Autumn Fair 2013, held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre from January 23 to 31 received an estimated 50,000 visitors, according to the exhibitors that the Bahrain News Agency spoke to. According to Al Hawaj representatives, the fair this year saw the return of visitors as in the past. “This is the kind of visitors that thronged to the Autumn Fair 15 years ago. We are happy to see the crowds return,” said Abdullah. He said that the outlet generated 200 per cent more sales at this Autumn Fair, than they did in 2012. Another exhibitor, Peridhi, echoed the same sentiment. He said that the sale crossed 200 per cent compared with 2012. Ghaidaa, one of the Syrian traders, exhibiting handicrafts, said that he was enthused to see the crowds. He said that sales was very encouraging. Bahrain, he said, was returning to normal and added that he planned to return in 2014. Bukhar, an exhibitor of jewellery, said that he was enthused by the crowds. “We plan to return to 2014 Autumn Fair with a larger presence. It is intended to have two shops, going by the business we generated this year,” he added. On the minus side, he said, it was important to run the exhibition from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm without a break as this would help the customers select the products they want and make their buy without any interruption. Most customers, he said, wanted to go around the entire exhibition before arriving at a choice for their buying. When they have zeroed in on the choice of their shop, there should be no time restriction, he added. Murtaza Ebrahim Ali Akbar Lari, Managing Director of Lari Trading Centre Company, suggested that Autumn Fair 2014 should be fashioned like similar festivals in other GCC countries. It should be for much longer period. The government should look at the time when people are receiving their salaries, so that they have more money in hand to make their buy. He said that the advertising needs to be increased. Asked about the performance at Autumn Fair 2013, he said, daily income was about BD2,000 to BD2,500. Over 80 per cent of his products were already sold out. He added that he would be present at the Autumn Fair 2014 with about three shops.