HRH Prince Khalifa and Sheikh Daij during the Premier’s visit to the Alba stall

HRH Prince Khalifa and Sheikh Daij during the Premier’s visit to the Alba stall

Diverse sectors represented at GIF

March 2015

A GAMUT of industries represented at Gulf Industry Fair (GIF) made it worthwhile for business visitors to have a go around. Manufacturers, retailers and stockists were at hand to provide answers and explanations to queries raised about products and processes. There was a variety of goods and services to excite interest with the more recent launches provoking a great deal of curiosity.
Some of the exhibitors and what they showcased have been featured here.


One of the largest stalls was set up by Bahrain’s Alba, ranked among the world’s biggest primary aluminium producers. Interested visitors could learn about its premium grade products, technological strength and innovative policies, strict environmental guidelines and high track record for safety. The company is preparing for its next big expansion – the installation of Potline 6. Alba has consistently supported GIF and was the main sponsor of the aluminium segment.

Bapco was in the news as it pitched its stall. It is building a new crude oil pipeline to Saudi Arabia and the talk was about who would be awarded the first construction contracts. The new pipeline, expected to cost $350 million, will cater to the future increase in crude oil demand post implementation of the Bapco modernisation programme. The pipeline is a key pre-requisite for Bapco’s planned Sitra refinery expansion up to 500,000 bpd capacity, estimated to cost upwards of $6 billion.

Separately, Bapco is also exploring additional gas resources to meet surging local demand.


Officials and visitors at the Bapco booth

Officials and visitors at the Bapco booth

Asry, the ship and rigs repairs specialist and a pioneer in its field in the Middle East, put its Project Jupiter in the forefront of display. Project Jupiter is an initiative aimed at making the shipyard the leader in onsite specialist contractors. It will ensure any global owners’ needs are catered for specifically and efficiently. Leading names including ABB, Solas and Seven Seas have opened new or bigger workshops at the yard, with several more on the way. By the end of Project Jupiter, Asry expects to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for owners.

It already accommodates 33 specialist contractors including leading operators such as Alfa Laval, Wartsila, Blohm+Voss, Harris PYE and Goltens and is looking forward to seeing several more global names take up a permanent and significant presence in the yard.


One of the largest companies participating in the fair was Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali (AMA). The company opined Gulf Industry Fair was “well organised.” Muein Marji, general manager of the structural and mechanical division felt it had the potential to grow even bigger. He would like to see greater participation by industries in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province and Qatar. A household name in Bahrain, AMA has set its eyes on large projects such as the Riyadh Metro. The company has accomplished many projects in both kingdoms – Bahrain and Saudi Arabia – and is currently looking for a major role in Alba’s Line 6.

“There are more fabricators than required in Bahrain. It’s good to have competition but there isn’t enough work. On the other hand, projects in Saudi Arabia are huge and can be up to 25,000 tonnes. There is investment and money there,” commented Marji.

Marji says that what differentiates AMA from its competitors is its focus on quality and delivery.
“Our line of business entails a huge amount of procedures and for that you need a qualified workforce, and we have that. If you have a highly qualified team, your mistakes will be limited. And that is what clients demand – high quality products and timely delivery.”


Visitors welcomed at the Asry pavilion

Visitors welcomed at the Asry pavilion

For one of the well-known extruders in the Gulf – Bahrain Aluminium Extrusion Company (Balexco) – GIF was another opportunity to communicate its expertise. The company caters to a wide array  of customers to meet their demand for industrial and architectural solutions. Its architectural Balexco Systems cover areas including casement, sliding, lift and slide and curtain wall. The company, which exports 75 per cent of its products, also offers thermal break profile systems. Balexco provides specialised and customised shapes, and its offerings include kitchen cabinets, air-condition grills, shop fronts and scaffolding profiles.

Its spokesman says that being an ISO 9001:2008-certified company, Balexco strives to go beyond the expectation of the customers, end users, clients and has achieved a high level of customer satisfaction.


Among the giants at GIF was Nass Corporation whose services cover the entire spectrum of the industrial sector.

One of its divisions, Nass Industrial Services (NIS), also known as Nass Mechanical Contracting (NMC), has evolved to become today one of the region’s leading electro-mechanical EPC contractors and turnkey engineering solutions providers.

One of the major projects of NIS/NMC was the piping pre-fabrication (300,000-inch dia) and supply, fabrication, erection of storage tanks for Sadara’s propylene oxide plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Nass Marine Services, Abrasive Technology Industries and Nass Commercial were the other companies that flew the Nass flag at the Northern Gulf’s premiere industrial exhibition. 


Majaal, a developer and manager of industrial facilities, operates more than $60 million worth of flexible use industrial space and has 32 tenants who fill the 400,000 sq ft of leasable area. The company says it is actively looking at raising capital to set up similar projects in Saudi Arabia and Oman, paving the way for regionalisation of the SME-oriented brand that it has so successfully instituted in Bahrain. Amin Al Arrayed, Majaal’s co-founder and managing director, says key to the company’s success has been the flexibility of its offerings. The company’s design is open span with no columns and tenants represent the sectors of banking, bakeries, industrial plants and printhouses.

Midal Cables, part of the Aluminium Village segment at GIF, occupied one of the larger stalls. The company highlighted that its production has increased from 12,000 tonnes to 300,000 tonnes over the years. Managing director Hamid Al Zayani said his company has entered into production of fused aluminium for scaling rust from steel. “A $35 million project has been set up. A second project that is upcoming is the $60 million auto parts project being undertaken with a Japanese firm.” Al Zayani added that the plant is coming up near Alba.


Pressure and temperature instruments maker Ashcroft Al Rushaid Instrument Company (Aarico) of Saudi Arabia, was a repeat exhibitor at GIF.

The company, a joint venture between Al Rushaid Petroleum Investment Company and Ashcroft Nagano Keiki, is the only manufacturer of Ashcroft pressure and temperature instruments in the Middle East.

“Ashcroft is globally the number one brand in pressure and temperature instruments while Nagano Keiki is the leading manufacturer of pressure sensors in the global business. The integration of both US and Japanese technologies has helped Aarico to firmly entrench itself in the Middle East market,” says a spokesman of the company.


Visitors interested in aluminium composite cladding panels (ACPs) had a useful time talking to representatives of Alwah Alkhaleej Factory. The plant was built in 2012 and it started production under the registered trademark Techno Bond.

“Since ACPs have a lot of uses, such as in the cladding and facades of buildings, interiors and in advertising, we decided to establish a factory to cover the growing domestic demands and neighbouring markets,” said company spokesman Adel Abdullah.

One of the main advantages of ACPs is its low cost, ease of installation and its suitability for all buildings.

Abdullah said: “Techno Bond aluminium composite panels are designed to give a commercial project the clean, innovative and dramatic appearance one expects.”


The stall of Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali

The stall of Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali

Alaa for Industry (AFI), one of the regulars at GIF, highlighted its Parker Hannifin and Enerpac products. According to Matio Morales, an AFI marketing official, Hydraulic torque ranges is the fasting selling Enerpac item, making up 60 per cent of all Enerpac sales. Other products of the brand that have done well in Saudi Arabia are flange alignment tools and the hydraulic nut splitter. Buyers of Enerpac products include Sceco and Sabic. Morales also said that Enerpac’s flange alignment tools have demand among engineering, fabrication and rigs services companies such as Schlumberger, Nabors and Arabian Drilling. The hydraulic nut splitter has customers including Schlumberger, Nabors and Arabian Drilling because, as Morales put it, “it’s a complete tool.”

The company also acquainted visitors with its manufacturing range which includes hydraulic power packs, cylinder and other hydraulic components, seals and hoses, transportation equipment, vacuum jetting tankers and super suckers, weigh bridges and rubber components.


Tebodin Middle East Ltd Bahrain, a multi-disciplinary consultancy and engineering firm, proudly showcased its design, engineering and construction supervision capabilities.

The company, part of the Netherlands-based Tebodin BV, is currently working on a first-phase EPC management contract with Mondelez for the construction of a factory at the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP) to produce biscuit brands.

“We’ve done it before for Mondelez – their first plant in Bahrain, also at BIIP,” said Abdulrahman Yaseen Abdulrahman, a Tebodin official in charge of IT and networking, Bahrain office. Mondelez’s first plant, also at BIIP, makes Kraft cheese and Tang beverage powder.

Over the years, Tebodin has been involved with projects of leading Bahrain companies including Bapco, Banagas and Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mills (Garmco).

“Bapco is our biggest and oldest client for whom we have accomplished many projects including gas and oil pipelines,” said Abdulrahman, “Projects we have executed for Bapco include a gas distribution point system and a flame facility for waste gas.

“Successful completion of projects such as those of Bapco has inspired other companies to contract us. We are currently working on a gas pipeline for Garmco.”


Majaal, one of the regular exhibitors,

Majaal, one of the regular exhibitors,

Ducab, one of the more prominent manufacturers at GIF, showcased the strength and safety of its cables and wires. The company took part through its Bahrain office and is keen on proclaiming its presence in the local market, which has seen an uptick in construction projects.

Present at the stall were Ducab’s marketing manager, Ashish Chaturvedy, and Ian Watts, project manager of Ducag-AEI Cables Ltd, UK. Watts spoke on the new Code of Practice BS 8519:2010 at a seminar alongside the exhibition. He discussed how the new code addresses the selection and installation of fire resistant power and control cable systems for life safety and fire-fighting appplications.

He offered recommendations and guidance for power and control cable systems required to maintain circuit integrity for critical applications.

Ducab has gone through a period of hectic expansion. Construction work on its sixth plant for the production of aluminium rods and conductors at the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) began weeks earlier.


Alwardi Group Bahrain showcased its capabilities and achievements in the fields of industrial transport and plant hire. In a statement prior to the exhibition, Turk Alwardi, owner and managing director of the group, stated: “Our participation at the fair will be beneficial in meeting new clients and developing business opportunities as well as providing a platform to re-enforce our business relationships with our existing customers.”

Alwardi’s fleet, around 350-strong, is exclusively used by Alba, Awal Gulf Manufacturing Company (Awalco), Midal Cables and Arabian Sugar.

The company’s fleet has expanded from 250 to 350 over the last year with plans for further expansion.


Business tips are always welcome no matter where. At GIF SysProve, a business process and strategic IT consultancy firm based in Bahrain, did just that to the appreciation of business visitors.

In the six years of its existence, SysProve has established a successful track record in assisting leading organisations, especially manufacturing companies, in the Middle East. It has worked with the public and private sector in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, healthcare, energy, banking and finance, and retail.

“Efficient processes are the core of any organisation. The quality of products and services depend on them,” said a spokesman for the company.

Process improvement offers opportunities to achieve significant changes to manufacturing and supporting processes, enabling increased efficiencies, improvement of product delivery, enhanced customer satisfaction and profitability, he said.


BIIP spells hope for Bahrain. Bahrain International Investment Park is the mechanism through which local and international companies, including manufacturers, have set up shop and are producing goods and services that bring value to Bahrain and its people. Much investment has poured in as the slickly managed operation communicates to business promoters and entrepreneurs the logic of doing business in Bahrain. One of the investors at the park is Mondelez International, which is adding a biscuit plant to its cheese and beverage facilities.

Ahmed Yousif Taqi, acting park chief, recalled BIIP’s traditional support for GIF. He said its participation at the fair serves as a support to its clients, some of whom were present as exhibitors.


The company has developed as a major player in the region’s marine industry.

“Over the years, AJS has gained the confidence and trust of many loyal clients and it can only be said that this has been mainly due to our solid infrastructure, diversification, top-quality service and dynamic and highly skilled management team,” said managing director Ali Hasan Mahmood. Despite the global crisis, the company had done well “through proper planning and hard work,” Mahmood added. The company supplies services to the offshore oil and construction industry. AJS offers time charters related to tugs, barges, supply boats, crane barges and accommodation barges, among other craft and has an inhouse fabrication yard. It also provides extensive catering services through its affiliations with Fine Foods Company and is the agent in Bahrain for Aggreko, a world leader in the rental of temporary power generation and temperature control systems.

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