The organisers are satisfied with this first edition which registered 1,470 visitors from 41 different countries and, most of all, laid the foundations to create a point of reference for footwear trading in the United Arab Emirates area. This is a significant result in an area where merchandise specialisation is not yet widespread for distribution and the market is still dominated by few agents/ importers who work on a national level and smaller organisations that serve more limited areas with a good number of non-specialised shops.
The trade mostly involved countries from the Gulf area and industry specialists have therefore been able to open up to this new market, distinguished by a rapid growth and a favourable geographic position.
‘We have just ended what can be considered as edition number zero’ states Brigitta Bancher, Expo Riva Schuh manager. ‘Based on the success achieved, we are preparing further promotional strategies, to allow this event to become an actual commercial point of reference for the sector in this important continuously expanding area. For future editions, we are preparing an intensive visitors campaign to promote the event, which will allow us to attract increasing numbers of visitors to the fair in Sharjah, in a market which is still distinguished by a greater concentration of operators compared to Europe’.
‘The business turnover was interesting, especially for the middle market bracket’ specifies Giovanni Laezza, director of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi Spa. ‘Nevertheless, the market of the 24 countries in the MENA region and of the ex-Russian republics is growing fast and new, modern forms of distribution are intensifying, especially shopping malls. This is therefore the ideal time to approach this commercial area because the 14 million square metres of commercial space scheduled to be built over the next five years will provide a strong boost to all product types and, therefore, will represent a new occasion for growth for our event.’