Carpet Manufacturer Offers Upbeat Economic Forecast for GCC Region

Published November 11th, 2010 - 02:25 GMT

An international carpet manufacturer, which has its regional HQ in Dubai, has echoed forecasts of economic growth throughout the countries of the GCC.

DESSO, one of the world's largest carpet companies, says that sales of new carpet is a significant indicator of economic optimism, as building projects reach completion – and as other large companies bring forward refurbishment projects.

DESSO, which has been in operation for over 80 years, is one of the largest carpet manufacturers in the world with a turnover of more than €200 million to residential, corporate and public sector customers.

DESSO's upbeat forecast, based on strong sales growth, echoes comments made earlier this month by the World Bank, which said that economic recovery is underway throughout the Middle East, although below historical levels.

According to the World Bank, growth in the region is expected to average 4% in 2010, an increase of slightly less than 2% over growth in 2009.

DESSO has completed several new projects, including 7,000 square metres of carpet for VIP areas in the 25,000-seater World Cricket Stadium, Dubai, and for the recently-opened Dubai Metro where the company's anti-static carpets are installed in control rooms. The company has also recently supplied 10,000 square metres of carpeting to the Cairo HQ of BNP-Paribas.

"Based on our market expectations, we are confident that the GCC and MENA regions will offer further growth opportunities as regional economies recover from the recession," said Andre Dulka, DESSO's regional manager for the Middle East and North Africa.

The growing regional economic confidence comes ahead of the 86th meeting of the GCC Finance and Economy Committee which meets in Kuwait this month to discuss issues to improve the economy and economic development in GCC countries.

Within the GCC, the UAE has fared best in October, with the Russell United Arab Emirates Index reflecting a 4.8% month-on-month gain, largely attributable to financial services – although utilities, a relatively small sector, was the best performing.

Another indicator of recovery is the HSBC/NasDaq Dubai Dollar Sukuk Index, which tracks 23 sovereign corporate securities, and which has seen strong performance in the global Islamic bond market, buoyed in part by Arab economic growth.

"There are some 750 construction projects currently underway in the UAE alone, and further projects under construction or planned across the region, particularly in Saudi Arabia, and including some very exciting developments for us in Mecca," said Andre Dulka.

Underlining how carpet is making inroads into new sectors, DESSO has also won a flooring contract wins for 10,000 square metres of carpet for the New American School of Dubai, and 6,000 square metres for the New Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (PSUAD).

The 93,000 sq metre Paris-Sorbonne Univerity has world class facilities for up to 2,000 students and only moved into its permanent campus on Reem Island earlier this year.

The American School of Dubai's new campus in Al Barsha occupies four times the area of the previous site. The school, established over 40 years ago, now has almost 1,000 students from 30 countries.

In Saudi Arabia, DESSO is also supplying 22,000 square metres of carpet tiles for a new university project and, in Oman, 21,000m2 to Petroleum Development Oman's new HQ building in Muscat, a joint venture between Shell Oil and the government of Oman.

"DESSO is committed to the GCC and MENA region and our sales growth is a significant barometer of the health of the wider economy," said Andre Dulka.

"We are therefore confident that regional economies, while below previous growth levels, have weathered the global downturn and are showing optimistic signs of recovery," he said. 

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