Egypt Expo & Convention Authority (EECA) is the sole official authority concerned in organizing the fairs and exhibitions in Egypt and abroad. However, it also grants permissions for holding such fairs and exhibitions to the companies concerned according to the republican decree 323/56. EECA held its first exhibition in 1961. It joined Union Des Foires Internationals (UFI) in Paris in 1972. It is a member of the International Mediterranean Exhibitions and Union of Arab Exhibitions. EECA is the biggest centre in Egypt and the Middle East for holding trade fairs and specialized exhibitions (the total area 412.000m2).