Issue 11

Solb Steel

Steely Determination Amid the Construction Boom Writer: Matthew Staff Project Manager: Joshua Mann   From humble beginnings, Solb Steel is quickly emerging into a dynamic giant in the steel manufacturing industry in Saudi Arabia as it earmarks not just a consolidation, but a substantial expansion of its product range and production capacities in the near future. Based in Jazan amid one of the country’s most modern and advanced industrial zones, the Company’s range of raw steel products - incorporating steel billets, re-bars and long products - have played a vital part in not just meeting the needs of specific large-scale projects in the country, but in addressing a major national trend and extensive consumer demand. “Steel is considered as one of the major materials for infrastructural development in any country,” the Company explains. “Considering the currently ongoing construction boom in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in general, and in the southern region in particular, the Pan-Kingdom Investment Company has taken a decision to establish a regional centre for production of steel and allied products in the up-and-coming Jazan Economic City in the southern province of Jazan. “Work to create this regional centre was taken up stage-wise, against a total investment cost of approximately 10 billion Saudi riyals. Construction of the first stage started in earnest during 2009, and the Pan-Kingdom Company shall - by end of the financial year, 2011 - commission the first stage and commence supply of steel billets and constructional quality re-bars.” As part of the economic and social development programme for the country, these

Editorial Team Joshua Mann By Editorial Team Joshua Mann

Alargan International Real Estate

Affordable InnovationWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Arron Rampling ALARGAN International has found a niche in meeting an area of high demand yet with scarce supply for the past 21 years, and is as driven as ever in providing affordable housing to the Middle East and beyond in the future.Beginning in 1994 with just two members of staff, yet an ambition to bring this relatively untouched property development business model to its native Kuwait, the Company has adapted and evolved ever since to become one of the leading lights in the region but still feels there is work to be done if the sector is to truly flourish in the years to come.“Affordable housing is a very important market that we need to enhance in our territory and the Middle Eastern area,” affirms ALARGAN International’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Khaled Al-Mashaan. “Unfortunately not much attention is given to it, so it is very important that we talk about this more often and educate people so that the competition grows.“The more competition we have, the better products we will be able to come up with in the future, and then it is down to us to stand out in terms of quality and affordability.”Ongoing collaboration alongside sector professionals, business developers and even universities ensures that ALARGAN plays a central role in the future prosperity of the industry; a responsible positioning indicative of the Company’s overall philosophy.A similarly significant influence in developing Kuwait’s first Green Building Council - as well as already boasting the first LEED-approved building in the country, in the form

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Bidvest Baltics

Nothing but the Best for BidvestWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Arron Rampling Bidvest Baltics is living up to the grandeur of its brand name across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia with attentions now firmly fixed on generating a volume, footprint and capacity befitting such a reputation as well.Initially incepted as a Lithuanian-owned brand back in 1994, a series of acquisitions – firstly at the hands of the Danish Nowaco Group, and latterly by Bidvest in 2011 – has all culminated in making the business in its current guise one of the leading market players; compounded by customer and supplier relationships driven by more than 20 years of progression.For the globally-renowned Bidvest Group, the proposition was all too simple therefore, and the 2011 deal has had an immediate impact in capitalising on the food service distributor’s readymade reputation and network.“It has all been about increasing and improving the business,” states Bidvest Baltics’ Managing Director (MD), Ramunas Makutenas. “When we joined the Bidvest Group we began to invest in different facilities and trucks especially; changing our fleet completely by installing better technologies and systems in order to deliver all three categories of goods.”Incorporating frozen, chilled and ambient products, it has not just been about the standard of provision and storage either, with efficiencies dramatically enhanced over the past five years to ensure each client is receiving the best service and value possible.“From an internal perspective we have also implemented an in-house management system to reduce the amount of errors, which has been achieved very successfully,” Makutenas continues. “Further investments have been made in

Cameron Lawrence By Cameron Lawrence

The meeco Group : Clean and Green

The meeco Group continues to dedicate itself to the pursuit of a greener future through the development, engineering and distribution of clean energy solutions on a global scale.

Jordan Levey Josh Hyland By Jordan Levey Josh Hyland

Signature Snacks

Premium Snacks at Premium QualityWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Sammy Wilkinson Driven by its core values of creating high quality, value for money products of a wide variety for its customers, Signature Snacks has not let its infancy in the convenience food market affect its aspirations to become the number one brand across all categories of premium snacks.Starting the construction of its 86,000 square foot factory just three years ago, and commencing production in January, 2015, the Company has secured all the relevant approvals to successfully fuel its dream of exporting snack products to international markets, while cementing the Signature Snacks brand locally as a name known for having one of the best manufacturing facilities in Dubai.“We currently hold HACCP, ISO 22000, BRC, IFS and HALAL certifications, as well as the recent award of +A grade from Dubai Municipality for our manufacturing facilities; the same grade as some of the world’s biggest brands who have operations in the Middle East,” Mazen Nabulsi, General Manager of Signature Snacks proudly notes.After showcasing some of its new products at the recent Gulfood 2016 exhibition, the Company has big plans to utilise this exposure as a springboard to continue building awareness of its brands on an international scale and to bolster the Signature Snacks name around the world.Adding premiumWith a current premium snack range comprised of a large selection of biscuits, cookies, crackers, and wafers across 11 sub-brand categories, Signature snacks has placed emphasis on market research to ensure that the latest industry trends are continuously monitored and its products remain relevant to the

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Shirin Asal Food Industrial Group

Building its reputation for a growing range of internationally acclaimed products over the past 25 years, Iranian confectionery Group, Shirin Asal has become one of the most recognised and much-loved brands in many markets across its global distribution network.

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Signature Snacks to Showcase New Products at Africa’s Big Seven

One of the UAE’s fastest growing companies has chosen Africa's Big Seven (AB7) to launch its range of food products aiming for up to 35 new export markets.

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Adey Steel Group Celebrates New Project Wins

Leading UK steel fabrication Company, Adey Steel Group has recently been awarded contracts to provide steelwork packages for Metro bank in Wimbledon and New Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

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Appetite for Iranian Uncertainty

Both the US and the EU announced that certain economic and financial sanctions had been lifted on Iran following its completion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

SpecPage Creates Innovative Solutions for Food Safety Compliance

SpecPage, a leading provider of integrated software solutions and online catalogues for the food & beverage (F&B) industry, is just one of the attendees of this year’s Global Food Safety Conference, taking place next week.The Swiss Company is currently witnessing rapid growth from its subsidiaries in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Slovakia and the US. This year, the Company is set to expand its activities in Europe and the US, meeting the growing demand in the range of product development and quality assurance in the F&B industry.As consumer awareness is ever-increasing and regulatory authorities are enforcing more stringent regulations, F&B companies need to make sure their products meet the highest quality and safety standards at all times. SpecPage has longstanding expertise in food law including EU regulation 1169/2011 in Europe, and has created user-friendly tools for manufacturers and distributors that ensure accuracy and coherence of data throughout at all stages of product development.“Food and beverage producers face growing challenges to remain competitive. Supply chains have become more complex, regulations are changing and consumers are more concerned about nutrition and safety,” said Severin Weiss, CEO SpecPage. “We understand the specific needs in this industry and have developed easy-to-use and efficient solutions supporting product development and quality assurance.”SpecPage offers personalised online catalogues, which allow businesses of all sizes to efficiently publish, distribute and market product information through the standardised Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN).The Company’s PLM solution helps companies to manage data throughout the product lifecycle and supply chain. A central database and standardised processes ensure traceability and

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Delta Food Industries Opens New State-of-the-Art Dairy Plant

Delta Food Industries FZC, a leading food & drink manufacturing Company in the UAE, has opened a brand new dairy plant in the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) worth  Dh40 million (US$10.89 million).Shiraz Osman, Founder and chairman of Delta Food Industries, said: “In the last quarter of 2014, Delta Food industries FZC had invested AED 40 million in expansion of its new factory; a dairy plant for manufacturing evaporated milk and cream and purchased the adjacent premises and ordered machineries...The production machinery is the latest available in the industry and it is capable of producing 250,000 cartons a month of evaporated milk and cream.” “We are capitalising on the first four years of operation inside the SAIF Zone, with our latest initiative, the dairy plant, which will see the enhancement of capacities as well as the range of products,” he said.Currently, the Company is the second largest food manufacturing company in the UAE, driven by an ethos of continuous improvement and expansion.“With a versatile manufacturing unit, good team members and the active involvement of partners, Delta Food has progressed well and met expectations and visions, which has led us to our further expansion, and decision to venture into manufacturing evaporated milk and cream,” Osman said in a recent interview with EME Outlook magazine.Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, director of SAIF Zone and Hamriyah Free Zone Authority, commented: “We welcome Delta Food Industries’ new initiative. It is pleasing to see more manufacturing units flocking to SAIF Zone, which is surely a sign that we are progressing.”“I

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UK Shopping Centres Enter Age of Change

MSCI Inc.’s new study, MSCI/Colliers International UK Shopping Centres Investment Report, shows that £4.49 billion of assets changed hands in the sector during 2015, as both domestic and overseas investors targeted the sector.UK shopping centres provided investors with a total return of 10 percent in 2015, falling from the 14 percent return the previous year, and still behind the broader UK property market, which returned 13 percentJames Findlater, Head of Shopping Centre Investment, Colliers International, commented:  “Strengthening values have been the dominant component of total returns through the recovery cycle but for many secondary centres, changes to retail dynamics, poor asset selection and inadequate capital expenditure allocations mean that investment yields have failed to keep pace with the decline in income leaving some investors out of the money.“Even for top‐flight, prime, regionally‐dominant centres, the age of dramatic yield shift is coming to an end and the driver for returns will be entirely focused on income. For the UK shopping centre sector, the age of change is just beginning.”The Report analyses a sample of 213 shopping centre assets valued at around £13.5 billion.Colm Lauder, Vice President, MSCI, added: “Shopping centre prices tend to lag the general retail property market due to their significantly larger average lot sizes and the level of capital expenditure that they require.“Nonetheless, following the broader retail trend towards better quality assets, prime shopping centre rents grew through 2015 with increasing retailer confidence, and yields subsequently compressed as investors’ demand for assets grew.”The study shows that there was 0.2 percent rental growth in the

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A Can-Do Approach to Production Perfection

Delta Food Industries has only been operational for four years but has already embarked on a series of significant expansions over the course of its tenure; the latest two comprising significant openings of its new dairy plant and the subsequent unveiling of a new can manufacturing unit.Epitomising the unlimited opportunities in the Middle Eastern region for entrepreneurial thinking and proactive investment, the Company has long made a name for itself as a forward-thinking pioneer in the free zone food import market and is now making great strides to capitalise on a strong first four years of operation inside the SAIF zone.With products traditionally ranging across tomato paste, tomato ketchup and milk powder since 2011, the 9,000 square metres of space inside the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone has turned into a centre of innovation and ideas in 2015 and 2016, and has manifested in a goal of increased capacities and an enhanced products range.“In the last quarter of 2014, Delta Food industries FZC had invested AED 40 million in expansion of its new factory; a dairy plant for manufacturing evaporated milk and cream, while also purchasing the adjacent premises and facilitating it with new machinery,” says Mr. Shiraz Osman, founder and Chairman of Delta Food Industries. “The new plant will manufacture evaporated milk and cream. The production machinery is the latest available in the industry and it is capable of producing 250,000 cartons a month.”“We welcome Delta Food Industries’ new initiative,” added Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, director of SAIF Zone and Hamriyah Free Zone Authority while unveiling the new

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Qatar’s Billion-Dollar Megaprojects

In the words of the Guardian, “Qatar’s huge oil & gas reserves have, in the space of just four decades, taken it from a Persian Gulf backwater known for pearl diving and fishing, into the richest country on Earth per capita”.It should therefore come as no surprise to hear that the country’s commercial and residential property markets are thriving, with close-to $135 billion worth of contracts due to be awarded to fund Qatar’s megaprojects between 2015 and 2020. As one of the world’s richest countries, Qatar is proving itself as an extremely desirable country in which to do business, offering an abundance of opportunities for investors and developers alike; with particular emphasis falling on the glitz and glamour of the retail, hotel & hospitality and tourism sectors.Qatar is taking centre stage as investors worldwide foresee the rapid development as a strategic opportunity to capitalise on the GCC region’s aspirational growth plans and meet the requirements for the huge number of tourists and sports fans alike who will visit the country for the 2022 football World Cup.For some people, the sporting event might be their first visit to Qatar or even the region, which provides a unique opportunity for the country to attract returning visitors, for both business and pleasure.The challenges aheadFrom the QAR136.5 billion Qatar Rail roll-out to the comparatively modest QAR20 billion and QAR30 billion sums attached to Education City, Msheireb Downtown, Barwa City and the 2022 World Cup stadiums, Qatar’s megaproject list currently accounts for a major portion of the globe’s current construction pipeline.

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Debt May be Defining Issue for Saudi Arabian Economy, say Experts

Managing debt is emerging as a new issue for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), on both a national level and for the Kingdom’s enterprises and businesses, according to senior banking leaders set to attend the Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference in May.Historically, one of the key strengths of the Saudi economy has been its almost total absence of debt, with outstanding public debt sitting at below five percent of gross domestic product; one of the best ratios in the world.However, recent news reports suggest the Government is in discussions for an international loan in its first significant foreign borrowing for more than a decade. Ratings agency Standards & Poor’s estimates that the Kingdom will issue up to US$31 billion in debt in 2016, as it strives to manage the fiscal deficit caused by the fall in oil prices.Many companies are also reviewing their debt options, looking to ensure they have sufficient liquidity as the economy goes through a turbulent period. This change in direction raises challenges for the Kingdom, but also opens significant opportunities for the financial sector.“We believe we will see a sixth year of below-average global growth in 2016 as well as modest returns from risk assets in the absence of a ‘consumer of last resort’ and the waning ability of central banks to boost asset prices. As a result, investors will need to seek out extra returns through insightful investment strategies,” said Richard F. Lacaille, Global Chief Investment Officer of State Street Global Advisors.“While valuations in some emerging markets look attractive, investors will

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SpecPage to Launch Master Data Capturing Service for the F&B Industry

Specialising in the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) and providing manufacturers and distributors with personalised online catalogues for the user-friendly and efficient publication, distribution and marketing of product information through GDSN, the Company’s new on-boarding service is aimed at companies that do not have sufficient resources to capture master data and adapt them constantly to the increasing regulations and needs of their trade partners. SpecPage also offers auditing services ensuring master data is comprehensive and accurate at all times. Services include the assessment of data fields and evaluation of error protocols from trade partners.SpecPage’s solutions and online catalogues are already compliant with GDSN Major Release 3, which comes into effect in May, 2016, supporting new attributes, code values and processes. Its training and capturing services ensure F&B producers can implement the new standard seamlessly. “We have long-standing experience in the food and beverage industry and understand the growing legal challenges suppliers and distributors are facing. Our experienced team ensures that only up-to-date legal data is published through standardised pools, improving transparency and product data quality and ultimately boosting sales,” said Severin Weiss, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SpecPage.“We provide training on relevant food laws and appropriate data publication, and are now able to offer our customers enhanced services and help them to minimise costs by handling their laborious data capturing and maintenance tasks,” he added.With subsidiaries in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Slovakia and the US, the Swiss Company is rapidly growing and set to expand its activities in Europe and the US, meeting the growing demand

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Meliá Hotels Becomes First 5* International Hotel Group in Iran

Meliá Hotels International has become the first five-star branded hotel to enter the Iranian market.

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OSN and Eutelsat Partnership Sets the Stage for Ultra HD Services

OSN, the leading pay-TV provider in the Middle East and North Africa, is ramping up capacity on the powerful EUTELSAT 8 West B satellite, operated by Eutelsat Communications.

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