Two days of informative presentations and calls to action have come to a close at the Middle East & North Africa Industrial Gas Conference 2013 in Dubai, UAE.
With an exhibition hall of over 40 booths, a panel of both ‘local’ and international speakers, and a diverse and compelling agenda throughout, the conference was firmly an event not to be missed.
Held at the prestigious Jumeirah Beach Hotel in the heart of Dubai, the conference united industry professionals from across the globe to tackle the current and future dynamics in the MENA gases industry.
With its striking wave-like design, the five-star resort is one of Dubai’s most instantly recognisable structures and perhaps provided a fitting venue for the conference, given the next wave of economic and industrial growth that is building in the region.
This was a central tenet throughout the conference, which came at a crucial time in the MENA.
Economic modernisation is driving growth for the gases industry in the region, as manufacturing capabilities expand and downstream integration continues. At the same time, the region is still in the midst of considerable political and civil change, with the well-documented Arab Spring providing one of the biggest challenges for those operating in this market.
“It’s a modest slice of the cake, but a slice that we anticipate to grow, with a lot of upsides and latent potential in this market…”
All of which was reflected in the event’s agenda, covering a broad range of topics including bulk liquid distribution, specialty gases, the automation megatrend, argon recovery, CO2 and desalination, safety and enhanced oil recovery (EOR).
Presentations, Q&A sessions and a panel discussion tackled the many-splintered theme of Driving Success in a Changing Market.
Keynote speakers included Joannes Mongardini (Qatar National Bank), Bernardo Sestini (SIAD), Marcus Jakt (gasworld Business Intelligence), Steven Firth (Servomex), Iyad Sawalha (Air Products), Khalid Shaikh (Abdullah Hashim Gases), Ralf Gubler (IHS Chemical), Alessandro Gorla (Linde), and Prakash Loungani (IMF) among many others.
Despite political unrest, the Middle East and North African industrial gas industry is booming and has been continuing to do so with the ongoing change throughout the region.
Jakt picked up on this trend as he explained that the Middle East’s modest slice of the global industrial gas market ‘cake’ is only set to grow further and reflected on the ‘latent potential’.
He explained, “The industrial gases market was valued at $74.1bn in 2012, with the Middle East representing 3% of that market – and growing. It’s a modest slice of the cake, but a slice that we anticipate to grow, with a lot of upsides and latent potential in this market.”
Likewise on day two of the conference Schilltron’s Logie Mackay underscored the strong potential in the North African gases industry, citing a relatively under-developed tonnage business, much of which remains captive, and a mixed picture in terms of demand drivers as just two of the factors for growth in the ‘vitally important’ region.
Scientific and Technical Gases’ Chris Street was among those lauding the potential of the specialty gases business in the region, while there was also time for an African-Middle East exclusive – with Cryogas Express (Pty) Ltd Managing Director Graham Hunter revealing on stage that the southern African company had just entered into a venture in the GCC.
More than 250 delegates from over 25 countries gathered at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai for the event, which marked gasworld’s third conference in the Emirate and its fourth event in the region overall.
A full review of the MENA Industrial Gas Conference 2013 and all of the event’s key talking points will be published in the January issue of gasworld magazine.
Alternatively, gasworld subscribers can follow the links below to read the Live Update feeds from the event as it happened.