The Prime Minister declares the fair open

The Prime Minister declares the fair open

Unqualified success

GIF’s organisers are elated over the success of their event which has been gathering strength from year to year

01 March 2014

THE seventh Gulf Industry Fair (GIF), billed as the regional showcase for the Northern Gulf, drew renewed attention to an important part of the region known for high-scale investments and entrepreneurial abilities.

The event was declared an unqualified success with deals, high-pitched networking and displays of new products and technologies from local, regional and international suppliers as well as exhortations to business promoters to set up base in such prominent business enclaves as Modon’s industrial cities in Saudi Arabia and the Bahrain International Investment Park.

“The feedback from participants is very positive with most wanting to return next year,” said Jubran Abdulrahman, managing director of Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE), organisers of the event. “I have been told by participants that in total many multi-million-dollar deals have been signed or are committed to being signed,” he said.

Abdulrahman added he was pleased that the event proved to be the ultimate business enabler for the Northern Gulf’s industrial sector yet again.

The annual B2B event had 127 firms from 15 countries exhibiting over 3,400 sq m of space – new fair records  – and the patronage of the Prime Minister, His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, who personally opened the event.

Bahrain remains a favoured incubator for industrial investment and remains competitive despite challenges, he said. “Bahrain still has enough credentials to attract leading international companies,” the Premier commented, adding it was sparing no efforts to remain a prime destination and favoured incubator for GCC and global industrial investments. The government was committed to further developing the industrial sector by updating laws and upgrading the infrastructure so as to make Bahrain an “investment hub to be reckoned with”.

Among companies signing deals was First Bahrain’s Majaal Warehouse Company. It concluded a tenancy deal with a Bahraini-Saudi joint venture at Gulf Industry Fair within hours of the event’s opening and announced it is close to signing another agreement (See Regional News).

Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mills (Garmco) marketing and sales executive Khalid Abdulla Hashim reported “good movement” over the last two days, adding that the fair helped the firm boost its presence in the aluminium industry. “There was a serious enquiry from an Algerian company in addition to enquiries from three Gulf firms,” he said, adding that the company’s aluminium sheets and coils drew “a lot of interest”.

The seventh edition of the even was the largest ever

The seventh edition of the even was the largest ever

First-time exhibitor Bell Dredging Pumps of the Netherlands was close to establishing a dealership in Bahrain in addition to winning orders for Bell 200-type dredger pumps from two Saudi firms, according to a senior official Leon van der Bell.

Tom Meijer, international sales manager for first-time exhibitor BOA Recycling Equipment, said he had useful meetings with two Saudi firms and a Bahraini company who were potential customers. “These companies are involved in paper and plastic recycling and they believe our baling equipment fits well with their needs,” he said, adding that BOA would “definitely be back next year”.

Fadi Al Ahmad, an economic and commercial officer at the Netherlands embassy in Kuwait, said he was heartened by the number of enquiries received from trading and industrial firms across the GCC for Dutch business contacts.

The sole Belgian exhibitor Agema received expressions of interest, according to export sales manager Vincent Libbrecht who was also pleased that a large number of visiting businessmen came from Saudi Arabia, an area of special interest for the manufacturer of equipment and components used in the electrification of lifting and handling equipment, notably power supply strings.

Libbrecht said he would be returning to visit Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to “follow-up on the contacts”. 

Modon, the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, was upbeat on its maiden appearance at the fair. Marketing officer Yousef A Al Wably said he was surprised how well the exhibition had been organised and happy it held out promise for greater investments into Saudi Arabia.

“We will be back next year but with an entourage of Saudi factories who will be participating under our umbrella,” he said, adding that the Modon-linked participation would include individual investors interested in setting up their ventures in Modon industrial sites in partnership with Gulf businessmen.

Zayani Motors, celebrating its 80th anniversary, used the platform to launch Chinese construction equipment maker Shantui’s entire range in Bahrain.



Falcon Trading, a leading industrial machinery and equipment supplier said it sold two new products.

 “We introduced several new products such as maintenance chemicals and Masterlock for the oil and gas industry. We introduced a Polish company that manufactures welding machines. We featured Euroboor cutting machines, and gauges from India’s Baker. Our stand was busy. We sold two machines, an inverter and a magnetic drilling machine from Euroboor. We also had meetings with a company that has offered to buy a good quantity of our welding machines in addition to visitors from Saudi Arabia,” said managing director Yogesh Bhatia.

A number of Bahrain firms, some of whom participated under the umbrella of Tamkeen, a semi-government organisation set up to boost Bahraini entrepreneurship, training and employment, said they have enjoyed a fair degree of success at the event over the years and were looking to push their business frontiers further afield.

The fair’s sponsors included National Oil and Gas Authority in association with Bapco, the aluminium smelter Alba, the shipyard  Asry, First Bahrain-Majaal Warehouse Company, Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali (AMA Group), British Offset Office, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Middle East Association, AHK (German Chambers Network), GAC and Machinery Trade International.

More Stories