Tourism, Hospitality, Sport
Interview : Viviane SILBERSTEIN, Project Head at Ubifrance
While the men’s French football team had its last kick in this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, many French companies continued their successful campaign at the world’s premier sporting event. Rio de Janeiro was the host of the final of the World Cup and one could see signs of French business presence almost everywhere.
GL Events of France managed Rio Centro, an exposition park that was the site of FIFA’s organization committee and press centre. Nearby sits a 306-room hotel that was used by many of the FIFA delegates: it was built by French construction group Bouygues and designed by French-born architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Each day, when officials arrived at the state-of-the-art Maracana stadium, the renewable energy powering the stadium was supplied thanks to a pilot project run by French energy group EDF and its partners.
French-based companies have a long history of winning contracts for the supply of products and services at major international sporting events. According to Viviane Silberstein, Project Head at UBIFRANCE, much of the winning know-how of French businesses is acquired in their domestic market: “When French companies go abroad, they have to adapt to other markets, but domestic experience already gives a reference and an image, like Roland Garros or the next European football championship, and this is very important for an organizing committee.”
France has proven experience in handling international sports events: the country has hosted various Winter Olympics (Chamonix, Grenoble and Albertville), the 1984 UEFA European Championship, the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Every year, France organizes the Tour de France cycling event. Roland Garros is another key international sporting event organised in France, and the country will host the 2016 UEFA European Championship.
GL Event’s performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics helped the company to launch a successful bid for contracts during this summer’s Football World Cup in Brazil. GL Events was responsible for the design and installation of 25 indoor and 15 temporary outdoor sites across London — a contract that represented €21 million. However, even before this sizeable addition to its portfolio, GL Events had been managing a range of international events in Paris for years.
In 2014, the Winter Olympics — the most expensive in history, at a total cost of $51 billion — took place in Sochi, in the Russian Federation: 12 French companies won a total of €100 million in contracts.
A 2013 survey of the Rhône-Alpes region in South-Eastern France found that there are 300 locally based companies involved in the management of the winter-sports industry, bringing in approximately €1 billion in revenue per year. After all, France ranks third worldwide in winter-sports tourism, after Austria and the USA…
French companies, building on their track record, have been successful domestically and internationally in this field. Innovative companies, which offer new products and technologies, find opportunities to showcase their solutions and grow. Seat Advert is a very young company that is revolutionizing the sporting experience: its small screens, as installed in stadiums, allow viewers to peruse ads and access real-time information, including game statistics. Seat Advert’s innovative solution has already found new clients in Mexico, with plans to expand into South America. The company has recently been awarded a contract for this year’s World Equestrian Games in Normandy, in North-Western France.
Esportec Eco-Industriel is yet another young innovative company developing natural and ecological surfacing solutions for outdoor spaces. ECO’STABIL®, its patented material, is made out of waste and can be combined with other recycled products. While many of the uses of this and other products are not entirely recreational, they can be used to create cycle tracks, equestrian paths and footpaths. Currently, the company exports to Morocco, Benelux countries and Switzerland: the potential for expansion of this eco-friendly material in export markets is considerable, as more and more international sports events require contractors to pay attention to environmental considerations.
Ms V Silberstein of UBIFRANCE explains that French companies are not afraid to take on the biggest challenges and, with their many successes, it is not surprising that, “They are approaching the market based on the biggest business opportunities, and these are the biggest international events, international football events, and Olympic Games. The criterion is not francophone and country specific and, now, UBIFRANCE is working with companies on all events.”
International opportunities will continue to grow, with the $100 billion in new investments expected at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, $15 billion at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and $30 billion for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Apart from the biggest prizes over the next decade, there is a diverse set of opportunities that can sustain a business in the coming years. For example, there are smaller but lucrative events that French companies can target through UBIFRANCE, including sales expositions in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and preparatory events in Saint Petersburg (Russia) for the 2018 World Cup, all in the next 12 months.
Furthermore, existing markets are always in a state of flux and French companies with good products and services are being rewarded with new contracts. Bodet, an equipment manufacturer specializing in scoreboards and video screens, is a prime example. Even though this French company has been present in the Middle East for more than 30 years, it recently acquired new business from Al Jazeera Sport Studios and in relation to stadiums in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait City.
While Ms Silberstein admits that, “The international sports-event market is extremely competitive,” it is also clear that many French companies, encouraged by expertise gained in their domestic market, are more than ready for the challenge. Besides, as she points out, “New opportunities and existing national markets will only grow over the next decade, with contracts that are so big that, if you have a small percentage of this contract, it is worth fighting for it.”
In conclusion, it is clear that French-based companies are poised to continue with their off-the-pitch success in this competitive market.
Further information about French companies:
> Tourism, Hospitality, Sport
SHB SAS of France is a highly innovative company specialising in natural cosmetic products incorporating the unique anti-ageing benefits of Banana tree active ingredients into a proven formula. The company, based in Martinique and Paris, will showcase its KADALYS skincare brand as part of the French Pavilion organised by UBIFRANCE – the French Agency for International Business Development - from May 27th to 29th, 2014. Kadalys is seeking distributors in Middle East.
SHB SAS is a French-based company specialising in cosmetics that was created by Shirley Billot in 2011. SHB SAS runs operations in Martinique (in the French West Indies) and in Paris (in mainland France). The company specialises in researching and developing new active ingredients inspired by Creole medicine, the traditional medicine of the Caribbean region. SHB SAS has acquired particular expertise in the beauty benefits of active ingredients extracted from the banana tree.
SHB SAS launched Kadalys®, the first cosmetic brand to use anti-ageing Banana Tree benefit. Referred to as Kadali in Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language, the banana tree is, in the Hindu tradition, an embodiment of Lakshmi, the goddess of beauty. This giant tropical plant, known as the Tree of a Thousand Uses, holds a special place in the traditional medicine of tropical and sub-tropical countries. Thus, banana tree has long been known for its healing and soothing properties.
After two years of R&D, Kadalys has created two unique, oily active ingredients, which concentrate the extraordinary antioxidant and anti-ageing properties found in green and yellow bananas that grow in the Caribbean region. Kadalys explains that MUSACTIF® fights against signs of ageing by stimulating the skin’s natural mechanisms with clinically proven results: the cosmetic product elaborated by Kadalys boosts the production of collagen by 136% and increases the person’s epidermal thickness, points out company founder Shirley Billot. MUSACTIF® is 100% natural and has been certified organic by ECOCERT.
All Kadalys’s anti-ageing skincare have clinically proven results: Anti-ageing, Repair, Firmness, Perfection, Radiance, Revitalisation, Moisturization.
Since its launch in September 2012, Kadalys has enjoyed considerable coverage in the French media. The company won two awards in September 2013. Firstly, the quality of Kadalys’ products was recognised as part of the Victoire de la Beauté Awards, which are the most prestigious French prize in the field of cosmetic products. Kadalys submitted three different products — Musaclean peel, Green Banana nutritive oil and Musalis serum — to the 70-strong jury in 2013. After rigorous tests, all three won the prestigious award, which is regarded as a guarantee of a product’s effectiveness across the industry. Kadalys’ cosmetic products were praised for their texture, perfume and efficacy.
Secondly, Kadalys’ products won two prizes at COSMEETING Paris, which focuses on the most promising brands and stages a competition that is highly valued by industry players and specialists. The COSMEETING awards stem from the recognition that is afforded by a demanding jury going by the highest standards — a jury made up of international prescribers on the look-out for new talents and innovative concepts.
Each year, at COSMEETING, brands are singled out that meet stringent criteria in terms of innovation, originality and novelty. In 2013, Kadalys won two Beauty Challenger Awards: the Press Favourite Award and the Emerging Brand Award.
For further information about Kadalys:
Mrs Shirley BILLOT
Tel + 33 126.96.36.199.08
Head of Communication& press office: Tarek.email@example.com
+971 50 708 24 69
Press attaché: Miryem.firstname.lastname@example.org
+971 56 957 66 13
Building, Finishing work, DIY
After its success in 2012, The UAE will host the second edition of the world renowned exhibition of pool and spa industry: Piscine Middle East from the 22nd until the 24th of April 2014. The show will be held in parallel of the City scape Abu Dhabi 2014, the strategic partner of Piscine Middle East in the region.
Organised by GL Events exhibitions, Piscine Middle East will bring the leading international exhibitors to Abu Dhabi to meet their counterparts and showcase the latest innovation from the global pool industry and to discuss opportunities and challenges in the Middle East Market. The show will include developers, contractors and service providers in Equipment and pool accessories, maintenance, filtration, protection security, construction installation, outdoor living pool, Health and wellness in the pool industry.
For the first time in the Middle East, GL Events will introduce “The pool Vision award for 2014” during the show to select and award prizes to outstanding swimming pool projects from around the world, judging them from the technical and aesthetic standpoints, water treatment, coverings, accessories, spas, etc.
For this 2014 ’s edition Pool Vision are inviting participants from the Middle East and Asia to participate actively as there will be a separate awarding ceremony for Abu Dhabi projects on the exhibition PME in April 2014.
Piscine Middle East exhibition is considered as the leading exhibition for swimming pool and spa equipment and infrastructure in the region. The show is bringing the right balance between quality, price and qualified maintenance in the sector. With 40 international exhibitors, 70 brands from Spain, France, Italy, Tunisia, UAE, China, UK, German, USA and Belgium, the organisers are expecting around 3000 visitors for this second edition. The Piscine Middle East exhibition presents to the region a high quality range of swimming pools, spa products and services to the buyers in the Middle East, North African countries and India.
“The exhibitors participating in Piscine Middle East are forming part of the world leaders. Their role is to assist the local leaders by offering the latest equipment and technologies on the market and by training them to use such equipment.” Says Mrs Noemi Petit, Piscine Middle East show director.
“The Region has seen a massive trend towards the well-being experience, expanding on an established market for pool and spa equipment and facilities. UAE itself has become a phenomenon for the sector”. She added.
Many construction projects are taking place now in the region by the private sector or by state-owned developers. The private sector is now re-engaging, and new grandiose schemes are emerging. In 2012, US$16bn of construction contracts has been awarded in the UAE, Qatar, and KSA. The largest new scheme is Mohammed bin Rashid City, announced in November 2012 with over 100 hotels. UAE federal government will invest around 272 billion USD in the infrastructure during the coming five years by making the majority of projects available to the private sector through public-private partnerships. An important increase of construction projects related to residential, touristic and commercial building are launched specially with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, Qatar World Cup in 2022. Add to this the hosting of Expo 2020 which will significantly increase tourism during this period, and multiply the construction projects.
Due to all this new projects, Piscine Middle East is coming with the latest techniques and innovations in the field of construction for water treatment, pools and spa which is an excellent opportunity for the Pool & Spa industry in the region.
About Piscine Middle East by GL Events France:
Piscine Middle East is organised by GL events Exhibitions and Conferences organization LLC. It positions itself as the world’s leading pool and spa show. Since 32 years, it gathers international major pool and spa equipment manufacturers and service providers. With 600 exhibitors and 12000 visitors, it is the world’s largest gathering for professionals. It takes place every 2 years in Lyon (France).
The exhibitors of Piscine Global, being of international groups, have requested since a few years an international gathering. Therefore Piscine has created 3 new shows since 2012:
- Piscine Middle East covering the GCC and North Africa. 22 - 24 of April 2014
- Piscine Global - 18-21 November 2014 - Lyon, France
- Piscine SPLASH ! Asia - 20-21 may, 2015 – Singapore
About GL Events:
A French event’s organizer of 250 professional and public exhibitions,
GL events spearheads events in more than twenty countries for more than
a dozen different sectors, including food, sport, healthcare, homes and
Interior design. http://www.gl-events.com/
The right event partner
Piscine Middle East is co-located with Cityscape Abu Dhabi. With well over 20,000 participants expected and over 150 major developers exhibiting, Cityscape Abu Dhabi is the opportunity to understand, build and develop business in Middle East’s real estate market (architects, interior designers, local authorities, real estate developers.)
Piscine Middle East will be held at the ADNEC
The Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) is the most modern exhibition centre in the world and the largest exhibition venue in the Middle East with its 12 inter-connected exhibition halls.
For press contact:
UBIFRANCE Middle East Press office:
Tarek Solimane: +971507082469 – email@example.com
Miryem Oukas: +971507085928 - Miryem.OUKASMESSIDI@ubifrance.fr
VIE - French International Internship Program
During his visit to the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Edouard Courtial, Minister of State for Overseas French Affairs, chaired the Awards Ceremony for the 4th "Grand Prix V.I.E" (a French International Internship Program). The ceremony was organised in the UAE and was held at the residence of the French Ambassador.
Among the people recognised and awarded by the Minister for their commitment in favour of the VIE Program, were four young French people and two companies (TOTAL MARKETING and BNP PARIBAS). This year, this competition has evolved to allow the companies to participate. The first objective was to increase the companies’ awareness of this program and secondly, to reward the most interesting initiatives.
Thanks to the support of all the French team of the Export, the ceremony was a great success. Nearly half of the 160 young French professionals attended the event, as well as several French businessmen. This event was a great opportunity to network on a professional level where participants could exchange and promote ideas regarding the VIE program.
UBIFRANCE, the French agency for international business developement, comes under the aegis of France's Ministry for the Economy, Industry & Employment. UBIFRANCE lies at the heart of France's public-sector export support framework.