Gulf Print & Pack 2017 ended on a high note last week as more than 50 industry-grade machines were sold over the course of the trade exhibition. Held over 26 - 29 March in the Za’abeel Halls at the Dubai World Trade Centre, over 200 exhibitors participated in the region’s leading print technology show and reported big business and high levels of interest from the visitors who attended this year.
Close to AED30 million worth of machines were sold during the event, with big industry players including Canon, Giffin Graphics, Heidelberg, Kodak, Konica Minolta and Xerox reporting that good quality leads are in the pipeline and will be pursued in the coming weeks. A director with Prestige Graphics Trading Co Jabir Jabbar said: “Gulf Print & Pack 2017 was a roaring success for Prestige Graphics. It is a great opportunity for us to connect with old customers and meet new ones.” Gulf Print & Pack veterans PRIME UV agreed, with Erich Midlik, executive vice president saying: “Exhibiting for the fourth consecutive time, PRIME UV-IR Systems once again achieved much success at Gulf Print & Pack. PRIME closed several orders on all three of its new products launched earlier this year.”
Vaibhav Kulkarni, product marketing manager with Baumer Middle East FZE commented: “Most customers visited with a specific agenda as well as with a list of stalls to visit. Visitors were prepared in advance and this helped to get exact and genuine leads. Visitors came from all the GCC countries. We received leads with product specific requirements and expected sales could reach up to 150,000 Euros.”
Vishwas Dharm, regional manager sales and technical support at NOVURANIA SpA echoed the positive feedback: “This was our third Gulf Print & Pack and we are very happy with the quality of visitors who came to our stall. We had a good number of enquiries from distributors and customers from the Middle East as well as Africa. The footfall was great and the people were looking for the innovations and the new technology where they can add some value to their existing set up.”
A director with Prestige Graphics Trading Co, Jabir Jabbar said: “Gulf Print & Pack 2017 was a roaring success for Prestige Graphics. It is a great opportunity for us to connect with old customers and meet new ones.”
Aimed at commercial and packaging printers, the four-day show was a key strategic opportunity for the latest technologies and consumables to be officially launched into the Middle East market.
First time exhibitors, Konica Minolta’s Pauline Brooks, marketing development manager, explained: “Gulf Print and Pack was a fantastic opportunity for Konica Minolta along with our partner Juma Al Majid to launch the new branding, “Accurio” which continues to expand the future of professional printing through a comprehensive range of digital, ink jet technologies and solutions. We also decided it was the ideal event to launch the new C71cf digital label printing machine to the Middle East market; the region is an important part of our business strategy and we appreciate how important events such as Gulf Print & Pack are to the industry.”
There was a very strong international delegation from over 110 countries, including from emerging markets such as Iran whose contingent included SPS Complex, a producer of packaging films; fiber-based packaging specialist Caspian; label company Irandar and Chakavak Printing House, a producer of award-winning holograms. Gutenberg’s Osama Diab observed: “It was a positive event where we had many visits from our current customers and some new customers from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, India and Pakistan and we took this opportunity to introduce our company for sourcing and supplying quality second hand equipment.”
UPEX exhibitor Paradowski summed up the comments of fellow used-machinery exhibitors when Lutz Redmann, managing director, said how satisfied he was with visitor levels and more importantly visitor quality during the show. Celebrating 45 years in the used machinery industry Paradowski is no newcomer to exhibiting and was particularly pleased by the wide geographic area from which visitors had traveled.
As highlighted by Smithers Pira in its latest report, the economic outlook for the Middle East’s print industry is very positive with the market’s value expected to reach $24bn in 2017. The region is investment rich and this was evident from the show floor as Comex Graphics’ managing director Imad H. El-Haddad stated: “This edition of Gulf Print & Pack has witnessed a considerable improvement over the last one, which is especially remarkable seeing the difficult conditions of the printing sector in the region.”
While worldwide growth has marginally slowed in the commercial print sector, the biggest boom has been seen in the label and package field. Global demand is shifting towards digitization and short run print jobs and this was reflected in the make-up of exhibitors.
Ernest Azzam, regional business manager, large format printing MEMA, HP: “Digital printing continues to grow in the region, as industries benefit from the innovative ways the technology allows companies to reach their end customers. This year’s edition of Gulf Print & Pack gave us a platform to showcase our latest products and solutions to visitors and hear back from partners on market opportunities and challenges. We ended on a high note with leads on our PageWide XL, Latex and DesignJet products, which is a testament to the growing interest in our unique latex printing and PageWide technology.”
Alexander Najem, machinery division manager, Giffin Graphics says there is a lot of potential for growth, especially in the printing side of their business. “Only a measly one per cent of printers throughout the MENA region have adopted digital printing solutions, leaving a massive 99 percent as potential customers for companies like ours.”
Lisa Milburn, managing director, Gulf Print and Pack summed up: “We are delighted to have received such positive feedback from both exhibitors and visitors who came to this year’s show. This is a further testament to the growth prospects of the commercial and package printing sector in this part of the world, and certainly cement’s the UAE’s position as a vital hub that promotes business in this still developing industry throughout the region. We’ve had a fantastic show this year and are looking forward to welcoming more exhibitors and visitors in our next edition.”
With optimism high among industry stakeholders, Gulf Print & Pack will return to Dubai on 15-18 April 2019 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.