Arab Health 2013 starts today in Dubai. The event’s sponsors are promoting it as the world’s longest-running healthcare exposition and congress. This event, focused on the Middle East market, is now in its 38th year. This year, organizers expect 3,500 exhibitors and 83,000 attendees. Thirty-two country pavilions are planned, including a U.S. pavillion with companies and organizations from across the United States.
All totaled, there are 247 U.S. companies scheduled to exhibit throughout the 423,000 sq ft of show floor space. Many of the 3,500 exhibitors are easily recognizable in the American market, but others are not. The Middle East market appears to be growing and is propelled by abundant disposable income. And many other markets are looking to capitalize on this trend. In fact, nearly 40% of the exhibitors are from just four countries: the United States, Germany, UK, and China.
Arriving in Dubai, I was struck by contrasts. This city is home to incredible wealth and is progressive in its real estate and economic development. It has the world’s tallest building, the 160-story Burj Khalifa Tower, and a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree. Yet, culturally it remains conservative in some respects. Arriving at the airport visitors are greeted by signs in the taxi/shuttle waiting area indicating one waiting area for men and another for women.
Don Beery is president of Blendon Group Consulting and executive director of the West Michigan Medical Device Consortium. Check back throughout the week for more of his posts from Arab Health 2013.