As the downturn deepens and financial trauma affects industry, encouraging news for the gases industry emerges from the Middle East, where the manufacturing sector is positively thriving.

Industrial capital in UAE manufacturing exceeds $20bn while the manufacturing investment in Dubai swells to $4.6bn, showing the contribution to UAE GDP is second only to oil & gas.

According to a report from The Khaleej Times, the UAE is investing heavily in its industrial manufacturing sector.

This is said to be stimulated by the need to diversify the economy and booming economic growth, which is fuelling demand for finished products and materials according to official figures released by the Ministry of Finance and Industry.

Manufacturing is seen as a key end-use industry for the industrial gases business, serving as a strong growth driver for gas demand around the world. Figures from leading independent industrial gas consultancy Spiritus Consulting suggest a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% for the period 2006-2011, as an end-use segment for the global gases industry.

Middle East manufacturing boom
The Middle East Manufacturing Exhibition (MEMEX) takes place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) on November 23rd -25th and will provide a platform for regional manufacturers to meet local, regional and international suppliers.

It will also highlight just how this sector is so strongly performing. Tim Wilson, Exhibition Manager for MEMEX, is quoted as saying, “These figures represent massive commitment to the manufacturing sector. This new wave of manufacturers are catering for the ‘new economy’ providing machinery and tools for industries related to construction, shipbuilding, infrastructure, power generation and even retail.”

“The traditional oil and gas and associated downstream industries are still vitally important to the regional economy but it is the success of diversification that is driving the non-oil growth.”

Gases are used in the very fabric of the manufacturing industry and any growth is likely to spur industrial gas demand of some shape or variety. Estimated to have accounted for around $18bn of revenues for the gases industry in 2008, the manufacturing industry is anticipated to show a 7.7% rate of growth for the period 2006-2011 (Spiritus).

With the manufacturing industry in the Middle East thriving so, it’s not inconceivable to suggest this will be a strong growth driver for gases in the future.

Understand more about the Middle East gases market, with an in-depth analysis in the forthcoming December issue of gasworld magazine, Issue 43.