Industry News: ARABLAB’S 25th anniversary show was the biggest and most successful yetThere can be no better place to hold an event concerned with an industry of the future than in Dubai, the city of the future. From a small entrepot trading port in the mid-twentieth century, Dubai has developed into the prime hub of market stretching from western Europe to China, central Asia to Africa, and incorporating the dynamic economies of the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.
ARABLAB provides a unique forum for industry leaders involved in medical, petroleum and environmental research and analysis, laboratory automation, and data process management. Regarded by the biotechnology industry as the third most important show in the world, the 2008 event, held from 10 to 13 February, attracted more than 750 of the industry’s leading companies from around the globe, with national pavilions from Austria, China, France, Germany, Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The exhibition focused on six sectors – laboratory technology, biotechnology, environmental sciences, robotics and automation, analytical instrumentation, and measurement and testing – whilst the packed seminar programme offered invaluable opportunities to gain information about the latest developments.
DuBiotech (the region’s first science and business park dedicated to the global life science industry, where more than thirty companies from around the world are already operating in various biotechnology fields) has confirmed it will continue its patronage and active support of ARABLAB, as part of its commitment to nurturing the growth of the life sciences industry in the region.
Said Dr Abdulqader Alkhayat, Executive Director of DuBiotech, “We aim to be at the forefront of the life sciences industry by encouraging research and development. Our recent MoU to launch the Gulf Anti-doping and Monitoring Enterprise (GAME), the AED289-million Nucleotide Complex laboratory, and the BioTiqania Training Institute will enable Dubai to evolve as the pioneering destination for biotechnology professionals.”
More national groups than ever before participated in ARABLAB 2008, with exhibitors reporting that this year’s event was the most successful yet, confirming the show’s appeal to buyers and specifiers not only from the Middle East, but also the increasingly important markets of the Indian sub-continent, Africa, China, and central and south-east Asia .
CIMA, coordinator of the Chinese national group, intends to consolidate the two separate pavilions that they had in 2008 into one larger stand for 2009, to increase the effectiveness of their presence. The closer cooperation between ARABLAB and CIMA announced at this year’s show is expected to lead to a substantial increase in the number of Chinese companies participating.
Mr Russell Purvis of Designs for You Ltd, organisers of the British group, said that they had had an extremely successful show and that 80% of the 43 companies had already confirmed their participation in 2009 before the end of this year’s event, with most reserving larger stands. He expected that the number of British companies exhibiting would increase by 50%.
Mr Choi Jun-Hwan of the Korea Scientific Instruments Industry Cooperative, exhibiting for the second year at ARABLAB, said that his exhibitors were delighted with the event and would be back next year with an even larger presence.
Grufac, the Association of Spanish Laboratory Equipment Manufacturers, and the 16 Spanish companies at this year’s show also expressed their satisfaction – with one manufacturer quadrupling his stand space for 2009. Said Mr Jorges Santos, Export Manager of Flores Valles, manufacturers of laboratory furniture and fume hoods, “This is the only show that enables us to reach the markets of the Middle East and surrounding area. We have exhibited at ARABLAB for several years, and still find that we are making many new contacts, as well as being able to keep in touch with existing customers.”
The German group, historically the biggest single national presence in the show, fielded its largest-ever number of companies – over 120, occupying some 1,500 sq. m. Whilst hi-tech laboratory equipment and specialised furniture retains its importance, biotechnology companies have become a rapidly growing sector. Mr Dirk Lauterbuch, the group coordinator, said that he expected an even larger presence at the 2009 event.
The Swiss group, with 12 exhibiting companies, was the country’s largest participation yet. And the eight-strong Austrian official group’s presence – under the auspices of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber – was supplemented by several other Austrian companies exhibiting independently.
Ms Claude Menard, Project Manager of the French agency for international business development, Ubifrance, the organisers of the French pavilion, reported that they had had another successful show and that several exhibitors were reserving space for 2009.
ARABLAB 2009, to be held from 10 to 13 January, will be located in halls 5, 6, 7, 8 and the adjoining Pavilion at Dubai International Exhibition Centre, together offering approximately 35% more space than this year – an important consideration since the 2008 show was oversubscribed, with some potential exhibitors unable to obtain space.