The tools sector is big business in Dubai. According to a 2019 Dubai Customs survey, the emirate’s trading activity in construction-related equipment and machinery is worth AED 4.59bn a year, with China, the USA, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Germany its top five trading partner countries.
The import market is strongest, delivering around AED 3bn of that total. Exports and re-exports of hardware and tools were valued at AED 1.59bn. China is increasingly key to the sector: its market share rose by 4 per cent in 2018, and now accounts for 17 per cent.
At the heart of this thriving industry is Hardware and Tools ME. As the region’s only dedicated trade fair for tools, hardware, materials and machinery, the show represents a broad spectrum of segments. Last year, it featured more than 140 exhibitors from nine countries.
This diversity also includes related satellite events, such as the Additive Manufacturing Middle East Conference, which debuted last year. This two-day programme of insightful presentations and case-studies demonstrates how 3D printing is transforming key industries such as construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, ship building and automotive.