Dubai Investments PJSC, DI, an investment company listed on Dubai Financial Market, has announced that it is targeting 40 percent growth in the demand for glass during 2014, driven by the acceleration of construction and infrastructure projects in the U.A.E. and across the region.
DI will be catering to this demand through its subsidiary Glass LLC, which comprises five companies; Emirates Float Glass, Emirates Glass, Lumiglass Industries, Saudi American Glass and Emirates Insolaire, and is augmenting its production facilities in anticipation of this demand.
Within the scope of this, Saudi American Glass - the leading processor of architectural flat glass in the Middle East, has announced a major upgrade in its facility in Riyadh with new machinery and equipment set to increase its glass production capacity by over 50 percent to 1.4 million square metres of high-performance coated glass per annum.
Similarly, Lumiglass Industries is in the process of expanding its production capacity of bullet resistant glass by 50 percent from 130 units to 260 units per month.
Abdulaziz bin Yagub Al Serkal, General Manager of Dubai Investments PJSC, commented, "Glass LLC has achieved consistent growth in 2012 and 2013 in spite of recessionary trends across the globe. But we expect a major uptrend in 2014, amidst the flurry of construction activity in the U.A.E. and the region. We have some of the best glass products in the market, and we expect the demand to rise by over 40% in 2014 - more so as the pace has picked up since November after Dubai's successful bid for Expo 2020." According to estimates, more than 1,300 construction projects are expected in the U.A.E. alone, valued at approximately $418 billion, while Qatar has seen an exponential rise in infrastructure and construction projects in preparation for FIFA 2022. Across the GCC, another 300 projects worth $143 billion are in the design, planning or bidding states.
"Glass LLC has world-class capabilities to meet the stringent technical specifications required for projects in the region. Over the years, Glass LLC has won an excellent portfolio of projects. We are planning an upgrade in the machinery and equipment at our facilities at SAG and Lumiglass to manage the expected volumes," added Serkal.
Glass LLC is also expected to aggressively tap into the export markets in the coming months, to complement its existing presence across GCC, MENA, Eastern Europe, India and part of South Africa. "We have a strong presence across the globe, and in 2014, we are eyeing the South American market," he said and added that automotive bullet resistant glass has also seen increased demand from Canada, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan and Lebanon.
Mr. Serkal also anticipated an increase in the cost of glass in the midst of escalating demand. "Over the past few years, the increase in prices was quite unhealthy due to various factors. However, we expect the prices to go up by 7% to 10% this year due to increases in the cost of raw materials and surging demand across GCC and the international markets," he added.