UAE ranks 8th in worldwide list of top ten toy importing countries
The UAE has again proven its world class standing, this time as the top regional importer of toys worldwide. The UAE ranked eighth in a listing of top 10 toy importing countries, according to a spokesperson for Epoc Messe Frankfurt, organizers of Middle East Toy Fair.
According to Mr. Eckhard Pruy, Chief Executive Officer of Epoc Messe Frankfurt: “The UAE ranked No. 8 in the list of top 10 toy importing countries and Dubai is the ideal venue in the Gulf and the Middle East to host the Toy Fair with its ranking as a leading importer of toys and as a hub for re-export in the Gulf and Middle East countries and Africa.”
The Middle East Toy Fair is scheduled to take place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 31 to April 2, 2008.
Quoting statistics compiled by the non-profit Export Bureau which culls a number of export-import databases around the world to arrive at its figure, Ms. Monica Schulz-Blank, Senior Show Manager of Middle East Toy Fair added: “From the period January 1, 2004 to January 3, 2008 the top 10 importing countries are the United States (#1), United Kingdom (#2), Iran (#3), India (#4), China (#5), Hong Kong (#6), Canada (#7), UAE (#8), Australia (#9) and Bulgaria in 10th place.
The Export Bureau survey placed the number of UAE toy importers at 14,111 importing 70 categories of toys or a total share of two per cent in the total items imported. Iran placed No. 3 importing 11 per cent of toys with 320 categories of toys and a total 10,854 importers of toys. Topping the list is the US with 32,466 importers in 500 categories of toys. The US imported 17 per cent of the total.
The value of the Middle East toy market is estimated at US$1.5 billion per year with about 11.8% annual growth. Contributing to the flourishing market for toys, shopping mall space is expected to increase by nearly 50% bringing total retail square footage in the United Arab Emirates to 100 billion by 2012. The average yearly toy expenditure is $327 per child, second only to North America. As far as the Middle East is concerned, the toy industry is in for a huge leap
To make the exhibition more relevant to the needs of both exhibitors and visitors Epoc Messe Frankfurt has enlisted the support of leading UAE and Gulf companies involved in toys, stationeries and back-to-school to act in an advisory capacity to the exhibition organizers.
The top companies participating in the trade fair like Playmobil, Haba, Steiff, Vtech, Clementino, Ravensburger etc are looking forward to replicating their success across the region and also beyond, in surrounding countries that look up to Dubai for latest concepts and designs. These countries can emerge as an important toy export or import destinations for Dubai. Dubai's strategic position enables it to tap surrounding markets like the Levant, Iran, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.
The Middle East Toy Fair is the region’s biggest trade exhibition for toys, baby and infant products, stationery and back-to-school products, games, hobbies, gifts, apparel and licensing. Product areas within the Toy Fair are Baby and Infant, as well as Stationery and Back-To-School. The specific areas will give visitors and exhibitors a place to source products and build new business relationships.
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