The decision to cancel the furniture and decoration exhibition "Le Marche" just two days before the expected inauguration at the Cairo International Conference Center (CICC) in Nasr City, has outraged the furniture sector.
Furniture companies working in the sector estimate the initial losses for each company that has prepared a pavilion at about LE500,000 after the cancelation of the exhibition.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of the Interior informed the chairman of the advertizing agency Tarek Nour Advertizing, which is organizing the exhibition, of its decision to cancel the show.
The privately-owned Al-Borsa newspaper quoted Nour as saying that "the government didn't inform me that the exhibition is postponed to a new date, it just informed me that Le Marche is canceled."
Le Marche is the largest exhibition of furniture and decoration in Egypt. It takes place over an area of 30,000 square meters, with the participation of about 250 exhibitors, with companies placing hopes on it to conclude major contracts for one year.
The exhibition was scheduled to convene during the period from 22 to 25 December, but the Interior Ministry informed the organizers that the show was canceled because of security concerns just a few days ago.
Nour met Interior Minister Major General Magdy Abdul Ghaffar on Monday demanding for the exhibition to be rescheduled, not canceled.
Nour received a verbal promise that it will be held as scheduled, prompting the organizers to announce through their official Facebook page that the exhibition would be held as scheduled next Thursday.
Mostafa Ismail, technical adviser to the Apex company, the company organizing Le Marche, said that security forces told the company on Tuesday morning that the exhibition is canceled; whereas all official executive bodies had previously informed them on Monday that the exhibition will be held as scheduled.
"We were surprised on Tuesday, at ten in the morning, to find security forces of Nasr City police department evacuating halls, closing the doors and inform us that they had received instructions to stop the exhibition," Ismail said.
He added that the organizing company spent large sums of money on advertising for the exhibition and received large sums as well from the exhibiting companies as rents for spaces allocated to them, and now the companies are demanding their money back.
Sources close to the Tarek Nour agency estimated the initial losses to the company at about LE60 million after the abolition of Le Marche exhibition.
Executive Director of Meuble for French Furniture Company Ahmed al-Iraqi said that canceling the exhibition is an unstudied decision, especially that the companies were notified last Monday that security agreed on the exhibition, the thing that made companies double the number of workers to finish preparations in the pavilions on time.
He added that his company spent over LE500,000 on the pavilion, to create its exhibition specifications over 200 square meters, in addition to the sum paid for the organizing company.
"Companies were betting on their participation in Le Marche to boost sales in the local market and increasing exports contracts. On the part of Meuble company, the exhibition contributes to raising the production capacity of the factory and the affiliated workshops working with it throughout the year," Iraqi said.