The Big 5 construction and contracting exhibition, which ended a five-day run at the Dubai World Trade Center Thursday is set to join the Index interiors fair and Gitex information technology show as one of only three annual events to fill all seven DWTC halls. Some 230 GCC companies took part in the Big 5, which featured more than 1,400 companies from 50 countries and 15 national pavilions.
Gulf exhibitors at the BIG 5 have announced major region wide expansion plans with investment topping $37 million. First to declare was Jotun Paints Company, which announced a $12.3 million investment in a new 50,000 square meter factory in Al-Quoz, Dubai — due in production early 2002. “The plant is needed to cope with our expansion to new markets, in particular Jordan and Syria where we are opening sales outlets. Overall we are targeting 10 percent growth,” said Oistein Hoem, regional marketing manager Middle East.
Saudi Arabia’s specialized metal fabricator Al-Kuhaimi Metal Industries Ltd., which currently operates two factories in Dammam says it will now open a third. “This new 10,000 square meter factory will also be in Dammam and will specifically to produce protective doors,” said Iyad A. Albarghouthi, manager-exports. “Investment will be in excess of $14 million and the project is catering to local demand. We will also be opening new showrooms in Abha and Medina, each covering 100 square meters,” he added.
Kitchen unit producer, White Aluminium of Abu Dhabi, announced it is to open a 400 square meter warehousing and distribution base in Sharjah, a new showroom in Al-Ain and will double the size of its existing glass factory in Abu Dhabi. “In all we are investing over $6 million,” said Jabr M. Doshan, deputy general manager. “Our Abu Dhabi factory will be expanded to 5,500 square meters to double glass production with the additional capacity due on line in January.”
And Dubai floor tile producer, Al-Khaleej Ceramics, said it will double production of its Jebel Ali plant to 3 million square meters of tiles per month with the installation of two new presses. “The factory will be expanded to a total of 100,000 square meters of production space to meet our growing global trade with Europe, the USA and the Far East,” said S. A. Rajarajan, marketing mManager.
The German company KTI Plersch, which manufactures ice plants sold the 300,000 dirhams plant it had on display outside the exhibition to an Omani company for use in a fisheries project. “We have also taken two more orders from a Saudi Arabian customer and are in final negotiations for another 8-10 plants with Qatar and UAE customers,” said Rupert Plersch, general manager.
And Hamiryah Free Zone of Sharjah said it has signed 10 contracts at the Big 5 with Australian, UK, Lebanese and German manufacturers who are all taking office leases in the zone. “They are all using the representative offices to study the market and depending on their findings and the potential, will move to second phase development of manufacturing here,” said Hadi F. Kassem, Head of Marketing, Hamriyah Free Zone. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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