Dubai, UAE: Paperworld Middle East, the region’s dedicated trade fair for the paper, office supplies, and stationery industries, is preparing for a big year in 2018, as more than 300 exhibitors get ready to boost business prospects in the Middle East, Africa, and beyond.
Farook International Stationery (FIS), the UAE’s largest manufacturer of stationery and office supplies, is one of several Launch Partners at Paperworld Middle East, and was first to sign on when the trade fair was announced to take place for the first time in 2011.
Eight years on, and the three-day event continues to be an annual inspirational showcase of the magical world of school and office supplies, from sustainably sourced paper-based products, arts and crafts, and writing instruments, to gift articles, children’s games and toys.
According to organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East, its popularity 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.
That has led to a steady increase in international buyers – from 4,420 in 2011 to 6,443 from 93 countries in 2017 – as the wider region keeps pace with expanding economies and a surging population base.
Another major indicator of Paperworld Middle East’s success is the continued support from the likes of FIS, which will line-up again when the 8th edition takes place from 27 February – 1 March 2018 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
After establishing itself as a retailer and wholesaler in 1980, FIS started manufacturing in 1990, and exports 10 brands throughout the world, proudly flying the ‘Made in UAE’ flag in more than 90 countries.
The company also has 13 show rooms in the UAE and one in Oman, representing more than 12 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’re 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 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 2018 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 Partner is Vienna Office Supplies, the regional representative of eight European brands including German pen makers Lamy, and Schneider.
Other headline names returning in 2018 include Saudi-based Hoshan Pan Gulf, Portuguese pulp and paper producer The Navigator Company, and Zebra from Japan, a manufacturer of writing instruments.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “The Middle East and Africa remains a major market for paper, stationery, and office supplies, with international manufacturers viewing the region as a key customer base with high demand for printed media products.
“An added benefit for exhibitors at Paperworld Middle East is they can leverage its 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,” added Pauwels.
New features at Paperworld Middle East 2018 include The Green Room, a dedicated section for environmentally friendly products with ‘eco-credentials; Gift Articles, a specialist area for unique corporate promotions and end-user gift items; and a series of one-day seminars highlighting the latest industry trends and developments.
Returning features include the Playworld Pavilion, presenting the world of kids’ toys, games, and children’s lifestyle products; and Wrap Star - the region's only gift wrapping competition.
Paperworld Middle East is co-located with Leatherworld Middle East, the region’s premier showcase of leather goods, accessories and supplies. More information is available at: www.paperworldme.com.