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Tue 1 May 2007 12:00 AM

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The countdown begins...

A rise in the region's logistics trade shows means it's often difficult to separate relevant events from the avoidable ones.

The number of trade shows aimed at the Middle East logistics industry has dramatically increased over the years. Indeed, during the first quarter of 2007, numerous events were successfully hosted in countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Given the massive growth experienced in the industry, this scenario is perfectly plausible. However, at the same time, logisticians working in the region are finding it increasingly difficult to separate those events worth attending with their more avoidable counterparts.

Research, it seems, is therefore essential. As the logistics industry encompasses such a variety of functions, each trade show is likely to focus on specific areas, such as fleet management, warehousing or material handling. Attending something irrelevant is not only a waste of time, but also money, so its worth having a look at the event's website to determine whether the exhibitors, conference speakers and targeted delegates are truly applicable to your profession.

I remember, during a two-day seminar in Dubai last year, a delegate arrived from Saudi Arabia only to discover the topics being discussed were completely unrelated to his role as warehouse manager. After spending the first morning in a series of lectures, he eventually opted to spend the remainder of his time exploring the local tourist haunts.

Hopefully, this type of scenario will be avoided at the Material Handling and Logistics Middle East show, which takes place in Dubai this month. The bi-annual event has proved a massive success in previous years and event organisers are confident this year's exhibition and conference will be bigger than ever.

In association with the Material Handling Show, the inaugural Supply Chain and Transport Awards (SCATA) also takes place in May. Some of the biggest names in the industry are actively supporting this prestigious ceremony, which has been organised by ITP, the publisher of Logistics Middle East magazine.

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