American Softwoods a Success at 2024 Dubai WoodShow

2024 Dubai WoodShow

The 2024 Dubai WoodShow once again proved to be a successful place for to promote the purchase and use of softwood lumber. This year’s American Softwoods contingency, which included 27 travellers representing 23 companies, 16 of which are Southern Forest Products Association members, travelled to the United Arab Emirates from March 5-7, 2024, for AMSO’s 15th appearance, which earned the group an award during a gala dinner for its long-standing commitment to the region.

While the award was appreciated, the AMSO representatives from SFPA, the Softwood Export Council, and APA – The Engineered Wood Association had one goal in mind: promote American softwood products in the UAE and surrounding markets at one of the most popular international shows among buyers from not one, but numerous emerging markets that show opportunity for growth. It also offered an opportunity to continuing providing awareness and education on American softwood species, grades, and sizes.


The Dubai WoodShow is the most important trade show in the Middle East for exporters of American softwoods to the region. In addition to visitors from the UAE, the 2024 Dubai WoodShow posted strong visitor numbers from Pakistan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, with 14,581 total visitors and with 682 exhibitors representing 132 countries.

The AMSO display, with seating areas for meetings and graphics panels on the back wall depicting the different types of American softwoods, was adjacent to the American Hardwoods booth. Representatives distributed informational brochures while discussing the benefits of using American softwoods, which resulted in 126 trade inquiries, up from 86 in 2023.

AMSO representatives saw a notable presence of buyers from Turkey at the 2024 Dubai WoodShow, and the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Services office in Istanbul bought a group of five buyers to meet AMSO representatives at the 2024 Dubai WoodShow. It’s worth noting that softwood lumber exports to Turkey increased from $678,000 in 2022 to $995,000 in 2023. Sales hit $445,000 in January 2024 alone, up from $67,000 in January 2023. For comparison, Turkey imported 80 Million Board Feet (Mbf) of Southern Pine in 2023, up from 45 Mbf in 2022.


The economy in Dubai continues to boom. Anecdotal evidence reveals 700,000 Russians arrived in Dubai over the past year, and their presence and need for rental accommodations and real estate is driving up prices, much to the fury of longer-established expatriates.

On the whole, the United Arab Emirates recently demonstrated strong export growth with sales value increasing from $397,000 in 2022 to $723,000 in 2023. For comparison, the UAE posted a 206% increase in Southern Pine imports to 286 Mbf in 2023 from 93 Mbf a year earlier.

Pakistani lumber importers, meanwhile, still find it difficult to access foreign currency because of recent political turmoil. As such, exports to Pakistan of treated lumber decreased from $13 million to $11.4 million in 2023. However, January 2024 outperformed the same month a year earlier at $1.76 million compared to just $300,000.

Investment in tourism growth in Saudi Arabia and Qatar has also generated interest from these regions. Exports to Saudia Arabia increased tenfold in 2023, up to $218,000 versus $21,000 in 2022. American Softwoods will exhibit at the Saudi Wood Expo for the first time in September 2024.  


In addition to attending the 2024 Dubai WoodShow, four AMSO delegates conducted a trade servicing visit March 6 to the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim Museum construction site. The museum will serve as a key asset to attract visitors to the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism-commissioned Saadiyat Island Cultural District. It was designed by architect Frank Gehry, will 320,000 square feet (making it the largest of the four Guggenheim Museums ahead of New York, Venice, and Bilbao), and will use U.S. Southern Pine glulam produced in Washington State for the framing materials for its Cone 2 structure, which will be wrapped in onyx.

The AMSO delegates met with representatives of the contractor, ALEC Engineering Construction Co., and the consulting structural engineering firm, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, before attending a presentation on the project and glulam framing sequences. They also toured both the sites housing mock-ups of the U.S. glulam-metal connection systems as well as the project itself.

The steel brace structure for Cone 2 was under construction during the visit, with the U.S. glulam being glued and fabricated and scheduled to onsite between June and September 2024.

SFPA members: Don’t forget to check out the contacts secured during the show and their corresponding contact information on our members-only site!

Click on any of the photos below to see the full size.