Under the patronage of His Royal Highness prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the 23rd Jewellery Arabia (Jewellery Arabia 2014), was inaugurated today by Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The five-day exhibition of gem, jewellery and watches is spread over 18,000 square metres, an uptake of over 2,000 sqm from the 2013 expo size.
The total number of exhibitors this year is 600 from over 30 nations. The exhibition is open to the public from 4.00 pm to 10.00 pm till November 21 and 12 pm to 10.00 pm on November 22.
Dr. Hassan Abdulla Fakhro, Minister of Commerce and Industry, presiding over the exhibition, told the Bahrain News Agency (BNA), "The plan, going forward, is to expand the exhibition every possible way at the earliest. It has become important to expand, as only then can we accommodate all the participants."
Over 120 exhibitors could not be accommodated due to lack of space, he said. The solution is the much-awaited Bahrain Exhibition City. Then this exhibition will be the best in the world. The BIECC is booked for the whole year and there is no way any new event can be held here, the minister said of an overflowing BIECC.
Commenting on the jewellery exhibition, he said that it is the second biggest exhibition for jewellery in the world.
Fawzi Al Shehabi, Director of Sales and Marketing, Arabian Exhibition Management -- organisers of the event -- of Arabian Exhibition Management told BNA that the time is high for an expansion of floor space at the venue. This expo has taken the entire floor space.
Frank Mayer of Heinz Mayer, among the prominent displays in Hall 1, said that this is the eighth year of participation. In Bahrain the appreciation for quality is sky high. After seeing markets where the price is the main consideration, here is one where the quality is appreciated. The designs are key in this market, along with craftsmanship and workmanship. This is an educated market for jewellery, he added.
Asked about their retail in Bahrain, he said, "We are looking for distributors. Since we manufacture, there is no way we will go into distribution. We are interested in partnering with people to sell our products. the brand is one of the most reputed brands. We are among the high-end jewellers. When we are at the high end we can't be the largest in volume."
Jawad Yusuf Abdulwahab Al Hawaj, the doyen of the Al Hawaj group said, "We are participating from the first edition of the jewellery exhibition. It is a very special one considering that there is not another of its kind in the region and the Middle East. This has positive impact on the economy." This is also good to exhibit new products, he added.
The Al Hawaj group has exhibited the Rotary line of watches, with its lifelong guarantee, among the latest brands. One of the designs features square and circular watches, the dial of which can be turned around.
In addition to jewellery and watches, Al Hawaj has also displayed a whole array of designer perfumes. This time it is a French designer.
The European displays and the increasing presence of Asian jewellery brands benefits the trade.
Asked about expansion plans, he said the company has plans for expand geographically.
President of the gems, jewellery and precious metals confederation of Thailand, Somchai Phornchindarak, told the BNA, "I want to expand Thai products in the Gulf. We see Bahrain as a great potential. The two nations have brotherly ties that can be taken to the level of higher cooperation."
Jar udon Tulyagijja, Vice President of Thai gem and jewellery Traders Association, said, the Thai participation is encouraging. "This is our first year as a pavilion., but constrained by space. We have 20 stalls, but we would like to have 40 at least. Our exhibition in Thailand is 80,000 square metre with about 3,000 stalls."
"The Bahrain market, with its proximity to Saudi Arabia, a strong financial industry as its base and the easy access without a visa for Bahrain, adds to the benefits of showcasing in Bahrain. The economic situation in the region and the world is expected to take a positive turn. This is expected to impact the relations, said the Ambassador of Thailand to Bahrain, Vivhai Varasirikul. He added that Thailand has increased its presence at the exhibition this year. "The Thai pavilion is for the first time. We look forward to using every opportunity to increasing bilateral trade between the two countries."
Mahesh Devji, of Devji Aurum looked at the buying in Bahrain market and said, "People are more careful at what they buy. They ensure that what they buy is what they need. It is more intelligent consuming. Jewellery Arabia has always delivered more than promised.
We have introduced the Ruhi collection this year. It is our soul. Since 96 it has been innovated. This year the bridal collection of Ruhi and the masterpieces are the key. Each of the masterpieces has a deeprooted heritage of the region and the modernity sought by the modern lady.
Mont Blanc, among those who have attended every edition, said they were displaying the 90th anniversary of 149 Meisterstuck collection. The whole range of pens is made in resin and rose gold. Then there is the Heritage collection for the watches.