Saudi Arabia’s furniture market, the largest in the Middle East, is attracting world attention. According to industry specialists, its value currently stands at three billion Saudi riyals per annum, and it is characterized by a high growth rate, which is attributed to the four percent annual growth of the local population, reported Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.
According to the newspaper, native Saudi consumers spend 11 percent of their annual income on furniture purchases. This compares to the non-Saudi households in Saudi Arabia, which spend only seven percent of their annual income on furniture shopping.
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that 156 furniture manufacturers are currently operating in the kingdom, with the total capital invested assessed at SR 1.8 billion. The local furniture industry supplies about 30 percent of the domestic furniture demand, while the imported furniture brands control the remaining 70 percent of the market.
In 2000, some 66,000 tons of wooden furniture were imported into Saudi Arabia, with a total value of SR 2.1 billion, which was 29 percent below the 94,000 tons of wooden furniture imported in 1999.
Dumping remains a problem in the Saudi furniture market, despite the 20 percent customs tax imposed by the Saudi authorities on furniture imports into the kingdom. Foreign-made furniture continues to arrive into Saudi Arabia, and is sold at prices similar or even cheaper than the prices of the locally manufactured furniture. According to local sources, the countries that export the furniture to Saudi Arabia frequently subsidize their furniture exporters. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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