The decision was made after extensive discussions with leather industry associations and exhibitors who have contributed to the success of APLF over the years, taking into account the restrictions related to the containment of Covid to which inbound travel to Hong Kong is subject and above all with the aim of pursuing APLF’s mission of ‘Serving the Global Leather and Fashion Industries’.

This is how APLF’s project in Dubai was born, a city that presents itself as the ideal place for the event: Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Dubai authorities have acted swiftly to contain the threat to both residents and visitors whilst providing vital economic support to all tourism industry stakeholders. Dubai reopened the city to domestic tourism in May 2020 and then also to international visitors in July 2020. The UAE is the world’s most vaccinated country with 98.1% of the population now vaccinated.

The location of Dubai between Europe and Asia also makes it an ideal location for APLF whose mix of exhibitors and buyers come from approximately 80 countries worldwide. At the same time, there are many excellent international flight connections to and from Europe, The Middle East, Africa, Asia and direct flights from the US and South America.

Moreover, this year Dubai is at the centre of global attention, thanks to Expo 2020 Dubai, which startet on 1 October 2021 and will run until 31 March 2022: 191 nations are presented at the World Expo, creating the largest event to have ever been staged in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Dubai is also a stimulating place from a cultural point of view, for its unique exhibitions and architecture in the world, and without a doubt APLF will benefit from the visitor traffic and tourism opportunities in the city.

APLF’s Special Edition will provide a new opportunity to meet new source of visitors. The composition of visitors may well be different from the usual mix seen in Hong Kong, but Dubai as an international globally important commercial hub and being the location of the World Expo 2020 will provide sufficient visitors and buyers for a successful international leather and fashion accessories fair.

“This special edition of APLF in Dubai will figure as the most important meeting of international leather stakeholders, suppliers and buyers since our last edition in 2019”, said Frank Boehly, Director of APLF and President of Société Internationale du Cuir (SIC Group). “The industry needs APLF as an annual platform and our proactive decision to relocate the fairs from Hong Kong to Dubai shows our determination to continue serving the global leather industries. I am sure with the support of everyone, both our exhibitors and buyers will have the same, if not higher satisfaction as they have experienced in the past in Hong Kong”.