Dubai, UAE: The Middle East world of school and office supplies, stationery, paper, arts and crafts, corporate gifts, and children’s toys and games, is taking centre-stage this week in Dubai, as the industry’s dedicated regional trade fair gets underway.
Running until 1st March at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Paperworld Middle East 2018 features 303 exhibitors from 42 countries, with eco-friendly global product launches and a two-day industry seminar programme among the many highlights.
The 8th edition of the annual three-day event features country pavilions from Germany, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and Pakistan, while the UAE contingent is as strong as ever, with the 31 local exhibitors on-board headed by Farook International Stationery, Capital Envelopes, NGR Paper, Hoshan Pan Gulf, and Party Camel.
New developments in 2018 include a dedicated Corporate Gifts section, where the spotlight shines on the A to Z of promotional items. A refined Playworld Village has also seen a resurgence, where more than 24 suppliers of children’s toys, games and lifestyle products are showcasing their wares, including household global names such as Melissa & Doug and Ty from the USA, and German brands Karaloon and Spiegelburg.
That’s in addition to all the returning features such as the Green Room, where all items point to a bright eco-oriented society; and Wrap Star, the UAE’s only gift wrapping competition, ensuring Paperworld Middle East remains as the key inspiration source and focal point for the wider region’s paper, stationery, and office supplies industries.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of the show’s organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “The Middle East and Africa remains a major market for paper, stationery, and office supplies, with manufacturers viewing the region as a key customer base with high demand for printed media products.
“While the market continues to be driven by leading international brands, there’s a growing niche for local and regional players with specialised products catering to regional preferences.
“At Paperworld Middle East 2018, we’re welcoming a significant number of key global players and start-ups alike, but all have common objectives; to showcase their latest innovations to thousands of regional trade buyers, strengthen distribution networks, source new clients, and network within the industry,” Pauwels added.
WZ Eurocopert from Poland is one of the many returning global exhibitors to Paperworld Middle East 2018, and is highlighting its eco-friendly credentials at the show’s Green Room with its PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified envelopes and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified Manila paper.
Wojciech Zukowski, Member of the Board at WZ Eurocopert, Poland’s largest envelopes producer, said the company’s sales in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) increased by 12 percent over the last year.
“We received new orders from the MEA, and our company invested in three new machines to produce an assortment according to regional demand,” he said. “We also finished the Blue Angel Certification to prove that all our recycled paper envelopes are environmentally friendly.
“The MEA is a very interesting and promising market; we love the culture, people and doing business here, and we do everything to build full trust and perfect business relationships with customers from this region.”
British stationery manufacturer Premier Grip is another returning exhibitor to Paperworld Middle East this week, having first participated at the show in 2014. Managing Director Mr. Alan Morris said since it was established in 1877, Premier Grips has achieved a reputation of high quality stationery products that includes suspension files, treasury tags, box files, adhesive putty, and much more.
“Premier Grip applies both B2B and B2C concepts to its business and we supply stationery to large firms, banks, government, educational establishments, and many other end-user segments,” said Mr. Morris.
“Exporting has always been key to Premier Grip’s growth strategy and business sustainability. It’s critical to the long term success and well-being of our business that we build our brand in carefully selected export markets. The Middle East has shown a great potential for our business expansion, and we’ve found customers to be very loyal here so we aim to offer the same in return.”
Elsewhere, Paper Panda Roll is seeking regional distributors for its thermal paper roll, cash register roll, and custom printing paper used for the full spectrum of hospitality, retail, financial, gas station, medical, wireless and business transaction applications.
Frank Ouyang, Co-founder of Panda Paper Roll, said the Middle East has been the main source of profits since the company started exporting 14 years ago: “The Middle East comprises 50 percent of our total customer-base while 60 percent of profits come from this market,” said Ouyang.
“We expect to meet more potential customers at Paperworld Middle East and expand our business in the regional market. We’re also seeking 2-4 new distributors in Dubai, which is serves as our Middle East base.”
More than 6,000 trade visitors from 90 countries are expected to attend Paperworld Middle East 2018, sourcing the latest industry supplies, from printers, computers and multimedia, to creative materials, leather articles, gifts and wrapping, and school supplies.
A two-day seminar from 28 February to 1 March will also highlight key industry trends, including a special focus on Africa, and an overview of the Middle East office print market.
Paperworld Middle East is co-located with Leatherworld Middle East, the region’s premier showcase of end-user leather goods and accessories. More information is available at: www.paperworldme.com