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DUBAI: More than 60 top Indian footwear and leather goods manufacturers will participate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region's largest exhibition of such products here from December 11-13. Dubai International Footwear and Leather Exhibition (DIFLEX 2023) is being held in the backdrop of the demand upswing for footwear and leather goods in the Middle East and N Africa (MENA) estimated to be growing at a compound annual growth rate of over 7 per cent and poised to touch upwards  of $20 billion by next year.

The Indian pavilion participation is under the auspices of the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and is aimed at boosting exports which stood at USD 5.26 billion in 2022-23, as per CLE data.

Footwear exports, both leather and non-leather exports account for over 50 per cent of the trade. India is the second-largest exporter of leather garments, third-largest exporter of saddlery and harnesses and 4th largest exporter of leather goods in the world.

Verifair, organisers of DIFLEX 2023 which will be hosted at Dubai Festival Arena, Dubai Festival City, said that in all over 250 top-notch footwear, leather and leather accessories producers from across the world are participating in this one-of-its-kind event, showcasing over 10,000 product lines.

"Despite inflationary pressures and the macro-economic environment, consumer spending on footwear and leather products have maintained a growth momentum, with the key demand markets of the UAE and Saudi Arabia contributing a major share," said Jeen Joshua, Managing Director, Verifair.

In this context, DIFLEX 2023 offers a one-stop-shop for prospecting new business partnerships and sourcing products from multiple global markets under one roof," Joshua said.

Manufacturers and Producers at DIFLEX are from the leading footwear and leather-producing hubs of Turkey, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, China and the UAE. Turkey, India and Egypt will have official country pavilions at the show.

The countries which are often included in the MENA region are Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, and Yemen.