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Tue 1 May 2007 12:00 AM

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Dubai’s InRetail 2007 expo set to expand by 50%

With retail sales across the Middle East booming, it is usually the latest products that gain most attention from industry insiders.

With retail sales across the Middle East booming, it is usually the latest products that gain most attention from industry insiders. But with InRetail, an exhibition focused on the design, layout and management of retail outlets due to take place in Dubai in June, this looks set to change.

The exhibition, which takes place at from June 3 - 5 at Dubai International Exhibition Centre alongside two related events, the Office Exhibition and the Hotel Show, will host 60 exhibitors including architects, shop fitters and designers.

The event is expected to be 50% bigger than last year's edition, which attracted 3000 exclusive visitors. But last year's show also attracted several thousand more visitors who came to visit the other the hotel and office exhibitions, but also had an interest in the retail event. The three shows in total attracted 11,500 people.

"The purpose of the event is that any companies looking for experts to advise them on the design, fit-out and management of the retail outlets or supermarkets, or shopping malls can find them here," said Paula Al Chami, exhibition director. "That is the main premise of the event. The type of experts that we have on hand first would be our exhibitors and they tend to be the companies that are dealing with all the retail interiors and shop fitting.

"We have companies that are also related on the technology side as well as visual merchandising, and companies that handle the design, layout and in store architecture. We also have companies that assist with in store marketing activities as well as the logistics handling of their products regionally."

Assaf & Kabbabé Trading is one company that is returning to the show after success in 2006. Originally established in Milan in 1974, the firm has been operating in the Gulf market for the past 15 years.

Exhibitors at this year's InRetail are from various countries including from Italy, Germany, the UK and the UAE. The show's visitor base consists of architects, designers and retailers, including leading hypermarket groups, multinationals, and independent retailers. "Many of the visitors are the people who specify on the upcoming projects," Al Chami said. "We tend to have different categories of visitors from different companies.

"What tends to happen more at InRetail is that we get the A-category people, which means the influencers and the decision makers. 41% of last year's visitors were the managing director and general manager level of those sectors."

The show will also feature a series of free seminars called ‘Innovations In Retail', which look at the latest trends in the regional and international retail, such as management trends and techniques.

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