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The Biggest Printing and Packaging Extravaganza Returns to Dubai

Exclusive Interview with Barry Killengrey, Gulf Print and Pack Exhibition director

Gulf Print and Pack exhibition will be held between 9 and 11 January 2024 in Dubai. The landmark printing and packaging event for MENA region returns to Dubai after two years and everybody is excited about it.. To find out more details about the upcoming exhibition we talked to Barry Killengrey, GPP’s event director. Here are the excerpts: 

Gulf Print and Pack Exhibition

What are the current trends and growth prospects for the printing and packaging industry in the Gulf region?

We are seeing a major shift towards digital printing and finishing, along with process automation, across the commercial and package print sectors. In the commercial sector, the growth of cut-sheet digital presses, hybrid wide format printers and high-speed inkjet transactional printers is totally transforming the printing landscape and opening up new added value opportunities for PSPs and commercial printers. In the packaging sector, hybrid inkjet-flexo presses, high-build digital varnishing and digital metallization, and automation are the key drivers for growth.

Who are some of the prominent exhibitors participating in the Gulf Print and Pack exhibition, and what areas of expertise do they specialize in?

Konica Minolta is poised to unveil the highly anticipated AccurioLabel 400 digital label press to the MENA market during the upcoming Gulf Print & Pack 2024 event. FLORA, a prominent player in the industry, is set to showcase their revolutionary corrugated scanning digital printer, accompanied by the advanced J330s digital label printer. Adding to the excitement, Afra, a prominent UAE-based company, will demonstrate their Flexo offerings, including the cutting-edge Etiram SPS3 press at the show.

Ricoh has also confirmed participation and stated: “We decided to remain closer to our customers, Ricoh is set to make waves at Gulf Print & Pack, the Middle East’s premier printing exhibition. Get ready to be captivated by our innovative new products that will redefine the future of printing. Stay tuned for a revolution in the world of print!”

Gulf Print and Pack Exhibition

Heidelberg has cemented their participation at Gulf Print & Pack 2024 and stated: “We will show our customers the new range of digital production presses powered with the state-of-the-art Prinect Digital Front End. We look forward to a successful show.”

Can you highlight the Sustainability focus for the next show?

Global brands and MEA governments are all promoting their own sustainability mandates, and commercial and packaging printers and their suppliers are all required to respond. Gulf Print & Pack 2024 will demonstrate the full range of sustainability solutions targeted at CO2 and energy reduction and the circular materials economy (no more landfill). These solutions will include LED-UV as a replacement for mercury UV, increased use of post-consumer waste in printing substrates, mono-layer paper flexible packaging and workflow automation systems to reduce waste.

How many exhibitors are you anticipating participating in the 2024 Gulf Print and Pack exhibition?

At this year’s show, we expect to have over 200 exhibitors, we’ve had overwhelming interest globally with many presses to be showcased at this year’s show. A truly show-and-sell event for 2024.

Gulf Print and Pack Exhibition

Do you have an estimate of the number of visitors expected to attend and from where?

Appetite is very healthy for this next edition, and we expect a return to pre-pandemic numbers, when we had 9,000 visitors.

Can you provide a brief overview of the history of the Gulf Print and Pack exhibition, including its inception, growth, and key milestones over the years?

Tarsus Group – now part of Informa – acquired Gulf Print & Pack in 2007, when the show had already been running in Dubai for ten years. The focus of the show at that time was both packaging machinery and printing equipment, and over the years this has shifted to a primary focus on printing, pre-press and finishing technology for both the commercial and package printing sectors.

What type of exhibitors do you expect to participate in this edition?

This edition has seen a substantial increase in the number of confirmed machinery suppliers who will demonstrate their capabilities. We have a wide array of international brands on the show floor, and many more will follow in the coming months.

Some of the of the key areas to look out for are:

  • Digital printing presses
  • Finishing and embellishment
  • Flexo printing presses
  • Label application technology
  • Management information systems (MIS)
  • Automation
  • Offset printing presses
  • Pre-press technologies
  • Wide format printers

What is your message to the GCC region?

Since Gulf Print & Pack officially announced the dates for 2024, the 9 – 11 January, the feedback from visitors and exhibitors has been extremely encouraging. The new dates are the perfect time to kick start business in Dubai, the global business hub of the Middle East.  The show continues to be the major exhibition for the print and package printing sector in the GCC region and for the first time in four years, a full-capacity printing exhibition in the Middle East.

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