UAE firm to sign Saudi cinema construction supply deal in 2019

Official says Styro is in discussions with consultants and other companies in Saudi Arabia

Styro says its product is cheap and fast to build with.
Styro says its product is cheap and fast to build with.

Louvre Abu Dhabi and Expo 2020 Dubai materials supplier Styro hopes to sell its recyclable, eco-friendly concrete alternative for Saudi Arabian cinema building projects next year, the company said. 

The general manager of expanded polystyrene manufacturer Styro, Walid Wakim, told Construction Week the company was buoyed by Saudi Arabia's move to end a decades-old ban on cinemas and hoped to capitalise on the country's plan to build hundreds of screens.

Wakim said the business was “in discussion” with unnamed Saudi Arabian companies to supply its product, which can be used to raise cinema platforms.

READ: UAE cinema operators outline Saudi investment plans

“We are getting lots of questions and enquiries from Saudi Arabia, as well as consultants,” he said, adding that interested parties want to know how Styro's expanded polystyrene can be used as a cost-effective alternative to concrete.

“[We have signed] nothing yet with Saudi Arabia and we are just in discussion, but I think things will come in the first quarter of [2019]. We hope that what we are doing with cinemas in the UAE will be transferred to Saudi Arabia.” 

He added that “it is possible” that Styro would sign deals in the kingdom next year. 

Styro has supplied its products for Vox Cinemas projects in the UAE, as well as rooftop cinemas on high-rise buildings. The company also supplied 1,500m³ of product to raise the floor of Star Cinemas at the Grand Mall Ajman for real estate developer Aqaar. 

READ: Deal inked to build 40 Saudi cinemas in five years

UAE-headquartered Styro serves construction projects in Saudi Arabia and Oman. It also exports approximately 10% of its inventory to Africa, as well as places such as Seychelles and the Maldives. The products are used for various applications, such as to raise flooring and provide thermal insulation.

The product is among the lightest construction materials in the world according to Styro UAE's website, making it fast and cheap to build with. Due to growing demand from construction and fit-out firms for its portfolio of fire retardant, sustainable products, Styro recently opened a $19m (AED70m) Abu Dhabi factory to increase production. Alongside Expo 2020 Dubai and Louvre Abu Dhabi, its products have been used on Dubai developments such as Bluewaters Island and City Walk.

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