Our story with the exhibition industry began in 2001, where two young aspiring entrepreneurs decided to start a small start-up business in Tripoli immediately after the lifting of US economic sanctions on Libya. During that period the country had little to no private sector business activity and certainly no exhibitions market since the early 1980’s.
The founders and the directors of ATEX International Exhibitions, Firas Elmortadi & Maged Mahfoud, worked around the clock with the determination to succeed and build a solid base for the fledgling company.
Within a few years the Libyan market was opening up fast and international companies began to do business in the country. This led, in 2003, to the organisational of the company and later the birth of the country's largest and most prominent economic event in Libya’s history - LibyaBuild.
Soon after the first edition of LibyaBuild, we decided to take our business overseas and began organising international exhibitions abroad. Abu Dhabi was the chosen location to host the first Industrial Cities Exhibition at ADNEC in 2007. However, following Libya’s announcement to allocate an enormous budget towards the building of infrastructure in the country, it was decided to postpone all future projects in the UAE.
ATEX continued to grow from strength to strength, calling on its depth of experience in the sector and soon became a member of UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. ATEX is the first private exhibition company from Libya to be honoured with this prestigious membership which came about during the European Seminar in Greece, May 2008.
LibyaBuild continued to flourish and quickly established itself as the only international specialised platform that welcomes thousands of international exhibitors to Libya from all over the globe. The platform facilitated the signing of contracts worth billions of US dollars during its 10 editions, encompassing both public and private sector organisations. During this time we were able to build strong and successful relationships based on trust with all partners, agents, supporting associations, governmental bodies and the private sector which made us the number one events company in North Africa.
The biggest challenge in the history of ATEX International Exhibitions was the ambitious plan to move Libya Build from its birth place at the grounds of Tripoli International Fair to its new home, transforming the grounds of Tripoli Sports City into a 5 star exhibition venue covering 30,000 square meters.
This challenge wouldn’t be possible without the hard work, enthusiasm and professionalism of our beloved & inspirational partner, the late Mr Tonio Casapinta. Such was our close relationship with Tonio that in 2012, PanExpo was established as a Joint Venture between ATEX International Exhibitions and Casapinta Design Group of Malta. Tonio was the Founder and Chairman of Casapinta Design Group, The Director of PanExpo (Malta) and he was also the Vice President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry. He was well loved and is missed by all who knew him.
The 2014 edition of LibyaBuild was unfortunately the last edition of a decade of 10 high-profile events. The hiatus in our Tripoli events has been due to the uncertainty and instability in the country, but we are proud to have delivered premium level exhibitions with exponentially increasing visitors whilst always ensuring safety and security is at the forefront of our planning.
Our dedicated team were able to deliver on our aspirations and bring to life our vision to bring a high quality experience to our thousands of exhibitors and visitors from around the world.
In April 2015, ATEX returned to the UAE but this time to the bright lights of the city state, Dubai. Operations in Tripoli were shut down due to the conflict and it was time for ATEX to develop and explore its international potential in what would prove to be a very ambitious and exciting journey. In a short period of time we were able to open new markets in the MENA region and build a successful portfolio for both business and educational events and provide unique platforms to do business, network and learn.
Our diverse and dynamic exhibitions and conferences cover sectors such as Building & Construction, Healthcare, Hospitality and Fitness & Sports in Algeria, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE.
In 2017, ATEX Managing Director, Maged Mahfoud, was elected as a vice-chair for the Middle East & Africa Chapter of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. This privileged position affirms ATEX as a major player in the region and can now, through its role in UFI, use its wealth of experience to help lift and support fellow aspiring business leaders and raise standards across the region.