Region’s largest show – DIFLEX 2023


Over USD20 billion MEA footwear and leather market on upswing with retail spending rise

Over 250 top footwear and leather producers from across the world to showcase over 10,000 product lines

The region’s largest footwear and leather products – DIFLEX 2023 – will debut during December 11-13 in the backdrop of the demand upswing for footwear and leather goods in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) estimated to be growing at a CAGR of over 7 per cent and poised to touch upwards of USD 20 billion by next year.

In a statement, Verifair, organisers of DIFLEX 2023 which will be hosted at Dubai Festival Arena, Dubai Festival City, said that over 250 top notch footwear, leather and leather accessories producers from across the world are participating at this one-of-its-kind event, showcasing over 10,000 product lines.

“Despite inflationary pressures and the macro-economic environment, consumer spending on footwear and leather products have maintained a growth momentum, with the key demand markets of the UAE and Saudi Arabia contributing a major share. In this context, DIFLEX 2023 offers a one-stop-shop for prospecting new business partnerships and sourcing products from multiple global markets under one roof,” said Jeen Joshua, Managing Director, Verifair.

Manufacturers and Producers at DIFLEX are from the leading footwear and leather producing hubs of Turkey, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, China and the UAE. Turkey, India and Egypt will have official country pavilions at the show. India alone will have 60 top manufacturers and exporters at the show under the auspices of the Council for Leather Exports, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

A study by Mordor Intelligence has forecast that the MEA leather goods market will touch USD 21.23 billion by 2025. The growth is also fuelled significantly by the adoption of omnichannel retailing in the region, the study said, adding that leather manufacturers have also been focusing on innovation in design and use of exotic leather to cater to the demand from high-end and premium customers.

Rising consumer spends

Retail sector in the GCC has been on a buoyant revenue growth curve driven by inflation and increased consumer spending. According to an outlook by Statista, by 2026, the value of non-food retail sales in the GCC is forecast to increase to around USD 39 billion compared to 2021.

Retail growth is also being driven by the exponential adoption of e-commerce, increasing population with a dominant share of youth in the demography who are high spenders with awareness on new trends and designs.

“DIFLEX 2023 will be a dynamic platform to showcase new trends and premium products. It will offer a vantage point for industry professionals, manufacturers, retailers and consumers to explore an extensive array of products like never before. We anticipate huge interest for the show, with the event showcasing latest advancements in footwear design, leather goods, manufacturing processes, sustainable practices, and market trends,” added Jeen.


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