According to fair organiser, Epoc Messe Frankfurt, the listing was complied by non-profit organisation Export Bureau, which collects statistics from export-import databases around the world.
There are more than 14,000 toy importers in the UAE, according to the bureau’s statistics, importing 70 categories of toys. There are almost 32,500 US importers, bringing some 500 categories of toys into the country.
“From the period January 1, 2004 to January 3, 2008 the top 10 importing countries are the United States, United Kingdom, Iran, India , China, Hong Kong, Canada, UAE, Australia and Bulgaria in 10th place,” said Monica Schulz-Blank, senior show manager, Middle East Toy Fair.
“Dubai is the ideal venue in the Gulf and the Middle East to host the Toy Fair with its ranking as a leading importer of toys and as a hub for re-export in the Gulf and Middle East countries and Africa,” added Eckhard Pruy, CEO, Epoc Messe Frankfurt
The value of the Middle East toy market is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion per year, wih approximately 12 per cent annual growth. The average yearly toy expenditure is $327 per child, second to the US.
The Middle East Toy Fair takes place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 31st to April 2nd, 2008. Exhibitors include Playmobil, Haba, Steiff, Vtech, Clementino and Ravensburger.