Liftech Expo 2016
The third iteration of the Cairo event welcomed participation of 80 companies, debuted EW Middle East.
In a reflection of a thriving construction industry that is seeing developments such as a massive “New Cairo” taking shape outside the city limits and plenty of tall-building construction throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), LIFTECH EXPO 2016 drew an impressive crowd during its third iteration, held January 21-24 at the Cairo International Convention Center. The event marked the debut of ELEVATOR WORLD Middle East, which drew a great deal of attention. Geared toward those doing business in the MENA region, 5,000 magazines were distributed. Digital magazines were also sent to 20,000 industry professionals all over the world.
Despite political unrest, everyone at the expo remained focused on the business at hand, observed Elevator World, Inc. Executive Vice President T.Bruce MacKinnon, stating:
“No matter what your background, the goal of the organizers is to help this region grow and have an expo that allows everyone to grow their business and do more business.”
Your author and MacKinnon observed the expo was very well organized and professional. We spoke with all the exhibitors, who said they were pleased with the setup and networking that was possible. As for hall and corridor design, allowing exit and entrance through the same point pleased exhibitors, since it facilitated being able to visit all the booths. Crowd numbers were slightly lower than expected, exhibitors said, but that is expected to improve for the next LIFTECH.
Eighty companies (including industry and media organizations) from eight countries participated in the expo, with Turkey having the strongest presence at 14 exhibitors. China took second place with 10, followed by Germany (four), Italy (three), the U.S. (two) and the U.A.E. (one). Turkish companies captured visitors’ attention through products tailored to the Middle Eastern market and new innovations, as well as expansive, modern booths. AFAG Messen und Ausstellungen GmbH from Germany arranged to have two companies attend, and Joachim Kalsdorf of AFAG said he feels confident that number will multiply considerably once the next LIFTECH rolls around.
Turkish companies and organizations participating were Ah&Met Asansör, Ark Asansör, BMG Lift, Butkon Asansör, EEM Asansör, Emak Home Lift, Emkarlift, Genemek, Hüras Asansör, Logo Elektromekanik, U.P.S.E.T. Elektronik, Uygunsan Steel, Vital Asansör and Wiserol.
In terms of numbers, 3,393 professional visitors from 22 countries attended. The event was inaugurated at 2 p.m. on January 21 and attended by Egyptian elevator-industry representatives and Cairo government officials. The opening speech was made by Mohamed Shawky, chairman of authorized Mitsubishi Electric dealer MELCO-MEC, with the presence of Ahmed Abd El Hameed, chairman of Building Materials Industries, and Hanan Ismail, executive director of the Export Council for Building Materials, Refractory & Metallurgy Industries.
LIFTECH EXPO 2016 enjoyed active support from the Egyptian Federation for Construction & Building Contractors and the Export Council. During four hectic days of business discussions, thousands of visitors from more than 20 nations, including 335 from abroad, made the expo a real global event.
Conference programs organized concurrently with the exhibition also drew interest. LIFTECH EXPO 2016’s main sponsor, KONE, held several effective seminars for two continuous days, followed by evening networking receptions in the venue’s Conference Lounge. The official installer sponsor, Cairo-based Hausen Elevators, celebrated 25 years in business with a briefing about the company in the lounge.
Gala Dinner on the Nile
On January 22, a gorgeous gala dinner cruise took place onboard the Golden Pharaoh. For the dinner, 400 exhibitors and visitors were welcomed. Guests enjoyed the rich flavors of Egyptian cuisine to the accompaniment of sparkling scenes along the Nile and entertainment by belly dancers.
In accordance with the positive reactions and demand received during the exhibition, Elevator World, Inc. plans to publish the second issue of EW Middle East in the latter part of the year, with the ultimate goal of providing readers with four issues a year.
There will no doubt be plenty to write about, with the Egyptian Ministry of Finance reporting that public/private partnerships underway totaling approximately US$4 billion over all sectors back up its positive outlook for the construction and, in turn, vertical-transportation industries. Projects on the drawing boards in Egypt include:
- Expansion of lucrative ports in Port Said, El-Sokhna and Arish a Safaga
- An international industrial and logistics center in Suez
- A government focus on developing and modernizing business centers, museums and public facilities in urban areas
- The 38,000-m2 Egyptian American Medical Centre
- A multipurpose center near Cairo International Airport
- The 165,000-m2 Mall of Egypt
The exhibition raised expectations that it would become one of the most significant fairs in the region. According to the Egyptian Ministry of Finance, the construction industry in Egypt enjoyed a growth rate of 9.8% in 2015 and is anticipated to grow at a rate of 8% in 2016. Considering every perspective, the importance of the expo for the industry is growing. Adds MacKinnon: “The neat thing is, they are trying to expand it outside of Cairo, since there is so much going on throughout the region.” The date of the next LIFTECH has yet to be announced.