13 October 2021
The Organisers announced that APLF-Leather and Materials+ 2022 will be relocated from Hong Kong to Dubai, UAE, from 30 March – 1 April 2022 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
The decision was made after extensive discussions with leather industry associations and exhibitors who have contributed to the success of APLF over the years.
The Hong Kong government’s announcement in August 2021 stipulated that the current regulations under the Prevention & Control of Disease Ordinance will be extended until March 31, 2022.
This has meant continued disruption to both exhibitors and visitors for the APLF fairs, as inbound travel to Hong Kong is subject to testing and lengthy quarantine restrictions, although these may be eased depending on the Hong Kong health authority’s decision.
Hence, APLF’s project in Dubai was born, so as to continue its mission of “Serving the Global Leather and Fashion Industries”.
Dubai is an ideal city for APLF’s Special Edition
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Dubai authorities have acted swiftly to contain the threat to both residents and visitors whilst providing vital economic support to all tourism industry stakeholders.
Dubai reopened the city to domestic tourism in May 2020 and then also to international visitors in July 2020. The UAE is the world’s most vaccinated country with 98.1% of the population now vaccinated. Subsequently, international mega trade shows such as Gitex Technology Week (Dec 2020), Gulfood (Feb 2021) and Arab Health, (Jun 2021) have taken place again in the city successfully.
The location of Dubai between Europe and Asia also makes it an ideal location for APLF whose mix of exhibitors and buyers come from approximately 80 countries worldwide. At the same time, there are many excellent international flight connections to and from Europe, The Middle East, Africa, Asia and direct flights from the US and South America.
Dubai as an international trade centre
This year, 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 to have ever been staged in the Middle East and North Africa.
Unique architecture, culture and inspiring innovations are being showcased there. The world’s spotlight is on Dubai and APLF’s Special Edition will benefit from the visitor traffic and tourism opportunities in the city.
Support from Informa Markets
In addition, with five of Informa Markets’ regional offices and APLF’s joint venture parent company in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the diverse group of over 450 colleagues who together have experience in organising 34 leading events, will be delivering world-class services to exhibitors and visitors.
Major participating countries surveyed by APLF
Before taking the decision to organise APLF’s project in Dubai, the Organisers surveyed major exhibiting countries such as Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea and the USA, amongst others, in order to gauge the level of support for this special edition.
Along with key exhibitors also being consulted, the Organisers are satisfied that there is sufficient support from the global leather industry to hold a successful APLF in Dubai next springtime.
APLF’s special edition will provide a new opportunity to meet new source of visitors
The composition of visitors may well be different from the usual mix seen in Hong Kong, but Dubai as an international globally important commercial hub and being the location of the World Expo 2020 will provide sufficient visitors and buyers for a successful international leather and fashion accessories fair.
APLF’s Marketing and Visitor Promotion team will adjust the visitor promotion strategies to complement the Dubai venue and at the same time work closely with Informa Markets’ regional offices, as well as associations, and institutions, to ensure both quality and spread of visitors.
Dubai – COVID-19 Safety Credentials
According to the GRS-explori Research & Strategy conducted in Aug 2020, 77% of global business visitors view Dubai as the safest destination for exhibitions post Covid-19. In addition, the Dubai World Trade Centre was also the first convention and exhibition centre in the Middle East to receive the SafeGuard Label reflecting compliance with the highest global hygiene standards.
98% of international visitors to Dubai after its re-opening to international travellers felt ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’. 92% also ranked Dubai as the safest place in the world to conduct business meetings.
Looking ahead to reunite the leather and fashion industry
“This special edition of APLF in Dubai will figure as the most important meeting of international leather stakeholders, suppliers and buyers since our last edition in 2019,” says Frank Boehly, Director of APLF and President of Société Internationale du Cuir (SIC Group). “The industry needs APLF as an annual platform and our proactive decision to relocate the fairs from Hong Kong to Dubai shows our determination to continue serving the global leather industries. I am sure with the support of everyone, both our exhibitors and buyers will have the same, if not higher satisfaction as they have experienced in the past in Hong Kong.”
“Organising APLF outside Hong Kong is a new experience for us, and also suppliers and buyers,” says David Bondi, Director of APLF and Senior Vice President of Informa Markets Asia. “But with Informa Markets’ strong presence in the Middle East and North African markets, our local resources and regional experience will complement our expertise and most certainly benefit the organisation of APLF’s Special Edition in Dubai. Add to that the positive feedback from our association partners all around the world, and I am fully confident that a successful edition of APLF will be held in March 2022.”
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