The Big 5 Show Daily – 27 November 2008
Canada is reinforcing its presence with quality products
THE Canadian participation at The Big 5 show has seen a 50 per cent increase this year, with more than 30 per cent of the 40 exhibitors making their debut at the show, according says Sanam Shahani, Canadian trade commissioner in the UAE.
This indicates that more and more Canadian companies are looking to the Middle East region to further their prospects.
“Seven provinces representing different parts of Canada have sent exhibitors to the expo. HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning), marine infrastructure, building systems, flooring chemicals and environmental products are all exhibited at the Canadian pavilion,” she says.
“Most of these companies are new and they want to make an impact in the region,” Shahani adds.
Shahani points out that Canadian companies have been doing good business in the UAE. Canada’s exports to the UAE last year were worth $1 billion. That figure would be 30 per cent more if one took into account Canada’s inputs into the UAE’s service sector, she states.
For most of the Canadian debutante to the exhibition, it has been a great eye opener. Dubai offers the best venue to tap the regional market, she says.
Endorsing her remarks, first-time exhibitor Phantom Screens says he sees a good market for retractable screens in the Middle East. David Clayton, manager of Phantom, says unlike conventional fixed screens, “Phantom screens don’t obstruct your view — they retract out of sight when you don’t need them.”
The niche products of the $20 million company have attracted quite a number of interested clients in the region, he adds.
Geometrix, a manufacturer of concrete architectural products which is also making its maiden appearance at The Big 5, says there is a tremendous market for the firm’s products in the region, where a housing boom is still on.
“We have the advantage of being able to prefabricate personalised products by using drafts that integrate the customer’s ideas and expectations,” says Rejean Deziel, general manager of Geometrix. “The concept’s flexibility allows us to design custom-made buildings of European inspiration, whether they are used for a dream house in Dubai, a luxurious condominium or a unique commercial site.”
Geometrix is keen to enter into a joint venture with a local company in the UAE for the manufacture of its products in the Gulf.
Omniglass, which is returning to the show this year, has already set up an office in Sharjah from where it is servicing the UAE market. The company, which has a showroom in Saudi Arabia and is marketed as Saudi Canadian Rigid Fibreglass (Ricaf), has featured in quite a number of projects in Saudi Arabia, says Murad Aladhami, deputy manager.
“The Sovereign FG series of windows and doors by Ricaf offers the widest selection of pultruded fibreglass in the world,” he says. Created with the optimal window material, these products have been refined over years of specialised design and incorporate advanced assembly methods, he adds.