Gulf countries are emerging as leading textile manufacturing and trading centers globally. The UAE is a leading centre for textile industry automation where nearly 150 apparel manufacturing companies operate. By 2016, the UAE is set to develop into world’s leading high-end textile and garment re-export centre. At present the UAE controls 5.5 per cent of the world’s textile market.
It has a role to play as a re-export center to diverse markets in Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia. Local textile companies compete with international brands through the quality of their products. They also have a price advantage since they don’t have to bear import duties and customs tariffs.
The country’s textile and apparel industry faces competition from the other manufacturing countries in South east Asia, China, India and Thailand. However, the UAE textile industry uses automation and advanced textile machinery similar to what European countries use. The textile industry encompasses several categories such as woven, knitted and non-woven fabrics. UAE is one of the major textile markets of the world which includes fibers, fabrics, cloth, apparels, outerwear and several others. China and India constitute a major segment of textile and textile articles imports in the UAE.