SEVERAL of the world's most iconic jewellers are set to showcase their latest designs at Bahrain's Jewellery Arabia exhibition this year.
Preparations are already underway for the five-day event, which will take place under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa in October.
More than 550 exhibitors from 30 countries are set to take part in the show, being held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
"Bahrain will glitter with the finest gems and tick with luxury timepieces as companies from across the globe converge for the ultimate jewellery and watch industry event in the Middle East," said Fawzi Al Shehabi, sales and marketing director of Arabian Exhibition Management, which is organising the event.
Spread across 16,500 square metres, the exhibition will unveil an exquisite host of collections, ranging from finished jewellery to luxury timepieces and precious stones of every size, shape and cut.
Mr Al Shehabi said amongst the many participants would be some of the most famous and prestigious master jewellers and watchmakers in the world.
"Complementing these iconic brands are large national groups of retailers, designers and manufacturers from leading jewellery exporting countries and a host of independent companies from all over the world," he said.
Prominent jewellery houses and watch manufacturers making a return appearance at Jewellery Arabia 2012 will include Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Chopard, Corum, Harry Winston, Hublot, Omega, Panerai, Patek Phillipe, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin among others.
"Many of these high-profile international brands will use the exhibition as a platform to introduce their latest launches and innovations to the Middle East collector's market," said Mr Al Shehabi.
He said vast country pavilions from Brazil, Hong Kong, India and Malaysia would complement the line-up.
"Collectively, these groups of companies reflect the very best manufacturing capabilities, design expertise and gemmological resources that their respective countries have to offer," he said.
Some of the Middle East's finest retailers and manufacturers, led by a selection of Bahrain's leading jewellers, including Bahrain Jewellery Centre, Asia Jewellers, Al Mahmood Pearls, Al Zain and Devji will also take part.
"Over the last 21 years, Jewellery Arabia has steadily evolved into the single most important jewellery and watch exhibition in the Middle East," said Mr Al Shehabi.
"Its reputation, size, quality of exhibits and sheer variety is unique in the region. The show is seen as an essential buying event for private collectors and the trade.
"Incredible designers choose Jewellery Arabia as their sole platform in the Middle East, whilst many more use the exhibition as an opportunity to showcase exclusive and new collections."
Mr Al Shehabi said the exhibition's high-quality profile and enthusiastic consumer following continued to reflect the region's passion for fine jewellery, which has succeeded in creating one of the world's largest and most dynamic markets.
"Last year's show attracted over 42,500 visitors," he said.
"Of the total, 23 per cent were drawn from the region's single largest jewellery market, Saudi Arabia, with significant support also coming from Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, the UAE and other neighbouring countries."
The event will be held from October 16 to 20.
Mr Al Shehabi said for the eighth successive year, the Middle East Watches, Jewellery and Pen Awards would be held on the sidelines at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa on the opening day of the show.
Hosted by MPP ME, publishers of the industry magazine, Arabian Watches and Jewellery (AWJ), the awards are the culmination of an online public voting system and analysis of an elite committee comprising watch, jewellery and pen experts.