Dalton-based Perpetual Machine Co. has searched the globe for business opportunities.

The company, which produces carpet manufacturing equipment, has branched into Australia, China, India and New Zealand. And after participating last week in the Domotex Middle East floorcovering show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the company has now been exposed to another part of the world.

“We consider the Middle East one of the last frontiers that we’re going to explore,” said Danny Morgan, president of Perpetual Machine Co., a division of Textile Rubber and Chemical Co. “The demand for flooring products and for the equipment we make to support the floorcovering industry will help continue the growth here.”

Domotex Middle East was the first specialist fair for carpets and floorcoverings in the Middle East region. Organizers said the show hosted more than 240 exhibitors (including seven exhibitors from the U.S.) from 36 countries.

The original Domotex debuted 17 years ago in Hannover, Germany and later expanded into China with Domotex Asia. Dubai, with a population of 1.2 million, is the second largest and wealthiest emirate in the UAE.

The biggest contingents at Domotex Middle East came from the UAE, followed by Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia and Germany. Also, Belgium, Croatia, India and the United States were represented in special national pavilions, as well as an international pavilion.

Wanda Ellis, executive director of the Dalton-based American Floorcovering Alliance, hosted a display area for American-owned businesses. She said the show was “an excellent opportunity” for businesses to enter a new part of the world.

Rita Dommermuth, director of international events for Hannover Fairs USA, called Dubai “the Switzerland of Middle Eastern countries” because of the proliferation of English-speaking individuals there.

“American companies are very reliable and everyone in the show that makes proposals sticks to what they say they will do,” Dommermuth said. “Perceptions are so important in the business world, which ties into the credibility factor, and many of these customers want to do business with American firms.”

This was Morgan’s third trip to Dubai. He was joined by five other employees of other divisions of Textile Rubber and Chemical Co. Although traveling halfway across the world is expensive, Morgan said the trip was economical and added, “We certainly believe we have made a worthwhile investment.”

Morgan said he did not meet with any existing customers, so all of the contacts were potential new customers.

“It’s been a little more than we expected,” Morgan said. “There have not been as many customers, but the customers here have been much more serious and much more eager to do something.”

The visitor target groups of Domotex Middle East include wholesalers and floorcovering retailers, decision-makers in the contract and property development business, planners, architects and interior designers, interior decorators, construction companies and property investors, as well as their buyers and project managers.

The show had customers from the United Arab Emirates, including the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as Egypt, Iran, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Syria.

Since foreigners were first permitted to own property in the UAE, the market has had an increase in interior room design with the emphasis on individual style and quality.

There are many construction projects under way, ranging from office complexes, hotels and shopping malls to entirely new cities.

The Dubai Marina (an investment of approximately $4.4 billion), the Dubai Mall, the world largest mall ($4 billion), the Dubai Waterfront designed to accommodate 400,000 residents ($10 billion) and Burj Dubai, the tallest tower in the world ($900 million) are just a few.

“We see this as a potential large growth area for the next 10 years,” Morgan said. “All of these projects are going to need some type of floorcovering, and we think there is a tremendous opportunity there.”

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