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UAE start-up prepares regional debut of 3D pop-up greeting cards

9 Mar 2017

Abra Cards with ‘Made in UAE’ tag lines up alongside dozens of product launches at Dubai stationery, office supplies trade fair

Dubai, UAE: A UAE-based start-up specialising in 3D pop-up greeting cards will be among a score of manufacturers launching new products at the Middle East’s dedicated trade fair for paper, stationery, and office supplies next week in Dubai.

From school bags and children’s toys and games, to art supplies, eco-friendly writing instruments, and novel paper products, the latest innovations making their regional debuts at Paperworld Middle East 2017 are as vast as they are varied.

More than 300 exhibitors from 42 countries are set to descend upon the three-day event, which runs from 14-16 March 2017 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.  Among these is Abra Cards, one of 28 UAE companies looking to network with thousands of trade buyers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and corporate clients from throughout the wider region.

Abra Cards’ Founder and Director Kelly Heffey said the company is the first in the Middle East to offer 3D pop-up cards, which includes a range of iconic UAE buildings such as the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab.

Heffey, who moved to the UAE from the UK nine years ago, found there was a lack of novel and interesting greeting cards available in the local market when she was looking for something to cheer up her grandmother who was recovering from an accident.

“Our team of ‘Paper Engineers’ work with foreign specialists to engineer bespoke pop-up designs that are then hand stitched after using cutting edge laser printers,” said Heffey.

“Our personalised cards are designed in-house and produced in the UAE.  We’re continually developing our product line and work with only the highest quality materials to create a product our end users can call a keepsake.”

Heffey said Abra Cards’ designs are inspired by ideas she observed whilst travelling recently through Asia where techniques such as Origami and Kirigami were born.

She added: “Our laser technology is at the forefront of the industry and our range of iconic UAE buildings will be very popular with both local people and visitors. We are working on widening our offering and our clients’ imagination is never restricted with Abra Cards.

“We chose Paperworld Middle East as the platform for our official launch as it provides a unique opportunity for the wholesale market to understand what we can offer. Once we’ve demonstrated our products and capability, we hope to network, create longstanding relationships and ultimately meet future wholesale partners.”

Now in its 7th edition, Paperworld Middle East has established a solid reputation as the region’s most trusted annual trade fair dedicated to professionals and organisations dealing with paper, stationery, and office supplies.

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Paperworld Middle East continues to offer our exhibiting partners from around the world an unmatched platform to interact with regional buyers and assess conditions for prospective new market forays and product launches.  The event has grown considerably in stature and scope over the years and offers impressive market exposure for our exhibitors.”

Another exhibitor launching products at Paperworld Middle East 2017 is Melissa & Doug, one of the world’s largest children’s product manufacturers. The American-based company has launched 150 new items so far in 2017, with a selection on display during the show.

David Postlethwaite, Vice President of Melissa & Doug in the Middle East & Asia, said: “We’ve been active in the Middle East for the past four years and have seen incredible growth during this time. We’re coming to Paperworld Middle East 2017 for the first time to meet more great retailers and distributors from across the region.

“Our toys, crafts and games offer countless ways to play. We encourage free play, creativity, imagination and learning, and our brand has been embraced by parents all over the world for these very reasons.”

Elsewhere, Sun Ce from Cyprus is returning to Paperworld Middle East 2017 with its newest Back to School bag range.  The company, which has been active in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for the last 25 years, will launch its latest licenced bags and accessories with brands such as Hello Kitty, Powerpuff Girls, Power Rangers, Despicable Me, Fast & Furious, Wonder Woman, Sesame Street, Smurfs, Real Madrid, and Barcelona FC.

Sol Hady, the Chairman of Sun Ce, said: “Economic activity in the MENA region showed surprising resilience in 2016 despite mounting economic headwinds. The dominance of children and young people in the population across the region makes this market attractive for character business.”

He added: “We feel at home in the MENA region with our quarter century experience here.  Paperworld Middle East is important for us to showcase our design innovations, and update the new generation of consumers as well as our retail and sales partners.”

Among the dozens of other exhibitors launching new products at Paperworld Middle East 2017 include Navneet Education from India, which will introduce various stationery items such as notebooks, journals, ledgers, and writing pads; and Japanese manufacturer Shachihata, with its new range of Artline markers including Artline Stix, Artline Supreme, and a new pre-inked stamp called Xstamper Quix.

Paperworld Middle East is the region’s largest B2B trade show covering the entire range of stationery and office supplies, from school and gift articles, office or household paper, art supplies and creative materials, to toys, party and festival articles, and printers and multimedia.

The 2017 edition will return with popular features including the Green Office Area, where the spotlight will shine on sustainably produced essential office supplies; and the Wrapstar gift wrapping competition.  More information is available at: