According to Messe Frankfürt, the show organisers, around US$1.9 billion worth of leather, luggage, handbags, saddlery, harnesses and footwear were produced in the Gulf region in 2014; Saudi Arabia (US$1.1 billion), the UAE (US$468 million), and Qatar (US$250 million). The leather trade was valued at US$4.09 billion for the same year.

The first edition of LWME, in May 2015, registered around 2,400 trade buyers from 66 countries and 86 exhibitors from different 16 countries. Returning exhibitors include Conceria Dani (Italy), Hidesign (India), and UAE-based leather supplier, Afriwest. Conceria Superior (Italy) has confirmed its first participation.

“The GCC’s US$4.09 billion worth of leather imports and exports in 2014, along with US$1.9 billion worth of manufacturing capabilities reinforces an ideal backdrop for Leatherworld Middle East to become one of the world’s premier trade and networking platforms”, said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East.

The Trend Area will present an exclusive range of luxurious global leather innovations, from stingray skin pouches and laser printed calf hides, to 22-carat gold-embossed alligator skins.

Fashion designers from the UAE’s prestigious fashion institute, ESMOD Dubai, will showcase their creative talents with an inspiring array of leather garments. Other exclusive product zones include ‘The Shoe Box’, a section dedicated to footwear, and ‘The Fashion Avenue’, where suppliers of high street fashion leather products will showcase their high-end leather clothes and accessories.