Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to open the fair at Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Centre on New Year’s Day on Saturday, said Iftekhar Ahmed, secretary of the fair’s organiser Export Promotion Bureau.
With the number of coronavirus cases rising at a record pace around the world, the fair this time has been halved in size with 225 stalls and pavilions.
At the old venue in Shere-e-Bangla Nagar, the fair had been held under the open sky, but the new venue is enclosed. There will be no space for children’s rides. Iftekhar said enough space will be kept for the visitors to take rest. There will be food shops as well.
Ticket prices have been kept unchanged at Tk 40 for adults and Tk 20 for children.
Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation will provide 30 buses to transport visitors to and from several places of the city.
Fewer foreign companies will take part in the fair this year from Turkey, India and South Korea. No firm from Iran will join the fair.
Authorities had planned to hold the DITF in January 2022 at the new venue, but it was not prepared in time. Also, the pandemic situation did not permit the event to go ahead.
The fair was pushed to March 2022, when the nation celebrated the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of its independence. It was suspended again due to the second wave of coronavirus cases caused by the delta variant.
The Dhaka International Trade Fair has been held 25 times, starting in 1995 at the ground behind Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Sher-E-Bangla Nagar.
Drawing huge crowds, the fair always causes heavy traffic congestion in Dhaka. To avoid the civic nuisance, the Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Centre was built at Purbachal, a short distance from the heart of the capital, to hold the fair and similar events.