Curtains went up on the 24-day long shopping and entertainment extravaganza – the Ramadan & Eid Fair – at Expo Centre Sharjah yesterday (11th August, 2011).
The silver jubilee edition of the multi-products consumer show was opened by Mr. Saeed Obaid Al Jarwan, Second Vice-Chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI). The show will continue until September 3, 2011.
Present at the opening ceremony were Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah, government officials and representatives from various government departments and sponsors.
“The Ramadan & Eid Fair has become an essential part of the Sharjah Ramadan Festival and this year extra efforts have been taken to spruce up the fair, its contents, activities, entertainment events etc to mark the 25th anniversary of the show,” said Mr. Al Jarwan, after the opening ceremony.
“The Ramadan and Eid period is also a reflection of the robustness of the retail sector in the country. The average household spending in the UAE witnesses a huge surge during this period and this is especially reflected in sales at the Ramadan & Eid Fair,” he said.
“The key factors behind the impressive sales rise are the strong underlying economic growth, increasing household consumption, growing acceptance of modern retailing concepts and disposable wealth of residents,” he added.
Average household spending power in the UAE stands at US$14,400 per annum, according to property consultant Colliers International.
Emirati households account for the lion’s share of this spending with an average of US$23,000, while Western, other Arab and Asian households have annual spending power of $19,500, $13,500 and $10,000 respectively.
Tourism is also a massive factor in stimulating retail growth, with the UAE expecting the number of tourists to have totaled more than 11 million in 2010.
“SMEs are the engine of growth for any economy and our strategy to support our small and medium enterprises is reflected in a special section at the show for SMEs,” said Mr. Saif Al Midfa.
“Apart from this, we also have participation from members of Ruwad Establishment, Sharjah Businesswomen Council and Ajman Businesswomen Council. A show like the Ramadan & Eid Fair will be an ideal platform for them to get their products and services better exposure,” added Mr. Al Midfa.
More than 150 exhibitors from China, Bahrain, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and the UAE, among others, are displaying their products and services at 8,000 sq metres of space during the fair.
“Billed as a complete shopping and entertainment event for the whole family, the fair usually starts after a week or so into Ramadan and extends until the Eid festivities are over, thus catering to the needs of observing both the solemn fasting period as well as the festivities associated with Eid Al Fitr,” said Mr. Saif Al Midfa.
The Ramadan & Eid Fair is usually preferred by residents and visitors for their Ramadan and Eid shopping due to the central location of the venue, the ease it offers since all stalls are located at one place, good parking facilities, and enough entertainment activities to keep children engaged while parents are busy buying all their requirements for observing the holy month and the ensuing Eid Al Fitr festivities.
“The Ramadan & Eid Fair is one of the few events that hasn’t cut down on space for entertainment activities over the years. That also makes it an excellent venue for friends and family to get together in the evenings,” said Mr. Saif Al Midfa.
Key attractions will be the Heritage Village and impressive pavilion of Thai companies, with 25 stalls occupied by leading retailers showcasing products from Thailand.
Other important activities at the fair include display of local handicraft products, religious seminars, food court, cookery demonstration, amusement & fun rides, free health check-up, quiz competitions, workshops for kids, face painting, magic shows, raffle draws, prizes and a wide range of entertainment activities for the whole family.
Visitors at the cookery demo won’t be just spectators, instead they will get a chance to taste the food prepared on stage on Thursdays and Fridays from 10.15pm to 11pm. Lucky visitors also get 40 pieces of Distinction Loyalty Card Packs (five distinction membership packs per day).
Beauty and make-up demonstrations will also be held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9.30pm to 10.15pm, courtesy Kaya Skin Clinic and VLCC.
Government organisations like Sharjah Medical Zone, Directorate of Heritage, Sharjah Department of Islamic Affairs and Sharjah Transport are involved in presenting some of these activities.
The fair is sponsored by Air Arabia and E-max., which will give away tickets and holiday packages and offer exciting deals on electronics and computers to visitors.
Expo Centre will host the fourth draw of the Sharjah Ramadan Festival on September 2 for a Nissan Altima, from Arabian Automobiles, nine economy class and one business class tickets from Emirates airlines as well as Dh20,000.
Expo Centre will also host a series of seminars on health by the Sharjah Medical Zone, apart from offering free medical services, including screening for diabetes and blood pressure and smoking cessation assistance.
Ramadan & Eid Fair will be open from 9pm to 1am during the month of Ramadan.
On Thursdays and Fridays, the fair will be open from 9pm to 2am.
During Eid, it will be open from 5pm – 11pm. Entry and parking are free.
The show is organised by Expo Centre Sharjah in association with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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For more information, please contact:
Manager (Exhibition Services), Expo Centre Sharjah
Tel: 06-5991177. Mobile: 050-6269781 Email: p-ravi@expo-