Suppliers of steel fabrication and metal working equipment and technology are expecting a significant rise in demand from the region’s resurgent construction sector, one of the key demand drivers for the fabrication industry.
Citing industry reports that the $2.5 trillion regional construction sector is appearing to be returning to near full-capacity, leading manufacturers and suppliers are set to converge on a regional platform to push up their sales and begin the New Year on a positive note.
The industry’s optimism is reflected in the rise in bookings and enquiries for exhibition space at the upcoming SteelFab 2015, the region’s premier metal working, metal manufacturing and steel fabrication trade fair. The show will be held at Expo Centre Sharjah from January 26 to 29, 2015.
“We had unprecedented growth for the previous edition of the show, be it the exhibition space sold, the number of exhibitors we hosted or the visitor turnout. We are expecting to do better this year given that the market fundamentals are pretty strong and growth drivers are intact,” said Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah.
A growing economy and the buzz surrounding the winning bid to host the World Expo 2020 had helped SteelFab 2014 achieve phenomenal growth, adding 50% more exhibition space to accommodate a 25% rise in the number of exhibitors. The increase in visitor turnout too saw a significant surge of 25%, an unprecedented rise in the 10-year history of SteelFab.
According to latest industry reports on the GCC construction market, Saudi Arabia continues to have the highest market share of 44.3% with projects valued at $1.1 trillion. The UAE is in the second place at 30.3% with a US$717.7bn project value, and Qatar has projects worth $270.1bn, accounting for 11.2%. While this takes into account all the projects that are currently under way, the volume of announced and planned projects in the UAE in 2014 alone is expected to be valued at $315bn, with the government announcing a number of major development projects and stepping up spending on social infrastructure development.
“While a buoyant market does generate better demand, latest technological developments too are a key factor that drives the market. For example, demand for automation in steel fabrication is increasing at a fast pace. From automatic robotic welding and surface treatment solutions to automatic material handling and fully automatic steel fabrication factories, market requirements are changing fast. SteelFab 2015 will be the region’s best one-stop shop for all the requirements of the fabrication industry,” added Mr. Midfa.
Moreover, keeping in mind the requirements of both exhibitors and visitors, SteelFab 2015 will focus on specific industry segments. While the show will continue with the three new segments — Steel-Tech, Fabricators Pavilion and Steel Showcase – launched during the previous edition, the regular focus areas like Welding & Cutting, Material Handling, Machine Tools and Pipe & Tube Machinery are sure to remain popular within the regional industry.
SteelFab is also known for its strong participation by leading manufacturers and dealers from foreign countries, with Germany, Italy, Taiwan, Turkey and China and other countries either having special pavilions or facilitating participation of exhibitors from their respective countries during the previous edition. The show has already secured the support of Ucimu Sistemi Per Produrre – The Association Of Italian Manufacturers of Machine Tools, Robots, Automation Systems and Ancillary Products; the official German pavilion, the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI); and the UAE Contractors Association.
“Foreign participation in SteelFab has been increasing with every passing year, and our partnership with several industry associations and government entities have ensured that visitors have access to the widest range of products from across the world to choose from,” added Mr. Midfa.
Besides, visitors can also take advantage of an extensive line-up of technical seminars and product presentations that will be held alongside the show.