UAE-based leather manufacturers, designers at the forefront of Leatherworld ME 2016

RetailME Bureau

The second edition of Leatherworld Middle East is set to take place in Dubai from April 26-28 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

It’s the region’s first and only dedicated trade event covering the entire value chain of the global leather industry, from tanneries (semi-finished and finished leather), chemicals and machinery to finished leather goods, including footwear, bags, wallets, accessories, furniture and everything derived from leather.

The three-day event will feature exclusive product zones, including ‘The Shoe Box’, a section dedicated entirely for footwear; ‘The Trend Zone’, for tanneries to display the latest international leather trends, ‘The Designers’ Area; and ‘The Fashion Avenue’, where suppliers of high street fashion leather products showcase their high-end leather clothes and accessories.

Some of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers are preparing for the Middle East’s only trade show covering the global leather industry’s entire value chain. However, it’s new and returning UAE-based companies that are looking to make their mark on an industry typically dominated by European heavyweights.

From one of the most technologically advanced Abu Dhabi tanneries to a Dubai-based start-up aiming to be a global name in leather accessories, UAE companies are set to grab the spotlight at Leatherworld Middle East.

“Leather making and tanning are part of the Middle East’s heritage, and it is encouraging to see UAE-based manufacturers and designers take an active part in meeting the demands of the increasingly sophisticated and high-end global leather market,” says Ahmed Pauwels, CEO, Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Leatherworld Middle East.

At the forefront of returning UAE exhibitors at Leatherworld Middle East 2016 is the show’s founding sponsor Al Khaznah Tannery, the region’s only tannery that specialises in 100% biodegradable and metal-free camel hide. This Abu Dhabi government-owned facility produces about 4.2 million sqft of camel leather annually, and is one of the few tanneries worldwide equipped to recycle up to 80% of water required in production.

Another returning UAE exhibitor is Afriwest General Trading, a Dubai-based supplier of European leather for the automotive and interior design industries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Having met with locally-based independent handbag designers at the show last year, Afriwest is now aiming to attract other designers with the launch of its new exotic leather range, including high-end Python, Stingray, Alligator and Ostrich leathers from Italy.

Among the UAE exhibitors making their debut at Leatherworld Middle East 2016 is Maria Thelma Rosales – a family-owned leather accessories maker established two years ago in Dubai. The start-up brand will display its entire range of handmade leather pouches, wallets and handbags at the exhibition, including the launch of its newest collection designed with Swarovski crystals.

Other UAE-based exhibitors at Leatherworld Middle East 2016 include Joudi International, Hidesign, Katabe Middle East, Percept General Trading, RexCorp General Trading and ESMOD Dubai.