Damascus International Fair to be held against all odds

Damascus, SANA –Damascus International Fair, the Syrian economy’s window to the world, is brought back to life again after several years of forced absence due to the terrorist war inflicted upon the country.

The famous and well-reputed Fair has defied all the extremely harsh coercive economic measures imposed unilaterally on Syria to be revived and held on August 17-26, surpassing all the repercussions of the war and succeeding to attract many Arab and foreign companies to join its activities.

Charged with innovation and success on the local and regional level, the Fair, since its inception in 1954 until its latest edition held in 2011, is considered a reference for time and place memory in the Middle East region and for social and popular memory on the local level, in addition to being an artistic and cultural event that many Syrian and Arab writers and intellectuals await every year.

According to Decree no 14 for 1953, only one edition of the Damascus International Fair was supposed to be held, which actually took place in 1954. However, after the successes and benefits it achieved, it was decided that the Fair should be held periodically by Law no. 40 for 1955, which stipulated for establishing the Directorate of the Damascus International Fair and its lottery event.

Set up in 2002, the old site of Damascus International Fair occupied an important position in the center of Damascus city extending from Victoria Bridge and the National Museum along Barada River and passing the green squares to reach the Umayyad Square.

It is distinguished by its amazing fountains and the National Pavilions which embrace the participation of several countries from the East and the West.

The high columns with the flags of the participated countries were along the road extending from its main entrance at that time. A special arch created in 1935 was located on the main entrance of the Fair. It was similar to the rainbow, and considered as a manifestation of “Damascus International Fair”

In the early sixties of twentieth century, the Syrian artists raised in Umayyad Square in the center of the Capital a monument of Damascene Sword as a symbol of the city’s power and resistance

This monument of Damascene Sword has two wide fronts, ornamented with transparent colored plastic pieces. The western front overlooks the Umayyad Square, while the eastern one overlooks the main entrance of Damascus International Fair.

During the fifths, Damascus International Fair was a prominent economic and international event that achieved an economic, commercial and tourist success beyond expectations.

The first edition of the Fair was held on the first of September in1954 and lasted for a month where the number of visitors exceeded 1.000.000 from 26 Arab and foreign countries. It was extended on a space of 250.000 sq m. A various number of Syrian industrial and commercial enterprises took part in the first edition.

On the sidelines of the editions of the Fair, special stamps were issued and music concerts and artistic shows for well-known Arab and international teams were held at the art stage of the Fair.

In 1958, Damascus International Fair became a member of the International Fairs Union and in 1970 it achieved a qualitative leap in terms of the increased number of the participating companies and countries that covered the five continents.

With the passage of years, and with the great crowding inside Damascus city, there was necessity to find a new place with wide spaces to fit the increasing of the participating countries and exhibitors, in addition to the international and Syrian companies, as well as the great number of visitors.

The new Fairground is one of the biggest worldwide spreading over 1.2 million sqm located on the Highway between Damascus and the International Airport. This state-of-the-art fairground enjoys exhibition hall, services and facilities according to the most modern global standards.

The new Fairgrounds provides all the necessary services for the business visitors, exhibitors and the organizers. There are warehouses, custom and workshops, business center press center, restaurants and cafes, and parking: 11.000 sqm with a capacity of 1800 car.

The built exhibition space is 83.000 sqm, the open exhibition space is 150.000 sqm, while the green space is 60.000 sqm.

The Fairgrounds has five external gates for cars, and ten internal gates for visitors. The new Fairgrounds could embrace several exhibitions at the same time, and it has hosted tens of specialized exhibitions, in addition to Damascus International Fair, as well as many investments.

H. Said

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