Dubai, UAE: Three days of busy networking and inspirational ideas have come to a successful close at Paperworld Middle East 2017, as the magical world of school and office supplies, arts and crafts, gift articles, along with children’s games and toys came to the fore.
The region’s premier trade fair for paper, stationery, and office supplies saw a strong turnout in 2017, with 6,732 trade buyers from 93 countries stopping by the stands of 313 exhibitors from 42 countries.
The positive industry response underlines Paperworld Middle East’s importance as a key gateway to a regional market that’s home to more than 200 million people, as the halls buzzed right up to closing on 16th March at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
While the annual three-day event regularly attracts the biggest names in the business, the 7th edition in 2017 was equally notable for debut or start-up companies making their first foray into the vast Middle East and African market.
Abra Cards from the UAE was among more than 50 exhibitors launching exciting new products, with the spotlight on its extensive range of 3D pop-up greeting cards targeting retail, wholesale, and corporate clients.
Founder and Director Kelly Heffey, said the newly established company’s first experience at Paperworld Middle East exceeded all expectations, with a full book of business cards and orders to follow up on over the coming months.
“It was a last minute decision to launch Abra Cards at Paperworld Middle East 2017, but when we saw who was attending, we knew this was the right platform to position the brand in the market and give it a kick start,” said Heffey.
“We never imagined we could get everybody here over the three day period. We’ve had everybody that we could possibly want to meet, importers, exporters and wholesalers throughout the GCC and beyond.”
Heffey said the profile of visitors to the Abra Cards stand varied widely, with a potential order from a major theme park operator just one example of the type of interest that the Middle East’s first 3D pop-up greeting card manufacturer generated.
She added: “A lot of retailers that came to us also had their own ideas of what we can do for them, so it has been great because we’re able to expand our portfolio based on suggestions and ideas from visitors that have come to our stand. It has been very positive and we’ll be back with bells on next year.”
Paperworld Middle East 2017’s strong international flavour was underlined by the presence of six country pavilions from Germany, Italy, China, Taiwan, Egypt, and Pakistan, while the 28-strong UAE contingent was spearheaded by one of the show’s launch partners, Farook International Stationery.
The UAE Company, founded in 1980, currently exports a portfolio of more than 100 ‘Made in UAE’ office and school stationery items to 90 countries throughout the world.
Farook Rahimtulla, the President of Farook International Stationery, speaking about the ongoing success of Paperworld Middle East, said: “We are proud of the continued growth of the show and are pleased to be a part of it. Through our participation we endeavour to broaden our export markets and come up with fresh innovations in product placement and manufacturing.
“We launched a range of new and innovative office and school products to meet the needs of offices, schools and students. Paperworld Middle East is growing steadily every year and the growth in the number of exhibitors is strong confirmation of the excellent job being done by the organisers in correctly positioning the show.
“The event serves as a useful platform for interaction with all stakeholders and to learn about the latest innovations and trends in the industry,” he added.
Among the leading names participating in the German Pavilion were Lamy, Hamelin, Pelikan, Schneider, Herma, Olympia, and Bunt Box, which produces gift boxes and handbags made from 100 per cent recycled fine cardboard.
Simon Brodbeck, the Managing Director of Bunt Box, said: “Without fabric or leather the Buntbox Handbag is a real eye-catcher. It’s the perfect gift box for a pocket book or notebook in A6 format or when putting together a gift box with lots of different beautiful things.
“Paperworld Middle East has been very busy for us,” he added. “We’ve had quality visitors at our stand from across the Middle East and North Africa, and we’re happy to have taken part at the show.”
Paperworld Middle East 2017 had a marked emphasis on sustainability, underlined by the return of the Green Office Area, a dedicated section showcasing the most eco-friendly products available in the market today.
Also making waves was Wrap Star, which saw the most talented gift wrapping exponents in Dubai square off against each other in a spirited competition. A series of gifts were beautifully wrapped and presented in a variety of fashions, using paper, ribbons, bows and boxes, all provided by Paperworld Middle East exhibitors.
“The success of Paperworld Middle East 2017 and the continuing participation from international and local brands has underlined the effectiveness of the event as an unmatched interactive platform for meeting with key decision makers and regional trade buyers,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Paperworld Middle East.
“This year we’ve had some remarkable products and services on display and a robust presence from local and regional players. Going forward, the industry will evolve into a more sustainable and adaptive sector finely tuned to customers’ specific needs.”
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.
Official Launch Partners include Farook International Stationery, Lamy, Paxos, and Schneider. More information is available at: www.paperworldme.com.