UAE's Marble Demand on the Rise
The owner of the International Marble Company, Rauf Faraj, announced his plan to set up a new marble factory to boost production. The current factory, located at the Sharjah International Airport Free Zone, commenced commercial operations in 1998 and is considered to be the UAE's sole massive producer of this material.
Speaking to Al-Ittihad Daily, Mr. Faraj said the factory boasts state-of-the-art technology for production and design. He added that marble blocks are imported from Italy, Spain and Iran. Thus far, the investments in the factory totaled Dh14 million ($3.8 million), with the daily production capacity reaching 750 square meters.
International Marble Company purchased computerized Italian equipment and machinery to enhance its production line. Mr. Faraj added that since its establishment, the factory succeeded in capturing 30 percent of the local market. However, most of its output is directed to export markets such as Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Regarding the local market structure, Mr. Faraj commented that it suffers from the absence of large factories and relies on small-sized workshops. This creates unbalanced competition and marble price hikes. The production quality of these plants often fails to meet international specifications. Nonetheless, the national marble demand increased by 7 percent in 1999, compared to the previous year. According to Faraj, the locally produced marble is 20 percent cheaper compared than imported marble. - albawaba.com
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)