The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, is set to conduct a free seminar called ‘Designing & Working with American Hardwoods’ in Dubai, targeting architects and interior designers in the UAE. The high-impact event, which will take place on September 26, 2010 from 7 to 9 PM at the Park Hyatt Hotel, will revolve around educating attendees about the wide variety of American hardwood species as well as their important environmental credentials and their importance in sustainable design. AHEC officials are positive of the impact of the seminar given that American hardwoods are well established in the Gulf and have been specified in many high end private, commercial and public projects.
The event will centre around two key presentations, given by Criswell Davis, Sustainable Hardwood Design Consultant and Bob Sabistina, Hardwood Technical Consultant and will be geared towards architects and interior designers, as well as manufacturers who use hardwoods in the production of furniture, flooring and joinery. Davis will provide in-depth information on the U.S. hardwood forest and its environmental credentials, as well as on the variety and commercial availability of American hardwood species and the potential they offer for design and end use in the Middle East. Sabistina will provide an introduction to the grading of American hardwood lumber according to the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) rules, which will include a practical demonstration.
"This seminar offers an excellent opportunity for architects, interior designers and other industry professionals to gain a more in-depth understanding of the unique characteristics and advantages of American hardwoods. Further, the event is designed to allow for full audience participation thereby offering a unique opportunity for anyone coming into contact with wood products to learn about American hardwoods at first hand from industry experts. We have organised this seminar in other countries across the region and the response has always been very positive, and so we are confident that we can generate the same level of interest here in the UAE," said Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania.
In the MENA region, significant increases in demand for U.S. hardwood lumber are being monitored, with red oak being the most sought-after species. With a total export volume of 11,298 cu. metres in the first six months of 2010, red oak shipments to the region have grown by 18 per cent as compared to the same period last year. Among the regional markets, the UAE is demonstrating renewed and steadily increasing interest for U.S. hardwoods, with import figures reaching USD 4.3 million from January to June 2010. The figures are up by 84 per cent from the USD 2.3 million recorded for the same time period in 2009, thereby underlining the UAE’s position as one of the top American hardwood importers. In line with this, AHEC is seeking to tap into the burgeoning opportunities within the domestic interiors, furniture, flooring, kitchen cabinets, doors and internal joinery markets.
“The UAE market is demonstrating stable growth, which we believe marks an important turning point as customers, manufacturers and other industry players become active again. As we continue to monitor increased demand for American hardwoods in the UAE and the rest of the MENA region, we will be undertaking further initiatives to highlight the exemplary qualities of our products and how using them can benefit the furniture, construction and other industries in the region. Through this seminar, we aim to engage specifiers and manufacturers and shed light on various issues, which will ultimately help them make more informed decisions,” concluded Wiles.
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