Sign & Graphics Imaging Middle East 2007 : a potpourri of latest sign & graphic technologies

Dubai became the hottest destination for people related to the signage industry from February 27 – March 1, 2007 as the leading show on signage and graphics displayed the latest and the most innovative technologies in this field.
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 Sign & Graphics Imaging Middle East 2007, held recently in Dubai from February 27 – March 1, 2007 concluded on a successful note with the largest ever participation from world over. As anticipated, the largest ever contingent of global players had converged in Dubai for three days, as the largest show in the Middle East signage industry played the perfect host.

HH Hussain Nasser Lootha, acting director, Dubai Municipality at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), officially inaugurated the show in the presence of senior industry people, visiting technocrats, senior officials of DWTC, market analysts and media.

Sign & Graphics Middle East 2007 opened its doors to a fascinating display of latest technologies, innovative digital solutions and assembly lines with over 270 companies from 35 countries converting the 13,000 sq m exhibition area into a vertical showcase of the ‘best and the latest’ across a broad band of product categories related to the advertising, films, outdoor media, photo imaging and point of sales segment.

Organised by International Expo Consults, Sign & Graphics Middle East ’07 had emerged as a benchmark for the rapidly growing sign and graphic advertisement industry in the region. The increasing international participation in the event was evident from the fact that the 2007 event has grown by 30 percent from the previous year. An increasing number of international brands were seeking to use the exhibition to gain entry into the regional markets while as already established brands ensure participation to consolidate their market shares, penetrate into new emerging markets and to showcase new innovations and improvisations in their product lines.

According to Abdul Rehman Falaknaz, “The 30 percent growth of Sign & Graphics reflects the growth and interest of the international industry in the booming Middle East signage and graphic advertising market. The stupendous and unparalleled infrastructure expansion all across the Middle East coupled with regional retail boom demarcates the Middle East on the world map as the region of exceptionally high growth and opportunities as far as signage and graphic industry is concerned. The entry of new brands from every imaginable industry and from every possible corner of the world is hugely accelerating the insatiable demand for outdoor advertising opportunities in the region. The demand will grow unabated as Middle East continues with its ambitious real estate forays and as additional retail space gets added in the region which already leads on ‘retail space per capita’ basis.”

Sign and Graphics 2007 was hallmarked by an increased participation of companies from the USA and Europe. Romania’s debut at the 9th edition of the show had brought together a group of companies exhibiting a range of products with a special focus on luminous sign components.

 Over eight percent of regions increasing advertising spend is attributed to signage media. In terms of GCC alone, the industry has reached approximately $2 billion. In 2006, $47 million went into outdoor advertising compared to $29 million for 2005 – an increase of 13 percent. After Saudi Arabia, the UAE is the second largest market in terms of signage and graphic advertisements in the region while the country tops the region in its overall advertising spend which surpassed AED 3.9 billion in 2006 and is expected to grow at a stupendous 22 percent per annum.

Seeing lots of sign material and equipment being produced in China and huge business potential, this year there was a special Chinese pavilion and over 40 leading companies participated in the show.

It also brought together the largest debut of innovative technologies in large format digital printing solutions, cutting/engraving, multi-faceted advertising display components, thermal and dye sublimation equipment, LED signs, etc. The major individual participations included the biggest names in the industry like Hewlett Packard Europe, Sony, VUTEk, Superwide Digital, Flex Europa Middle East, Canon, Kemsol Ltd, Giffin Graphics, MacDermid Colorspan, MactTac Europe, Mimaki, Gerber Scientific Products, Kakatiya Energy Systems P Ltd, Brollo Siet, DGI, Durst, Epson, Onyx, Right Bond, Starflex, Sun Chemical, Yaselan, Zund and many others.

MIC Electronics Limited, a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of LED video displays, high-end electronic and telecommunication equipment exhibited its new products. The products displayed include LED video, graphics and text displays, LED lighting solutions, embedded system and telecom software, communication and electronic products. Headquartered at one of the fastest emerging IT cities, Hyderabad (India), it is a one-stop solution for all OOH media requirements. According to Dr Rao, digi screens are marketed by them at one-third of international companies cost and still they use substrate of 9mm instead of 8mm and LEDs from Nichia.

Miller Weldmaster Corp, manufacturers and innovators of rotary hot air welding and hot wedge welding machines for the bonding, sealing and fusing of thermoplastic and industrial fabrics, for the fabrication of various products from inflatables and awnings to truck tarp curtains and banners also participated in a big way. The company has the experience and solutions, to research, design, and build practical systems with the latest in heat-sealing technology.

TechNova, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of digital and analogue offset plates, chemicals, inkjet, laser and drafting media, introduced their comprehensive range of large format media at the show. They had participated for the first time, earlier they were represented by their dealers. At their simple yet colourful stand, they showcased their range of large format media, which included NovaJet backlit front print PET film 175; NovaJet PhotoMatte PVC film 100 SA; NovaJet PhotoGloss PET film 50 SA; NovaJet PhotoSatin PVC film 175; and NovaSign PosterSatin PVC film 100 SA.

Canon Middle East, world leader in digital imaging technology launched its first 60″ large format printer, the imagePROGRAF iPF9000 during the show. Aimed primarily at the print-for-pay sector, including copy shops and professional print businesses, this new flagship device delivers best-in-class image quality at high speed.

 Commenting on Dubai Municipality’s patronage of Sign & Graphics, Mohammed Al Noori, head of advertising, “Dubai Municipality’s support to Sign & Graphics Middle East is in line with our vision of making Dubai, the hub of the Middle East advertising industry. Dubai is the gateway to the regional advertising industry and a trendsetter. The very fact that global industry leaders like VUTEk, Canon, Sony, HP, Masonlite converge at Sign & Graphics and have repeatedly chosen the exhibition as the venue for worldwide launch of new innovative technologies, goes to affirm Dubai’s emerging status as an important international business destination.”

As per Brad Kisner, president, Triangle Inx, they are in the process of setting up a digital ink manufacturing plant in India with Sakata Inx, which may start producing inks by the end of this year or early next year.

As the show came to an end, the organisers were more enthusiastic about the next edition, which would be the 10th year of Sign & Graphic Imaging Middle East exhibition 2008. The next show is scheduled to be held from February 17-19, 2008 at Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE.

Dubai : a signage paradise

The concept of volume and XXL size holds good in Dubai, which is a beautiful city of skyscrapers and equally huge signages. All the signs in Dubai follow local order no 30 issued in the year 1986 by Dubai Municipality. On the sidelines of the show, our editor S K Khurana had a brief one-to-one conversation with Mohammed Al Noori, head of advertisement section, Dubai Municipality.
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Duabi Municipality has framed the guidelines in detail on the signages to be placed in the city based on various parameters that are to be followed very strictly. Informing more about the activities of this department, Noori told, “All over Dubai, the permission has to be taken for placing signs on private buildings, which is given only through outdoor advertising companies which are already registered with us. An advertising tax to the tune of 100 AED per sq ft per year is levied.”

So are the specifications for neon signs different from the static ones? “No, the tax structure remains the same for all kinds of signages,” replied Noori.

 The advertising department of Dubai Municipality was established in 1982, in sync with the vision of Dubai Municipality to create an excellent looking city that provides the essence of success and comfort of living. Today, the advertising department has a staff of over 35 people. The inhouse printing division of this department is fully equipped with inkjet printers to take care of the internal printing requirements.

Noori informed that there exists a different Economic Department for looking after the indoor signages in shopping malls. “In malls, the emphasis is on 3D signages which gives a better image. Further, road signs are looked after by RTA (Roads and Transport Authority),” he added.

Talking about the ongoing trend in the sinage industry in Dubai, Noori told that there has been a boom in the real estate which facilitates putting signages as building wraps and huge size signs on construction sites.

“Last year, the annual turnover in the outdoor advertising was 100 million AED and it is steadily growing at a rate of 12%,” concluded Noori. So, next time you are in Dubai, you can expect even bigger and better outdoor signs.

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