MIDE '09 - A dive show growing strong

For the third time I made it to the Malaysian International Dive Expo (MIDE), which by now can no longer be called an emerging dive show. Dive shows are generally not the most exciting events when you prefer to actually BE underwater, but it this show always offers an excellent opportunity to catch up with old friends in the industry and make new ones and therefore MIDE is certainly proving to be my favourite show of the year in our region.Kuala Lumpur as seen from KL tower

Kuala Lumpur is always a fun place to visit. The food is exciting and the city bustles with cultural attractions, shopping, nightlife and some of the world's most famous landmarks.

Side shows for me this year included a visit of the KL tower with its revolving restaurant as well as climbing the 272 stairs into Batu Caves only minutes away from KL CBD.
As in previous years, MIDE draws on the young, the families, the excitable non-divers as The opening of MIDE 2009, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Thayalan Kennedy (Kenny).well as visitors looking to snatch that great dive show bargain. The show has been growing significantly each time since its inception 4 years ago and some would now consider it THE must-go event in the Australasia region.

There was a constant flow of events such as children's drawing competitions, try -dives in the MIDE pool, talks and prize give-aways to keep visitors entertained and we would like to congratulate the organisers for keeping this show a The winner of the drawing competition MIDE, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.FREE entry event. Exhibitors appreciated the massive stream of visitors and those who sold their wares at the show were excited about the excellent results at their booths.

As an Australian it was sad to see though that only underwater australasia, the team from Sportdiving magazine, Christmas Island Tourism and (amazingly) OzBob had booths at MIDE. No dive operators, resorts or live-aboards from Australia made their way to Kuala Lumpur.

At the underwater australasia booth we were The underwater australasia booth at MIDE 2009, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.inundated with questions about diving in Australia. I experienced significant interest especially in the more unusual diving destinations Australia has to offer, including Tasmania with its amazing kelp forests, South Australia with its unique leafy sea dragons and white pointer adventures and even the annual cuttlefish migration and breeding season in Whyalla.

I believe the industry should take note, that with many new low-cost carrier routes into Australia it has become a cheap The Christmas Island booth at MIDE, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.option not only for Australians to visit South East Asia, but also for tourists from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere to visit Australia in return.

The Underwater Festival 2010, underwater australasia's flagship event, which will be held on Christmas Island 24-30 April, was launched at the show and we were excited to see over 100 people sign up with their interest to participate.
SCuba Rangers receiving their certification at MIDE 2009, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Some say we need a show like this in Australia and I couldn't agree more, but it is not an easy feat to establish an event like this in the current economic climate and with the massive distances that we are faced within our own country. We will see what the future holds...

Overall, the visitor statistics of MIDE'09 were quite impressive with close to 7,000 visitors and over 150 booths. The aim for next year is to break 200 booths and 10,000 visitors and we think Thayalan Kennedy (Kenny) and his team are well on their way to achieve this. We have certainly already reserved our booth space to the 2010 show and I am looking forward to watch the Petronas Twin Towers light up the Kuala Lumpur night skies again.

The pool where people could give diving a little go. MIDE 2009, Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaThe photo competition held at MIDE 2009, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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