Interview with Angela Schaschen, Managing Director of Messe Middle East
The Middle East Domotex Exhibition due to its freshness needs to supply information about various aspects. Since this exhibition is considered as an important carpet and floor-covering event, and certainly will play a major role in leading floorcovering markets in the Middle-East.
We decided to have an interview with “Angela Schaschen” the managing director of Messe Middle-East -the regional representative of Deutche Messe AG Hanover- and express her views about the features of this exhibition.
Q1. Would you please give us a brief resume of yourself and an account of the DOMOTEX Middle East 2007 exhibition?
A1. After a highly successful career in the printing and publishing industry within Germany I moved to the Middle East several years ago to experience the culture and explore new opportunities. I quickly became involved in the region’s exhibition industry and was project director of a number of titles for one of the area’s leading trade fair organisers. Following my decision to establish Messe Middle East I became the regional representative for Deutsche Messe Hannover and involved in the launch of the powerful DOMOTEX brand into the region.
The 2007 show, which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from June 11-13, will take up four halls and span some 14.000 square metres –numbers we expect to exceed last year’s record breaking launch as the Dubai World Trade Centre’s largest show ever in its 27 year history. Many of last year’s exhibitors have rebooked, many taking increased floor space, while we also have a significant number of newcomers to the show. To date, the exhibitor profile boasts companies from 36 nations throughout the Americas, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Far East. Most of the industry’s big names are featured in the line-up an are complemented by newcomers from Italy, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Canada, France, German and Iran – this includes the Mashad Carpet Company of Iran – the country’s largest manufacturer of machine-made carpets.
Other key names from Iran which will participate at the 2007 show include: Booria CAD/CAM Systems, Peyman Moquette Company, Savin Carpet Company and Zarif Mosaver Company.
Q2. Why did you decide to hold the DOMOTEX Middle East exhibition in 2006 after it has so successfully run in Hannover for 17 years?
A2. The dramatic growth in the Middle East’s construction, development, real estate and interiors sectors promoted the decision to launch the DOMOTEX brand in the region and Dubai was chosen because of its trade exhibition facilities, its visitor catchment outreach and its status as the commercial hub of the region. This was clearly an emerging market that could not be ignored.
Our belief in the Middle East market was justified with the show quickly climbing the rankings to becoming the fastest-selling, new-to-market trade show in the history of the Dubai World Trade Centre. On its inaugural showing, DOMOTEX Middle East featured pavilions from six nations and 241 exhibitors from 35 countries – 86% of which were from overseas. The show attracted over 5,000 visitors from 70 countries with 39% of the turnout hailing from outside the UAE. A significant percentage of trade buyers were from the UAE, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, India and Germany. Nearly 40% of them were key decision makers. Carpets and rugs were the main focus for more than a third of visitors, followed by textile floor coverings, parquet and other wooden floors.
The visitor profile included wholesalers and retailers of floor coverings, decision makers in the contract and property development business, planners, architects and interior designers, interior decorators, construction companies and property investors,
as well as their buyers and project managers, floor fitters and other skilled workers in the sector.
Q3. How will DOMOTEX Middle East attract exhibitors many of whom may already participate in DOMOTEX Hannover – won’t participation in both incur heavy costs?
A3. DOMOTEX Middle East is highly attractive to the many companies who have now recognised the enormous potential of this region and who want to meet decision-makers here face-to-face. The sizeable rebookings we have received for the 2007 show, from those present in 2006, demonstrates that the industry clearly believes the show delivers value for money in terms of business outcomes.
It has to be borne in mind that DOMOTEX Middle East is the only dedicated flooring and carpet trade show in the region – a focus no other exhibition can attain to.
Q4. How do you evaluate the Persian Gulf states and Middle Eastern countries in all fields, including textile floor and other floor coverings?
A4. The potential is enormous. Accordingly to industry analysts, over US $1 trillion worth of construction projects are currently planned or underway throughout the six GCC states alone. It is interesting to note that Masoud Mahmoudi, the Managing Director of Fibril in Iran has dubbed the region “the world’s fastest-growing flooring market, which could soon be on track to replace Europe as the world’s second-largest synthetic textile flooring producer and exporter after the USA.”
Q5. What is your opinion on the status of Iran in the international flooring industry?
A5. Iran remains a major player and will continue to be so. With a pedigree of hand-woven carpet production dating back 10,000 years and with a 30% share of the world’s market for hand-woven carpets, the country remains in a strong position to tackle any challenges brought about by increased globalization or the emergence of new industrial powerhouses. Carpets and flooring are synonymous with Iran and will continue to be so with many of the country’s producers now investing heavily in new technology, it will continue to maintain a leading industry role.
Q6. What is the purpose of your visit to Iran?
A6. As the organisers of the only dedicated flooring and carpets show serving the Middle East we wish to partner the industry in any way we can in furthering its progression. This means we have to get close to all industry players to discover their needs, the issues they face and how we can assist in helping them. I also hope to spread awareness of DOMOTEX Middle East within Iran, given its importance within the regional and global industry, to encourage greater participation from within the country both from an exhibitor and visitor perspective.