Gulf Print & Pack returns to Dubai in 2024

9-11 January 2024 at World Trade Center

Gulf Print & Pack returns to Dubai in 2024
The next Gulf Print & Pack will take place at the World Trade Center in Dubai on 9-11 January 2024. The previous show was held in June 2022.

Gulf Print & Pack, a leading exhibition for the commercial and package printing industries in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, will take place at the World Trade Center in Dubai on 9-11 January 2024.

The last Gulf Print & Pack event was held in June 2022, attracting leading graphic arts suppliers from across the globe and over 7,500 international visitors, the organizers said in a press release.

Barry Killengrey, Gulf Print & Pack event director, said: “We’re delighted to be back on the biennial calendar for the first time since the pandemic. During this time, the print and package printing industry has evolved immensely, with exciting new trends such as digital embellishment emerging, and this has intensified the appetite to see more advances in digital technology, automation, and workflow capabilities.”

With the milder climate, January is the ideal time to plan a business trip to Dubai and the best time to kick-start new business here,” says Killengrey. “Dubai is the most populous city in the UAE and has become a center of trade and commerce for the Middle East.”

The 2024 show will give PSPs, commercial printers, and packaging converters the chance to see a broad range of new technology in action including wide format printers, digital corrugated, cut sheet inkjet, package printing presses, and digital embellishment systems.

The key trend in the MENA market is the transition to digital, not only in terms of print and post-print equipment but also workflows,” said Andy Thomas-Emans, Strategic director of the Tarsus Labels and Packaging Group, which organizes Gulf Print & Pack.

Conventional offset printers are now looking closely at cut sheet inkjet presses, while both flexo and conventional printers are seeing increased automation in plate making, fully integrated with end-to-end color management. Corrugated printers also have new digital options, both at the high volume end and in the continued development of wide format presses and cutting tables.”

Thomas-Emans points out that although the commercial print market as a whole faces challenges, there are niche areas showing sustained growth, including on-demand book and photobook production and digital printing of fabrics and floor tiles. All these applications will be represented at Gulf Print & Pack 2024.

Commercial printers are also looking at opportunities in the booming package printing market, particularly in folding cartons and labels,” said Thomas-Emans. “We expect to see suppliers of flexo converting equipment and digital presses and finishing equipment in force at the show.”

Another key trend to watch out for at the show is a digital embellishment of cut-sheet commercial work, folding cartons, and labels, said Thomas-Emans. “The replacement of conventional tooling by high build inkjet varnishing, laser die cutting and digital metalization technologies will transform the value proposition for both commercial and packaging printers”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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