The UAE’s economy continues to rise, expecting to grow between three and four per cent according to the recently released 2012 Daman Investments GCC Economics Report.
The UAE placed second after Saudi Arabia in the GCC in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), and non-oil foreign trade for Dubai alone reached a record Dhs602 billion during the first half of this year, a 12 per cent increase over the same period last year.
According to the World Economic Forum’s recently released Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, the UAE ranked 24 out of 144 countries globally, rising three places from last year.
Also experiencing positive growth is Dubai-based automotive spare parts distributor A-MAP, recording more than 25 per cent growth during the first half of 2012, compared to the same period last year.
“Fleet and corporate accounts are amongst our largest growing customers. We’re currently in talks with customers in construction, foodstuff distributors, and world-class automobile distributors to name a few to become their preferred suppliers as we are able to handle their volume of vehicles,” said Asad Badami, managing director of A-MAP. “This is an excellent sign that companies in the country are continuing to expand,” Badami added.
In general, the UAE automotive market is expected to experience strong growth as the demand for automobiles and related products increases. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a recent report that car ownership will increase to 54 per cent as a percentage of the population by 2014.
Last year North African markets like Algeria, Libya and Egypt came to a grinding halt, but have revived and will aid in the 2012 growth expectations, Badami continued.
The spare parts and tyre industry holds many opportunities for players in the Middle East, which ranks within the world’s fastest-growing markets for automotive products, according to Business Monitor International. Without a dedicated automotive manufacturing industry, there are huge opportunities within areas such as Jebel Ali Freezone (Jafza) where companies can find a local supply niche, particularly for re-exporting.
According to recent statistics released by Dubai Customs, the value of exports and re-exports hit Dhs245 billion, with a growth rate of 13 per cent compared to the same period last year.
A-MAP continues to be ahead of the curve, with work already undertaken to expand operations within Jebel Ali. A branch office opened in 2011 in Jafza along with increased warehousing facilities for smoother distribution to regional customers, and the company plans to set up its entire operations within the freezone by July of 2013.
From Gulf Today