Prominent international brands were showcased at the recently held 20th edition of Hardware + Tools

Prominent international brands were showcased at the recently held 20th edition of Hardware + Tools

Dubai hardware trade hits $1.24bn

China, US and Italy are among the Emirate’s top five trading partner countries as emerged at the recently held Hardware + Tools Middle East 2019

July 2019

Dubai’s hardware and tools trade was valued at $1.24 billion (Dh4.59 billion) in 2018, with China, the US, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Germany the Emirate’s top five trading partner countries of construction-related equipment and machinery for the year.

According to figures released by the Dubai Customs, Dubai imported Dh3 billion worth of hardware and tools last year, while exports and re-exports into neighbouring countries were valued at Dh1.59 billion.

China maintains its position as Dubai’s number one trading partner country for the second straight year, with hardware and tools trade between the two valued at Dh790 million last year – 17 per cent of the total figure, and a four per cent increase over the previous year.

The US was next, with Dh558 million worth of trade (12 per cent of the total figure), followed by Italy (Dh416 million), Saudi Arabia (Dh360 million), and Germany (Dh278 million).  Together, the top five countries accounted for 52 per cent (Dh2.4 billion) of all Dubai’s hardware and tools trade in 2018.

The latest figures come as thousands of regional industrial infrastructure and construction sector professionals visited Hardware + Tools Middle East 2019, which was held last month at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.  The 20th edition of the three-day event featured 140 exhibitors from nine countries.

Hardware + Tools Middle East featured 140 exhibitors from nine countries

Hardware + Tools Middle East featured 140 exhibitors from nine countries

Big brands on show included the likes of Soyer and Schunk Group from Germany and Tormek from Sweden, while local representation was strong as well,  with UAE companies such as ATAD, Middle East Fuji, Golden Tools, and Yes Machinery brought to the fore some of the most well-known international brands.

Dishan Isaac, senior show manager at Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Hardware + Tools Middle East, said the exhibition started the course for a bold new future centred around additive manufacturing for a broad range of industries: “Hardware + Tools Middle East is the perfect platform to meet new contacts, discuss trends and technological developments, and source new products and solutions,” he said.

“As is customary, we added new highlights this year, the first of which is the Additive Manufacturing Middle East Conference, a two-day programme of insightful presentations and case-studies that demonstrate how 3D printing is transforming key industries such as construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, ship building, and automotive.

“We also partnered with the Middle East Industrial Training Institute (MEITI) to introduce the Middle East’s Best Welder competition, the first of its kind in the region that invited technical professionals in steel fabrication and welding to three days of intense competition,” added Isaac.

On the first day, the Additive Manufacturing Middle East Conference gathered the foremost thought-leaders and experts in this fast-growing technology.

Headline speakers included Dr Fathi Finaish, aerospace specialist at Mubadala; Dr Bandar AlMangour, researcher, SABIC, who spoke about defining additive manufacturing for Industry 4.0; and Ahmad Rajie, senior manager of Design, Production and Innovation, at Etihad Engineering, who spoke about AM for airlines and the aviation industry.

The conference was chaired by Dr Bashar, Graduate Program Chair for the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa University. Dr Bashar spoke Dubai and the UAE’s aims to be at the forefront of 3D printing on a global scale.

“The vision of Dubai and the UAE in general is to be the hub for 3D printing in the region or even globally by 2030,” said Dr Bashar. “The Dubai Municipality regulations dictate that by 2025, 25 per cent of Dubai buildings should be 3D printed. This shows how seriously they are taking this topic. It’s a very ambitious vision, but Dubai and the UAE has always taught us that nothing is impossible here.”

Dr Bashar added 3D printing has changed the rules of design: “It has revolutionised the basic ability of designers, where they can focus on the functionality rather than following the traditional way of designing any product,” he said.  “A key point in 3D printing is waste reduction compared to subtractive manufacturing where you are removing materials and there’s a lot of waste. However, the low point is the cost of the material at this time. But at some point, the two curves will meet and we’ll have optimal cost of raw materials for 3D printing, especially for the metallic printing materials. When that happens, we’ll have a feasible manufacturing operation.”

Another speaker at the Additive Manufacturing Middle East Conference was Jaspreet Sidhu, business manager for Jumbo Electronics, who delivered a presentation about additive manufacturing challenges and solutions. Known for its Middle East consumer electronics retail business, Jumbo Electronics has also developed an enterprise division that provides 3D manufacturing solutions for B2B clients.

“We cater to the B2B service segment, so with additive manufacturing, we’re moving forward in growing into a B2B business and offering innovative solutions,” said Sidhu on the side-lines of the Additive Manufacturing Middle East Conference.

“We’ve convinced clients to manufacture at Jumbo 3D Manufacturing and we’re also supporting our Jumbo service division for spare parts requirement while integrating 3D Printing in the B2C business for Jumbo Retail.

“Our plans will be pivoted based on the market response but the direction we’re looking at is to increase adoption for polymer printing in the region.  We’re also looking forward to catering to other market demands like metal 3D manufacturing, concrete printing and offering 3D educational courses,” added Sidhu.

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