In this interview, Mr. Walid Farghal, Director General at Annual Investment Meeting, highlights on the Wood Shows taking place in Dubai, Cairo, and Saudi Arabia. He gives an overview on the woodworking market, how the industry advanced recently, and much more.

  • Can you provide an overview of the Dubai, Cairo, and Saudi Wood Shows and their significance in the woodworking industry?

Dubai Wood Show, Cairo Wood Show, and Saudi Wood Show are pivotal events in the woodworking industry, serving as essential platforms for manufacturers, suppliers, and decision-makers to exhibit wood and woodworking machinery technologies and products while fostering invaluable networking and business opportunities. 

Dubai Wood Show, one of the largest in the Middle East and GCC region, drives innovation in wood and woodworking across the region, and is considered the hub for international partners and associations from all over the world to participate in our platform.

Cairo Wood Show contributes to the growth of Egypt’s woodworking sector and surrounding regions in North Africa and the Levant region by showcasing the latest trends in wood and woodworking industry to attract neighboring countries to join our exhibition.

The Saudi Wood Show plays a critical role in promoting the woodworking industry in Saudi Arabia and the GCC region, facilitating international-local collaborations in a rapidly developing wood market. Together, these exhibitions significantly impact the wood and woodworking industry’s development, making them vital for decision-makers and businesses in the field.

  • How has the woodworking industry evolved in these regions, and what role do these events play in its development?

The woodworking industry has witnessed significant evolution in various regions, driven by a combination of factors and pivotal events. In the past, woodworking was primarily a localized and traditional craft that was mostly handmade. However, with the advent of industrialization and technological advancements, it has transformed into a sophisticated and globalized industry. 

For instance, the introduction of modern woodworking machinery and tools has revolutionized the industry. Automation, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines, and advanced software have increased efficiency and precision in woodworking processes. These technological advancements have made it possible to mass-produce wooden products with high quality. 

Furthermore, the rise of e-commerce and digital marketing has changed the way woodworking products are marketed and sold. Online platforms allow artisans and businesses to reach a global audience, expanding market opportunities. Thus, our exhibitions serve as important events in the woodworking industry. These events provide a platform for networking, showcasing innovations, and sharing knowledge. They play a crucial role in keeping industry professionals in the wood industry updated on the latest trends and technologies.

  • Dubai has been a significant hub for trade and commerce. How does the Dubai Wood Show contribute to the growth of the woodworking industry in the Middle East?

Dubai Wood Show serves as a critical catalyst for the growth and development of the woodworking industry in the Middle East for twenty years, leveraging Dubai’s position as a prominent trade and commerce hub in several ways. 

Firstly, it provides a central platform for industry professionals, manufacturers, and suppliers from around the world to converge and showcase their latest innovations, products, and technologies in wood and woodworking machinery industry. This facilitates knowledge exchange, networking, and business collaborations, fostering industry-wide growth. 

Secondly, the event plays a pivotal role in promoting sustainability within the woodworking sector by highlighting environmentally responsible practices and showcasing sustainable wood sourcing and manufacturing techniques. This aligns with Dubai’s commitment to sustainability and positions the Middle East as a region actively engaged in eco-conscious woodworking. 

Additionally, Dubai Wood Show facilitates access to a wide array of woodworking machinery and equipment, fostering technological advancements and efficiency improvements within the industry. Furthermore, the event’s role in attracting investors and entrepreneurs to the region amplifies the woodworking industry’s potential for expansion and economic diversification. In essence, Dubai Wood Show serves as a vital platform that not only stimulates growth but also projects Dubai and the Middle East as influential players in the global wood and woodworking landscape.

  • Egypt has a rich history in woodworking and craftsmanship. How does the Cairo Wood Show embrace this heritage and promote it on an international scale?

Cairo Wood Show effectively bridges Egypt’s illustrious history in woodworking and craftsmanship within the global stage and more specifically North Africa, creating a platform that celebrates and promotes this heritage internationally as well as locally. 

The event showcases Egyptian woodworking traditions, including intricate designs, carving techniques, and artisanal craftsmanship, allowing local artisans and businesses to display their skills and products to an international audience. This not only preserves Egypt’s cultural legacy but also highlights its relevance in the contemporary woodworking landscape. 

Moreover, the show often collaborates with international and local wood and woodworking experts and organizations, creating a platform for cultural exchange and collaboration. This helps Egyptian craftsmen and businesses learn from international best practices while showcasing their unique contributions. Overall, Cairo Wood Show effectively merges Egypt’s rich woodworking history with contemporary woodworking trends, promoting this heritage on a global scale. 

  • Saudi Arabia has been undergoing significant economic transformation. How does the Saudi Wood Show align with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and its goals for diversifying the economy?

Saudi Wood Show aligns closely with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, a comprehensive plan aimed at diversifying the Kingdom’s economy and reducing its dependence on oil revenue. Our exhibition will play a pivotal role in advancing these goals in several ways. Firstly, it promotes entrepreneurship and innovation within the woodworking and related sectors, supporting the Vision’s objective of nurturing a vibrant and diversified private sector. By attracting local and international wood industry professionals, the show fosters partnerships, investments, and business opportunities in Saudi Arabia, contributing to economic growth. 

Secondly, Saudi Wood Show emphasizes sustainability and environmental responsibility, aligning with the Vision’s goals to enhance environmental protection and resource management. Through its focus on sustainable wood sourcing and manufacturing practices, the show encourages the adoption of eco-friendly approaches within the woodworking industry. Lastly, the event promotes knowledge transfer and technological advancement, in line with Vision 2030’s aspiration to drive research and development in key sectors. 

Overall, the Saudi Wood Show serves as a valuable tool in advancing Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, supporting economic diversification, sustainability, and innovation within the Kingdom.

  • What are some notable trends in the woodworking industry that these Wood Shows aim to showcase or address?

As previously mentioned, Dubai, Cairo and Saudi Wood Shows each serve unique dynamic showcase of key trends in the wood and woodworking industry, spotlighting themes such as sustainability, artisanal craftsmanship, sustainable materials, design aesthetics, and global market access. They provide a unique platform where industry professionals, exhibitors and visitors can explore innovative technologies, sustainable practices, and evolving consumer preferences. Also, these events foster collaboration and knowledge exchange, helping businesses adapt to the changing landscape while promoting the importance of responsible and eco-friendly wood and woodworking practices on a global scale.

  • How do these exhibitions incorporate sustainability and innovation in woodworking practices, considering the global emphasis on environmental responsibility?

Our exhibitions are pivotal in leading sustainability and innovation within the wood and woodworking industry, recognizing the pressing need for environmental responsibility on a global scale. In addition, these shows dedicate substantial floor space to exhibitors who champion sustainable practices. They spotlight the utilization of responsibly sourced wood, often certified by organizations like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and demonstrate how it aligns with the circular economy concept by ensuring minimal waste and maximal resource utilization. Secondly, the exhibitions feature cutting-edge innovations that significantly reduce the environmental impact of woodworking processes. This includes energy-efficient machinery that minimizes electricity consumption and the integration of automated systems to optimize material use. Additionally, visitors have the opportunity to explore advanced finishing techniques and coatings that are environmentally friendly, low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and contribute to the longevity of wood products, reducing the need for replacements. 

Furthermore, these events promote sustainable materials beyond wood, such as engineered wood products and alternatives, demonstrating their viability as eco-friendly options. On top of that, they often host specialized sessions and panel discussions where experts discuss eco-conscious strategies like recycling wood waste into new products or bioenergy, and the use of renewable energy sources within woodworking facilities. By serving as comprehensive hubs of knowledge and innovation, these exhibitions actively drive sustainability and innovation, instilling a deep sense of environmental responsibility within the woodworking industry and fostering its transition towards a more sustainable future.

  • For businesses and individuals planning to participate in these Wood Shows, what advice would you offer to maximize their experience and benefits from attending?

To make the most of their participation in our esteemed Wood Shows, businesses and individuals should meticulously plan their objectives, register early, and research exhibitors of interest. Bringing impactful marketing materials, actively engaging in networking, and attending our talk shows to enhance their experience. Exploring new technologies, emphasizing sustainability, and considering partnerships present avenues for growth. After the event, promptly following up with contacts and leads is crucial. As well as being informed about industry trends post-event will ensure they maximize the benefits of these exhibitions, which serve as invaluable platforms for networking, innovation, and business growth within the wood and woodworking industry.