Difficulties at Domotex?

“International Trade Fair for carpets and floor coverings gets off to a flying start, with outstanding results ... from the moment its gates opened, the inaugural Domotex Middle East in Dubai was a complete success,” trumpets the Domotex Middle East website. In truth, however, there appeared to be mixed feelings among exhibitors.

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By  Charlotte Butterfield Published  July 7, 2006

“International Trade Fair for carpets and floor coverings gets off to a flying start, with outstanding results ... from the moment its gates opened, the inaugural Domotex Middle East in Dubai was a complete success,” trumpets the Domotex Middle East website. In truth, however, there appeared to be mixed feelings among exhibitors after the exhibition suffered some undeniable teething problems. With 241 exhibitors from 36 countries the numbers seem promising, however many exhibitors could not help but make unfavourable comparisons with the Hanover exhibition in January. The German Domotex hosted 1,362 exhibitors and had a record attendance of over 50,000 with a total display area of 93,000 compared with only 14,000 sq metres in Dubai. The vast disparity between these numbers is perhaps understandable due to the more established nature of the Hanover event, however with organisers Deutsche Messe AG Hanover, apparently charging higher rates to exhibitors in Dubai, it is not surprising that many were left feeling disillusioned. Michaela Baikem-Ziegler, from Kaindl says: “The fair was advertised to be a huge event, but only appeared to be some kind of ‘house fair’. We also feel that the prices of the fair are too expensive compared with the size. Prices in Dubai are even higher than in Hanover. We found the fair very quiet, and expected more visitors than there were. The decision here in the company is that we’ll not participate in Dubai again next year.” Regional industry heavy weight CarpetLand — part of the Al Aqili group — made the decision not to participate at all. Marketing director, Shariar Khodjasteh said: “We did not see the benefit in exhibiting. The other more established shows have much better numbers. For now we’re happy to wait and see what will happen in the future.” For Khodjasteh, the show also fell short of expectation when compared with Hanover: “We already go to Domotex in Hanover and China every year and Hanover is the mother of them all and is huge. The Dubai one was very small, but may get bigger.” Others meanwhile, only had positive reports: Iris Seiffer, from Object Carpet said, “Of course it was much quieter and smaller compared to Domotex Hanover, however it is not always the quantity of visitors that counts but the quality — and the quality was at a very high level. You should also bear in mind that it has taken place for the first time in Dubai, just one week before the well-established Hotel Show, and considering these aspects as well, it was pretty good. The quality of visitors was high, exactly the clientele which is of prime importance for Object Carpet — interior designers and architects.” For Alomi, the clientele resulted in an extremely successful show also: “We received orders from many new markets — India, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, plus the UAE. I feel that the show was far beyond our expectations, we will of course be exhibiting at Domotex 2007.” Plans are already underfoot for Domotex 2007 due to take place in Dubai. If organisers are able to keep prices down whilst attracting the same standard of visitors, then next years exhibition should live up to high expectations.

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