NC Companies Join EDPNC at Top Design Show in Dubai

September 15, 2019

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) is coordinating the participation of four North Carolina furniture and design companies exhibiting this week at the high-profile Middle East Design and Hospitality Week at the Dubai World Trade Center.

“We have been exhibiting at this particular event over the past five years and find that this is the premier event for furniture and hospitality industry manufacturers who want to increase their sales in the Middle East,” said Liz Isley, EDPNC international trade manager specializing in the furniture industry.

The EDPNC’s Liz Isley, center in sweater, at a previous Hotel Show Dubai event where she supported exhibiting North Carolina businesses.

The companies exhibiting Sept. 17-19 at the EDPNC’s North Carolina booth are Brian Boggs Chairmakers based in Asheville, Hickory Chair Company in Hickory, Sunbrella in Burlington, and KK Interior Design Group in Charlotte. High Point Market is also be featured to promote the home furnishings trade show in North Carolina.

The week includes seven events where businesses can network with potential distributors and buyers, generate leads and close new deals ― all in one location. Two key events are The Hotel Show Dubai, covering everything from hotel decor to new guest-room technology, and the INDEX Exhibition, the largest design community gathering in the Middle East and North Africa.

“Participating in INDEX and the Middle East Design and Hospitality Week 2019 is a fantastic opportunity for North Carolina companies to showcase what they have to offer,” Isley said. “Two of the companies attending with the EDPNC will be discussing industry trends and insights as part of the Design Talks series, which highlights the world’s most-influential designers and furniture manufacturers.”

Brad O’Brien, international and contract sales manager with Hickory Chair, said his company has enjoyed sales success at The Hotel Show Dubai over the years. “Relationships gained from Hotel Show meetings are highly valued,” he said. “As a North Carolina-based manufacturer, there is no comparison for the opportunity to meet our international customers face-to-face.”

Melanie Boggs, co-founder of Brian Boggs Chairmakers, is excited to participate in this year’s event. “For quite a while, people have recommended that we look at Dubai to share our custom-made luxury wooden furniture,” she said.

“Exhibiting in Dubai is a great way to enter the already-strong Middle East market for North Carolina-made furniture or to grow sales there,” Isley said. “Currently, the Middle East is the second-strongest market for furniture exports out of North Carolina. In fact, for 2019, sales from North Carolina to this market are up 2 percent from last year.”

Isley is a part of a five-member team of EDPNC international trade managers who help North Carolina businesses increase their international sales in a variety of ways, including leading delegations to international events such as Middle East Design and Hospitality Week.

In 2018, the EDPNC coordinated the participation of 144 North Carolina companies in 32 major trade events around the world. Those companies, representing diverse industries, projected sales of $17.3 million as a result of their participation.

North Carolina businesses turn to the EDPNC trade team for everything from learning the basics of exporting to gathering international market intelligence and participating in the right trade shows. To find out how we can help your business achieve its exporting goals, contact EDPNC International Trade Director Mike Hubbard at