SHARJAH is now the home of the UFI Middle East/Africa Regional Office, following a three-year agreement inked between the exhibition industry association and host venue Expo Centre Sharjah in the UAE.
The UFI Middle East/Africa Regional Office, which was previously located in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, supports association members in the region, enabling them to profit from networking opportunities, develop industry information resources and implement a variety of education programmes.
Saif Al Midfa, CEO of Expo Centre Sharjah, said: “I am convinced that the benefits from UFI’s presence (here), especially with regards to information, networking and education, will continue to serve the business objectives of members throughout the region”.
A press release on the office relocation revealed that recent UFI research had shown growth in the Middle East’s exhibition industry. A 14 per cent increase in the number of trade fairs and a 21 per cent rise in available exhibition space have been recorded since 2006, despite the disruptive global economic crisis in 2008 and Arab Spring in 2011.
Paul Woodward, UFI managing director, commented: “UFI recognises the great importance of maintaining a base in this region to actively serve the needs of our members in both the Middle East and Africa. We are truly grateful to our Regional Chapter leadership and the office host for (their) support. We look forward to a long and fruitful presence in Sharjah as the exhibition business continues to develop and thrive across the regions we serve from this office.”