Paperworld Middle East, the largest international show for paper, stationery, arts and crafts, office supplies and school products concluded its 12th edition in November. Held in conjunction with its co-located event Gifts and Lifestyle Middle East, the exhibition grew 50% from last year and welcomed visitors from over 100 countries.
With the industry constantly evolving, an interactive panel at The Hub Forum on “Market Trends, Digital Transformation and Sustainable Alternatives” explored new technology and the importance of digitalisation in the Middle East paper industry.
Speaking during the session Vibhor Khandelwal, Managing Director, Expand My Business, said: “The digital era presents an opportunity for stationery suppliers to broaden their product offerings by venturing into new areas such as digital notepads and pens. Adapting to technological advancements is crucial for businesses to remain competitive.”
In a panel titled “Looking Ahead: An outlook on trends shaping the paper and stationery industry”, paper industry experts from Alia Mohd Trading Co. LLC, Ittihad Paper Mill, Capital Envelopes, and MEPCO Gulf shared their closing thoughts and predictions for the sector’s future.
According to Fadi Baaklini, CEO MEPCO, the UAE will remain a particularly strong market for paper demand in the coming years. The panellists unanimously agreed that the preference for sustainable products would continue to rise, particularly as the younger, more eco-conscious generation comes of age.
Parvesh Kapoor, Director, Alia Mohamed Trading, highlighted the growth of e-commerce, while Ritesh Gupta, Marketing at Ittihad Paper Mill believes that face-to-face interaction with consumers will always be significant despite the digital world’s growth.
The inaugural Paperworld Middle East Awards took place in a prestigious ceremony at the Al Multaqua Ballroom. Celebrating the most innovative products, cutting-edge technologies and exceptional brands in the paper industry, the awards recognised the exceptional work of Farook Rahimtulla, owner of Farook International Stationery with a special ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’. Other winners on the night were Cloudline for ‘Best Notebook/Diary of the Year”, Ittihad Paper Mill for ‘Best Office-Supplies of the Year’ for the Maram Multipurpose Copy Paper, and the ‘Writing Instrument Product of the Year’ was awarded to Uni Mitsubishi Pencil and Pangulf Marketing for the Uni-ball Air.
On the final day the event, visitors were able to unlock their creative potential at the Artistry Workshops, in collaboration with Funun Arts. As well as painting and sculpting, these workshops offered a unique opportunity to learn about arts-based sustainability projects, bridging the gap between physical and digital art and the power of art therapy.
Another focal point was the collaborative live art project ‘Signature Canvas’. Painted by four exceptional artists – Saida Banu, Stefania Pomillo, Shiba Khan and Jivan Hovhannisyan, the striking piece of art illustrating the interconnectedness of the world and highlights the UAE’s pivotal role as a welcoming and unifying centre for individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. The Signature Canvas was donated to the SNF Development Center in Dubai, a training centre for young adults with special needs.