Organised by Messe Frankfurt, the Dubai-set Hardware + Tools Middle East took place for the 19th time in April.

2,000 visitors made the trip to Dubai’s International Convention & Exhibition Centre, where 117 exhibitors from nine countries showcased 130 brands over the three-day run. Those numbers didn’t quite scale the heights of last year’s show, and similarly Dubai’s trade for hardware and tools has seen something of a dip.

Days before the show kicked off, Dubai Customs revealed Dubai’s trade for hardware and tools reached a value of AED 4.8 billion in 2017. That compares with AED 5.07bn in 2016 and AED 5.74bn in 2015.



2 China

3 Italy

4 Germany

5 India

But clearly there are still billions worth of business being done in Dubai. With AED 760 million worth of trade each, the USA and China were Dubai’s top hardware and tools trading partners in 2017, followed by Italy (AED 467 million), Germany (AED 307 million), and India (AED 205 million). The five top trading country partners comprised 52% of total hardware and tools trade with Dubai in 2017, said Dubai Customs.

Rock drilling or earth boring interchangeable hand tools for the construction sector was the biggest contributor, valued at AED 941 million, a 19.6% share of the total value. Other high-trading categories included mountings, fittings and similar articles suitable for buildings (AED 406 million), automatic door closers (AED 277 million), and non-household hand tools (AED 198 million).

"This trade fair has once again provided an ideal opportunity for distributors and manufacturers to update existing customers on the latest brands and technologies"

Local exhibitors like UAE-based Arwani Trading, which represents more than 30 international brands serving the regional construction, automotive, industrial and steel fabrication sectors, took space on the same floor as global brands like Nitto Kohki and Wiha.

Hani Arwani, General Manager of Arwani Trading, said the company has set out long term plans in the Middle East and Africa by setting up a separate export hub in Dubai’s Jebel Ali free zone. Part of the plan is to penetrate the mid-size fabrication companies – the kind that sends buyers to the show: “We consider Africa and other GCC markets important since a lot of industrial development is taking place in these regions and the demand for high quality machinery will grow in coming years.

“We’re expecting business volume growth of 25% year-on-year for the next three years across all of our divisions, while we’re also adding new products to our portfolio and exploring new sales channels for existing and new products.”

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “This trade fair has once again provided an ideal opportunity for distributors and manufacturers to update existing customers on the latest brands and technologies that fall under their umbrella, while it’s also the right time to meet and network with new contacts, thereby expanding their regional footprint.”