The Woodworking Machinery Industry Association (WMIA) accepted an invitation to exhibit at the Dubai International Wood & Wood Machinery Show, one of the largest tradeshows in the Middle East, this past spring. WMIA was among more than 420 exhibitors from 34 countries at the 7th edition of the Dubai WoodShow, which occupyied some 30,000 sq ft in the Dubai International and Exhibition Centre. The show has grown more than fivefold, from 75 exhibitors at its debut six years ago. Themed “Sustainable Wood for a Better World,” the 2012 Dubai WoodShow featured brisk foot traffic, attracting nearly 8,000 attendees.

“We received 74 contacts in three days in the booth,” said John Henderson, WMIA president and owner of John Henderson & Company (Las Vegas), Nevada’s largest woodworking machinery distributor, which has been serving the Southwest since 1989. Henderson sees the potential for “a lot of benefits” for WMIA member firms with global aspirations looking to partner with companies in the United Arab Emirates. “They want to know where to buy in the U.S.,” he added.

The stronger presence of international wood and woodworking companies, associations and government entities have continuously provided the show with the newest trade techniques, industry knowledge and innovative technologies, organizers said.

“The high presence of the industry leaders and investors is a positive indicator of the show growth and developments,” noted Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO of Strategic Marketing & Exhibitions, who added that gathering the specialty owners and investors in the timber sector from all over the world was a key strategic initiative. This year’s exhibition included national pavilions of 22 countries, including Austria. Canada, China, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Spain, Turkey and the United States.

Some 10,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors are expected next year at the 8th edition of the Dubai WoodShow, which will nearly double in size (to more than 52,000 sq ft of space) and is set for April 9-11, 2013. WMIA will most likely be there again, according to Henderson.

High hopes

Dubai has been home to the world’s tallest building since 2010. Featuring an Armani Hotel, the 2,717-ft skyscraper was ranked as the world’s fourth “coolest” building by Travel & Leisure magazine earlier this year. Gehry Technologies (GT), a global leader in applying technology to building industry challenges, led collaboration among an integrated team of architects, engineers and wood fabricators to ensure that the atrium ceiling -- consisting of highly complex prefabrication pieces -- was realized on time, thereby saving millions of dollars.

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