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Dual trade show Paperworld Middle East and Gifts and Lifestyle Middle East wraps up another successful edition

23 Nov 2023

Exhibitors from over 40 countries showcased their products at the event

The co-located shows grew 50% from last year and Paperworld Middle East is now the fastest-growing show of its kind in the world

Industry experts speaking at ‘The Hub Forum’ at the event agreed that the digital world presents a significant opportunity for the sector, and that demand for sustainable products will continue to rise

Paperworld Middle East

Dubai, UAE: Paperworld Middle East, the largest international show for paper, stationery, arts and crafts, office supplies and school products concluded its 12th edition today. Held in conjunction with its co-located event Gifts and Lifestyle Middle East, the exhibition grew 50% from last year and welcomed visitors from over 100 countries.

Commenting on the 2023 edition Syed Ali Akbar, Show Director for Paperworld Middle East and Gifts and Lifestyle Middle East said: “Over the course of the past three days, visitors to the show have been able to explore over 400 unique exhibitors and more than 1,000 brands. The events set the ecosystem for the international paper trade in the region and gather industry leaders from every corner of the world under one roof. This year has been a resounding success with many productive deals secured.”

With the industry constantly evolving, an interactive panel at The Hub Forum on “Market Trends, Digital Transformation and Sustainable Alternatives” took place yesterday, exploring new technology and the importance of digitalisation in the Middle East paper industry.

Speaking during the session, Riya Jadhav, Director of e-commerce at iDigitalise said: “The advent of technology and the digital space has brought about a complete transformation in the printing industry, affecting both the production process and the way products are delivered to consumers. With the help of precision-based tools, we are now able to identify what consumers want and provide it to them on-demand.”

Fellow panellist Vibhor Khandelwal, Managing Director, Expand My Business, added: “The digital era presents an opportunity for stationery suppliers to broaden their product offerings by venturing into new areas such as digital notepads and pens. Adapting to technological advancements is crucial for businesses to remain competitive.”

Also yesterday, in the concluding panel titled “Looking Ahead: An outlook on trends shaping the paper and stationery industry”, paper industry experts from Alia Mohd Trading Co. LLC, Ittihad Paper Mill, Capital Envelopes, and MEPCO Gulf shared their closing thoughts and predictions for the sector’s future.

According to Fadi Baaklini, CEO MEPCO, the UAE will remain a particularly strong market for paper demand in the coming years. The panellists unanimously agreed that the preference for sustainable products would continue to rise, particularly as the younger, more eco-conscious generation comes of age.

Parvesh Kapoor, Director, Alia Mohamed Trading, highlighted the growth of e-commerce, while Ritesh Gupta, Marketing at Ittihad Paper Mill believes that face-to-face interaction with consumers will always be significant despite the digital world's growth.

Ali Haider, CEO Capital Envelopes concluded: “Paper is here to stay. It is one of the most sustainable products on the planet and is fully biodegradable. The packaging industry is a particular opportunity for the paper sector moving forward as e-commerce grows and companies look for more suitable alternatives to plastic for their packaging.”

On the closing day of Paperworld Middle East and Gift and Lifestyle Middle East today, visitors were able to unlock their creative potential at the inspiring Artistry Workshops, taking place in collaboration with Funun Arts. As well as painting and sculpting, these workshops offered a unique opportunity to learn about arts-based sustainability projects, bridging the gap between physical and digital art and the power of art therapy.

The final strokes were also made today on the collaborative live art project ‘Signature Canvas’. Painted by four exceptional artists – Saida Banu, Stefania Pomillo, Shiba Khan and Jivan Hovhannisyan, the striking piece of art illustrates the interconnectedness of the world and highlights the UAE’s pivotal role as a welcoming and unifying centre for individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. The Signature Canvas was donated to the SNF Development Center in Dubai, a training centre for young adults with special needs.

Elsewhere, senior buyers and key decision-makers in the paper industry continued to enjoy the exclusive programme at The Premium Club, including the opportunity to foster meaningful connections between key buyers and exhibitors.

The next edition of Paperworld Middle East and Gift and Lifestyle Middle East will take place from 12-14 November 2024 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

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