Boom fuels local growth

Price volatility and the availability of building materials over the last few years has led to a rise in the number of locally-manufactured products.

Square in its sights: Jamal Al Ghurair Group's porcelain plant in Abu Dhabi will be capable of producing 18 million m2 of tiles a year.
Square in its sights: Jamal Al Ghurair Group's porcelain plant in Abu Dhabi will be capable of producing 18 million m2 of tiles a year.

Price volatility and the availability of building materials over the last few years has led to a rise in the number of locally-manufactured products.

And according to Nagi Beshara, deputy general manager, sales and marketing, of manufacturing company Jamal Al Ghurair Group, despite the relative lack of raw materials in the region, the ongoing construction boom will eventually lead to the UAE becoming self-sufficient in manufacturing.

"The solution is to go for mass production to overcome the extra cost which has been affecting the industry over the last five years due to high demand," he said.

A recent report by research firm Proleads, said that GCC countries are investing heavily in their manufacturing sectors, which has been largely fuelled by high demand for finished products and materials.

Gulf demand for building products is growing at 22% a year, the report said.

"The UAE has been dependent on imports for a long time," added Beshara. "But as the volumes have increased, so has manufacturing. The UAE is now focusing on manufacturing because it's a long-term solution - you create assets for the country and jobs. The focus is also on the region becoming a manufacturing base to supply globally."

Jamal Al Ghurair Group is currently building two factories in Abu Dhabi's Musaffah industrial zone, which will start producing gypsum plasterboard and porcelain tiles by the middle of next year.

The gypsum factory will have the capacity to make 50 million m2 of plasterboard a year, while the porcelain factory will have a production capacity of 18 million m2 of tiles a year.

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