It’ll fit, but to what purpose?

The staggering construction growth in the region is having a knock-on effect on supporting industries and product manufacturers are struggling to keep pace with demands. Add to this the rising costs of raw materials, plus client and programme pressures and a danger arises that fit-for-purpose products may be installed over those specified, creating safety and quality issues.

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By  Alison Luke Published  August 10, 2006

|~||~||~|The staggering construction growth in the region is having a knock-on effect on supporting industries and product manufacturers are struggling to keep pace with demands.

Add to this the rising costs of raw materials, plus client and programme pressures and a danger arises that fit-for-purpose products may be installed over those specified, creating safety and quality issues.

As our feature on cables reveals, this industry is currently being hit by a three-pronged demand on supplies, with growth in utilities providers and the oil and gas sectors adding to the pressure from construction projects. Local manufacturers are increasing production capacity, but are being pushed to their limits.

There are positive signs for the future availability of supplies, with overseas firms beginning to react to the opportunities created by this demand. One of the most recent players to enter the market is Italian cable giant Aristoncavi, which has set up operations in the Jebel Ali Free Zone.

Egyptian firm El Sewedy is also committing to the region, investing heavily in a new power cable plant under a memorandum of understanding with Saudi-based Al Raghy Group’s subsidiary Saudi Mada Co for Industrial and Commercial Investments. These moves should all help in the medium to long-term.

Some relief for the market in the short-term is coming from existing manufacturers who are making moves to counteract the soaring costs of metals, with changes including a concentration of efforts on fibre-optic rather than copper cabling.

But in the current climate, to ensure installations are completed with products that meet the safety and quality standards originally specified, long lead-in times may be the safest option. As the cabling industry itself is reporting, fit-for-purpose products can cause construction downtime and even higher costs.
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