The Middle East region has deep historical roots as a crossroads where cultures and commercial interests from many parts of the world meet.
This rich trading history has made the region an ideal gathering place for recyclers around the world. In the first week of March 2014, the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai served as the meeting place for more than 450 recyclers who had their choice of three events to attend at the same venue during the same week: the Middle East Metals Recycling Conference, an End-of-Life Vehicle Workshop and the Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Middle East.
The conferences enjoyed support from exhibitors, sponsors and several associations, most notably the Bureau of Middle East Recyclers (BMR).
At the events, programming focused in part on the opportunities present in the region and also on bringing viewpoints from Europe, the Indian Subcontinent, China and North America to delegates from the Middle East region.
Throughout the events, delegates, presenters and exhibitors also had the opportunity to interact at networking breaks, meals and in the exhibit area of the venue.
The March 2014 events in Dubai marked the third year in a row that United States-based Recycling Today Media Group and Dubai-based Waste & Recycling Middle East magazine partnered to host conferences there.
In 2012 the first Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Middle East was held, the next year the Middle East Metals Recycling Conference was added and this year a third event joined the roster with the End-of-Life Vehicle Workshop.
The three events in March 2014 combined to bring nearly 500 delegates together throughout the course of the week in Dubai to discuss these secondary commodities. The inaugural 2012 paper and plastics event drew more than 180 people, while nearly 400 delegates attended the two 2013 events.
Several factors have been critical to the growth of the Dubai conferences since their inception, including an increased interest in recycling in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and the support of a growing number of corporate and industry association sponsors working within these sectors.
The Middle East Metals Recycling Conference (MEMRC), which drew slightly more than 300 delegates, also enjoyed the highest level of support with:
- the Bureau of Middle East Recyclers as host association;
- additional association support came from the Metal Recycling Association of India (MRAI); the Ahmedabad Non Ferrous Metal Exim Association (ANMA); the Jamnagar Exim Metal Merchant Association (JEMMA); and the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association - Recycling Metal Branch (CMRA);
- Sharjah, UAE-based Beéah as “environmental partner;”
- United States-based Frost & Sullivan as “knowledge partner;”
- three media partners (SteelGuru.com, SteelMint and Steel360.com); and
- nine corporate sponsors: diamond sponsor Miraj Metals (India); title sponsor Jain Hydraulics (India); platinum sponsor Ala Group (UAE); gold sponsors Lucky Group (UAE) and Pan Global Trading (UAE); silver sponsors Advance Hydrau-Tech Pvt. Ltd. (India) and Ma’Aden Aluminum (Saudi Arabia); bronze sponsors ASM Scrap (UAE) and RKG International (UAE).
Fourteen companies also exhibited at the MEMRC and were able to interact with delegates during busy networking breaks.
Some MEMRC delegates, as well as some separate delegates, attended the End-of-Life Vehicle Workshop held the afternoon of Monday, March 3.
At the workshop, delegates heard from a range of speakers that included a regional automotive industry analyst from Frost & Sullivan; two Dubai Municipality officials; two vehicle depollution and disassembly equipment providers; a shredding equipment provider; and scrap company chairman Salam Al Sharif of UAE-based Sharif Metals International, whose company operates auto shredders.
An opening night dinner provided both a networking opportunity and a chance to see regional dance performers.
Around the world
The recycling conferences held in Dubai in March 2014 drew heavily from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and nearby Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, but also attracted delegates from all over the world.
The two conferences (plus one workshop), co-hosted by the Recycling Today Media Group and Dubai-based Waste & Recycling Middle East magazine, took place March 2-5 at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai hotel.
According to Dr. Kayyum Ali, CEO of Media Fusion (publisher of Waste & Recycling Middle East), it is the intention of the conference organisers to “welcome recyclers and government officials from the Gulf Cooperation Council region and around the world to enjoy Dubai and make new connections that will help them and the industry to prosper.”
A look at the delegate rosters of the events shows that the organisers succeeded in their quest to bring together recyclers and traders from around the world.
The more than 300 delegates who attended the Middle East Metals Recycling Conference (MEMRC) came from 25 nations ranging alphabetically from Bahrain to the United States. Of those in attendance, 107 were from host nation the UAE. Very close behind, with 104 registered delegates, was the UAE’s historically close trading partner India.
Nations with from five to 12 delegates included Bahrain, China, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
At the other end of the spectrum, nations represented with one delegate included Bulgaria, Canada, Oman, Singapore and Spain.
The 2014 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Middle East (PPRCME) attracted nearly 170 delegates from 23 different nations, ranging alphabetically from Austria to the United States.
Host nation the UAE provided the greatest number of delegates at 60, followed by India with 25 delegates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with 17.
Adding to the global feel of the event, one or more delegates also hailed from Belgium, Cameroon, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, Jordan, Morocco and Nigeria.
Paper and plastic
The 2014 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Middle East (PPRCME), held March 4-5, was the third annual version of the event, designed to bring together collectors, processors, traders and consumers of both recovered paper and plastic scrap.
The event has drawn between 150 and 185 delegates each year, and in 2014 enjoyed the support of 12 exhibiting companies and a variety of sponsors and partners, including:
- platinum sponsor Waraq Arab Paper Manufacturing Co. (based in Saudi Arabia);
- gold sponsors Gemini Corp. NV (Belgium) and WASCO (Waste Collection & Recycling Co. Ltd., Saudi Arabia);
- silver sponsor Moore & Associates (United States);
- bronze sponsors RISI (United States) and Nesma Recycling Co. (Saudi Arabia); and
- environmental partner Beéah (UAE).
Delegates at the 2014 PPRCME sat in on presentations offering global reviews of where the paper and plastic recycling industries stand as well as regionally focused case studies and other information.
The author is editor of Recycling Today Global Edition and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.