A throng of visitors at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, venue of Gulf In

A throng of visitors at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, venue of Gulf In

GIF had much to offer

March 2015

GULF Industry Fair (GIF) held last month in Bahrain served as an ideal opportunity for manufacturers and their representatives to peddle their goods and services and for potential purchasers to gauge what’s new and worthwhile among the offerings on display.

GIF, recognised as a pivotal Northern Gulf platform for showcasing tried and tested products and innovations and for networking, had much to offer with 32 exhibitors present and some 20 countries represented through their brands. The show highlighted Bahrain’s resurgent economy, its manufacturing aspirations and business-friendly postures. There was also the call by the kingdom’s Prime Minister, HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, to foreign business leaders to consider setting up their operations in Bahrain, assuring them that all doors would be open to facilitate their projects.

“We develop our industry and all aspects of its infrastructure in line with the needs of this nation,” the Premier said after he inaugurated GIF. “We have the will to persevere and ensure Bahrain is represented in the right way both within the county and in other parts of the world.”

With most exhibitors Bahrain-based, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the government’s promise to continue to develop the industrial sector and provide incentives. Exhibitions such as Gulf Industry Fair, played a key role in promoting national products and services, he said. The chairman of Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE), Anwar Abdulrahman, hailed the Premier’s role as the architect of Bahrain’s development and praised his keenness to support investments in all fields.

HCE managing director Jubran Abdulrahman said he was grateful to the Premier for his unwavering support to make GIF the “must-attend” exhibition for companies operating in the Northern Gulf’s expanding industrial markets. “We feel confident that the new features we have introduced this year will be useful business enablers for both exhibitors and visitors.”

HRH Prince Khalifa, who toured the exhibition, said “it should be our endeavour to bring more exhibitors.” At least one official, Muen Marji, general manager of the structural and mechanical division of Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali (AMA), said more exhibitors from outside Bahrain should have been present such as ones from the Saudi Eastern Province and Qatar.

However, there was a fair number of Western, East Asian and other countries that were present through their brands – Austria, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, the US and Saudi Arabia.

The most expensive equipment on display was a CNC machining centre made by Italian firm Emmegi. The machine was brought to the fair by Anwar Al Karrar General Trading.  Its general manager  Ebrahim Ahmed said at least two industrial players, Arcal and Suhem, had expressed interest in purchasing the four-axis equipment with a mobile gantry structure designed for milling, drilling, thread-cutting and slotting operations on bars or workpieces made of aluminium. It was the first time his firm had taken part in GIF and Ahmed said it would repeat the participation at the next edition.

At the stall of Banz Trading and Contracting was displayed a forklift with a reduced turning radius and industrial storage racks. Orbiter, as it is called, is a multi-location storage technology and a revolution in storage and retrieval, said Banz official Debashish Mitra. Among its features are greater ability to manoeuver within limited space. Other items Banz showcased included fire extinguishers and pumps.

With Bahrain’s construction and infrastructure industry on the uptick, the showcasing of products by Eastern Asphalt and Mixed Concrete Company (Eamco) was particularly relevant. General manage Erich Eitzgall said the company had registered excellent business in 2014 and the expectation was that 2015-2016 would be even better. Eastern Precast, the largest company within the group, focused on developing new products that offer thermal insulation for eco-friendly construction. The company produces thermal-insulated wall panels and is currently in the process of developing thermally insulated lightweight panels. Its latest product is the jumbo slab available in a range of colours and surface finishes including with a nano-protective technology.

Turk Mechanical Industries Company, a regular participant at GIF, is expanding its facilities (See Gulf Exporters in this issue).


Bahrain’s Prime Minister, HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, opening the exhibition

Bahrain’s Prime Minister, HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, opening the exhibition

One of the prominent stalls was Alba’s. The aluminium primary producer, one of the world’s largest, was well prepared to receive visitors who had the opportunity to meet company officials to learn more about Alba’s economic, social and developmental initiatives. One of the visitors was HRH Prince Khalifa himself, who was presented with a unique hard embossed aluminium portrait of the Premier made from Alba’s aluminium by its workers in appreciation of his role in establishing Alba in 1971 as the first aluminium smelter in the Middle East and of his continuous support to the company’s expansion to the point it now produces more than 931,000 tonnes of high-grade aluminium. Sheikh Daij, Alba’s chairman, said: “I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to HRH the Premier for his unrelenting and continuous support towards the economic growth of Bahrain, which in turn has made the kingdom one of the leading economic destinations in the Middle East. Alba is deeply honoured to receive HRH; we express sincere gratitude for HRH’s generous and continuous support, which has made the company one of the top smelters in the world.”

Alba was the main sponsor of GIF’s Aluminium Village. Other strategic supporters of exhibition segments were Bapco (Energy and Environmental Protection), Majaal (Logistics and Industrial Development), Asry (Ports and Maritime) and Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali (Industrial Processes and Manufacturing).

A new feature of Gulf Industry Fair was The Comgroup Training 4Life workshops, organised by Medpoint Design and Events Management in association with Lead Academy. The workshops were tailored exclusively for individuals working in the kingdom’s industrial sectors, offering expert insight and live practical experience in disciplines such as behavioural safety, while exploring ways to enhance productivity and innovation.

Additionally, the Training4Life workshops had sector-specific sessions run by Ducab (Dubai Cables), Alba and Bapco.

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