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THE MIDDLE EAST TEXTILE INDUSTRY

The Middle East has long been known as a major trading hub for textiles. What is less well-known is that the region is also starting to transform itself into a manufacturing hub.

Leading the way is Saudi Arabia’s SAR 15 billion ($4 billion) textile industry. Saudi textile imports are increasing at 13-15% annually, an indicator of the robust growth in demand for textiles and fabrics in the kingdom. “Saudi consumers are evolving and so is the country’s retail market” says Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, the Chairman of International Expo Consults, part of Falak Holding. “They are looking at modern retail environments, state-of-the-art designs and high-quality fabrics. The textile industry is expanding due to the kingdom’s growing population and their increasing purchasing power. This makes Saudi Arabia one of the most promising and sought-after growth markets”.

A recent Global Industry Analysts report says the printed textiles market is projected to reach 29.8 billion square meters by 2020, due partly to technology enhancements aimed at improving print speeds, design and efficiency. “While the pursuit of artificial intelligence has endured for the past several decades,” says Falaknaz “it is only recently that dramatic technological enhancements have truly triggered the march of the machines. This will have a definite impact on the textile printing industry as well.”

“Sign and Graphic Imaging (SGI) Textile 2018”, organized by International Expo Consults, was held from January 14th to 16th at the Dubai World Trade Centre in the UAE. It is one of the textile industry’s most eagerly awaited events of the year. The 2017 show featured over 400 exhibitors from 36 countries. This year, the world’s leading textile printing companies converged at the 21st edition of the show to showcase printers and digital signage panels worth over AED230 million ($63 million).and provide visitors with insights that are expected to lead the industry. Technologies on display included heat transfer printing; digital textile printing; other fabric printing; custom flags for tradeshows and conventions; POS displays; table covers with logos and banners and wall graphics, among others.