Feb - March 2019

As the United Arab Emirates prepares for Expo 2020 and Qatar readies for the World Cup, the Middle East region is expanding with exciting construction projects. Arabian Industry reported that Expo 2020 Dubai-related construction and infrastructure spending will help the UAE economy grow by 3.8% during the next five years, according to government analysis. Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is forecasting single-digit gross domestic product growth for the UAE between 2019 and 2023 and construction will be a force for economic expansion during this period. Construction-supported economic growth is anticipated as Dubai's budget for 2019 features USD 2.5 billion (AED 9.2 billion) for infrastructure modernization.

Dubai has also been emphasizing on investments in various sectors such as economic growth, real estate, environmental avenues and public affairs. In recent times, Dubai has made major investments in real estate as well as introduced a world’s largest Solar Power Project which is all set to start by Expo 2020. Apart from pumping money, the nation is also keen on giving equal prominence to public relationships. The initiative – Dubai Happiness Agenda, has 16 programs under four themes that sum up 82 projects to be set in the city with an aim to make the city the happiest by 2020. The Dubai Expo 2020 also would see a rise in the GDP as predicted by the International Monetary Fund.

A growth in population has also resulted in a strong demand for coatings and raw materials, with a forecasted 6.16 percent growth until 2022. This should bode well for the coatings and surface preparation industry.

Yet, there are challenges. Today, a challenge for the entire industry is a potential worsening of the global economic outlook driven by trade issues, cut throat competition amongst players and wafer-thin margins. And while these challenges are the same for all players in the industry, this also creates opportunities for those who can move swiftly, be agile, with a flexible and targeted focus to what matters most: customers.

In this issue, we try and take a peep into what’s on in the UAE in preparation for these mega events. As also, our regular fare of news, views, profiles, interviews and much, much more.