Gulf Exporters

Building boom spurs DI firms

Fabrication in progress at an Emirates Building Systems plant

High demand for building materials and construction products across the Gulf and wider Middle East is compelling some Dubai Investments subsidiaries involved in supplying to the sector to expand production capacities.

Dubai Investments, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, has seen significant orders and project wins for 18 of its subsidiaries as the real estate and construction sector continues to witness a boom in the region. DI subsidiaries such as Glass LLC, Emirates Building Systems and Dubai Cranes have reported a number of new projects across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, among other markets.

Notable projects won by DI subsidiaries include glass orders for Dubai Design, Habtoor Hotel, Masdar office building in Dubai and Credit Lebanese HQ in Beirut; steel structures for Riyadh Public Transport, three petrochemical projects for Saudi Aramco, end-to-end steel building solutions for FIFA 2022 stadiums in Qatar and petrochemical projects in Oman as well as residential and airport developments in the UAE; and standard, overhead crane kits for ongoing projects with Emal, Dubal and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).

Construction activity across the UAE has witnessed a major upswing this year, with projects worth $46 billion awarded in 2014 alone, a significant rise from $38 billion last year. A vast majority of these contracts are in the residential sector, and the uptrend in the construction sector is set to boost the country’s GDP for 2014 by 4 per cent to approximately $404 billion, up from $390 billion in 2013.

Abdulaziz Bin Yagub Al Serkal, general manager of Dubai Investments, said: “2014 has been a momentous year for DI’s business growth in the real estate and construction sector. The construction industry has always been a key source in driving growth for the UAE’s economy and the current upswing, especially in residential projects, has led to unprecedented demand for quality building materials and innovations which offers us a huge growth opportunity.”

He added: “High demand as a result of the construction boom in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and across the Middle East is also placing added demand on the capacities of our companies dealing in building materials. We are confident that the solid demand in the construction sector will continue in the foreseeable future and we are geared to cater to the required capacity.”

In line with this, some of the DI subsidiaries have bolstered their production capacities. Emirates Building Systems has announced major expansion plans in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, given the escalating demand for steel structures for infrastructure projects, commercial and residential buildings and the oil and gas sector in Saudi Arabia and the region.

DI subsidiary Emirates Extruded Polystyrene has also announced plans to double its production capacity in the coming two years to approximately 2.4 million sq m per year, buoyed by the burgeoning demand for its unique extruded polystyrene sheets across the UAE and GCC markets.

Dubai Cranes & Technical Services LLC recently announced it opened the first-of-its-kind crane storage and assembly facility in the region to cater to the heightened demand for cranes across the GCC and Mena region and Saudi American Glass announced a 50 per cent increase in its production capacity to 1.4 million sq m.

Incorporated in 1995, Dubai Investments PJSC is a leading investment company listed on the Dubai Financial Market with over 19,894 shareholders, and paid-up capital of Dh3.5 billion ($952 million). The company works in manufacturing, financial investments, real estate development and mergers and acquisitions. The portfolio comprises six large investment units – Glass LLC, Dubai Investments Industries (DII), Masharie Company LLC, Dubai Investment Park (DIP), DI Real Estate Company (DIRC) and Al Taif Investment.

DI owns around 35 subsidiaries and joint ventures encompassing a diverse range of sectors including manufacturing of construction-related materials, food and related fast moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, industrial and commercial properties, real estate management and property development, information technology solutions, driver education, district cooling, and financial investments.

Its primary mission is to add value and to grow its investment portfolio through active strategic stewardship, financial engineering and leveraging its corporate brand, business promotion capabilities, network of relationships, and financial resources.