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Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari (third right), Vice-Chairman of Qatar Chamber cutting a ribbon to mark the opening of Doha Trade Fair at Doha International Exhibition Centre yesterday. Below: Artists performing at the fair. (Abdul Basit)
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: Apart from well laid out plans, an extensive advertising campaign has played a big role in maintaining the success of Doha Trade Fair through the years, say organisers.
“We make sure we have effective advertising campaign in all GCC countries, not only in Qatar. We spent around QR1.25m just for advertisements for this edition of the fair,” Jaber Al Mansoori, CEO of Maraya Public Relations company, who is organising the fair along with Qatar Tourism Authority, told The Peninsula at the launch of the event yesterday.
Al Mansoori said around 250,000 visitors came to the ten-day fair during its last run in July last year.
“We expect around 100,000 more visitors this time,” he said, adding many companies expressed interest to join the fair but they could not accommodate all because of limited space.
“We have didn’t have enough space. We gave chance to new companies as we always make sure to bring new companies with new selection of products not found in the market,” said Al Mansoori.
The entire 15,000sqm usable space of the Doha Exhibition Centre is fully occupied by 554 stalls of over 400 companies, 25 percent of which are Qatari.
The organisers had to set up a 2,500sqm tent beside the venue for traditional entertainment, which provides additional attraction for visitors to the fair.
“Traditional performers from different countries including Thailand, India, Yemen, Iran, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and Qatar are staging dances and songs every day,” he said.
In addition acrobats, clowns and face painters are also in the tent besides food stalls and gifts and handcrafts shops.
Most of the products available at the fair are fashion and accessories with 274 stalls, followed by household products with 173 stalls, perfumes and cosmetics 62 and food 45.
“We were here during the last edition of the fair and there was great demand in our products. We hope it would be better this time,” said a shopkeeper at Shimono, a company from Singapore which manufactures a wide range of household products.
Their best-seller is multi-wrap dresses available in 20 colours. Produced in Taiwan, the dresses made from nylon can be worn in more than 50 ways, with the instructions contained in a CD given to each customer for free.
Stalls selling perfumes also witnessed more takers during the first day such as Dubai-based Yasmeen Al Sham whose products are made in Syria.
“Our perfumes are in big demand because of the affordable price,” said the shopkeeper of their perfumes priced at only QR25 per bottle.
The fair considered the biggest shopping festival in Qatar was opened by Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari, Vice-Chairman of Qatar Chamber along with the organisers and other officials.
Among the new features at the fair this year include an interactive map for easy location of the stalls and porter service.
Participating countries include Iran, Afganistan, Saudi Arabia, India, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Pakistan, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Syria, Thailand, Egypt, Qatar, Malaysia, UAE, Oman and Korea.