exports 10 UAE paper and stationery brands throughout the world, proudly flying the ‘Made in UAE’ flag in more than 90 countries.
Having first established itself as a retailer and wholesaler in 1980, FIS started manufacturing in 1990, and now produces 5,000 Stock Keeping Units from three UAE factories. The company also has ten show rooms, and represents 11 international stationery brands in addition to its own brands.
Farook Rahimtulla, President of Farook International Stationery, said the key to its success over the years is due to the high quality ‘Made in UAE’ global reputation that FIS has established.
“We are proud to have reached a stage in the last 35 years where we have achieved enormous growth,” said Rahimtulla. “The first day I started the business on 13 April 1980, we had AED six in sales only.
“Now we make more than AED one million in sales per day, so this is how much we have grown in this time. This is of course through hard work, taking risks, and focusing on building our brand into an internationally recognised quality brand. We’re very proud that the Made in UAE brand has a high value among our customers.”
Commenting on FIS’ long-standing support for Paperworld Middle East, Rahimtulla added: “FIS was one of the first to support the idea of Paperworld Middle East here in Dubai. We understood from day one that through exhibiting here, we are not just targeting the UAE market; we are targeting the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the CIS.”
Another returning launch partner to Paperworld Middle East 2016 is school bag manufacturer Paxos. Dimitris Vassiliadis, General Manager of Paxos, said the Middle East is its ‘number one’ market, where it has the exclusive license for major brands such as Head, Maui, Play-Doh, and Transformers.
“About 35 per cent of our business is in the Middle East,” said Vassiliadis. “The region is growing for us by 10-15 per cent every year, and it’s the only global market that’s really growing.”
Paperworld Middle East’s other Launch Partners include paper and pulp producer April Fine; and German pen makers Lamy, and Schneider. Other headline names returning in 2016 include Saudi-based Clips Trading, Portuguese pulp and paper producer grupo Portucel Soporcel, and Exacompta from France, a manufacturer of office and filing products.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Paperworld Middle East has grown in size and scope since its inaugural edition in 2011, and this is reflected in the positive response and success of our Launch Partners who have been with the show since the beginning.
“An added factor to its success is the enviable advantage of being located in Dubai, the trade and commerce hub of the entire Middle East and Africa. Upcoming events such as the Dubai Expo 2020 will further enhance the Emirate’s international reputation, which will have a knock-on effect on all industries, including paper, office supplies, and stationery.”
Paperworld Middle East 2016 is expected attract more than 6,000 trade buyers from 105 countries and will return with popular features including the Green Office Area, a dedicated section that showcases sustainably produced essential office supplies; the Wrapstar gift wrapping competition; and the Paperworld Recycling Competition, an inspirational showcase of sculptures created by UAE school children and made entirely from recycled school stationery.