Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) has reached an agreement for the full acquisition of HBG Events, an event organiser based in the UAE.
HBG Events has organised the annual, co-located Dubai Active, Dubai Active Industry and Dubai Muscle Show since 2016, which collectively is the largest fitness event in the Middle East.
Discussions between the two parties started before the 2019 edition, which was the largest and best attended to date, with an area covering 18,500 square metres, and an attendance of over 25,000 fitness professionals and enthusiasts.
For 15 years, IEG has been organising Rimini Wellness in Italy, which is one of the premier events in the world within the fitness, wellness and sport sectors. The event has developed into one of the largest of its kind covering a total space of 170,000 square metres indoor and outdoor with over 200,000 attendees, 400 exhibiting brands, 200 conferences, 1,500 hours of instruction and workouts, over 2,000 training sessions, as well as meetings and professional seminars.
Strategically, IEG sees the acquisition of HBG Events as the first step towards creating a worldwide network of fitness events under the aegis of Rimini Wellness.
The Middle East represents one of the highest growing fitness markets in the world, with great potential for European companies to expand their business. The acquisition is seen as an unrivalled opportunity for the European fitness market to access the extraordinary potential of the Middle East.
There is ongoing government investment into the sports and fitness sector in the region, including the Dubai Sports Council’s 10-year strategic plan, that involves creating opportunities for global and local brands to expand and thrive.
“Our mission in the world of trade fairs,” comments Corrado Peraboni, CEO of IEG. “It is to generate global business opportunities for companies, while developing commercial platforms and events that connect knowledge and innovation. This mission, launched just after the 2019 edition of Rimini Wellness, includes the acquisition of HBG Events, with the intention of creating new opportunities for our clients, contributing to the training of fitness professionals, and thus fuel the demand for health and well-being worldwide. We look forward to also export some of the innovative products that have built our leadership in the market, such as FoodWell, which is dedicated to Italian excellence in wellness nutrition.”
The Directors of HBG Events; Nick Blair, Craig Hartley and Deep Marwaha, who have been fundamental to the growth of HBG Events, will be remaining as senior management for the foreseeable future, and are very excited for the future of the Dubai-based shows.
They stated: "We are extremely proud of what the team at HBG Events has created with Dubai Muscle Show, Dubai Active, and Dubai Active Industry. Since its launch in 2016, the event has seen huge growth year-on-year, which is a testament to the work of an amazing team, but also a reflection of the huge growth and potential of the market. The Middle East fitness industry is booming, with gym memberships per capita increasing every year, and an increasing number of investors and entrepreneurs entering the market. We are very excited to be joining forces with one of the largest fitness events in the world, Rimini Wellness, and look forward to seeing how we can take the event to the next level by strengthening ties with the international fitness community and utilising the increased global resources that IEG are able to bring." -- Tradearabia News Service
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