The optical trade show will be host to more than 250 global eye-care and eyewear brands, and will provide a platform to GfK to reveal exclusive insights into the Middle East’s growing optical industry
The upbeat nature of the international eye-care industry has been highlighted by strong growth in the Middle East’s largest optical trade show Vision-X, with the 15th edition of the event gearing up to host more than 250 brands in a significantly expanded exhibition arena.
According to global retail intelligence specialist and Vision-X sponsor GfK, approximately 800 optician outlets have opened across the UAE and KSA in the last four years alone, highlighting tremendous regional growth in an increasingly competitive global industry. Further underlining the growing market interest in the optical business, organisers of Vision-X have confirmed the event has been significantly extended to accommodate a host of new international names. The increase in participating companies will deliver year-on-year growth of 70 per cent in total exhibition space at Vision-X.
For the first time in the Middle East, GfK will utilise Vision-X to reveal new insights into the global optical industry and share key data obtained from its GfK Optician Census study – the tailored analysis will enable Vision-X participants to assess the dynamics of the regional landscape in which they operate.
“As a relatively new market with a highly-favourable demographic situation, growth and expansion have been commonplace for the Middle East optical industry,” said David Lewis, Head of Optics, MENA, GfK. “Our recent census study of regional optician outlets highlights the vibrancy of the UAE and Saudi markets, with the countries’ mall-centric retail culture strongly reflected in 60 per cent of Dubai-based opticians opting for outlets in high-traffic shopping centres, which provide a strong consumer base for premium shopping and luxury brands.”
He continued, “With the already competitive market becoming even more active, the need to make smart decisions and optimise performance is growing. As a result, we’ve seen a significant increase in the demand for globally-recognised independent market data for companies to better rationalise and inform their strategic decisions.”
Vision-X 2014 will welcome more than 125 new brands to the region, including leading Danish companies Prodesign and Nine Eyewear, Spanish fashion brand Jisco and renowned fashion line Levi’s, which will showcase its latest cutting-edge trends, products and accessories. With a range of leading brands on display at the show, Vision & Fashion, the event’s headline sponsor, will also present its top-end luxury brands including the exclusive Boucheron collection, which has an individual eyewear piece retailing at just under AED210,000 (US$57,534).
“Visitors to the 15th anniversary edition of Vision-X will experience a show that has undergone a comprehensive remodelling programme,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Events & Exhibitions Department, DWTC. “After listening to industry feedback, we have developed a refreshed show concept hinged on new brands and enhanced features – over half this year’s exhibitors are new to the event and (from a) wider region and we anticipate a vibrant atmosphere on the exhibition floor as new business contacts are made within the region’s growing optical industry.”
“One of our new features is Future in Focus, which will provide a unique platform for optical leaders in future technologies to discuss the very latest products to be released into the market and explore how they will change the way the market operates. Delegates will have the opportunity to see, try and handle Google Glass live at the show – the first chance to do so in the region – as well as learn about how to optimise social media for their businesses.”
Running alongside the event is the new Vision-X VP Awards, launched in partnership with VisionPlus Arabia Magazine. The awards are the only optical industry celebration of excellence in the Middle East and have attracted more than 130 entries from around the world. Consisting of 15 award categories, entries were evaluated by a panel of leading regional retailers and industry professionals. Online and mail voting for the shortlisted designs began on October 1st and will continue till November 15th, 2014. The Vision-X VP Awards winners will be announced at an exclusive ceremony on November 25th in Dubai.
Co-located with the exhibition is the Vision-X Opticare conference – a dedicated platform for the Middle East and North Africa’s optical health professionals who require ongoing medical and business training. The popular Hosted Buyer Programme also returns, providing top-level buyers with a cache of opportunities to meet leading international and regional manufacturers, suppliers and distributors showcasing their latest trends in fashion eyewear and medical eye-care products, as well as attend Business Breakfast and networking meetings with leading speakers at the Future in Focus zone.
Vision-X 2014 returns with support from Headline Sponsor Vision & Fashion; Nikon & Kefan; Egma, GKB Hi-Tech and Medicals International. Being held in DWTC’s Sheikh Saeed Halls from November 25-27, Vision-X Dubai is strictly a trade-only event, open daily from 10 am to 6 pm on November 25 and 26 and 10 am to 5 pm on November 27.