The shrinking demand of luxury goods in countries like Russia and China has affected the entire leather supply chain and hence many global investors are eyeing the Middle East, as a growing market with a strong demand for luxury leather products.
“The high-end luxury feel was evident throughout Leatherworld Middle East, where the strong global exhibitor contingent sent a clear message that this is a region worth investing in,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, Leatherworld Middle East’s organiser.
Italian exhibitors like Italihide, Conceria Superia, Dani, Real Piel, and French tanners like Remy Carriat, Degermann, and HCP tested the waters of the Middle East as the new leather manufacturing hub at the fair.
“Arab brands that would five years ago produce goods in Europe and then sell in the Middle East, will now start producing in this region, while we think demand will increase for exotics used for interiors in yachts, hotels, homes, and especially cars,” said Mohamad Khallouf, sales manager for Italhide.
The international flavour at Leatherworld Middle East 2016 was underlined by pavilions from Italy, France, and South Africa, while the Indonesian Tanners Association presented half a dozen tanners and manufacturers famous for its python and fresh water lizard skins.
Leatherworld Middle East was divided into different segments including Leather Production, Designers’ Area, Shoe Box, and Fashion Avenue and featured 73 exhibitors from 16 countries, and welcomed 2,270 visitors from 40 countries. The Trend Forum showcased luxury products like diamond dusted alligator skin and gold embossed crocodile hides.
The third edition of Leatherworld Middle East is expected to be held in April 2017. (HO)
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