Watch and Jewellery Middle East Show
Participation at the golden jubilee edition of the exhibition is up 35% compared to the previous edition. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Hundreds of visitors thronged the pavilions as the 50th edition of the Watch & Jewellery Middle East Show opened at Expo Centre Sharjah on Wednesday.

The five-day event, which runs until October 9, will host more than 400 exhibitors showcasing exquisite jewellery and watches from 500 local and international brands – the highest number of exhibitors the show has ever seen.

Most of these exhibitors are from overseas, Saif Mohamed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah, told Gulf News.

“Of the participants, 60 per cent are international, while 40 per cent are local. Many companies have come from India, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Italy,” he said.

Overall, participation at the exhibition has gone up 35 per cent compared to the previous edition, Al Midfa said.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the show was inaugurated by Sheikh Khaled bin Abdullah bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Ports, Customs and Free Zones Authority.

Watch and Jewellery Middle East Show
Of the total participants at the exhibition, 60 per cent are international. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

“The growing successes that the show achieves year after year are yet another evidence that the UAE’s exhibition sector is swiftly advancing towards global leadership in accordance with the UAE Centennial Plan 2071. This critical sector will continue to be a crucial source of GDP and an active contributor to supporting a large number of people in the UAE and throughout the world,” Sheikh Khaled said.

New comers

Many European and Latin American companies are participating at the exhibition for the first time, Al Midfa told Gulf News.

“We have the Italian pavilion. Many countries from Latin America have joined us. Dominican Republic has expressed interest to come. Paraguay has joined us for the first time, Al Midfa explained.

Business impact

While it may be too early to share details of the business the exhibition is expected to generate, Al Midfa is confident of the positive impact it will have on the economy.

Things are now back to normal. People are meeting again. This exhibition is not just for individuals. It’s for traders, especially those from the GCC and wider region.

- Saif Mohamed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah

A packed show

The current exhibition is already running at 95 per cent occupancy, Al Midfa said, adding that plans are afoot on expanding the venue and adding more halls in the future.

Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the exhibition serves as an ideal platform to discuss business opportunities, explore potential partnerships, and better promote sales in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

Watch and Jewellery Middle East Show
Pavilions from Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Italy and Thailand saw plenty of footfall on Day 1. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Win every day

The event’s daily raffles will give visitors the chance to win jewellery and diamond prizes. There is also the grand raffle, which is set to take place on the closing day, providing the visitors with a chance to win one kilogram of gold for each purchase of Dh500.