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Sharjah jewellery expo draws record crowd

Sharjah, April 3, 2012

The 32nd edition of 'MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show' which concluded in Sharjah recently attracted 57,512 visitors, registering a 12 per cent growth in visitor numbers over its previous edition in October last year.

The show, which ran from March 27 to 31, featured more than 450 master jewellers from across the globe who showcased a wide range of gold and diamond jewellery, diamonds, precious stones, loose pearls, pearl sets and watches on a 20,000 sq m of exhibition space at Sharjah expo centre.

Apart from nationals and visitors from neighbouring GCC states, diversity of expatriate population of the UAE, which is home to people from nearly 200 nationalities, was also represented in the visitor profile, said organisers Expo Centre Sharjah, which hosted the event with the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

According to experts, with the global financial system entering an encouraging territory, investors have shifted towards a “buy the dip” and “sell the rally” mentality and away from the type of panic buying seen last summer, lending more stability to the prices and bringing in more buyers to the market.

The lovers of jewellery can now forget the wild swings in gold prices in the past and look forward to a more stable yellow metal in the near future with a global commodities research and investment banking company  projecting that the prices were unlikely to rise above the record levels seen in 2011, they said.

Signalling a consolidation phase after a decade of continuously higher prices, the CPM Group pointed out that increasing supply versus a bigger global pool of investors for gold are combining to put a floor under the market, and prices are expected to remain firm, without the parabolic rallies of the recent past.

Goldman Sachs too noted that the price of gold is too low now relative to real interest rates, and at current price levels gold remains a compelling buy.

“This positive market trend was clearly playing out at the show, where we saw an increase in overall demand for gold and a surge in visitor turnout,” remarked Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, director-general of Expo Centre Sharjah.

World Gold Council figures show that while global demand for gold in 2011 was driven by the investment sector where annual demand was 1,640.7t, up 5 per cent on the previous record set in 2010 with a value of $ 82.9 billion, the value of jewellery demand in 2011 reached a new annual record of $99.2 billion.

“The show has managed to attract very high quality visitors,” said John Chakardemian, Yeprem Jewellery, Lebanon, while highlighting the reputation the show enjoys in the region and recalling its appeal to attract visitors even during the difficult times.

Confirming this trend, Paulo Dorian, of Maria Adourian from Lebanon, said, 'The expo meets the requirements of different nationalities,' while another exhibitor, Dr Hotor Lee, of Siang Hoa Jewellery from Singapore, said, “Excellent show... where East meets West and all the needs of visitors are met.”

Apart from consumers, the show was also a favourite among traders, who saw it as the best opportunity to check out the latest of designs and trends from all over the world at a single venue, saving quite a lot of time and money on foreign trips and business meetings.

“We received a lot of visitors, especially jewellery dealers,” remarked Arun Thappar, of Apple Greendia from Japan.

The show, which has an impressive exhibitor retention rate and hence several regular exhibitors, was advantageous for first-time exhibitors too.

“It was our first participation and we are very happy that we received plenty of visitors, said Fatima Fanani, Emirates Business Women Council, UAE.

The fabulous prizes on offer also served as an compelling attraction for residents and tourists to visit the show in large numbers. Lucky shoppers won exciting prizes every day in raffle draws, while several pavilions also gave away prizes and gifts to visitors.

The IGI Seminar Series sessions hosted on the sidelines of the show on the theme ‘Know Your Diamond’ in association with International Gemological Institute (IGI), the world’s largest independent gem certification institute, were also a big draw, not just among traders but also general visitors.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Gulf | Sharjah | Gold | diamond | expo | visitors | MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show |

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