Yesterday, during an online press conference, the organisers of APLF-Leather and Materials + announced that the 2022 edition of the leather fair will move to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on the already scheduled dates: 30 March – 1 April 2022. The location of the event, whose last edition took place in 2019 due to a pandemic, will be the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). The decision – explained APLF directors David Bondi and Grace Lee – is motivated by the announcement of the Hong Kong government to extend the restrictions related to the pandemic, which entail limitations and long quarantines for those arriving on the island until 31 March, making it impossible to hold an international fair, and was taken after in-depth consultations with industry associations and historical exhibitors who, over the years, have contributed to APLF’s success. For this special edition in Dubai the organisers expect the participation of at least 400 exhibitors but hopefully in the end there will be many more. Collectives of French and American tanners have already been confirmed.
APLF Dubai will offer the opportunity to meet a new type of visitor. Director Grace Lee explained that the composition of APLF Dubai’s visitors may be different than usual, but potentially very interesting. There will be certainly fewer Asian buyers but there could be many more operators from Eastern Europe, Russia, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. No problem for Europeans and Americans for whom reaching Dubai will obviously be faster than Hong Kong.
After evaluating various alternatives “Dubai is the best possible option”, said APLF’s organisers. The UAE is the most vaccinated country in the world with 98.1% of the population now vaccinated. The city reopened its doors to international visitors in July 2020 and major international trade shows such as Gitex Technology Week (December 2020), Gulfood (February 2021) and Arab Health (June 2021) were held successfully.
Dubai’s location between Europe and Asia also makes it an ideal location for APLF, whose mix of exhibitors and visitors hail from around 80 countries around the world. The city boasts excellent international air connections to and from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and direct flights from the United States and South America.
The organisers also recalled that Expo 2020 Dubai began on 1 October 2021 and will run for 182 days until 31 March 2022. 191 nations are presented at the World Expo, creating the largest event ever organised in the Middle East and North Africa. The world spotlight is on Dubai and APLF’s Special Edition will take advantage of the city’s visitor traffic and tourism opportunities.