The U.A.E. textile industry is not only the country's largest trading sector after oil but it is also one of biggest employment providers in the industrial sector, according to a U.A.E. economic and trade expert.
The textile industry occupies an important place in the U.A.E. economy as a whole because of its contribution to the industrial output, employment generation and foreign exchange earnings, said Midhat M. Abu Ghazaleh, CEO, Abughazaleh Trading Company.
He added that U.A.E.'s textile exports cover more than 50 countries in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Europe, while major exporters are China, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia.
Abu Ghazaleh revealed that home-grown garment brands were gaining greater popularity in the local market and abroad, and stressed that more aggressive marketing programs were needed to promote the country as a high quality clothes producer and incentivise key players in the industry.
Referring to men's wear volumes, Abu Ghazaleh quoted latest reports to reveal that this segment had grown significantly from its initial figure of 16,250,000 units in 2006.
He added that home-grown luxury brands were in high demand from brand conscious male consumers with high purchasing power, and the U.A.E. was strongly poised to be one of the world's major textile and apparel markets.
"The U.A.E. textile industry has a diversified product portfolio. Some of the textiles produced in the country are car seats, tents and curtains, in addition to clothes. The knitted fabric is most in demand in U.A.E., accounting for around 49.7%, followed by woven fabrics," he said.
According to the latest reports, the U.A.E.'s textile and garment companies have improved and upgraded their raw material storage, packing and transport facilities for large-scale operations.
The U.A.E. is also reputed for exports of garments, based on bulk import of textile and textile articles from China and India. Both these markets constitute a major segment of the textile and textile imports since the cost of manufacturing is significantly lower in these countries due to the availability of cheaper labour and lower input costs.