In line with the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Manila FAME, 14 furniture and furnishing companies from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are set to visit the Philippines for potential product sourcing.

The business delegation composed of fit-out contractors for hotels, resorts, restaurants, and cafes, among others, will get to tour the exhibits and engage in business matching sessions with pre-selected companies, as coordinated by DTI. Manila Fame is set to take place from April 21 to 24 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

“These business delegations are a sign of rising interest in the Philippines from companies in the Middle East, which also makes it an opportune time for Filipino exporters to consider that region’s market, particularly the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries,” said Eric Elnar, Commercial Attaché of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center - Dubai.

Manila Fame expects to showcase products from more than 200 local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the fashion and furniture industry to cater to more than 1000 foreign and local pre-registered buyers.

PTIC-Dubai noted that furniture and furnishings have a lot of potential in the GCC market because of the ongoing construction projects as the region moves away from an oil-based economy to a services-led one. With the upcoming FIFA World Cup in 2022, the region is also expecting to increase ventures in the tourism industry.

“Arab countries are also continuously redeveloping their living and working spaces, in line with their culture of refurnishing their houses every year before the holy month of Ramadan.This is a great opportunity for our exporters, as the fit-out of one five-star hotel room can cost USD 1 million, while to furnish a restaurant in the UAE starts at AED 100,000 (PhP 1.25 million),” added Commercial Attache Elnar.

Manila Fame is the premier design and lifestyle event spearheaded by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (CITEM) of the Department of Trade and Industry. It is held bi-annually which provides trade platforms for local MSMEs and designers to conduct business with foreign and local buyers.