Demand for steel products has continued to increase in 2019 across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. This is especially true of the UAE which is set to be the largest steel consumer among all the countries. According to experts, steel demand is spread across the GCC because of all the construction projects, mostly in preparation for mega events such as the World Expo 2020 in Dubai and the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
According to the World Steel Association, global steel demand increased by 2.1% in 2018 and is expected to grow a further 1.3% this year to 1.735 billion tonnes. Researchers believe steel consumption in the UAE will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% between 2016 and 2020, with plans to increase the industry’s contribution to its GDP from the current 14% to 20% by 2021.
The steel construction market in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) is expected to post a CAGR of more than 6% over the 2019-2023 period.
The Dubai Expo is generating related infrastructure projects which will consume large amounts of steel. For instance, there is set to be an extension of the Dubai Metro, connecting to the Expo 2020 site. The 15 km extension from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station will be key to serving the 25 million visitors expected to flock to the emirate during the six-month run of the global exhibition, which will open in October 2020. Work is underway on the installation of the station’s winged metal structure and more than 30% of the electromechanical works have been completed. Furthermore, the Al Maktoum Airport is also scheduled for expansion. As of end-November 2018, the UAE boasted a construction pipeline of 11,334 projects valued at US$ 272.7 billion, according to construction intelligence platform BNC Network.
This event also showcases the use of structural steel metal decks in the construction work. Composite steel decking offers a comprehensive solution for temporary and immediate construction, and can be assembled with ease. Use of steel decks reduces construction time by 50%.
This is a fruitful time for the UAE as construction projects are ramped up ahead of the massive World Expo event.
Sharif Metals Ltd (ARE), Representative of the BIR Young Traders Group