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UFI event brings regional industry leaders to Sharjah

The leaders of the exhibitions industry in the Middle East and Africa converged on Sharjah to set the course for the region’s fast-evolving exhibitions industry on Thursday (June 2).

The UFI Leadership Meeting at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry was followed by a networking lunch which was attended by some of the leading exhibition organisers, venues, and service providers of the UAE.

The leadership meeting, which was chaired by Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Chairman of the Middle East/African Chapter the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), Paris, brought together the Chapter’s elected leaders to identify regional priorities, exchange ideas and develop plans for the Chapter\'s future.

“With the exhibitions industry in the region expecting higher growth than most parts of the world, the leadership meeting was aimed at identifying priorities for the Chapter and deliberate on issues of common interest. We also took stock of recent developments in the industry, especially in the wake of the prevailing geo-political turmoil, low oil prices, strong shifts in customer behaviour and various aspects of digital disruption,” said Mr. Midfa, who is the CEO of Expo Centre Sharjah.

The networking lunch brought together the country’s leading event organises at a single place, helping them discuss specific opportunities and challenges concerning the local exhibitions industry with their regional counterparts.

“We are serving a face to face industry – so a core element of UFI’s work is to organise regular networking events for our members globally as well as locally. We are happy to share recent industry developments here in Sharjah, and will take many insights from the regional leaders of our industry with us from this meeting”, says Mr. Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s Managing Director.

The meeting also reviewed preparations for the Global Exhibitions Day celebration on June 8, 2016. The Global Exhibitions Day is an initiative by UFI together with the Dallas-based International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and dozens of national industry associations, aiming to raise awareness about the role of the industry in stimulating markets, economic growth and development of infrastructure.

“A growing list of associations, industry players, government bodies and universities has announced their decision to join forces to promote the industry and to highlight its achievements. The Global Exhibitions Day will unite all leading national and regional initiatives under one common umbrella and strengthen their messages and multiply reach. At the same time, it is also meant to be a celebration of the people working in the exhibitions industry,” added Mr. Midfa.

UFI, which has around 700 members who directly represent around 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, is the global association of the world’s leading tradeshow organisers and fairground owners, major national and international associations of the exhibition industry and its partners. The UFI’s Middle East/Africa regional Office is based in Sharjah at Expo Centre Sharjah.

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