Middle East’s largest display of Italian products and services to begin at Expo Centre Sharjah on May 23

United Arab Emirates: Sunday, May 21 - 2006 @ 14:05

The four-day exhibition, which will be in its third edition this year, will showcase an array of high quality Italian products, services, and technologies, with primary focus on the region’s building, construction, and contracting sectors.

Among the products that will be displayed at the event are building material, accessories, furniture, home furnishings, home accessories, bathroom fittings, sanitary ware, kitchen fittings and equipment, windows and doors, flooring material, ceramic products and accessories, wooden products, metallic and compound materials, and lighting equipment.

“The Italian Lifestyle in the Emirates Exhibition has had two very successful editions,” said Mr. Saif Al Midfa, Director General, Expo Centre Sharjah, at a media briefing on Sunday.

“This year too we expect an overwhelming response. More so, because of the event’s exclusive focus on the building, construction and contracting sectors. The Italian Lifestyle in the Emirates Exhibition will provide the Middle East construction industry, which is currently at its peak, with an opportunity to experience Italian excellence and aesthetics first hand,”

he added.

The Middle East construction industry is presently experiencing a major boom. Currently, there are 1,400 on-going projects in the Gulf region with a value of over USD $ 695 billion. The total construction spend in the GCC, Iran, and Iraq, at present is around USD $ 294 billion. It is estimated that in the next five years, the GCC region will spend USD $ 200 billion on construction projects.

Mr. Saif Al Midfa further said that the exhibition this year was expecting an increased visitor turnout, particularly from the GCC States.

“The last edition of the exhibition attracted 12,160 visitors, of which 11,660 visitors were from the GCC States including the UAE. This year we expect a 15% increase in visitor turnout from the GCC region,” he added.

Besides showcasing a wide range of Italian products, services and technologies related to the building, construction, and contracting sectors, the coming edition of the Italian Lifestyle in the Emirates Exhibition will be an ideal opportunity for regional companies to network and establish contacts with Italian companies seeking to identify local partners.

The Italian Lifestyle in the Emirates Exhibition this year features 200 leading Italian companies and service providers occupying two halls at Expo Centre Sharjah measuring 8,000 sq. m.
Talking about the Italian Trade Commission pavilion at the exhibition, Dr. Ferdinando Fiore – Trade Commissioner, Italian Trade
Commission in Dubai said at the briefing: “This year we wanted to be more focused and therefore oranised a very specialised group of exhibitors who would truly reflect the Italian Style of Living.”

The Italian Trade Commission pavilion at the Italian Lifestyle in the Emirates exhibition consists of 80 Italian companies occupying total exhibition area of 1,314 sq. m.

Commenting on the trade relations between the UAE and Italy, Dr. Fiore said: “Trade relations between Italy and the UAE have a long outstanding history. Italy is continuously looking to increase its exports to the UAE. In 2004, Italian exports to the UAE totaled 2.1 billion euros, an increase of 9.72% over 2003. During 2004, Italian imports from the UAE stood at 251.4 million euros, an increase of 38% over 2003 figures.”

Dr Fiore added that in 2005, Italy’s exports to the UAE were 2.5 billion euros and its imports from the UAE 264 million euros.

Though the primary focus of the Italian Lifestyle in the Emirates Exhibition is on construction related products, services and technologies, a limited number of Italian food companies are also participating in it. Italian food is considered to be one of the richest and most varied in the world.

The Italian Lifestyle in the Emirates Exhibition is being jointly organised by the Italian Trade Commission in Dubai, Artex, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the UAE and GCC, and Expo Centre Sharjah with the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

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Sunday, May 21- 2006 @ 14:05 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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