Middle Eastern promise for toy firms

Following the success of this year's show, a big push is now underway by the organisers of the Middle East Toy Fair to attract more major international toy firms next year.
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Some 150 exhibitors showcased more than 270 brands from over 27 different countries at this year's event, which took place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre between May 13th-15th.

While official attendance figures are not yet available, 26 per cent of exhibitors from this year's event have already signed up for 2008 as part of the early bird show special - a solid increase on the five per cent which rebooked last year.

US trade title Playthings spoke to Eckhard Pruy, CEO of the show organiser Messe Frankfurt, Middle East (which is based in Dubai) at the event, and he said there was still work to be done in terms of the show's expansion.

"The toy fair in the Middle East can only reach the Middle East unless there is critical mass," he told Playthings.

According to the title's show report, Messe Frankfurt is working on getting the critical players in the US toy industry involved in the event, and is looking for joint venture opportunities that could influence it in time for the 2009 show. The 2008 event, meanwhile, will boast a US pavilion to encourage more of a presence for the territory. This is in addition to the Made in Germany, Made in China and Made in Spain pavilions which are already present.

The 2008 show will run from May 18th-20th and further details can be found at www.messefrankfurtme.com.

To read Playthings' full show report, log on to www.playthings.com.

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