Now the largest trade show for the metalworking industry in the Middle East, SteelFab is regarded by market players as the premier purchasing platform. The event attracts visitors from the Middle East and North Africa. In mid-January, some 290 exhibitors from 21 countries presented themselves to almost 7,000 visitors from 69 countries at the Emirate of Sharjah’s Expo Center.
MÜLLER OPLADEN Sales Director Jan Sulimma gives a positive assessment.
Why was SteelFab a big success again for MÜLLER OPLADEN?
Sulimma: “We already have an excellent reputation in the United Arab Emirates. The big names like Larssen & Toubro, Saipem, Lamprell, Eversendai, Unger Steel, NPCC etc. are familiar with us and use our machines. So we were able to hold a lot of promising meetings at the show.”
What is MÜLLER OPLADEN up to in this region?
Sulimma: “We have been active in the UAE region for years through our prestigious partner German Gulf Enterprises. This company with its German roots is known for its highly efficient local service, which also benefits our machines. Our customers in the region thus receive comprehensive support.”
What’s your assessment of the UAE market?
Sulimma: “The UAE is one of the core markets in the Gulf region. For MÜLLER OPLADEN, the Middle East is the most important market after America and Europe. Here we have currently supplied several pipe profile cutting machines. The oil & gas industries in particular require modern, efficient pipe processing machines of the kind we produce.”
What do visitors to the show say about the situation in the region?
Sulimma: “The entire market is naturally suffering from the current political tensions in the Middle East concerning Iran. The show was therefore probably not as lively as during the periods of economic boom, but there is still a sense of cautious optimism for the year 2020.”
What projects does MÜLLER OPLADEN currently have in the UAE?
Sulimma: “We are currently delivering two large machines to one of the prime movers, the National Petroleum Construction Company or NPCC in Abu Dhabi. Machines of ours from the 70s that are over 40 years old are still in operation and in production there. The two new machines are so-called rollerbed machines, which without a chuck generate the pipe rotation with the rollers carrying the pipe. This permits cutting without the loss of pipe off-cuts and faster, easier loading and unloading.”