Dubai show retains quality
Gerry Robinson offers a personal view of the Middle East’s largest amusement industry trade show, DEAL in Dubai.
Taking place from April 20 to 22, there were over 200 exhibitors this year at DEAL and an attendance of around 4,000. Yet this is a show that divides people: Some exhibitors claim that traffic is slow whilst others are rushed off their feet!
What most do agree on is that the quality of visitor is higher than at virtually any other show. The business done at DEAL is measured in millions, if not more, and this is the reason why it remains a must for the majority of participants.
Once again in 2008, the UK provided the largest contingent of exhibitors from any single country, with 27 companies in total. Italian ride manufacturers Moser Rides and Zamperla were successful, as was IE Park, a company that has had a strong Middle East presence now for years.
The proceedings was marred slightly by three Chinese companies displaying copy products or literature, but show organiser International Expo Consults (IEC) was swift to act and closed down the stand of one firm, Zhongshan Guang Yang Amusement Equipment. The other offenders were Game Art and Zhongshan Jinying Amusement Equipment Co. This action followed a similar incident at the RAAPA Show in Moscow the previous week when Golden Dragon was obliged to remove a machine from its stand.
On a happier note, the DEAL exhibitors’ banquet on the first night was one of the best ever. Not only was the food superb but the belly dancers were well received too!
When it returns in April 2009, DEAL will mark the 15th Anniversary of what was once the Theme Parks and Fun Centre show (TPFC). To mark the occasion, and perhaps mindful of a rival event starting in Abu Dhabi, IEC is promising something special, including a workshop/seminar programme that will extend the event to four days.
Gerry Robinson represents Trade Shows International and will be assisting DEAL organisers with their seminar plans in 2009. firstname.lastname@example.org