UAE leads latest surge in regional mega projects as Middle East Stone spotlights region’s massive appetite for natural stone, marble, ceramics … reports Asian Lite News.
Dubai will become a multi-billion dollar magnet for stone trade suppliers from around the globe next month as massive urban growth and infrastructure development continues to make the Middle East one of the world’s highest spending construction markets.
According to market analysts BNC, a raft of new mega projects valued at US$29.19 billion were launched in the Middle East and North Africa’s residential, hospitality, retail, healthcare and commercial sectors over the last 12 months.
“Over the next two years, demand for natural stone materials will continue to be driven by projects surrounding Expo 2020. Following this, we see mega projects such as Saudi Arabia’s Neom as well as a slew of other social infrastructure developments in the Kingdom as major drivers,” said Avin Gidwani, CEO of BNC.
Leading the way was the UAE with projects worth US$11.57 billion followed by Iraq (US$10 billion), Saudi Arabia US$3.66 billion), Jordan (US$3 billion), Kuwait (US$1.3 billion), Oman (US$100 million) and Qatar (US$50 million).
These added to an estimated total of more than 20,800 other projects which were already active in the region, underlining the growing importance of Dubai’s annual platform for the natural stone, marble and ceramics industry.
Taking place from 4-6 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the fourth edition of Middle East Stone will connect more than 400 suppliers, manufacturers and distributors with thousands of decision-makers from the region’s US$5 billion-a-year stone procurement market.
“The huge level of urban growth and infrastructure development we are witnessing in the Middle East makes this market an enormously lucrative one for stone suppliers globally. The GCC alone accounts for 20% of the global stone market, creating a regional market worth an estimated US$5 billion-a-year which is expected to create a demand for 19.6 billion metric tons of stone by 2020,” said Yan Wang, event director for Middle East Stone.
Urban construction, which is at the heart of residential, commercial, hospitality and infrastructural developments, accounts for 80% of all stone usage across the Middle East.
Among the new mega projects announced over the last 12 months highlighting the region’s insatiable appetite for natural stone, marble and ceramics were the US$6.8 billion mixed use development, District Seven, at Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, Jordan’s US$3 billion new Amman capital city, and the US$2 billion first phase of the New Jeddah Downtown project to regenerate Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.
Running simultaneously with Middle East Stone, the Stone Conference will bring together leading architectural companies, interior design firms, general contractors and project management consultancies will have the opportunity to demonstrate their use of natural stone, marble and ceramics in a programme of workshops chaired by Chuck Muehlbauer, Technical Director at the Natural Stone Institute.
The CPD-accredited workshops and sessions make up a large part of the Stone Conference, allowing professionals to share their expertise on a platform dedicated to knowledge-sharing.
Middle East Stone is sponsored by Sun Italia and Arwani, and supported by the Natural Stone Institute, Assimagra, Confindustria Marmomacchine, Enterprise Greece, Brasil Original Stones, Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Abirochas, Republic of Turkey Ministry of Economy, UAE Contractors’ Association and Developers & Builders Alliance.