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UAE – Italian furniture and design to host the visitors of Expo 2020 Dubai?

UAE – Italian furniture and design to host the visitors of Expo 2020 Dubai?

In the recent years the furniture and design sector has accounted for between 2 and 3% of Italian total exports to Saudi Arabia. The Italian companies certainly target the upper-middle segment of the market, since Italian products are being considered luxury.

The most significant destination, in terms of value, are the princely villas or luxury hotels. The promotion of these products should, therefore, be addressed primarily to those involved in the design and decoration of these buildings, so architects and interior designers.

The UAE offer, however, a huge potential for Italian companies, especially in view of Expo 2020, to be held in Dubai. If in 2014 the UAE recorded a flow of more than 10 million visitors, with the occasion of Expo between 20 and 25 million are planned to come, of which a 70% coming from foreign countries other than the host. The direct consequence is that for Expo 2020 Dubai the Emirates are preparing to welcome more than 17 million tourists, allocating substantial funds in the hospitality and tourist industry.

According to data from ICE (Italian Trade Agency) just in Dubai, by 2020, about 81 thousand new hotel rooms and 45 thousand housing units will be realized, with a surge in demand for furniture. But if Expo is the most glaring opportunity for the Italian furniture sector the UAE market represents today a valuable speaker. In 2014, GDP growth was around 4.5%, with a good percentage of the gross domestic product linked to the retail (28%).

The UAE were the main outlet market for Italian exports in the Middle East and North Africa: Italy is the seventh biggest exporter of goods and the third between the European states. Between 2011 and 2012, Italian exports to the UAE has had an increase of 16.7%. In the same 2012, the furniture and design industry has accounted for 22% of total exports, second only to mechanical engineering (with a value of 24%). The Emirati area also conceals opportunities that go beyond the domestic market. A three-hour flight from Dubai is a reservoir of 1.3 billion potential consumers: the UAE work as a bridgehead to reach other markets in the Gulf, the Middle East and India.

If the numbers are encouraging, however, to be able the path to start in the local economic landscape is not easy. The main trade fairs for the furniture, living and design industry are Index, Design Days Dubai and Downtown Dubai Design.


Source: IIE – Italian Incubator of Excellency