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Major duty free expo opens in Dubai.

Middle East Exclusive (MEE) 2012, the region's largest retail, duty free and luxury goods exhibition, is set to open today at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

MEE 2012, which will conclude on November 27, is organised by the Middle East's leading event organiser Channels Exhibitions, and is now linked to the Middle East Duty Free Association (MEDFA) 2012 Conference that will take place at the Jumeirah Creek Hotel, in a major tie-up that will be known as 'Duty Free Week' in Dubai.

The ninth edition of MEE has already achieved a 30 per cent increase in pre-registration of trade visitors and a 20 per cent increase in the number of regional and international exhibitors.

The event provides the most direct access to board-level executives and hundreds of international buyers, including travel retail and luxury goods buyers, airline and in-flight retail senior managers, cruise operators, border shops, seaports, hotels and spas, boutiques, restaurants, holiday and tourist destination retail, group buyers and senior executives, retail consultants, shopping malls and department stores, and ship chandlers.

Justin Boutros, CEO of Channels Exhibitions, said: "The significant increase in participation underlines the status of Middle East Exclusive as the premier product-sourcing showcase that caters to a broad international market spanning Europe, the Far East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the entire Middle East."

"Leading international luxury brands and other key players in the multi-billion dollar global travel retail sector have already confirmed their participation at MEE 2012.

"The powerful line-up of exhibitors likewise strongly reaffirms the status of the Middle East Exclusive as the flagship exhibition for luxury goods retailing in the region and one of the top trade fairs in the global travel and duty free sector. Moreover, our partnership with the Middle East Duty Free Association enables us to bring together all of the most important industry players to discuss new challenges and opportunities and ultimately help shape the future of the global duty free market," he added.

"Leading hotel brands, airports and retail groups in the Middle East are aggressively investing to expand their market base in the region and beyond," Boutros continued.

"In Dubai, we have seen the completion of the first phase of Al Maktoum International Airport, designed to be the world's largest aviation hub that will no doubt further stimulate the growth of the luxury goods and travel retail sectors in the UAE. We are witnessing similar mega-developments being undertaken across the region in a trend that is adding greater energy, excitement and momentum to this year's edition of the Middle East Exclusive," added Boutros.

The "Duty Free Shop of Tomorrow" will serve as the centrepiece attraction of MEE 2012, providing an actual demonstration of how the latest product offerings from various international exhibitors can work in a retail environment.

MEE 2012 will also introduce a seminar meeting of top buyers wherein keynote speakers and senior executives will lead discussions on key issues affecting the industry.

Nightly social events are being organised, including the Closing Party, further expanding the networking opportunities at MEE 2012. Adding excitement to the event, the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup will also be held during the Duty Free Week.

A comprehensive year-long publicity programme has also been introduced for the first time, building on the high level of media interest on this year's event. - TradeArabia News Service

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:70MID
Date:Nov 25, 2012
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