HRH Premier visits one of the stalls at last year's Gulf Industry Fair.
Record exhibitor line-up for Gulf Industry Fair
Manama, February 3, 2014
The 2014 edition of the Gulf Industry Fair, the premier industrial B2B gathering for the Northern Gulf region, kicks off tomorrow (February 4) in Bahrain with a record 127 exhibitors from 15 countries taking part in the three-day event.
It is being held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre under the patronage of Bahrain’s Prime Minister, His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, who will also inaugurate the fair.
Organised by Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE), which is part of Bahrain’s Al Hilal Group, the annual B2B show will see leading exhibitors showcasing their products and technology solutions over 3,400 sq m of booked space, a record in the show’s seven-year history.
HCE said the Gulf Industry Fair has become a key business-enabler in the Gulf, where billions of dollars are being pumped into the industry sector.
“We are delighted that we have a record 127 exhibitors and that our floor space has increased by over 10 per cent over the previous edition to a new record of 3,400 sq m of booked space,” remarked Jubran Abdulrahman, the managing director of HCE, adding that the show has also attracted more overseas participants this year.
The Gulf’s industrial sector has grown exponentially over the last 15 years, according to recent statistics released by Qatar-based Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC).
Between 1998 and 2012, the total industrial investments rose from $81 billion to a whopping $338 billion, the number of factories jumped from 7,089 to 15,165 and the total workforce grew from 559,420 to 1.34 million.
By the end of 2012, industrial SMEs (small and medium enterprises) accounted for 84 per cent of all factories and a total investment of $14 billion.
"With the GCC states, including the Northern Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, spending billions of dollars in a bid to diversify their economies, events like the Gulf Industry Fair have a key role to play in the industrial diversification of the region," remarked Abdulrahman.
The Gulf Industry Fair has become a much-anticipated landmark in the Northern Gulf trade calendar and has gone from strength to strength since its 2006 inception with newer players flocking to the show.
This year, several European exhibitors including Belgium’s Agema, Czechoslovakian firms Arkon Flow Systems, Envi-Pur and Kralovopolska Slevarna are making their debut, thus boosting the event’s international profile.
“In addition to showcasing the best of Bahrain, from SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to industrial giants, we are delighted that the fair has attracted leading overseas names such as Modon, Saudi Bitumen Industries, and Ducab,” remarked HCE exhibitions director Ahmed Suleiman.
“Modon, the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, is responsible for developing and supervising industrial lands in the kingdom, while Saudi Bitumen Industries (Sabit) is one of the largest manufacturers of bitumen and waterproofing products. Also this year, we have Dubai Cable Company (Ducab), one of the leading producers of cables in the Middle East,” he stated.
"The Dutch pavilion too has three newcomers – Allpacks International, MH Hydraulics and The Grab Specialists – who join HD Demolition, Gutteling Composite Hoses, Vanex, Bell Dredging Pumps, Hydrapro Trading & Services, BOA Recyling Equipment, and DP2offshore in flying the Dutch flag," said Suleiman.
“All in all, we have twice as many overseas exhibitors over last year’s edition,” he added.
Another European debutant is Belgium’s Agema, which manufactures industrial electrification and cable management systems for lifting and handling equipment.
Also from Europe are Czechoslovakian firms Arkon Flow Systems, Envi-Pur and Kralovopolska Slevarna, all of whom have partnered with Bahrain’s High Mark Trading in their regional business push.
Other major overseas names at the event include Saudi Arabia’s Alaa for Industry and British Offset, said a beaming Suleiman.
Major sponsors have once again thrown their weight behind the fair including Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (Asry), Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga) and the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), Majaal Warehouse Company and Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali, said the organisers.
Bahrain’s Labour Fund Tamkeen is also playing a key role at the fair by supporting local companies through its Tarweej scheme and providing up to 80 per cent of their participating costs, they stated.
There are eight sector-specific zones at the show: Aluminium (supported by Alba), Ports and Maritime Industries (supported by Asry), Logistics and Industrial Facilities (supported by First Bahrain-Majaal), Industrial Processes and Manufacturing (supported by Bahrain’s Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali), Energy and Environmental Protection (supported by Noga and Bapco), Industrial Metals – Steel and Alloys, Training for Industry, and Industrial Safety and Security.
The Aluminium Zone features leading Bahraini companies such as International Technical Supplies & Services (ITSS), Garmco, Balexco (Bahrain Aluminium Extrusion Company), Midal Cables, Ameeri Industries and Turk Mechanical, while the Energy Zone has a mix of local and regional players such as Hidd Power and Tebodin.
Other major names at the show include AMA Motors, International Agencies (Intercol), Zayani Motors, A A Bin Hindi, and the Bahrain Development Bank (BDB), which is sponsoring four firms.
The show also enjoys support from British Offset, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), AHK (German Network Chambers), the Gulf Aluminium Council (GAC), Machinery Trade International (MTI), Modon and the BDB, said HCE in the statement.
Last year’s show drew as many as 3,000 visitors and generated a wealth of business leads for exhibitors. Hopes are high that the 2014 show will be an even bigger success as the Northern Gulf’s industrial sector continues its drive ahead.
Gulf Industry Fair 2014 will be open until Thursday, from 9 am to 7 pm.-TradeArabia News Service