Jewellery Arabia 2009 brings the glitter back to Bahrain
The ultimate jewellery & watch showcase in the Middle East brings impressive numbers of exhibitors, overseas delegations to the Kingdom
Jewellery Arabia 2009 soldiers on despite continuing adverse economic conditions
The vast, sprawling and extended 18,000 sq. m. Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre in the commercial district of the Kingdom of Bahrain once more played host to the 18th Edition of Jewellery Arabia 2009 during the five-day period beginning Tuesday, 17 November to Saturday, 21 November 2009. The latest and biggest in the long-running & prestigious Jewellery Arabia exhibition series was inaugurated by its veteran patron, His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain in typical pomp and pageantry, which has come to symbolize the spectacular opening of the event.
Also present at the opening ceremony in clear evidence of the Government’s support of the mega event were Prince Ali Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Transportation, HE Dr. Hassan Abdullah Fakhro, the Minister of Industry & Commerce, Kingdom of Bahrain and a large accompanying delegation comprising Member of the Bahrain Royal Family, senior Government officials, diplomats, VIPs, other specially-invited guests and a vast throng of senior international and regional trade professionals drawn from all sectors of the industry.
HRH The Prime Minister also took time to carry out a detailed and prolonged tour of the exhibition area and reiterated the importance of the jewellery industry to the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Premier added that the high standards of facilities available in the Kingdom had contributed to an increase in the number of exhibitors at the exhibition. To that end, the Prime Minister instructed the Ministry of Industry & Commerce to study the possibility of expanding and upgrading the exhibition facilities and the implementation of the planned development of the USD $ 750 million Expo City in the Kingdom’s Sakhir district.
Jewellery Arabia 2009, which experienced a substantial growth rate in exhibition space over the 2008 event, has conclusively demonstrated its position as the premier and definitive industry event of its kind in the region. Over 600 premium quality exhibitors from 30 nations showcased their exquisite products at Jewellery Arabia 2009 from outstandingly finished jewellery to luxury timepieces to precious stones of every size, shape and cut.
Jewellery Arabia 2009 attracted national pavilions from leading jewellery export countries including Brazil, Greece, Germany, Lebanon, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Thailand and Turkey. The exhibition also saw the first time participation of a pavilion of Malaysian jewellers coordinated by the offices of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MALTRADE) based in the UAE.
“As the leading and proven exhibition of its kind in the entire Middle East, Jewellery Arabia 2009 has now come into its own and carved a unique niche for itself in the region,” stated Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Chairman, Arabian Exhibition Management, organizers of Jewellery Arabia 2009. “Jewellery Arabia has established itself over and over again and emerged as the premium watch and haute jewellery industry’s standard-bearer. It is at the vanguard of innovation, trend setting and business development,” he added.
Displays of the latest high-quality jewellery collections and luxury watches came from such reputed international brands as the House of Cartier, Chopard, Audemars Piguet, De Beers, Asprey, Graff Diamonds, Hublot, Harry Winston, Hermes, Jacob & Co., Patek Philippe, Piaget, Breguet, Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange & Sohne, Versace, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vancox, D’Atlantis, New Italian Art and many, many more.
A strong Bahraini contingent complemented this line up. 33 Bahraini companies including Asia Jewellers, Bahrain Jewellery Centre, Taqi’s Jewellery, Al Mahmood Pearls, M. M. Hatem Sharief & Sons, Al Hawaj, Al Zain Jewellery, Devji Aurum, Al Sarraj Jewellers and Kooheji Jewellery among others participated in the exhibition.
Asia Jewellers, a major exhibitor, returned to Jewellery Arabia 2009 with signature style and quality. Occupying over 1,000 sq. m., its stand comprised 27 international high-end jewellery and watch companies. The new brands in the current edition included Roger Dubuis, with whom the company announced a new partnership and Bertolucci.
Jewellery Arabia 2009 was also chosen as the launch venue for the first edition of the popular and fast-selling ‘Jewels of Arabia’ 2009-2010 by J2 Holdings, publishers of the fastest-growing industry title Arabian Watches & Jewellery (AWJ) Magazine. This 450-page, first-of-its-kind coffee table book is devoted to the finest and most exclusive brands in the world of haute jewellery and is prefaced by a foreword from Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qassimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade. ‘Jewels of Arabia’ provides historical perspectives on Dilmun, Ottoman, Phoenician, Persian, Indian, Arab and Bedouin jewellery and their influences on locally and regionally produced jewellery, topical features, detailed corporate and related industry-specific reports on jewels, gems and jewellery and their development and evolution in the Arab world.
Publisher Nader Freiha took the opportunity to present HRH The Prime Minister with the first copy of ‘Jewels of Arabia’, shortly after the inauguration of the exhibition. On-site sales of the first edition were brisk and there has been extensive interest in the publication from across the globe.
An important highlight of Jewellery Arabia 2009 was the hosting of the Arabian Watches & Jewellery (AWJ) Magazine-inspired and initiated 5th Premier Middle East Watches, Jewellery & Pens Awards—2009 Edition at the prestigious Al Ghazal Ballroom at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, the most luxurious in the Kingdom. Over 300 dignitaries including Members of Royalty, the celebrities, special invitees, Government officials, the resident Ambassadors from Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan & Morocco, and senior industry professionals congregated at the venue for a gala black-tie, sit-down official dinner reception to witness the proceedings. There were 20 awards recipients—10 for the Watches categories and 5 each for Jewellery & Pens categories.
The Bahraini Minister of Industry & Commerce, Dr. Hassan Abdullah Fakhro, under whose patronage the awards presentation event was held was represented by Mr. Hassan Jaafar Mohammed, a senior official at the Ministry. Also present at the ceremonies was Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Chairman, Arabian Exhibition Management (AEM), organizers of Jewellery Arabia 2009. Well-known Lebanese singer Tania Assaf and her three-man ensemble provided enjoyable, foot-tapping musical entertainment for the evening.
Footfalls were also brisk. According to organizers Arabian Exhibition Management, Jewellery Arabia attracted a total of 39,829 visitors, jewellery trade buyers and private collectors. Of this number, 9043 visitors were drawn from Saudi Arabia, the region’s single largest jewellery market with significant numbers also coming from the other GCC countries including Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Oman and the other countries of the Middle East and worldwide.
Meanwhile, sources close to the organizers say that the 19th edition of Jewellery Arabia 2010 will be held at its usual venue before Eid Al Adha, expected around mid November 2010. The exact dates will be announced later.