The formidable manufacturing and industrial sector of the region is driving up demand for welding and cutting equipment in the UAE and the rest of Arabia.
According to Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting, the contribution of the industrial sector in GCC countries’ GDP ranged between 9.5 per cent and 10.5 per cent from 2001 to 2012, except for 2008 when it was reduced to 8.5 percent because of the global financial crisis.
And, with the current fall in oil prices being seen as a wake-up call for Arabia to adopt better economic diversification strategies, the manufacturing sector is set to continue its robust growth.
The welding sector will thus be an essential component of the regional steel fabrication, metal working and metal manufacturing industry, highlighting the importance of the premier regional trade fair – SteelFab.
“SteelFab has been an important event for the region’s steel fabrication and metal working industry since the past decade. Now, with the introduction of a special segment for welding and cutting a couple of years ago, SteelFab has become a reliable sourcing platform for not just welding machines but a complete range of welding & cutting equipment and devices,” said Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah.
Mr. Midfa was speaking ahead of the 11th SteelFab 2015, the region’s premier metal working, metal manufacturing and steel fabrication trade fair which will be held at Expo Centre Sharjah from January 26 to 29. “In Arabia, it is important to note that the regional industry consists of fabrication yards and engineering workshops and not ‘welding shops’ hence a complete show like SteelFab is the precise answer to the complete procurement needs of regional industry,” added Mr. Midfa.
While the number of welding & cutting brands/exhibitors in the 2008 edition of SteelFab stood at 143, for the previous edition in 2014, the number grew impressively to 294.
“This underscores the significance of the platform for welding & cutting equipment manufacturers to reach out to the Middle East and surrounding markets. SteelFab has also been a market-entry vehicle for numerous welding brands,” said Mr. Naveen Fernandes, Group Exhibition Manager, Expo Centre Sharjah. “Leading brands such as Miller, Lincoln Electric, Esab, Fronius, Kemppi, Lorch, Jackle & several others have chosen SteelFab as the exhibition of choice, which underlines the importance of the show,” he added.
The fall in crude prices is set to encourage regional oil producers to focus more on the non-oil sector, with manufacturing and industrial segments primed to receive more attention in order to sustain the prevailing growth momentum. SteelFab’s special focus areas, which now include material handling, machine tools, pipe & tube machinery, besides welding & cutting, and new pavilions like Steel-Tech, Fabricators Pavilion and Steel Showcase, apart from live display, and technical seminars & product presentations, will make it a prominent event that will give a shot in the arm for diversification efforts.
The special section on welding & cutting will showcase machines/power sources – conventional, arc, plasma, tig & mig/mag; welding & cutting – consumables, electrodes, wire & flux; accessories – torches, guns, tips, holders; gas cutting & welding, brazing – equipment, spares, consumables; welding – robots, positioners, rotators, manipulators &tables; weld preparation, heat treatment & weld finishing; stud welding equipment, fasteners, studs & fastening systems; automation, resistance & capacitor discharge; beam welding systems, seam welding lines & special purpose welding systems; cutting systems – CNC plasma, oxyfuel, laser & waterjet; pipe construction, orbital welding, cutting and beveling.
The SteelFab 2015 exhibition will be held at Expo Centre Sharjah in United Arab Emirates from 26 to 29 January 2015 with the exhibition timings as 10 am to 7 pm daily. Admission is Free and strictly restricted to Trade and Professional visitors only.