Running for three days in Hall 8 of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Leatherworld Middle East 2015 comes as figures released by Euromonitor International (EMI) show the Gulf region’s trade for semi-finished and finished leather, accessories, travel goods, handbags and footwear, was worth US$4.09 billion in 2014.

The Gulf region is also a leather manufacturing hub; according to EMI, US$1.9 billion worth of dressed leather, luggage, handbags, saddlery, harnesses and footwear were produced in the region last year, with Saudi Arabia (US$1.1 billion), the UAE (US$468 million), and Qatar (US$250 million) the region’s big three leather producers.

This will come as good news to the international tanneries at Leatherworld Middle East’s dedicated leather production area, where UAE-based Al Khaznah Tannery is sharing the limelight with 15 French and eight Italian tanneries making their first foray into the Middle East. Among these is exotic leather tanner Faggioli, presenting its new collection of hand-painted python skins.

“The Middle East is a prominent market for leather goods, accessories, furnishings, luggage and footwear, while it’s also a fast-growing manufacturing hub for all things leather-related,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Leatherworld Middle East.

“As the market gains in stature internationally, events like Leatherworld Middle East have a significant role to play in fuelling the industry’s overall growth and development.”

Leatherworld Middle East is the region’s first and only dedicated trade event covering the entire value chain of the global leather industry.  The Trend Area at the centre of the exhibition floor is a show highlight, where the most innovative leather products are displayed, from 100% biodegradable camel hide, to leather clutch bags with built-in power packs that recharge smart phones.

Leatherworld Middle East features three country pavilions from France, Italy, and Pakistan, with other exhibitors coming from China, Germany, India, Spain, Turkey, UK, U.S and the UAE.