In November 2013, the United Arab Emirates won the right to host the World Expo in Dubai in 2020 and will be the first time the World Expo is staged in the Middle East.

Dubai’s World Expo’s theme is “Connecting Minds; Creating the Future”. It will showcase the spirit of partnership and co-operation that has driven the UAE’s success in development and innovation. Leading up to this event, Dubai will host an increasing number of fairs and special events designed to cement the UAE as a world-class destination and not just a stop-over on the way to somewhere else.

The UAE has little in the way of natural resources and imports much of its timber from countries such as the USA. Roderick Wiles is a Director for the American Hardwood Export Council and he said: “Today, great strides are being made in wood technology but it is the creativity and inspiration of the design community that will ensure wood realises its full potential”.

As oil exports have dropped, the country has diversified into tourism and transport headed by its position as an International travel hub. As a major tourism destination, Dubai will attract the world’s best designers and set trends for years to come.

The inaugural Dubai Design Week, took place from October 26 to 31, 2015. A series of displays across Dubai aims to establish Dubai as a leading design hub and the emerging design capital of the world.

One innovative design is the Fusion Restaurant in the financial centre featuring a blend of European and Arabic architecture. The restaurant features double curved walls produced in Italy by the Wood-Skin company using Biesse machinery. The white dining furniture sits in contrast to exposed concrete and multi-toned wood finish of the innovative Wood-Skin product.

The Dubai International Wood and Wood Machinery Show celebrate its 11th edition in 2016. With only 10,000 visitors it attracts 10% of shows like Ligna and Holz-Handwerk but sits above AWISA in terms of visitor numbers, mainly due to its geographical location. Josine Heijmans, Exhibition Director of the fair said: “Dubai reinforced its position as the regional landmark event for wood trade and investment. The show provided a strategic platform for showcasing the latest wood industry products and suppliers, and strengthens relations with new and existing clients.”

There are 300 wood processing factories in the UAE sending processed wood to the Middle East, Africa, England and USA.