THE GCC countries imported around $900 million worth of hardwood in 2013, reflecting the vitality of the industry in the region, according to the organiser of the recent Dubai WoodShow, which was held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) in Dubai, UAE.
This is mainly due to the vibrancy in the real estate sector, in addition to all other related industries including construction, furniture and woodworking, Strategic Marketing and Exhibitions added.
More than 500 companies from across 40 countries took part in the show last month, where manufacturers from Europe, China and the US among other countries showcased a range of machinery that targeted timber factories in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.
The show highlighted the high demand for hardwood in the Middle East, a major timber-consuming market where wood is used in real estate projects as an alternative to other building materials that were prevalent in the past.
The UAE is a leading hub for timber trade in the Gulf region through Dubai.
Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who inaugurated the show, said: “Dubai imports timber products and re-exports them to various parts of the world, thanks to the strategic location of the emirate on the global map.
Dubai’s wood industry is reported to have grown 20 to 25 per cent in 2013, compared to the previous year.
Also, according to the latest US Department of Agriculture statistics, the UAE commands the lion’s share of the total exports of US hardwood lumber and veneer to the Mena region, with a 13.5 per cent share of import valued at $86.54 million in 2012.
Positioned as the largest specialised trade show for the sector, the Dubai WoodShow is an annual meeting point for producers, manufacturers, importers, exporters, dealers, suppliers and end-users and other players in the wood industry.
This year’s edition showcased a product range of wood, woodworking machinery, blades, knives, tools and abrasives, over an area of 13,428 sq m.
Dubai WoodShow also organised a series of specialised seminars featuring international experts from timber trade bodies from all over the world.