When, on 6 June, 1937, on the left bank of the Sava river, on the marshland right next to the newly built King Alexander Bridge that connected Belgrade and Zemun, the foundation stone for the fair exhibition area, known today as the Old Fairground, was laid, few expected that already in the autumn of the same year, the first exhibition would be held there on an area of 17,000 square meters in 26 pavilions of different purposes. The Autumn Fair, officially opened on 11 September, 1937, was the first official manifestation of the Belgrade Fair. In March 1938, the first Belgrade Car Show was organized, the oldest fair manifestation that is still held today.
In the years before the Second World War, exhibitions and manifestations, domestic and international, took place. In addition to exhibitions, cultural manifestations were also organized at the fair, and the fair became a place that the citizens of Belgrade liked to visit. The autumn fair of 1938 brought together 910 exhibitors, among others the company “Philips”, which installed an internal television at the fair whose programme visitors could follow on TVs in the pavilions.
The Second World War interrupted the activities of the Belgrade Fair, and the area of the fair was turned into a concentration camp where a great pogrom of Jews was carried out.
Twenty years after the first opening, the Belgrade Fair was opened for the second time, on 23 August, 1957, when the Technical Fair was opened, in the newly built area on the left bank of the Sava, where it is still located today. That year, the Technical Fair was visited by more than a million people, and the following year, in 1958, at the same event, TV Belgrade broadcast its first show from a studio located at the Belgrade Fair.
The Belgrade Fair is one of the three world fairs located on the river bank, and its circular Hall 1, with a 109-metre span dome, built of prestressed concrete, has been declared a monument of culture.