Expo Centre Sharjah maintains leadership in face of Covid-19

The Expo Centre Sharjah has managed to secure its leading position and reinforce its reputation in the economic arena both locally and globally after its success in organizing and hosting 20 specialized exhibitions in 2020, with the participation of more than 2500 companies and brands, while adopting stringent precautionary and preventive measures to ensure the safety of visitors and exhibitors. This comes at a time when the international exhibitions industry was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Centre's 2020 agenda was bursting with a lot of successful events, where 9 exhibitions were organized in the first two months of the year attracting thousands of visitors, in addition to the outstanding participation of local, regional and, international companies. These include SteelFab 2020 which brought together more than 300 local and international companies and 700 prominent brands; Come on Kerala Exhibition in the presence of over 4000 businessmen with a footfall of more than 60,000; the 9th International Government Communication Forum with the participation of 64 government officials representing 16 countries; and the 7th the Real Estate Investment Exhibition (ACRES 2020) which witnessed a heavy turnout of businessmen, investors, and real estate developers.

And despite the Covid-19 impact on the global economy where most of the in-person events were canceled or delayed, the Centre has managed to restore the dynamism and momentum of this vital sector following the Sharjah Executive Council's decision on the resumption of exhibitions and conferences activity in the emirate. This was manifested in organizing and hosting the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), the world’s largest cultural event which was a leading example of organizing and hosting a hybrid online-offline model in the presence of more than 73 countries. The event was attended by over 1000 publishers and witnessed 382,000 visitors throughout the 11 days.

“Sharjah’s robust economic infrastructure has significantly contributed to the quick rebound of the exhibitions activity from Covid-19 fallout, thanks to the directives and visions of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah,” said His Excellency Abdalla Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry & Expo Centre Sharjah.

He underlined that the emirate’s resilience and innovative initiatives has reinforced its position as a global destination for this industry and reflected its outstanding reputation and vast experience in this sector. Al-Owais added that the events organized by the Expo Centre during Covid-19 formed an additional impetus to the comeback of several economic sectors in the emirate, thanks to the proactive and forward-looking vision of Sharjah Government, stressing the Chamber’s commitment to supporting the Emirate’s economic diversification policy, as well as continuing the work to develop exhibitions industry and enhance its competitiveness through creative ideas and concepts.

His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al-Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah, said: “We have adopted special strategies to cope with the pandemic challenges and repercussions. We also organized a considerable number of meetings with the industry stakeholders and decision-makers both locally and globally to come up with innovative initiatives that help accelerate the recovery of this vital sector.

Such measures have greatly helped the Center in organizing and hosting many exhibitions during the past year, while adopting strict precautionary and preventive measures for the health and safety of everyone.

Al-Midfa pointed out that 2020’s events took into consideration the global changes imposed by the pandemic, which is why our focus was on organizing and hosting local events, noting that the Centre is seeking to organize even more remarkable events this year.

The trade shows organized by the Centre during the last months of 2020 constituted a qualitative addition to the retail trade sector, thanks to their substantial role in revitalizing the retail market and boosting its sales. For instance, the ‘Big Shopper Sale 2020’, ‘Furniture 360’, and ‘Trendz’ exhibitions attracted more than 21,000 visitors, while the 10th Wedding Show 2020, which was organized at Expo Khor Fakkan, witnessed a high turnout of visitors and shoppers.

Towards the end of the last year, the Expo Centre organized the ‘Winter Clearance Sale 2020’ which provided the emirate residents and visitors with an exceptional shopping experience along with great deals and attractive discounts up to 80% on the latest technologies, home appliances, smartphones, and premium fashion and accessories offered by world’s top brands. And as part of its relentless efforts to support and uplift the local industries, the Expo Centre launched the 1st edition of the “Jewels of Emirates” Show, bringing together more than 100 exhibitors from across the UAE to showcase the latest gold, silver, diamonds, precious stones, pearls, gemstones, and watches, while the ‘Adventure & Camping 2020 Exhibition’, held at Expo Al Dhaid, , is the only event of its kind in the country that caters to the complete requirements of outdoor camping and adventure activities.

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