Damascus International Fair: A story of success resonating across the region

Damascus, SANA-Damascus International Fair has been the masterpiece of the Middle Eastern fairs and the window of the Syrian economy to the world. Last year, the Fair was launched into a fresh start, an accelerated, vibrant one in terms of increasing
brilliance and achievement. The Fair’s next edition, slated for September 6 to 15, which is expected to witness an increase
in the number of participant countries, companies, events and activities, thus increasing the space allocated to the pavilions is a proof of the development and support enjoyed by the current edition, especially after the great victories of the Syrian Arab army on terrorism in Damascus and its countryside and Daraa and Quneitra.

Decree No. 14 of 1953 provided for the establishment of one edition of the Damascus International Fair and was actually established on the ground in 1954, and due to its successes, it was decided to hold the fair permanently under Law No. 40 of 1955, which stipulated for establishing a directorate for Damascus International Fair and a private lottery.

In the early sixties, Syrian artists made a monument of the Damascene Sword in the Umayyad Square in central Damascus as a
symbol of the power of the city. The monument had two large contrasting facades of colored plastic. The western façade
overlooks the Umayyad Square itself, while the eastern façade overlooks the door of Damascus International Fair.

The first edition of the fair was held on the first of September 1954 and lasted for one month on an area of 250 thousand square meters, and the number of visitors then reached one million from different countries. It hosted 26 Arab and foreign countries as well as a number of Syrian industrial and commercial institutions and companies.

In 1956, the number of participant countries reached 30, and in the 1960s it reached 43. The number increased to 51 in 1977, and in the 1980s it peaked in 1986 with 63 participating countries. In 2004, it reached 55 countries. The General Organization for Exhibitions and International Markets insisted to hold the 58thedition of the Damascus International Fair in 2011 which marked the beginning of the terrorist war against Syria, and the number of participant countries that year reached 22 despite the attempts of Syria’s enemies to sever its economic relations with the countries of the world.

One million visited the first edition of the fair, which increased to reach two million visitors in 1973 and 3 million visitors in the following year, 1974, continuing to increase until the last edition of the exhibition in 2011.

On the social level, Damascus International Fair is a social gathering for the Syrian family and a ritual of their joyful moments, which they mention in their daily conversations and tell their children and grandchildren. There is hardly any Syrian family without a member who had visited the Damascus International Fair many times and spent fun evenings, singing parties and plays with the family or friends. The local popular turnout witnessed last year at the Damascus International Fair and the resulting congestion in the streets late into the night shows the extent to which the Syrians yearn for their memories and joys at this big annual event.


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