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Bahrain’s 31st Autumn Fair kicked off last Thursday at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, highlighting businesses and products from across the region, especially from the kingdom.
The opening was attended by Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Alzayani, commerce affairs Undersecretary Nader Khalil Almoayyed and other officials and dignitaries.
According to Nader, exhibitions like the Autumn Fair specifically shed a spotlight on promoting Bahrain’s local businesses and industry. He said: “In this exhibition we have about 650 businesses under one roof and a good number of them are Bahraini businesses; we managed to get an attendance of 140,000 last year and we think that the number will increase this year.
“Because a good number of Bahraini businesses are participating in the event they have added value; they will have captured customers under one roof that will help promote their businesses.”
Stalls from 16 countries are offering a huge range of products such as speciality food, fashion, beauty, home décor, technology, toys, textiles and much more in the 15,400sqm facility. From stalwarts like Al Hawaj to relative newcomers, every vendor tried to get visitors’ attention and stand out from the stiff competition.
Amongst the Bahraini businesses is Muharraq-based Natural Forever, a six-year old natural body care business that sells shampoos, conditioners and soaps, all with zero additives and made in Bahrain.
Shereen Abdul Kareem, representing the company, said: “This is our first time at the Autumn Fair. There are a lot of people visiting but there’s also a lot of competition. We try to stand out by showing customers that we use completely natural products. Since we are local, it is easier for them (to trust us). We have a factory in Hidd and as far as possible, we source our ingredients locally.”
There is also an outdoor street food market that offers shoppers a selection of culinary delights from some of Bahrain’s finest traders.
Organiser Yaqoob Ali said: “With a wide range of products and excellent dining options, the Autumn Fair is the perfect opportunity for friends and family to meet in the New Year. Visitors can look forward to discovering bargains, new-to-market products and old customer favourites from local and international traders in a friendly, festive atmosphere.”
In addition to the main exhibition halls, there is a large tent set up outside the main building housing a number of Bahraini home-based businesses.
Fadheela Ali, the owner and vendor of Saraya Perfumes, a small business that makes homemade fragrances and incense, told our sister publication GDN: “As a Bahraini I am very proud to be here to represent my country and myself. It is also wonderful to be part of a community like this. The Bahraini participation in the fair is a strong base and is vital to its success.”
The exhibition is open from 10am to 2pm and 4pm to 10pm today and from 10am to 10pm tomorrow and Friday. Entry fee is BD1 and tickets can be purchased during the opening hours of the fair from kiosks at the centre.
Children under the age of 12 gain free entry.