Barry Killengrey, Gulf Print & Pack event director

  1. Can you provide a brief overview of the Gulf Print and Pack Exhibition 2024, highlighting its objectives and key features?

Gulf Print & Pack 2024 is the most significant exhibition in the GCC region for all types of commercial printing, label and package printing solutions. This dedicated trade show remains the most important event for all printers and Print Service Providers (PSPs) in the region to attend. The next edition will be held from 9-11 January 2024 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

The 2024 edition brings together leading industry suppliers with live demonstrations of a wide range of print, finishing, materials and workflow solutions.

We want to position Gulf Print & Pack 2024 as the leading showcase for innovation in this fast-moving industry for commercial, label and package printers throughout the MENA and GCC regions. The range of technologies on show includes the latest developments in wide format printing and converting, and key technologies that are reshaping the label and package printing industry, particularly across flexo, digital and hybrid printing.

The key trend in the MENA market is the transition to digital, not only in terms of print and post-print equipment, but also workflow, and visitors can expect to see this transition come to life on the show floor at Gulf Print and Pack 2024.

  1. How many exhibitors are participating in this year’s exhibition, and can you share some information about the industries they represent?
  • What measures have been taken to ensure a diverse range of participants and exhibitors?

We will have more than 250 exhibitors participating at this year’s show from across key industries covering printed educational and children’s books, photo books, labels to packaging, direct mail, posters, banners, digitally printed textiles, and display graphics.

  1. Is there a specific theme or focus for this year’s Gulf Print and Pack Exhibition 2024? If so, what prompted the selection of this theme?

This year’s Gulf Print & Pack will focus on the transition to digital in terms of print and post-print equipment. Automation is a related focus, with demonstrations of automated workflows and production equipment, including end-to-end automated book production. Sustainability is the third focus area, for example new linerless label technologies for consumer product packaging.

  1. Are there any notable technologies or innovations in the printing and packaging industry that will be highlighted at the exhibition?

For the commercial printing market, new equipment on show at Gulf Print & Pack 2024 includes the Ricoh Pro C9500 and Pro C7500 digital presses and the company’s Auto Color Adjuster inline quality control system.

Heidelberg showcases its new Versafire product range capable of printing banners up to 1,260mm and printing on paper media from 40 to 470g/m2 duplex. Heidelberg offers the fifth color as well for online finishing with a multitude of possible substrates.

On the labelling side, new equipment on show includes Konica Minolta’s AccurioLabel 400 toner-based digital label press, printing at speeds up to 39.9 m/min CMYK and now with the option to add white. The press incorporates Konica Minolta’s Intelligent Quality Optimizer (IQ-520) color management functionality for real-time colour stability and registration control.

Visitors can also expect to see new wide format printing systems – sheet, roll and hybrid – alongside new cutting table technology which will allow PSPs to participate in new value-added markets. For both commercial and package printing markets, the latest digital embellishment technology will be displayed.

  1. What networking opportunities are available for exhibitors and attendees to connect and collaborate during the event?

Taking part in this edition of Gulf Print & Pack provides you with an unrivalled opportunity to do business with the complete ecosystem of commercial and package print suppliers. This will be the biggest in-person event for this industry in the region since 2019 and provides an unrivalled opportunity to network with a broader audience covering a wide range of industry areas from label printing, digital textiles and wall coverings to on-demand book printing and more.

  1. Given the growing emphasis on sustainability, how is the Gulf Print and Pack Exhibition addressing environmental concerns within the printing and packaging industry?

The labels and package print industries face massive sustainability hurdles – for example the pressure-sensitive label industry has to find a way to handle collection and up-cycling of liner waste – and both industries are heavy users of plastic films at a time when plastics packaging is environmental pressure. These challenges are being addressed in a range of innovative ways, for example using more post-consumer plastics waste in the manufacturer of new films and containers and in the development of new linerless technologies for consumer product packaging. All these trends can be examined by visiting the materials suppliers at Gulf Print & Pack 2024.

  1. How do you envision the future of the Gulf Print and Pack Exhibition? Are there any plans to expand or introduce new elements to the event?

I see a continuing trend to ‘hybrid’ printing and converting systems which mix and match digital with highly efficient and automated analog printing and converting technology. At the same time, digital embellishment will augment the value-added possibilities open to both commercial and packaging printers by allowing decorative elements to appear cost-effectively on promotional print and short run packaging products, including variable tactile and metallic imaging. All these trends are set to be showcased in future editions of Gulf Print & Pack.