Dubai, UAE: Paperworld Middle East 2019 has come to successful end in Dubai, with 6,908 trade buyers and visitors from across the wider region treated to a whole new world of potential business opportunities.
The 9th edition of the region’s largest international trade fair for stationery, paper, gifts and office supplies, featured 305 exhibitors from 42 countries, with its bold new ‘More than Paper’ theme well received by visitors.
The annual showcase took place from 18-20 March 2019 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East also announcing the launch of a new show to take place next year that will further underline Paperworld Middle East’s More than Paper credentials for 2020 and beyond.
That new show will be Interior Lifestyle Middle East, offering a holistic platform for exhibitors to showcase mid to high-end consumer goods, specifically oriented toward the giving and dining segments.
The two exhibitions will be co-located in 2020 at the same venue, providing an even more comprehensive business development platform, and leveraging the existing synergies between related industries.
Alexandria Robinson, show director for both Paperworld and Interior Lifestyle Middle East, said a key objective this year was to present an all-encompassing platform filled with new ideas and creations: “This year we really stepped up our efforts to engage with exhibitors and encourage them to showcase their most vibrant offerings, and I think that really showed on the exhibition floor this year,” she said.
“So whether it was baby clothes and children’s lifestyle products, stationery, school bags, writing instruments and creative supplies, or premium gifts and leather accessories, there was plenty on offer to entice regional trade buyers to think outside their traditional product portfolios and expand into new areas.”
Robinson highlighted the show features that continue to display a lot of promise, in particular the Playworld Village, which for the first time hosted the Qualatex Mystery Box competition; and the Green Room for sustainably produced stationery and office supplies.
“Sustainable production is a critical component throughout the whole value chain in this industry, whether for printing, paper, stationery, or remanufacturing, and it’s pleasing to see a lot of exhibitors put this at the forefront of their strategy,” she added.
“We plan to continue to develop the Green Room, the Playworld Village, and of course our Corporate Gifts section which impressed with a wide range of innovative promotional gift ideas for resellers and corporate end-users alike.”
Paperworld Middle East 2019 also featured a comprehensive programme of seminars as well as the UAE’s only gift wrapping competition - Wrap Star, which saw the best gift wrappers in the region showcase their bewildering variety of skills.
Regular and debut exhibitors alike expressed their ongoing satisfaction with the show, including pen manufacturer and launch partner, Lamy from Germany. Shahram Farhang, Managing Director of Lamy Middle East said: “We’ve been participating in Paperworld Middle East for so many years now, and it has been very helpful for us to find new clients.
“It’s a great platform to show the developers our products. Our marketing strategy has remained the same for years; this year we also introduced new models to generate interest amongst the clients in our brand.”
Berthold Storz, Area Sales Manager for fellow German launch partner Schneider, voiced a similar opinion. “It’s always an important event for us; we’ve been here for nearly ten years now. We meet all our local partners here, carry our discussions, present novelties and overall it is a good opportunity to be in touch.”
UAE-based Paper and Stationery majors Hoshan Pan Gulf have continued to exhibit at Paperworld Middle East to showcase the strength of its product line. Marketing Manager Munaf Palekar said: “It has been the 5th year for us here, and we’ve been participating continuously.
“We have two different objectives for the exhibition: one is to show our strength, that we are the bigger players in the industry and secondly, to cater our offerings to the re-exporter customers.
“We operate in two different ways. One is geared toward local operations in the Gulf market and then we have a re-export market for the developing world. So, this is the pivotal time to meet customers face to face, network with them, and of course to make deals, especially with our African customers.
Also making its presence felt in no uncertain terms at the show was Farook International Stationery from the UAE – widely regarded as the ‘Emirates’ of the stationery industry. President Farook Rahimtulla said: “Participation at Paperworld Middle East has always been very important for us in our capacity as leaders in the field of stationery in the region. The show gives us a great platform to reach across the region and its hinterland. With the majority of the leading buyers and traders present here, it makes total sense for us to be here as prominent players year after year.”
Paperworld Middle East and Interior Lifestyle Middle East will both next take place in March 2020. More information is available at www.paperworldme.com.