Automechanika Dubai, the Middle East’s largest international trade exhibition for the automotive aftermarket industry, opened today at the Dubai World Trade Centre with a vast showcase of present and future products, services, technologies and insights from industry experts.
Exhibiting the latest technology and innovation from both across the region and beyond, the 19th edition, organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, boasts an impressive 79 per cent increase in floor space this year, to accommodate a total of 1,145 exhibitors – a 98 per cent increase on 2021.
Representation of exhibitors this year comes from more than 53 countries with 20 country pavilions on show, including Türkiye, Germany, Italy, India, Korea, Malaysia and China.
Spread across eleven halls at DWTC, Automechanika Dubai features six product sectors: Parts & Components, Electronics & Systems, Accessories & Customizing, Tires & Batteries, Repair & Maintenance, and Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning.
Hong Kong Auto Parts Industry Association has, for the first time, launched an official country pavilion at Automechanika Dubai, consisting of exhibitors from across the full automotive aftermarket sector.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Norman WH Ng, president of pavilion organiser Hong Kong Auto Parts Industry Association, said the participation at Automechanika Dubai has been two years in the making.
“We are so excited to finally be here – this is a great moment for us, our partners and our association,” said Ng. “We have participated in other Automechanikas across the world, but this is our first time in Dubai, and we are looking forward to engaging with the industry and forging new partnerships over the next three days.”
Day One also saw a dual partnership signed between Minerals Circles Bearings (MCB), one of the region’s leading bearing distributors, and leading international automotive spare part suppliers Corteco (Germany) and GMB (United States).
The partnership will allow Minerals Circles Bearings greater access to international markets, specifically opening supplier networks for its growing electric car bearings division.
Commenting on both partnerships, Hassanein Alwan, Managing Director, Mineral Circles Bearings, said: “With the introduction of electric cars in recent years, Mineral Circles Bearings rises to meet the latest industry demands through a partnership with GMB and Corteco. With the South Korean electric car market expansion at a CAGR of about 33.8 per cent in the forecast period of 2023-2028, these partnerships strategically position us to deliver superior electric water pumps and much more.”
Returning this year is the Automechanika Academy, which is taking place across all three days of the show and includes speakers and panellists such as Kyle Weber, Customer Journey & Innovation Manager at CEER Motors, the region’s first electric vehicle manufacturer, and Aasif Khan, Industry Advisor – Discrete Industries at SAP.
Subharshee Ramarathnam, Principal Consultant – Mobility Practice, Frost & Sullivan, presented an overview of the vehicle aftermarket both regionally and globally on Day One. Discussing the number of light vehicles in operation across the GCC, Ramarathnam revealed there are 17.4m currently on the road, with more than 8.5m in Saudi Arabia and 4.1m in the UAE. A three per cent compound annual growth rate will see the number of light vehicles rise to 19.1m by 2025.
The opening day’s sessions also included a panel discussion focused on evolving leaderships amid market disruption and newer challenges facing the automotive sector. Touching on the growth of a subscription for service model such as that of Uber and Careem, online-to-offline purchasing journeys, potential hydrogen-powered vehicles, and the proliferation of electric scooters, the panel painted an image of a changing industry.
“The automotive sector has been the same for the past 50-60 years, but it will not be the same in 10 years,” said Tony Abouzolof, co-founder and managing director at Syncron. “There are so many disruptions and changes happening all at the same time. I think in 10 years, we won’t even talk about the automotive sector – we will talk instead about ‘mobility’.”