The study also states that UAE can become a key producer of tufted carpets as carpets are now manufactured from synthetic fibres and there is a huge domestic and regional market to penetrate. Eventually the demand will grow in the near future with the added demand from the Iraq reconstruction effort.
The domestic demand in the UAE for all kinds of carpets is estimated to be more than 26,000 tonnes per annum. Carpets made of synthetic materials account for almost half of the demand, which is mostly for tufted carpets. The demand for the traditional knotted/woven though large, is smaller than that for tufted carpets.
According to a carpet trader in Dubai, “The manufacture of tufted carpet started only ten years ago in the UAE and has made considerable progress in the domestic market and also established itself in the export sector.
“In the UAE, many carpets have traditional designs that are handcrafted by tribes as wool weaving is a traditional handicraft in various emirates in which goat hair and sheep wool is collected, cleaned and woven into carpets.”
He further added: “The local and regional demand is increasing due to increase in population and it can support many carpet manufacturing units, which can grow substantially in the coming years as capital required for manufacturing carpet is modest and does not require a large contingent of labour.”
A wide variety of fibers can be used for the manufacture of tufted, non-woven carpets, the most common among these are polypropylene fibers. However, other fibers like acrylics, polyamides, and polyesters can also be used.
While tufted carpets are relatively homogenous, prices vary considerably according to the quality, design and source, and there is almost an eightfold variation in prices, ranging between Dh12 to Dh100 per square yard.
The exports of tufted carpets has increased in the new millenium, since 2001 and Malaysia is the leading importer of non-synthetic carpets from the UAE. While, tufted exports have the lead, other carpet exports too have increased and currently both have an almost equal share in exports, according to a study.
The other importers of carpet from the UAE are Japan, US, UK, India, AGCC, Iran although there are only few carpet factories in the country which includes Ajman, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which accounts for more than 15 per cent of the domestic demand.
In the re-export sector, tufted carpets form the bulf of re-exports followed by knotted carpets and Iran is still the leading market for re-exports of tufted carpets followed by Saudi Arabia, Japan and Libya.
While woolen and textile carpets too can grow, Carpets from the Middle East have traditionally had a good brand image, which can now extend to tufted carpets as well. As the development of a domestic petrochemical industry gathers pace, the availability of domestic raw material should certainly boost the carpet industry by making it more price competitive than Western producers who have to rely on imported raw materials.
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