Bahrain's Prime Minister HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa visits a stall at the 2014 GIF.

Bahrain's Prime Minister HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa visits a stall at the 2014 GIF.

A showcase for region’s industry

01 January 2015

THE Arabian Gulf, scene of hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of investments in industrial and infrastructure fields, is attracting the attention of  international manufacturing firms, trading houses, contractors and end-users who are keen they do not miss out on opportunities to take a slice of the pie. The Northern Gulf’s premier trade event, Gulf Industry Fair, taking place next month should serve as a platform for vendors and buyers and as a showpiece of innovations, new products and tried and tested solutions.

The Gulf is increasingly gaining ground as a venue for sophisticated manufacturing and a market for world-class products. Advances made in the industries of metals, ceramics, food products, aviation spare parts, industrial free zones, energy and logistics have spurred trade and commerce, putting the region in the crossroads of global business. New investments worth many billions of dollars will reinforce a regional industrial base which, according to the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC), more than doubled in investment value from 2009 to reach almost $369 billion by 2013.

GOIC points out that the number of GCC factories grew 4.8 per cent, and the number of factory workers 7.5 per cent in the same period.

Gulf Industry Fair takes place within the context of greater industrialisation and greater consumerism in the region. Organised by Hilal Conferences and Exhibition (HCE), it will be held from February 3 to 5 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre under the patronage of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.

Host Bahrain is stepping up industrial activities and already houses top manufacturers such as Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), which is embarking on its Line 6 expansion that will cost $2.5 billion but enlarge capacity by some 400,000 tonnes annually, Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill, Midal Cables, Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company and Bahrain Steel to name only a few. Under Bapco, Bahrain has intensified its refining activities in recent years and is currently implementing a multi-billion-dollar refinery modernisation programme. Bahrain is also home to Asry, the leading ship and rig repair yard of the Middle East.

Scenes (above and below) at the fair in 2014

Scenes (above and below) at the fair in 2014

Bahrain is also seen as a springboard for supplies to the large Saudi market across the King Fahd Causeway, which itself is in the process of a major expansion to facilitate greater industrial and tourism traffic. A railway link will bring the two Gulf neighbours even closer. How important Bahrain’s links with Saudi Arabia are can be gauged from the fact that the Saudi Eastern Province alone accounts for than 50 per cent of all industrial investments in the GCC.

According to Bahrain’s Economic Development Board, manufacturing currently accounts for 16.7 per cent of national GDP, with plans to increase that contribution to 20 per cent within a decade.

As a key trade event in the country, Gulf Industry Fair has drawn support and sponsorship from leading players there. Alba will again sponsor the Aluminium Village segment, Bapco will support the Energy and Environmental Protection segment and Majaal, a developer and operator of industrial facilities primarily for small and medium enterprises, will again be the principal sponsor of the Logistics and Industrial Facilities segment, where it will not only showcase the successes of its business model but also demonstrate Bahrain’s strong credentials as an investment destination.

Also partnering in the event are Asry, sponsor of the Ports and Maritime segment, and Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali, who will sponsor the Industrial Processes and Manufacturing segment.

Taking part in Gulf Industry Fair 2015 is Ducab, a leading provider of cables and wire solutions and the first choice of many prestigious clients and contractors. The company is jointly owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai and Senaat (General Holding Company, Abu Dhabi).

For several large and not-so-large manufacturers, Gulf Industry Fair is a welcome platform to highlight their offerings. Midal, for example, supplies the world market with rod cast from the molten aluminium delivered directly from Alba. The Alba input enables Midal to cast rod and further produce wires of exceptionally high conductivity in various grades.


Bahrain Aluminium Extrusion Company is upbeat about its new luxury system which it says has received a good response from Kuwait and Qatar as well as the home market. The Balexco Luxury System is a lift and slide thermal break system with good thermal insulation and is considered “top of the line” in the company’s high value products. Other systems the company offers include Balexco 60 curtain wall, the 45/45i casement series and the 100 sliding series. Balexco plans to introduce a unitised curtain wall system since currently it has a stick system which caters to a height of about 80 m. The new system will be applicable to a height of about 150 m.

Eastern Asphalt and Mixed Concrete Company (Eamco) is seeking new frontiers to explore and develop. Eamco’s flagship division, Eastern Asphalt, has been involved in major roads construction all over Bahrain. Another division Eastern Ready Mix, has consistently produced high-quality mixed concrete and has been a major contributor to infrastructural and housing projects in Bahrain.

Al Dhaen Contracting and Trading has been nominated as a new Hardox Wearparts member by Swedish steelmaker SSAB. Established in 1991, Al Dhaen’s trading and manufacturing activities cover mechanical fabrication, erection and value-added engineering services to various process industries and various other commercial industries.

Taking part in Gulf Industry Fair is The Specific Council for Vocational Training in Industry.

The council comprises a number of employers, specialists and stakeholders. A non-profit organisation, it provides professional training and development services. The council has contributed to meeting the requirements of its member companies for Bahraini skilled technicians and administrators in line with the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 which was initiated by His Majesty King Hamad.

Through the joint efforts of its staff members and officials, the council endeavours to attain its overall and ultimate objective of a bright Bahraini future.

A feature of Gulf Industry Fair is The Comgroup Training4Life workshops, organised by Medpoint Design and Events Management in association with Lead Academy.  The workshops are tailored exclusively to individuals working in the kingdom’s industrial sectors, offering expert insight and live practical experience in disciplines such as behavioural safety, while exploring ways to enhance productivity and innovation.

Additionally, the Training4Life workshops will feature sector-specific sessions run by Ducab (Dubai Cables), Alba and Bapco.

HCE also plans to build on the overwhelming success of the Virtual Exhibition experience launched at GIF 2014. The virtual exhibition – available at www.gulfindustryfair.com or www.gulfindustryonline.com – prolongs exhibitor exposure long after the three-day show has concluded to a global online community.

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