H.H. Sheikh Hasher Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Director General, Dubai Department of Information, inaugurated today the Middle East Toy Fair, the largest exhibition of its kind in the region, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre with top local officials, international buyers from the GCC and trade visitors in attendance.
The exhibition, organized by Epoc Messe Frankfurt, has gathered 120 exhibitors from 23 countries. “The value of the Middle East toy market is estimated at AED 5.5 billion with about 11.8% annual growth,” said Eckhard Pruy, Chief Executive Officer of Epoc Messe Frankfurt. “The average yearly toy expenditure is AED 1200 ($327) per child, second only to North America.”
After the inauguration ceremonies, Abdul Rahman Al Obaid, Senior VP Protocol, Security, Health & Safety, DWTC proceeded to award the winners of the first ever Middle East Toy Fair Award 2008. Ms. Monica Schulz-Blank, Senior Show Manager of Middle East Toy Fair said: “The region's leading trade exhibition for toys, baby and infant products, stationery and back-to-school products, games, hobbies, gifts, apparel and licensing, honored winning exhibitors in eight categories."
The winners were Simba Toys Middle East for their Jamila Family Tube, Best culturally adapted toy at the show; A. Winther A/S – Funracer, Best outdoor and activity toy at the show; Haba Habermaaß GmbH - Treasure, ready, go!, Best board game at the show; Simba Toys Middle East - Winnie the Pooh Play Center, Best educational toy at the show; Neat-Oh! - ZipBin® Softie™ Racer, Most innovative toy at the show; Margarete Steiff GmbH - Baby Bear Benny pull car, Best Baby toy at the show; Baby Art – Hoppop, Most innovative baby product at the show; and Edu Fun - Creative Kid TV game, Most technologically innovative toy at the show.
Visitors to the show will have the opportunity to view the special showcase of the winning products only at the Middle East Toy Fair. The winners in each category will receive special recognition throughout the exhibition, and they will benefit from the wide promotion during and after the show.
Ms. Schulz-Blank said this edition of Middle East Toy Fair “has grown another 10% over that of last year, getting some strong sponsors and participants on board, further reinforcing the role of this exhibition as a credible platform for the toy sector in the Middle East.
To make the exhibition more relevant to the needs of both exhibitors and visitors, Epoc Messe Frankfurt has enlisted the support of leading UAE and Gulf companies involved in toys, stationeries and back-to-school to act in an advisory capacity to the exhibition organizers. The members of the Middle East Toy Fair advisory panel are The Toy Store, Emsons, MBC, Kidz Inc., Simba and Al Shula.
Brands participating in the trade fair like Playmobil, Haba, Steiff, Bratz, Scooby Doo, Famosa, SCX, Italeri, Nikko R/C cars, Ravensburger and many more are looking forward to replicating their success across the region and also beyond, in surrounding countries that look up to Dubai for latest concepts and designs. These countries can emerge as an important toy export or import destinations for Dubai. Dubai's strategic position enables it to tap surrounding markets like the Levant, Iran, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.
The Middle East Toy Fair is the region’s biggest trade exhibition for toys, baby and infant products, stationery and back-to-school products, games, hobbies, gifts, apparel and licensing. Product areas within the Toy Fair are Baby and Infant, as well as Stationery and Back-To-School. The specific areas will give visitors and exhibitors a place to source products and build new business relationships.
It is a unique platform for trade visitors to source latest products and meet major buyers, key industry players, and educators involved in the shaping of the Middle East toy market.
The exhibition will be open from 11am to 8pm until Wednesday. Visiting the fair is free of charge for trade visitors. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed in the exhibition to enable a pure business to business platform for the international exhibitors and the regional buyers.
Issued on behalf of Messe Frankfurt by BIZ COM