16th Arab - International Cement Conference and Exhibition
The 16th Arab - International Cement Conference and Exhibition was held at Ras Al Khaimah Exhibition Centre, UAE. The exhibition was held from 6-8th December 2010. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, inaugurated the the event which was organised by the Arab Union for Cement and Building Materials (AUCBM).
The three day conference was attended by 800 delegates from 355 companies across 27 countries. The conference focused on ways to achieve sustainable development in the cement industry on the backdrop of the current global economic scenario and showcased the latest technological developments in the cement industry. The event reflected the spirit of cooperation between the Arab countries and the rest of the world and provided an ideal opportunity to interact with manufacturers, suppliers and other industry players to exchange their expertise and explore new business opportunities in the sector for the Middle East Region.
Prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabir, Chairman of the Arab Union
for Cement and Building Materials, said that cement sector in the Arab world has witnessed huge capacity additions in the recent years with the total installed capacity touching 222 million tonne per year from the168 cement factories in the Arab region. He noted that the region would see many new capacities coming on-stream in the next five years taking the total production capacity to around 310 million tonne. Prince Sultan added that the huge capacity additions could pose certain challenges to the cement industry in the near future due to the gap in production and demand.
Waleed Al Arabi, representative of the Secretary General of the Arab League, said that the cement industry in the Arab world has grown to become an important segment of the economy as well as a substantial employment provider in the region. He said that the dramatic expansion in the cement production capacity in the region has been fuelled by the regional construction boom with construction sector investments climbing from $55 billion in 2006 to $91 billion in 2009. He added that it was imperative that the cement industry take the lead in achieving compliance to the highest environmental standards by reducing emissions and called for increased cooperation between the AUCBM and the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment to make the sector more environment-friendly. The industry was optimistic about the cement industry and expects that FIFA World Cup by in 2022 will shore up the industry as it would see huge infrastructure spending estimated to be around $60-70 billion in the next 12 years.