Extra security for Jewellery Arabia
Manama, November 20, 2011
Security at Bahrain's Jewellery Arabia this week will be tighter than ever before to ensure the exhibition runs smoothly and safely, said organisers.
Additional cameras have been fitted, along with stringent security checks and special parking arrangements, Arabian Exhibition Management sales and marketing director Fawzi Al Shehabi told our sister newpaper, the Gulf Daily News in an exclusive interview.
Extra security measures have been implemented following the earlier unrest in the country, including Sanabis, where the event is being held, he said.
'We have met Public Security officials who have assurance us that there will be no problem, and roads will not be closed,' said Al Shehabi.
'The Public Security and government are all behind this exhibition. Security personnel will allow parking through to Geant, the land behind the exhibition centre, this will all be secured, so there will be no parking opposite the exhibition centre. Once the parking is full in the exhibition centre, vehicles will be directed to the parking area behind the exhibition centre,' he added.
The 20th Jewellery Arabia expo is being held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIEC), from November 22 to 26.
The dazzling array of products on show include new product launches, exclusive collector items, antiques, plus an incredible range of finished jewellery, luxury watches and precious stones from around the world, said organisers.
Further security measures at this year's event also follow a spate of thefts that have occurred in Gold City within the last month.
More than BD40,000 was stolen in three robberies at shops on the ground floor of the centre since October 1.
Shopkeepers alleged that they were preyed on by organised gangs using children, sign language and disguising themselves in traditional Arabic clothing to pull off heists.
Al Shehabi said measures had been taken to ensure that covered women are checked before they enter the exhibition and no one will be allowed inside without a badge.
'We have brought it to the attention of the Interior Ministry,' said Al Shehabi. 'There are more cameras than ever before, it is a new system. I think security is an important issue and we have taken care of it.
'We have booths for checking covered women, they will be checked by women police and they will not be given a badge before the police check them. We have been assured that nobody will get inside without a badge, there will be cameras and we have warned exhibitors to take extra care and advised them to have cameras in their stands as well. And most of them do. There will be police presence throughout the exhibition as in previous years,' he added.
Al Shehabi said despite the earlier unrest in the country the number of exhibitors hadn't fallen much.
He said about 550 exhibitors from 27 countries out of a usual 600 from 30 countries are taking part in this year's event.
'The drop is only small and unfortunately it is mainly coming from our Gulf neighbours not internationally, and I told them that they should be supporting Bahrain, not staying away,' said Al Shehabi. 'I think maybe they watch TV channels and I have told them leave the media, life is normal here.”
'The unrest hasn't made that much of an effect, but there are some people who are concerned about their participation and they are worried about their jewellery and their insurance, because of the riot. But if they don't come they will lose their deposit.”
'I want to assure them that life is normal here, if you are worried about the insurance we have made an arrangement for insurance to cover your jewellery during the exhibition and transportation from the airport to the exhibition centre,' he added.
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro said in a statement that the exhibition had firmly established itself as the largest and most prestigious jewellery event in the Middle East since its inception in 1992.
'Known as the 'Pearl of the Gulf', due to its illustrious pearling history and strategic location, Bahrain has been a destination for traders and craftsmen from surrounding countries for more than 4,000 years,' he said.
'In these modern times, the Jewellery Arabia series perpetuates this rich tradition of international trade and commerce by bringing together the finest jewellery houses and watch manufacturers from around the world.'
Meanwhile, for the seventh successive year, the Middle East Watches, Jewellery and Pen Awards will be held on the sidelines of the exhibition at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa on November 22.
Prior to the expo, there will be a ladies-only presentation on purchasing tips by Sotheby's New York jewellery expert Robin Wright at Bushido in Seef today (November 20), at 11am, followed by lunch. Tickets cost BD80 per person.
A VIP dinner-talk will also be held at the same venue today at 8pm and tickets cost BD100 per person.
Jewellery Arabia will be open at the BIEC from 4pm to 10pm from 22 to 25. On Saturday, the exhibition will open from 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 10pm.
Admission to the expo is by invitation-only. – TradeArabia News Service