Exhibition: Arabian MEP
The third annual Arabian MEP Exhibition
The leading lights of the Gulf island’s industry took to the stands for the third annual Arabian MEP Exhibition to show off what the country has to offer
Bahrain’s International Exhibition and Convention Centre hosted the third annual Arabian MEP Conference and Exhibition from 17 to 19 March.
Over 100 exhibitors showcased the latest technologies in green buildings and their implementation in the construction industry in the MENA region.
The event, which was held under the patronage of Bahrain’s Works Minister Essam Khalaf, also saw a diverse conference and seminar programme which included presentations from some of the leading figures in the GCC MEP industry.
Sijo Joseph, director of organiser Exposure Media, said the event aims to attract more visitors from across the GCC in 2014.
“Next year we are planning to bring more visitors from outside Bahrain. We have international exhibitors but the visitors are mainly from Bahrain and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia,” he said.
“In our first year we had 55 exhibitors with an occupied floor space of 3,750m² and participation from 200 to 225 brands. The second year had 93 exhibitors with a floor space of 6,500m² and almost 400 brands participated. Now it has 8,000m² with 111 exhibitors and 600 brands participating. So it is growing.”
- 111 Number of exhibitors
Making its debut at this year’s exhibition was SKM Air Conditioning. The company has had a presence on the Gulf island for more than 20 years but, as sales engineer Syed Khaleeluddin explained, SKM felt it was the right time to increase its exposure to the Bahraini market at the exhibition.
“The market is getting better here and we have been working in Bahrain for quite some time. We wanted to renew our response to our customers here. The market is currently getting financial stability and with time will reach its previous stability,” he said.
The UAE-based company does most of its business in the emirates and elsewhere in the GCC, but it believes the smaller Bahrain market still has business to offer for those who approach in the right way.
“It is a challenging market with almost all air conditioning makes and origins available locally. But we have a strategic plan in order to overcome the competition and get the maximum share of the market,” said Khaleeluddin.
The company decided to go for a minimalist look at its stand for its first outing, at which it was out in force to explain to the visitors what precisely it can offer.
“SKM offers a wide product range in Bahraini market which includes air cooled chillers, roof top packaged units, ducted and decorative split units, and chilled water air handling and fan coil units,” said Khaleeluddin.
“We currently have a service and spare parts local agency with M/s Al Sabah Air Conditioning who takes care of our after sales and spare parts services. As of now the sales operations are being handled directly through our head office located in Sharjah, UAE.
“We are currently in a trial period with few customers to have a local agency in Bahrain and we will very shortly finalise the same in order to have a local presence in Bahrain,” he added.
The company plans to return for next year's exhibition, when Khaleeluddin hopes the market will have made even more progress than it has shown recently.
20+ Years SKM has been in Bahraini market
Among the products Areej Trading was exhibiting at the show were items from the Grundfos, Rycroft and Flamco brands.
“Our business is water-related products: water pumps, wastewater pumps, water heaters, water treatment systems, water softeners, and chlorination systems,” explained R. Subramonian senior sales manager for Areej Trading. “We only do business in Bahrain.”
While most of the products on the stand were established products in the market, there were one or two that were bringing something fresh to the market.
“There are some new developments in the old products that we have displayed here. Our stainless steel impaler is a part used in a sewage pump and has been modified to allow big solid passage to avoid clogging of the pump. When a pump is lowered into sewage it normally clogs and over a period of time it has to be taken out, cleaned and put back. It’s a S-tube impaler from Grundfos.”
The company also showcased a new submersible booster pump which Subramonian said can be used where there are “space constraints or an underground tank.”
Yateem Air Conditioning
Yateem Air Conditioning returned again to the exhibition to showcase its growing range of products which it offers the Baharini market.
“We are a very established company,” explained Naresh Kumar, service manager. “We started in Bahrain as a Carrier distributor in 1960 but we have many agencies with us like System Air and Thermobreak. We offer Carrier air conditioners from one tonne to 1,000 tonnes: municipal units, package units and chillers. We also have a one-stop shop where we sell the spare parts for Carrier. There are also Schneider Electric control systems available from our company.”
Brian Suggitt, managing director of System Air Middle East, explained why his company was attending the show for the first time.
“In Bahrain there is a definitive need for car park ventilation with some new projects that are beginning to come through, so we’re focussing in on the induction or impulse fan car park ventilation systems.” he said.
Awal gulf manufacturing
At this year’s event, Awal Gulf Manufacturing Company was keen to highlight how the company’s HVAC products are adapting to changing demands in the market.
“There’s a lot of emphasis on energy efficiency, environmental-friendliness and sustainability,” said Vinod Coelho, operations manager. “We are tuning our products to meet all the regional standards as we are an export-oriented company.”
The company was also keen to stamp its presence on the exhibition to remind visitors of its position in the market.
“We’ve been around since 1970 and we are the only air-conditioning manufacturer in the Bahrain,” said Coelho. Our range includes window air conditioners [ACs], splits ACs, as well as the complete range of central air conditioning including chillers and air-handling units, custom-built units.”
Al Mufeed Contracting
Al Mufeed Contracting came to the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre to not only promote its MEP contracting arm, but present a variety of products from its trading division.
So successful was its stint at the 2013 event, the company decided to double-up the footprint of its stand.
“Last year, we were here, but this year we’ve doubled our stand in size,” Muralikrishnan, manager of the company’s MEP division.
“We thought after last year that we had to get more products in the stall as we had so many customers visiting last year. This time we have two unique products: one an LED light and the other a busbar system. We needed to increase our space at the exhibition in order to ensure that as many visitors as possible get to see these products.”
Muralikrishnan added that the company has adapted its product offering to accommodate the push towards green building.
“The industry is changing and that’s the reason we’ve started dealing with LED lights. Everyone wants to conserve energy and we are focussing on that area now.”
- 2002 Year Al Mufeed was established
Showing an impressive level of support for this year’s event by taking up a huge amount of floor space was JGB International.
The size of the company’s stand allowed it to exhibit a wide variety of products, foremost of which was its range of fans for the market.
“Since this exhibition is for HVAC items and for MEP purposes, we have brought our industrial, commercial and domestic fans,” said Azhar Khan, sales manager.
“We have our UK-based manufacturer Vent-Axia which makes fans for commercial kitchen applications and domestic purposes. They can also be used for commercial building ventilation purposes. We also have a Danish manufacturer named Novenco which produces fans for industrial applications. One model we have on display is a ductless car parking ventilation system.”
Exhibiting at the event for the third time, JGB has pushed new products on to the market with each visit. Last year saw the company introduce an interesting solar product, which it is still keen to promote.
“We stock solar panels from Onyx Solar. They have a very good aesthetic appearance and are very flexible. It can be used as a wall curtain to generate energy. It is a very new product in the market and we are the first to introduce it in the Middle East,” Khan said.
A.A. Bin Hindi
Electro-mechanical and construction exhibition stalwart A.A. Bin Hindi came out in force to showcase its high-end products to the Arabian MEP event.
“We offer products such as lighting, cabling and conduits, and we focus on leading brands,” Blazeez Bin Hindi, board member, explained. “We are trying to promote our Samsung lighting products, in particular, but we have other products from companies such as Doha Cables that we want to showcase. We continuously develop our product range”.
The company supplies to almost all parts of the GCC but mainly to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to Bin Hindi. He added that the company was upping its efforts to secure a greater share of the market.
“We’ve been in this industry for a long time but now we’re trying to get into it more aggressively,” Bin Hindi said.
As for the Bahraini market, the local man said he was fairly confident about its prospects, but that it might take some time to return to former heights.
“The Bahraini MEP market should grow over the next few years,” he said.
“We have a lot of projects ongoing and planned, especially in the Ministry of Housing and high-rise buildings. It is happening slowly but there are definitely developments happening.”
Ashrae Saudi Arabia
A rare sight at a trade exhibition is an exhibitor who doesn’t have profit on their mind. However, that was the case at the stand of the Saudi chapter of the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers), a non-profit organisation simply out to promote its work to the Bahrain MEP industry.
Khalid AlMulhim, chapter treasurer and part of the membership promotion committee, said that the society was interested in recruiting new members and that, with Bahrain just across the causeway, the exhibition was a good opportunity to do so.
“We were introduced to this exhibition three years ago,” he said. “We are the oldest ASHRAE chapter in the region, established in 1994. We had many members back in 1994 but a lot of members transferred to other chapters in the region as projects were developed elsewhere.
“In the UAE, there is the Falcon chapter, and Qatar and Kuwait have one also. But they are relatively new compared to the Saudi chapter. Bahrain has its own chapter and we are trying to help them by finding out how we can participate and work together,” he added.
53,000 Number of ASHRAE members