Visitors browsing through stalls at a previous edition.

Visitors browsing through stalls at a previous edition.

Fabrication show grows on demand

January 2016

An upcoming trade event for the steel fabrication and metal working industry is looking at leveraging the rising demand from core sectors of the industry in the UAE and the region.

With the surge in demand for steel fabrication services, the 12th SteelFab 2016, which is scheduled to be held at Expo Centre Sharjah this month (January 17 to 20), is set to become the best sourcing as well as a gathering point for fabrication units from across the region and beyond, according to the organiser.

Experts point out that UAE’s prudent economic policies aimed at increasing diversification have resulted in key sectors like construction, manufacturing, infrastructure, oil and gas and pipelines maintaining positive growth levels despite a decline in oil prices.

This has rubbed off positively on the regional steel fabrication industry, which is now looking at acquiring cutting-edge equipment, advanced technologies, new products and applications for all their metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing needs.

“The low oil prices notwithstanding, GCC countries are spending a record amount on infrastructure and capital projects planned and under way in 2015. The core sectors, which are direct beneficiaries of this diversification push, are expanding fast with new projects, expansions and investments,” said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah, emphasising that the main demand drivers are on a strong footing.


Confirming the success of the government’s diversification programmes, the non-oil sector’s contribution to the UAE’s gross domestic product now stands at 69 per cent, leaving only about a third to the oil sector.

The study also said the construction sector is also growing with the total value of contracts in 2015 standing at $194 billion. The pipelines industry is expanding fast, with around $18 billion investments being pumped into the sector over the next four years.

This bodes well for the steel fabrication industry, with the GCC also expected to add more than 21,000 km to its current pipeline network over the next five years, which is about 14 per cent of the global planned pipeline network of 161,000 km.

“The requirements are going to be quite varied from different sectors, and the special focus areas, pavilions and other segments at SteelFab will help the industry in zeroing in on the right equipment and technology they need quite easily,” said Al Midfa.

Aimed at catering to these rising requirements, SteelFab 2016 will also expand in a big way. One of the major additions to the show will be a new vertical – Fasteners World Middle East, which will be a dedicated trade fair for the fastener and fixing industry.

The show will see two new special focus areas – Stainless Steel and Wear-Resistant and Hard Facing Cladding – joining Welding and Cutting, Machine Tools and Pipe and Tube Machinery, along with three new  special segments  – Steel Technology, Fabricators Pavilion and Steel Showcase.

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