The construction of several mega projects across the GCC will continue to fuel the demand for steel and steel products, experts said at the SteelFab 2020 exhibition in Sharjah.
The 16th edition of the region's premier steel and metal industry event brings together more than 300 professionals and companies representing some of the world's leading steel and metal manufacturers and suppliers. Over 35 leading countries in the fields of welding and manufacturing of steel and metals are participating at the event, including the UK, Germany, Italy, Taiwan, India, China, and Turkey, as well as national and local companies. Held over an area of 20,000sqm, the event will run until January 16, with the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
"A strong resurgence in the GCC's economic growth prospects is fuelling growth of the region's construction and infrastructure industries, the core sectors that are demand drivers of the metal working industry in the region," said Abdalla Sultan Mohamed Al Owais, chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Crude prices have already hit the year's high; and the UAE, along with Oman, is set to be the fastest growing economy in the GCC region this year. Continuing infrastructure spending, stimulus packages, reforms, and growth in non-oil sector are also providing an impetus to the steel industry. With the UAE gearing up to host Expo 2020 Dubai this year, the country's demand for steel has made it one of the largest consumers in the GCC region. Experts noted that steel consumption in the UAE has grown at a CAGR of eight per cemt during between 2016 and 2020.
Expo 2020 has awarded two major contracts worth $182 million to Laing O'Rourke to build two pavilions and an access road for Expo 2020. The organisers awarded construction contracts worth nearly $3 billion in 2017, while $111.5 million was allocated for non-construction contracts. In total, 2,745 contracts have been awarded to date.
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