The ongoing Leatherworld Middle East 2018 has opened gateway to new regional markets. The 4th edition of the 3-day exhibition is featuring 34 exhibitors from 9 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.
“We’re thrilled to bring the global leather creations community together once again at Leatherworld Middle East 2018. 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,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organiser of the exhibition.
“The UAE accounted for a third of the market last year ($501 million) an increase of 5.6 per cent over 2016 ($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.
“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.,” said Fiona Spolander, founder of FSP Collection, one of the exhibitors.
“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,” added Spolander.
“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,” said Saddler Belts & Leathercraft CEO Andrew Fenwick, an exhibitor.
“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,” said CEO Nitinan Chalermthanachaikul of Max Power Atelier.