Leatherworld Middle East 2018 gets under way in Dubai offering gateway to new regional markets
United Arab Emirates, 20 February 2019
-- Dubai, UAE: International and local artisans of hand-made fine leather products are looking to the Middle East as a hotspot of future business, with the opening of Leatherworld Middle East 2018 in Dubai today (27 February) serving as their gateway to new regional markets.
The 4th edition of the region’s premier showcase of leather footwear, apparel, bags, homeware, and accessories features 34 exhibitors from nine countries, offering a luxurious smorgasbord of leather goods, from South African handbags made from ethically sourced Springbok and Zebra hides, to Italian crafted bespoke men’s and women’s shoes.
Running until 1st March at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Leatherworld Middle East 2018 features exhibitors from Italy, Australia, Thailand, Pakistan, India, South Africa, and Lebanon. UAE participation is spearheaded by Al Khaznah Tannery, which specialises in chrome-free biodegradable camel hide.
And purveyors of fine fashion with an eye for the future needn’t look any further than a student showcase on the exhibition floor, where 15 handbags made by year-two students of prestigious fashion design institute ESMOD Dubai is on display.
That’s in addition to a two-day seminar programme, ensuring industry insiders walk away filled with knowledge, with key topics centred on launching a new fashion brand in the mass market, and reimagining the future of the global leather industry.
“We’re thrilled to bring the global leather creations community together once again at Leatherworld Middle East 2018,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East.
“Exhibitors from all over the world have come to the fore this week, and now is the right time to connect to a regional marketplace that has a strong preference for high-quality, bespoke leather products.
“Industry figures show the retail value of the Middle East’s luxury leather goods market, including bags, travel goods, and men’s and women’s small leather items, was worth US$1.54 billion in 2017, compared to US$1.46 billion in 2016.
“The UAE accounted for a third of the market last year (US$501 million) an increase of 5.6 percent over 2016 (US$474 million). Consumer spending in this country is also estimated to rise to US$586 million in 2020 by the time the Dubai Expo rolls around, while the Middle East market as a whole will be worth US$1.84 billion,” added Pauwels.
South Africa has a major presence at the 4th edition of Leatherworld Middle East, with 15 exhibitors taking part with the support of the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council.
FSP Collection from Cape Town is a first-time exhibitor this year, and is searching for an export partner for its ‘game skin’ handbags and homeware range, which includes a high-end zebra skin collection aimed at buyers looking for something unique.
Fiona Spolander, founder of FSP Collection said: “We’re using this event to test the market’s reception for our game skin and genuine leather hand bags made out of raw material from South Africa.”
“The FSP brand has become well known for its fine leather and game skin handbags and homeware such as cushions and poufs. Traceability is a major concern when purchasing any of our game skins, and so all materials are sourced ethically from local tanneries and leather wholesalers.”
Fellow South African exhibitor Saddler Belts & Leathercraft is returning to Leatherworld Middle East for the 2nd straight year, having received orders of its ostrich leather belts at the show’s previous edition. CEO Andrew Fenwick said: “Our genuine ostrich leather belts are strong on style and quality and can be tailor made for customers.
“We expect good growth in the Middle East in 2018 and beyond, and exhibiting at Leatherworld Middle East provides an opportunity to network with other exhibitors and meet new possible customers. We also want to see what types of products are already available in retail stores in the region and what their price points are.”
Elsewhere on the show floor, Max Power Atelier from Thailand is enticing regional trade buyers with its CITES-certified crocodile and python skin handbags.
CEO Nitinan Chalermthanachaikul, said all its handbags are handmade, adding: “This is to not only render each piece of work one-of-a-kind but also to achieve durability and that hand-made charisma that machine-made products can never have. The Middle East is our largest market and the exotic skins we source do not and never will come from endangered species.”
Leatherworld Middle East 2018 is supported by the South Africa Leather Export Council and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. Returning for the 4th straight year is the show’s Founding Sponsor Al Khaznah Tannery, the UAE’s only tannery that produces biodegradable, metal-free camel leather goods including bags, shoes, and accessories.
The annual three-day event is the region’s dedicated showcase of finished leather goods, from footwear, clothing, bags, wallets, and accessories, to premium corporate gifts, stationery, and household decorations. It’s an ideal networking platform for regional traders, private brand owners, retailers, boutiques, designers, and corporate gift promotions companies searching for all things leather-related.
Leatherworld Middle East is co-located with Paperworld Middle East, the region’s dedicated trade fair for paper, office supplies, stationery, corporate gifts, and children’s toys and games. More information is available at: http://www.leatherworldme.com
Butti Saeed Al Kindi, Second Deputy Chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre, inaugurates Leatherworld Middle East 2018
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Submitted by bizcom20 on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 at 9:54 PM
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