GB flag iconENCN flag iconZH

Webinars and Online Resources

Special edition APLF held in Dubai

Reporting on the post-COVID revival of this major leather show, which for 2022 moved from its traditional home to the United Arab Emirates.

The Asia-Pacific Leather Fair (APLF) was recently held outside Hong Kong for the first time since its inaugural edition (as the ‘Hong Kong Leather Fair’) welcomed visitors in 1984. After the latest event had been postponed twice as a result of the COVID pandemic, the organisers decided to relocate it to the Dubai World Trade Centre in the heart of the Middle East from March 30th to April 1st 2022. This decision was taken following the Hong Kong Government’s announcement of an extension to its strict travel and quarantine regulations until March 31st.

In contrast to the Hong Kong restrictions, Dubai had reopened to international visitors in July 2020. The UAE is reportedly the world’s most vaccinated country, with 98.1 per cent of the population said to be protected. As a result, international trade shows such as Gitex Technology Week in December 2020, Gulfood (February 2021) and Arab Health during June 2021 took place in the city while the pandemic was affecting other regions.

The Dubai World Trade Centre was also the first convention and exhibition centre in the Middle East to receive the ‘SafeGuard Label’, which was created to reflect compliance with the highest global hygiene standards.

Back together

This new edition of APLF allowed for a welcomed reunion of suppliers, buyers, innovation and design figures hailing from the entire leather supply chain. They visited because of their interest in such products as raw to crust finished leathers, chemicals and dyes and tanning machinery, as well as design and support services. Two additional shows – ‘Materials+’ and ‘Fashion Access’ – were held alongside the main APLF event, in addition to a series of well-supported conferences, workshops and other networking opportunities.

A total of 463 exhibitors participated from 35 countries, with the majority being from Brazil, France, India, Italy, Pakistan and Turkey. This number was a significant decrease from the 1,200 exhibitors which showcased their products and services at the 2019 edition, due to the lack of companies present from China and Asia-Pacific countries.

“We weren’t really sure what to expect before attending this APLF in Dubai,” said SATRA assistant director Christine Anscombe, “but we were pleasantly surprised. It was certainly different from the normal Hong Kong show – obviously the number of attendees was considerably lower than the previous fair because many Chinese visitors were unable to travel – but the event was still valuable for us.

“It was good to talk to people face-to-face once again. We met with a number of representatives from companies based in India, Pakistan and Egypt who were unlikely to have visited the Hong Kong show and we were able to tell them about SATRA’s services. Unsurprisingly, many attendees showed a particular interest in the field of sustainability.”

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 4 of the April 2022 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

Other articles from this issue ยป