Frater of Spain, through its joint venture with the Dubai-based Al Rostamani Group, has recently launched new manufacturing facilities and is looking at further boosting its activites in the Middle East.

The name Frater has been associated with light fittings and control gear in the Spanish and European markets for more than 30 years. Although it has been selling its products also to clients outside Europe, and in particular in the Middle East region, the company believes the time has come to step up its presence in this area.

''This is the main reason behind the association with Al Rostamani Group, resulting in manufacturing and marketing expertise-sharing,'' says Antonio Gigirey Vieiro, commercial manager with Dubai-based Al Rostamani Technologies (ART).

Today, the brand Frater is marketed worldwide from two vantage points: Barcelona in Spain, for the European and South American regions, and Dubai in the UAE, for the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Both offices work in close co-ordination to ensure complete satisfaction of customers, he says.

Frater's facilities in Dubai and Spain produce a range of fluorescent battens, weatherproof fittings, 60x60 luminaires, downlights and other light fittings, as well as control gear (ballasts for fluorescent lamps, mercury vapour lamps, high-pressure sodium vapour lamps and metal halide lamps).

The company has recently started manufacturing from its new purpose-built facility in Al Quoz area.

''ART's factory-cum-warehouse has the highest capacity for the assembly and production of light fittings in the UAE,' he says.

Frater says it exerts every effort to ensure that its products comply with the safety and energy efficiency parameters laid out by the European Standards, and is also ready to fully comply with the more stringent EU directives due next year to regulate matters like energy losses.

Turning to Frater Rostamani's sophisticated production process, Vieiro says: ''Frater ballasts and battens reduce electricity losses (and, therefore, electricity bills) while the vacuum impregnation process applied in Frater ballasts production allows a better dissipation of heat and increases the life of ballasts and lamps.

The materials used in the production are carefully chosen to ensure not only the best possible performance, but also the highest safety levels through the use of flame-retardant and heat-resistant components. Likewise, the raw materials used in the manufacturing of our battens are sourced out and checked by our production engineers following recognised International Standards.

''In fact, quality is checked through all stages of our automated production lines so that our products come out fully tested on every parameter of performance and safety. Automated monitorisation at every step of the production process ensures the reliable quality and efficiency of Frater products.

'''Our quality drive stems also from the fact that Al Rostamani Group is an active member of the Dubai Quality Group. This is an essential part of the strategical choice for quality made by the Government of Dubai, which aims to constantly improve systems, products and practices in the Emirate.''

'Taking advantage of our offices and warehouse facilities in Dubai, we offer our clients the possibility of ordering pallets or even boxes of battens,'' he continues. ''Furthermore, our prices are adjusted depending on the volumes ordered. Our continuous strive to keep our costs down enables us to offer very attractive prices to the end-user.

'In addition, our office in Dubai has the staff and capabilities to submit complete packages for lighting projects. Through our relationships with different manufacturers in Europe, Australia and the US, we are able to offer products incorporating the latest technologies, like fibre optic or cold cathode systems, apart from the whole range of the more traditional lighting systems.''

'Frater Al Rostamani employs more than 50 people today and is ready to expand its activities to meet the requirements of the market. Our aim is to make sure that the quality-conscious buyer gets the best possible product at the best possible price,'' he says.