Gulf Importers & Exporters

EBS eyes export markets

The Tripoli (Libya) airport project where EBS was a supplier and Akra (below)

Emirates Building Systems (EBS), a subsidiary of Dubai Investments and a regional pioneer in the design, fabrication and construction of steel structures, has a significant presence in markets including the GCC region, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Africa.

“The contribution of our exports is about 30 per cent of total sales. We mainly cater to the Gulf market with significant project presence across the six GCC states,” said Samir Akra,” its general manager.

The company, one of the market leaders in the UAE, seeks to strengthen its Saudi sales and put its stamp on other overseas markets

EBS has achieved commendable milestones in the field of steel structure fabrication since its inception in 1997 and the last year was a good one in its march for growth, commented Akra.

The company achieved 10 per cent year-on-year growth in 2013.

It manufactures a wide range of steel structures as well as products such as chimneys, stacks, storage tanks and pressure vessels that are used in the power sector and the oil and gas industry. It also specialises in steel structures used in metro stations and airport passenger and cargo terminals, among other things.

“The most popular export items are steel frames and sheeting panels. Our three main export markets are Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman,” says Akra.

In order to boost exports, the company’s growth strategy is centred on clear market segmentation for its products, he says.

“We target prospective customers effectively and aim at tapping into markets and segments where we can improve our profitability. As for boosting exports, we are opening two new sales offices in key areas outside the UAE.”

Commenting on the company’s plans for the current year he said: “Amidst the boom in new construction projects and overall business optimism, 2014 looks very promising – but we are cautious on the way forward. We are targeting an increase in our order intake and production volume of around 25 per cent this year.” The company plans to pay greater attention to the Saudi market and pursue it more aggressively while it will be on the watch for new growth opportunities in other places.

Akra stressed however that the focus remains on creating a “dynamic” reputation for EBS products globally. “Basically, we feel increased exposure to international clients can lead to more opportunities. By boosting our exports, we also play a pivotal role in contributing to the country’s export performance.

He talked about export challenges, outlining two main ones – transportation costs and import taxes.

Established in 1997, EBS’ head office and production facility are located in Dubai. The company has overseas sales offices in Oman, Doha and Jeddah. With staff of under 500 the company’s turnover exceeds $60 million.

In addition to having capability to fabricate almost any steel structure, the company can provide engineering design and detailing as well as erection services at site.