American Hardwood Export Council eyes prospects within growing interior design and construction sector in Bahrain

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Press Release

Roderick Wiles
Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania. Photo:Supplied

AHEC to host ‘Designing and working with sustainable American hardwoods’ seminar at upcoming ‘gulfBID’ exhibition targeting interior designers, architects, importers and wood working professionals

March 27, 2012 – The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, has announced its participation at the upcoming ‘gulfBID’ exhibition in Bahrain, which will run from 24th to 26th April, 2012 at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). The announcement follows a 70 percent growth in exports of American hardwood lumber to Bahrain with over USD 340,000 worth of lumber being shipped into the Kingdom in 2011. In addition to its participation at the exhibition, AHEC will also be hosting a seminar on ‘Designing and working with sustainable American hardwoods’ targeting interior designers, architects, importers and woodworking professionals in Bahrain and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

Set to take place on the second day of the exhibition, the seminar will revolve around educating attendees about the wide variety of American hardwood species as well as their important environmental credentials and their importance in sustainable design. Criswell Davis, AHEC’s Architectural Marketing Consultant will provide in-depth information on the US hardwood forest and the United States’ long history of good forest governance. Davis will also talk about the variety and commercial availability of American hardwood species and the potential they offer for design and end use in the Middle East. AHEC officials are positive of the impact of the seminar given that American hardwoods are well established in the Gulf and have been specified in many high-end private, commercial and public projects.

“This seminar offers an excellent opportunity for architects, interior designers and other industry professionals to gain a more in-depth understanding of the unique characteristics and advantages of American hardwoods. Furthermore, the event is designed to allow for full audience participation thereby offering a unique opportunity for anyone coming into contact with wood products to learn about American hardwoods at first hand from industry experts. Through his presentation, Criswell will also aim to demonstrate the efficiency of the rules used to grade American hardwoods, and their environmental credentials amidst the growing demand for assurances that wood is both legal and sustainable,” said Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania.

In 2011, the total value of imported American hardwood lumber into Bahrain increased by a significant 70 percent, bolstered by the entry of over BHD 614 million worth of new construction projects. As the construction industry sees large-scale progress, American hardwoods, with their great variety of colour, grain and character, and remarkable colour contrasts, offer a wide range of design options for architects and specifiers within this rapidly growing sector. Given their unique and interesting properties, American hardwoods have become the preferred choice of the international design community for high-end interior projects such as public buildings, hotels and corporate offices as well as private homes and many of the species available from the United States are making it into Bahrain’s most recent developments.

“Bahraini’s are getting back to business, which is helping to restore confidence amidst a relatively difficult year across the MENA region. Bahrain is demonstrating stable growth, which we believe marks an important turning point for the Kingdom’s economy as customers, manufacturers and other industry players become active again. As we continue to monitor increased demand for American hardwoods across the MENA region, we will be undertaking further initiatives to highlight the exemplary qualities of American hardwoods and how using them can benefit the furniture, construction and other industries in the region. Through this seminar, we aim to engage specifiers and manufacturers and help them make more informed decisions,” concluded Wiles.

Commenting on the participation of the American Hardwood Export Council at gulfBID, Jubran Abdulrahman, Managing Director of the Exhibition Organizers, HCE said “AHEC’s participation at gulfBID is important because of the product range, knowledge and expertise that they bring to the event, which is of interest to many of our visitors and some of our exhibitors. Their involvement helps to underline gulfBID’s importance as the annual exhibition for the construction industry in the Northern Gulf, which is taking place at a time when construction projects in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are contributing to re-energizing the building sector in the two Kingdoms.”

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About AHEC:
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the U.S. hardwood industry, representing the committed exporters among U.S. hardwood companies and all the major U.S. hardwood production trade associations. AHEC runs a worldwide programme to promote American hardwoods in over 50 export markets, concentrating on providing architects, specifiers, designers and end-users with technical information on the range of species, products and sources of supply. In addition, AHEC also produces a full range of technical publications. For more information, please visit:

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