With Arabian Gulf countries embarked on major investment in expanding the domestic manufacturing sector, demand is growing for industry-related software - a market forecast to hit $300 million by next year, according to industry observers.
"Recent years have seen huge expansion in the economies of the Gulf Co-operation Council countries fuelled by oil and gas revenues and successful moves into large scale property development and tourism ventures," said Tim Wilson, Exhibition Manager of the Middle East Manufacturing Exhibition (MEMEX), which takes place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 23 to 25 November 2008.
"The manufacturing sector expansion, particularly in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is leading to increasing demand for what are known as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions," he added. "Research indicates ERP spending in the GCC rising faster than the projected world average to around $300 million by 2009 and leading IT companies are competing for a share."
ERP software solutions are critical in manufacturing industry for production, scheduling, on-time delivery, maintenance, quality control, inventory, warehousing, and purchasing.
The Gulf countries are seeking to decrease economic dependencies on oil and gas by setting up industrial zones to stimulate large-scale growth in manufacturing. Zones Corp – the Abu Dhabi Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones - is headline sponsor of MEMEX. Gold sponsor is General Holding Corporation of Abu Dhabi.
According to a recent report, manufacturing companies in Saudi Arabia are posting an average 6% annual growth rate with the contribution of manufacturing industry to non-oil GDP increasing from 7.8% in 1975 to 17.3% in 2006.
The manufacturing industry plays an equally important role in the economy of the UAE. Manufacturing is the third largest job provider in the UAE, employing about 13% of the workforce, and about 17% of UAE gross fixed capital is created in the manufacturing sector, the second highest after transport and communications.
MEMEX features a series of pavilions showcasing machine tools; information technology; process and control; welding, joining and heat treatment; automation and robotics; industrial machines; measuring equipment & systems; welding & cutting machines; fastening technology and ERP solutions.
Industryscape, a dedicated exhibition and conference for the industrial, manufacturing and production landscape will take place alongside MEMEX. Run by the organisers of Cityscape, the world’s largest business-to-business real estate event brand, it will bring together international investors, developers, governments and investment authorities, leading architects, designers, consultants and professionals involved in the industrial, manufacturing and production real estate industry.
The first edition of MEMEX in 2007 attracted over 100 exhibitors from 16 countries and trade visitors from the Middle East and North Africa. An exhibitor survey shows that the vast majority of exhibitors reported MEMEX had generated anything from six to 50 business leads and new contacts for future sales.