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Region set to mark first Global Exhibitions Day

Industry leaders and those working in the exhibitions industry in the Middle East and Africa will join hands with tens of thousands of their counterparts across the world to mark the first ever Global Exhibitions Day on June 8, 2016.

With 4.4 million companies exhibiting annually at 31,000 shows that are visited by 260 million people and generates 680,000 full-time equivalent jobs, the Global Exhibitions Day will celebrate the US$55 billion events and exhibitions industry’s role in stimulating economic growth, generating jobs and developing infrastructure.

The Global Exhibitions Day is an initiative of Paris-based Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) together with Dallas-based International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and dozens of national industry associations, which has received pledges of support and participation from industry leaders across all continents.

Expo Centre Sharjah will be spearheading the regional celebrations since it is the UFI’s Middle East/Africa Regional Office, and its CEO, Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, is the chairman of both the MEA Chapter of UFI and the Gulf Chapter of IAEE.

“For the first ever Global Exhibitions Day, we aim to celebrate the contributions of those who build, maintain, and support the world’s market places: trade show organisers, venue owners & operators, service providers, and national as well as international associations of our industry. On June 8, the exhibitions industry will share one single, cohesive voice,” said Mr. Midfa.

Mr. Midfa urged all regional exhibition companies, employees and those associated with the industry to mark the Global Exhibitions Day in their own unique way, and raise awareness about the enormous value of the exhibition industry.

“The exhibitions industry not only has the power to stimulate the market but also generates employment opportunities and boosts economic growth. In the region, the industry is a key growth driver for the economy, making significant contributions through income and employment along with attracting substantial foreign investment,” added Mr. Midfa.

“The exhibition industry is building, maintaining, and organizing the market places of the world. By bringing together millions of people worldwide, we are a global driver of cultural and economical collaboration. Exhibitions, just as well as mega events like EXPO 2020 Dubai, shape countries for a better future”, says Mr. Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director of Paris-based UFI.

"IAEE is pleased to partner with UFI and the IAEE Gulf chapter as we celebrate the positive impacts of the global exhibitions industry. Over 35 countries and industry associations are participating in the first annual events that advocate for the growth and enhancement of our industry that supports jobs, economic and cultural impacts" says David DuBois, President and CEO, IAEE.

In the Middle East and Africa region, the number of exhibitions and meetings has increased several folds in the past decade, earning it global prestige as a popular exhibitions and meetings hub besides creating economic value with increased travel and hospitality spending by visitors who combine business with leisure.

Some of the upcoming mega events like the World Expo 2020 and the FIFA World Cup 2022, along with massive spending on infrastructure and tourism facilities are set to fuel the growth of the regional exhibitions industry

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