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Q&A: Al Muqarram Industry MD talks 'Made in UAE' and producing local

The head of the Dubai-based sealant manufacturer said resources, raw materials, construction projects, and manpower play a major role in making the UAE the best place for production

AMI is present in over 30 countries worldwide with a strong presence in the GCC, MENA and Asia
AMI is present in over 30 countries worldwide with a strong presence in the GCC, MENA and Asia

How does 'Made in UAE' benefit businesses in the Gulf and the UAE in particular?

The UAE is itself, a reputable brand in the world and is known for its ingenuity and quality. Promoted by our leaders, it has evolved into a hub for business. The growth opportunities, ease of doing business, infrastructure and the stellar connections that the UAE enjoys with other trading countries benefits any product developed here.

We also have a flawless system in place that ensures products are of high quality and can compete with International products. It is not only the UAE’s internal policies, but its Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with other nations, specifically in the Gulf, that also ensure its products are guaranteed a larger market. As a manufacturer, I feel that it gives you an environment which is designed to help firms reach their potential. The resources, raw materials, construction projects, and manpower play a major role in making the UAE the best place for production.

How has the concept helped Al Muqarram Industry (AMI) specifically as a business?

AMl  has been operating for the past 20 years, with a double-digit growth rate. Our brand, Dolphin, has added products for the construction, as well as the automotive industry. There is no doubt that the ‘Made in UAE’ brand adds to the credibility of Dolphin in the international market. As a local manufacturer born out of the UAE, we have reaped the benefits of the brand. Today, our products compete with global brands. Firstly, our location is a huge asset to us in terms of logistics and the market. Secondly, the FTAs signed by the UAE with other nations gives us greater access.

Can you outline how AMI first became engaged with the concept/ project?

My father came to the UAE more than 30 years ago and was engaged in trading. The main aim behind setting up AMI was to be able to produce here as opposed to importing. UAE is our home and we wanted to utilize its resources and conducive business environment to add value to the economy. From the day of inception, we have been driven by the goal to become the biggest manufacturers in the region. I know it will happen soon, too, given the economic growth and convenient location of the UAE. We are able to use that to our advantage to add substantial value to the economy.

Is ensuring the quality of manufactured products a key theme behind 'Made in UAE'?

As for any manufacturer, quality does remain the driving force of all our products. We have to understand that Dolphin is a 'Made In UAE' product. Hence, it represents not only AMI, but also the UAE brand in the global market. We have the responsibility to ensure that it competes with western products and upholds the UAE brand. So, yes, quality is vital. However, I also think that the ease of doing business adds to the 'Made in UAE' charm. Essential to the success of a firm, the availability of the resources and supporting infrastructure provided here is also an enabling factor.

Interview continues on next page... 

What products do AMI produce that other manufactures overseas can’t match in terms of quality and standards applicable to the UAE?

The weather conditions in the Gulf region are quite unique. The summers are extreme and the products have to stand the climate. For this reason, the UAE has one of the strongest rules on product fire safety. Our brand, Dolphin, was the first brand to get the approval for our products from the Civil Defence. This has further increased the appeal of AMI products in the market. Especially in construction, our products are critical to the building, like glass, HVAC products, aluminium. Since we are a local company, we are well-versed with the climate and are able to tailor our products to their needs. While European brands may have greater quality, they fail to factor in the local conditions. For them the Middle East market is too small for a major product overhaul, they already have access to larger markets.

Additionally, the UAE has its own system of checks and balances that ensure absolute quality. We have regular inspection, stringent criteria, and standards that position our products on a par with global markets. The Dubai Accreditation Centre and Emirates Quality Mark are just some of the examples of standards that a UAE product is expected to adhere to.

From an AMI standpoint, what has the reception been like so far from other UAE businesses to 'Made in UAE'?

The response has been great, the local businesses are very keen on replacing imports with locally-produced products. Especially in construction and trading, the emphasis on local production will mean a decrease in investment for the businesses. They are now looking at local firms that have been approved by the government and are producing top quality products. For this reason, AMI products have been so well-received in the market. Our advantage lies in customizing the products to the local requirements. Our products cater to a niche and are easily available making it a viable alternative to expensive imports.

How do you plan to “spread the word” and help these other UAE businesses across the supply chain embrace 'Made in UAE'?

We definitely need more visibility for the 'Made in UAE' products on a global stage. We are constantly discussing with the government departments on the various ways in which we can promote the brand value of UAE. As a manufacturer, we are doing everything to promote our products. Already the tag of ‘Made in UAE’ carries expectations of excellence and is widely regarded internationally. We expect that more people will follow suit and will put in their efforts towards greater visibility.

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