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Timber trade between the Middle East and South Asian countries has steadily progressed over the past decades, and Malaysia has stood at the forefront for majority of that period. This is on account of the sheer variety of timber species and other value added products such as plywood that is available for export from the Malay peninsula. Malaysia also possess many highly industrialised sawmilling companies and large plywood manufacturing plants that are well equipped to cater to the growing demands for both local and international markets combined.

The Middle East and in particular the United Arab Emirates is a huge consumer of tropical hardwoods, that are shipped either in containers or break-bulk to various ports in the Gulf, namely – Jebel Ali port in Dubai, port Khalid in Sharjah, Jubail port in Saudi Arabia and Port Sultan Qaboos in Oman. The UAE virtually acts as a hub for all timber trade related activities in the Gulf region on account that a significant number of well-established timber traders are based in the UAE alone.

The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) has a dedicated office in Dubai comprising of a dynamic team of individuals who promotes the use of Malaysian timber and other allied products to various traders and end-users in the Middle East. As part of their annual activities to stimulate growth and promote trading activity between Malaysia and the Middle East the MTC organizes visits by various Malaysian delegations from within the Malaysian timber industry to leading private and government entities in the Middle East and North Afrian region.

As part of this exercise the MTC organized a visit by the Timber Exporters Association of Malaysia (TEAM) to Mohiudeen Wood Works Co. LLC (MWW), who are the oldest sawmilling company and the largest importer of round logs and sawn timber in the Middle East. MWW hosted members from MTC and TEAM at their head office in Ajman on 02/October/2017 to discuss various topics: such as the expected demand for Malaysian timber products in the Gulf for the next five years and the most pressing matter of all that is advocating the usage of timber and allied products that are derived from sustainable sources which is a very important endeavour undertaken by Mr. B.M. Ashraf, the founder and Managing Director of MWW. Mr. Ashraf was also keen to point out, “meetings like this strengthen relationships and help pave the way forward by creating dynamic new synergies to stimulate growth and push the entire market forward”.