The organisers of APLF Leather and Materials+, 30 March-1 April 2022, are relocating the event from Hong Kong to the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), United Arab Emirates.
The Hong Kong Government’s announcement in August 2021 extending some strict regulations until 31 March, 2022 is clearly proving a problem for organisers and 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.
In contrast, Dubai reopened to international visitors in July 2020. The UAE is the world’s most vaccinated country with 98.1% of the population vaccinated. As a result, international trade shows such as Gitex Technology Week (Dec 2020), Gulfood (Feb 2021) and Arab Health, (Jun 2021) have taken place in the city during the pandemic.
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.
Before taking the decision to relocate their APLF project to Dubai, the organisers say they looked at Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea and the USA, among other destinations in order to gauge the level of support for their lobal leather industry show.
Frank Boehly, director of APLF and president of Société Internationale du Cuir (SIC Group), said: “The (leather) 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.”
David Bondi, director of APLF and senior vice-president of Informa Markets Asia, added: “Organising APLF outside Hong Kong is a new experience for us, and also suppliers and buyers. 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.”
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. And 98% of international visitors to Dubai after its re-opening to international travellers felt ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’.