The Big 5

RAK Ceramics’ stand at last year’s event.

RAK Ceramics’ stand at last year’s event.

Innovation on display

October 2014

RAK Ceramics, considered to be the world’s largest ceramics manufacturer, will be introducing new products that replicate popular building materials to the Gulf market at The Big 5 show next month.

The UAE-based company will showcase new additions to it s Wood Art, Cement, Stone and Metallic collections as a part of its promotion of eco-friendly tiles and contribution to sustainable construction.

In addition, the firm will be showcasing tiles in unique sizes such as 20 cm by 60 cm and 33 cm by 45 cm, alongside its Gres Porcellanato and ceramics tiles, bathware as well Kludi RAK faucets.

“As a regular participant at The Big 5, RAK Ceramics will continue its tradition of bringing new, innovative products to the show,” says Abdallah Massaad, CEO of RAK Ceramics.

“The Big 5 is an important exhibition in the UAE to reaffirm brand status, showcase new products, scout for new market trends and take advantage of the networking opportunity offered to tap new markets and build a rapport with new distributors. It provides an unrivalled opportunity for architects, engineers, contractors and developers to network and also teams eager buyers with key suppliers. Besides, we also get to see advanced concepts in the field of construction and building,” he says.

The show provides its customers with the opportunity to view its products and find out about their various applications and advantages, Massaad adds.

Established in June 1991 in Ras Al Khaimah, RAK Ceramics is a $1-billion global conglomerate that supplies to more than 160 countries and has been officially recognised as the world’s largest ceramics manufacturer with a global annual production output of 117 million sq m of tiles, 4.6 million pieces of bathware and 24 million pieces of tableware. The company offers a comprehensive product portfolio comprising over 8,000 designs in ceramic tiles, Gres Porcellanato, and several models in bathware.

Tiles are manufactured in a variety of sizes ranging from 10 cm by 10 cm up to 125 cm by 185 cm – the widest range offered in the ceramic field, Massaad claims.

RAK Ceramics offers a complete solution with its diversification into tile adhesives and grouts in a joint venture with Laticrete International, US, to form Laticrete RAK; an eco-friendly range of taps, faucets and other accessories for sanitary ware products under the brand name Kludi RAK in a joint venture with German-based Kludi; eco-friendly paints under the RAK Paint brand; and RAK Porcelain tableware range of products, which is targeted at the high-end hospitality industry.

All these subsidiaries contribute to RAK Ceramics’ brand by offering complete value-added service to clients, he says.

Over the years, the company has been associated with numerous high-profile projects around the world. Some of these include: Emirates Housing Community Complex in Al Ain, comprising 5,000 villas (where 300,000 sq m of tiles have been supplied), Dragon Mart expansion in Dubai (100,000 sq m), and Abu Dhabi Airport, Midfield Terminal (50,000 sq m), all in the UAE; King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah (200,000 sq m), 1,000 villas in Hail for the Ministry of Education (200,000 sq m), Kinan housing projects in Riyadh and Jeddah (250,000 sq m) and Jabal Omar Development Project, Phase Two, in Makkah (100,000 sq m), all in Saudi Arabia; and Barwa Al Khor housing project in Doha in Qatar (125,000 sq m).

The company employs 7,000 staff in the UAE and 14,000 people worldwide, with offices in the region located in Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Some of the recent developments within the company include the implementation of a SAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) system at its UAE facilities to improve transparency, efficiency and productivity with solutions rolled out across all 12 manufacturing plants, 15 warehouses, six showrooms and administration offices in the UAE.

“Moving ahead, we will be integrating the ERP system with local joint ventures RAK Porcelain and Kludi RAK roll-outs and RAK Ceramics’ overseas plants roll-outs in Bangladesh, China and India,” says Massaad.

Commenting on the market and the company’s plans for the future, he says: “Business has picked up strongly as the sentiments are positive on account of the real estate and construction sectors gaining momentum in last the 12 months. RAK Ceramics’ retail segment has been steadily growing.

“We are looking to expand our product range as well as our global reach. We are also looking to tap new markets, eyeing areas where tiles are not traditionally sold.

“With regards to local expansion, we recently opened new additional showrooms in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah and now we have 10 retail showrooms across the UAE.

“We are expanding our sanitary ware production in India and Bangladesh in 2014 by doubling our capacity in these countries. The year is looking positive and with Dubai’s recent successful bid for the Expo 2020, it augurs well for the future of the construction and real estate industry in the region. Hopefully the global economy improves further,” he adds.

The company will be exhibiting at Stand A181 Rashid Hall at The Big 5.

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