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Issue Date: Vol. 46, No. 1, January 2006, Posted On: 1/23/2006

Dubai Hosts Mideast Vending/Kiosks Show With Support From NAMA, EVA And WVA

Tim Sanford

DUBAI, UAE — The vending and self-service kiosk industry is on the verge of exponential growth in the Middle East, according to Global Links LLC here. For this reason, Global Links is organizing the Middle East Vending & Kiosks Expo 2006, which is scheduled for May 20 and 21 at the palatial Madinat Jumeirah exhibition hall in Dubai City.

Designed as a one-stop business sourcing center catering to manufacturers, suppliers and operators of self-service equipment and related products, the Middle East Vending Expo will showcase the state of the art in automated retailing, highlighting concepts that offer the best returns in terms of saving time and expense.

For the first time, the Middle East Kiosks Expo 2006 will be held in conjunction with the Vending Expo. It will turn the spotlight on procurement solutions ranging from hardware through software and related network applications required to upgrade equipment for full automation and maximum user-friendliness. These solutions range from information display through bill payment.

“Technological advancements and progress always go hand-in-hand,” said Girish Dabrai, managing director of Global Links. “The concept of vending, although relatively new in the region, has caught up rapidly and holds tremendous potential for players in the industry. Moreover, the emphasis today is on effortless access to consumables, and this is where vending machines play a significant role.”

Recognizing this potential, the National Automatic Merchandising Association, the European Vending Association, and the new Worldwide Vending Association (a joint project of NAMA and EVA) are supporting the event, as is the Euro Kiosks Network (EKN). The 2006 Expo is expected to attract hundreds of exhibitors and more than 3,000 visitors from the Middle East, the nearby Indian subcontinent, Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States, all interested in keeping abreast of the latest technological developments and product developments.

The show will appeal to manufacturers, suppliers and operators of beverage vending equipment, pure-water dispensers, confectionery venders and machines delivering a wide variety of products, from newspapers and postage stamps to gifts. On the kiosks side, exhibits will range from automated teller machines and cash dispensers through information kiosks, and will include everything from monitors and printers to ticketing solutions and signage.

Dubai began its rapid ascent to its present eminence as a global commercial nexus early in this century, benefiting from its situation astride major maritime trade routes and its versatile, cosmopolitan population. The country has constructed one of the most efficient communications infrastructures in the region, and has enjoyed steady growth in gross domestic product, averaging 8% annually over the past decade. It boasts the world’s largest manmade marina, largest manmade island and tallest hotel, and now is constructing the world’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai, slated for completion in 2008.

Information on the Middle East Vending & Kiosks Expo 2006 can be had by visiting http://www.globallinksdubai.com.

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