Held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre between March 7th and 9th, the event had previously been known as The Middle East Toy Fair.
Pleased with the results of the rebranding, its organiser Mr Ahmed Pauwels, said: “As a launch event we were really happy with the results of Playworld Middle East.
"We are confident that our exhibitors will return again next year and we believe that more industry players will also come on board after seeing this year’s success.
“It is clear that such a networking platform can help further develop and establish the industry. For our exhibitors, it really is a great way to reach out to the emerging markets of this region which can traditionally be difficult to penetrate” added Pauwels, the CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt.
The top five visiting countries were United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, India, Kuwait and Pakistan and it was particularly noted that a large number of visitors came from the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Playworld Middle East was held concurrently with Paperworld Middle East - the two events share a crossover in the back to school, party items and stationery product categories.
Rajeev Bhatia, managing director of Emsons, which distributes several international well-known brands like Playmobil, Ravensburger, 4M and Disney wheeled products in the region, said:
“We feel that we reinforced our relationships with the makor retailers in the region, and hope to convert several of the new leads from the exhibition.
"Re-branding Playworld alongside Paperworld Middle East has definitely benefited us in bringing more visitors to the show, and we hope that over the coming years this exhibition will attract many new exhibitors to reflect the full variety of suppliers in the region.”
Aside exhibiting toys and stationary, the event was used as an oppurtunity to launch a Toy Trade Assosication for the region. The body was formed in order to align the sector with industry best practices and ensure the best standards are implemented and followed for the health and safety of GCC children.
Commenting on the new assosication managing director of Glory Horizons, Ghanim Al Ghanim, said: “First priority of parents is the safety of the toys with which their children play. Therefore toy safety is a major consideration for the professional manufacturer and designer.
"It is imperative that toys meet stringent guidelines for the safety of children and I am delighted that these are being implemented, not only in Dubai, but throughout the GCC.”