Constructsteel Conference held last month.

Constructsteel Conference held last month.

Constructsteel makes debut in Mideast

July 2019

The contribution of the steel and construction industries to long-term economic growth and diversification was in the spotlight at Constructsteel Conference 2019 held in the UAE last month.

It was the first time the conference was held in the Middle East, bringing together 100 international companies and organisations at the Jumeirah Mina A’Salam Hotel in Dubai on June 18. The event was sponsored by Emirates Steel and organised by the World Steel Association (worldsteel).

Held under the theme of ‘The Future of Steel Construction 2030’, the conference discussed the future of market segments, disruptors in the construction industry, as well as the steel and construction industries’ continued potential to power sustainable development, long-term economic diversification and innovation in smart technology.

According to Dr Matar Hamed Al Neyadi, undersecretary in the Ministry of Energy and Industry UAE, the steel and construction industries in the UAE have matured as evident by the incredible projects and mega-structures completed. This maturation, he says, presents a host of new opportunities for both sectors – including increasing international exports, enhancing sustainable manufacturing and construction, and developing innovative smart technologies – that will positively impact the steel and construction sectors.

“By investing in sustainable practices and innovative smart technology, the steel and construction industries will be able to maintain their historic momentum by offering unique products, services and solutions that will enable sustainable construction and the development of smart cities,” he says.

According to Eng Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, CEO of Emirates Steel, strong global population growth, increasing urbanisation and the continued development of megacities will continue to support the future growth of the steel and construction industries, despite pockets of declining demand currently being witnessed within certain markets.

The global steel demand will reach 1,735 million tonnes (MT) in 2019, an increase of 1.3 per cent over 2018. In 2020, it forecasts global steel demand growing by 0.9 per cent to reach 1,752 MT, according to a report by worldsteel.

Al Remeithi says steel demand in the Middle East region is expected to contract by 2.6 per cent to 48.9 MT in 2019, with a minor recovery forecast in 2020 with demand expected to reach 49.5 MT – a growth of 1.2 per cent.

“Economic diversification efforts in the GCC continue but fiscal consolidation is still suppressing construction activities; however, in North Africa the situation looks brighter with Egypt recovering strongly after the structural reforms of 2017,” he says.

Al Remeithi says the steel and construction industries will play a critical role in the ongoing global decarbonization effort in enabling the emissions reductions outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Dr Edwin Basson, director general of the worldsteel, also addressed the conference.

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