Abu Dhabi is to host the largest ever consumer lifestyle show in the Middle East next year.
The Life & Style Show UAE is to take place at Adnec in December 2013 and includes six sub-shows: Speed & Power; Home & Living; Fashion & Beauty; Gizmos, Gadgets & Tech; Sport & Leisure; and Toys, Hobbies & Games.
Here, Ashley Roberts, the events director at the organiser, dmg::events Middle East, talks about why Abu Dhabi has missed out on hosting more shows such as Life & Style in the past and why that may be about to change.
The show will not take place until December 5 to 7, 2013. Why announce it so early?
That is quite a long time out from the show but there's a very good reason for that. Although it is under one show name, ie the Life & Style Show UAE, it is six shows in essence that are co-located. Each of those has its own brand, its own identity and its own look and feel. So actually the show in its totality is quite a substantial size and to ensure that we get the right kind of brands we want to start that conversation as early as possible. It's very much ... about speaking to prospective sponsors and prospective exhibitors.
Why hold all six events at once? You could probably make more money if you split them up.
That's a fair point. It's really about each of the events supporting each other. The gentleman might go to the Gizmos, Gadgets & Tech show but he might also have an interest in attending Speed & Power, so in essence the audience for each of the shows will support one another.
Why are you holding this in Abu Dhabi and not Dubai, where this type of thing usually takes place?
Dubai is very saturated in terms of [business-to-consumer] shows. There is very little within Abu Dhabi. And, in reality, a lot of the wealth within the country resides within Abu Dhabi and the Al Ain region. And we can see that over the coming years that actually the trends from traditional [business-to-consumer] shows in Dubai will start to slowly change and you will start to see more and more in Abu Dhabi. We are trying to get in there ahead of the game and start this before some of the other event organisers.
Any opinion on why more events like this haven't been held in Abu Dhabi?
I think what [foreign organisers of consumer shows] think about too much is focusing on the expats, rather than actually delivering a show that straddles both: something for expats and at the same time something for Emiratis. I think having it in the Abu Dhabi region, you are going to deliver more Emiratis to the show.