Children are emerging as the most important consumer segment in the Middle East garment industry, with demand for children's apparel is growing by 15 to 20 per cent annually.

Recent market studies indicate that the Arabian Gulf has the fifth largest population of children and second largest expenditure on children's clothing and accessories globally.

The countries in the GCC (Arabian Gulf Cooperation Council) have among the highest birth rates in the world, while nearly half the estimated 25 million population in Saudi Arabia and Oman is below the age of 14.

In the UAE alone, which boasts one of the highest per capita garment consumption ((PCC)) figures in the world, a significant proportion of the US$ 25 PCC per day is spent on consumer goods for babies and children.

In response to this growing demand for children's wear, fashion and textile trade show Motexha Spring 2004 is introducing KidZone, a dedicated section for children's clothing and accessories.

KidZone organisers say the new area will provide visitors with a chance to see first-hand the latest global trends in children's clothing. They are also hoping to attract children's wear manufacturers from the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia and Europe.

Motexha Spring 2004 takes place from 19-22 April 2004 and Motexha Autumn 2004 will be held from 7-10September, 7-10, 2004.