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UFI releases second report on the exhibition industry in the Middle East, Africa


UFI officials have announced the organization’s second comprehensive report covering the exhibition industry in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is available.

“UFI is pleased to be able to make this information available,” said Paul Woodward, managing director, UFI. “We are committed to providing solid data on the state of the exhibition industry to our members and to the exhibition industry at large.”

The report, compiled by the association’s Middle East-Africa regional office, includes an industry assessment, statistics about exhibition venues, numbers of trade fairs and exhibitions, emerging business sectors and future trends. It covers 44 countries: 12 in the Middle East and 32 in Africa. Additional listings, comparisons, updated 2011-2012 data and a strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats analysis make the report a unique tool for appreciating the state of the exhibition industry in the region.

The report gives a clear sense that the future of the exhibition industry in the region is promising despite the effects of the global economic downturn and political instability in some countries. A few of the findings of the study show:


  • The United Arab Emirates provides the largest indoor exhibition space with 31 percent of the Middle East’s total.
  • South Africa represents 29 percent of African indoor exhibition space and Johannesburg is the only MEA city to offer seven purpose-built exhibition venues.
  • The exhibition market leaders remain the UAE, South Africa and Iran; and,
  • There has been a 14 percent increase in the number of trade shows organized in the Middle East since 2006.

“The need for updated and reliable information about the exhibition scene in the MEA region was pressing,” said Ibrahim Alkhaldi, regional manager, UFI MEA. “We were cautious in analyzing information from venues and organizers directly as this is a difficult region for data collection.”

The executive summary of this report is available at www.ufi.org/research. The complete Report on the Exhibition Industry in the Middle East-Africa may be downloaded by UFI members at no cost and is available for purchase by non-members.

UFI is a global association of the world’s leading tradeshow organizers and exhibition-center operators as well as major national and international exhibition associations and selected partners of the exhibition industry. UFI’s main goal is to represent, promote and support the business interests of its members and the exhibition industry.

UFI represents more than 630 member organizations in 85 countries around the world. More than 900 international tradeshows bear the UFI-approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors alike. UFI members continue to provide the international business community with a unique marketing media aimed at developing outstanding face-to-face business opportunities.

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