If you thought toys were meant for kids, think again. The Middle East Toy Fair 2004 now on at the Dubai World Trade Centre has educational toys, arts and hobbies, handiwork, clever, scientific and electronic games for people six to 60 years old.

By Ilyas Qureshi

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Published: Tue 18 May 2004, 2:17 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:57 AM

The annual event is attended by 150 exhibitors from 22 countries including national pavilions and trade groups from all over the world who showcase their innovations to discerning buyers in the region. Their best bet is the new line of innovative toys.

One of the largest stands is presented by the German Association of Toy Industries comprising 14 participating companies, presenting a wide range of items from model trains to wooden toys. Commenting on behalf of the group, Corinna Printzen, Executive Director, said that the show "had grown so much in just three years". In fact, according to the show's organisers Epoc Messe Frankfurt, this year's toy fair is double the size of their last show.

Fuad Al Hosani is the owner of the Dubai-based Clever Learning Centre with an outlet in Al Towar Centre. He believes that educational toys can bring up a brilliant and well-educated generation. "Our games are made for every individual in the society - from four to 99 years old. They not only entertain you but also make you use both sides of the brain when playing them therefore understanding becomes faster and easier," said Fuad adding, "The brainteasers not only help develop your skills but also assist in building a social personality that knows how to face and work with others."

PlastWood from Italy is one company you can't miss out at the expo as they are prominently displaying the Big Ben and the Emirates Towers made out of a magnetic construction system called Supermag. The building blocks are dubbed the magnetic lego of the future and come in seven sizes of rods and three sizes of spheres. "We launched the product in 2000 and now sell them in 40 countries around the world. Supermag is virtually indestructible. It is used in schools as an instrument of learning, in hospitals for various therapies and at home to combat boredom," said Edoardo Tusacciu, president of Plast Wood. "We have a warehouse in Jebel Ali from where we cover the entire Middle East region. Our prices start from $7 a pack," he said. The toy fair maybe the region's largest, but it also presents some of the smallest toys imaginable. Zintech Toys from Hong Kong, manufacturers of a wide range of remote control toys including boats, submarines and probably the smallest remote control car in the world, little more than a dirham in size, which can be operated from a wristwatch, are attracting a lot of visitors. The exhibition, which runs parallel to House wares and Hometech Middle East, is open from 10am to 1pm and 5pm to 9pm daily and concludes tomorrow.

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