After a slump brought about by falling oil prices, economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa region is set to accelerate through 2018 following the bottoming out of oil prices in 2016.

Another indication of economic health is the rise in projects spending in the GCC in 2017, with MEED Projects projecting a best case scenario of US$151 billion, whilst the worst case is US$112 billion. The past year saw around US$100 billion in projects awarded in the GCC.

Besides, as oil prices began their upward creep, interest is already building for oil and gas investments in GCC countries, which is sure to trigger demand for tools used to fabricate products for drilling and evaluation activities, as well as sheet metal fabrication tools.

In the UAE, preparations are on to ensure a very successful World Expo 2020, with massive infrastructure spending beginning 2017, which will open the floodgates of work orders for regional fabricators.


• 47 Expo 2020 construction contracts worth US$3bn being awarded in 2017. About 1,200 contracts worth US$544m were awarded in 2016

• Multi-billion dollar Dubai Harbour, a four-year, 20 million sq ft project to create MENA’s largest marina as well as a giant lighthouse

• US$15.6 billion infrastructure spending by Kuwait

• Bahrain’s Diyar Al Muharraq, a US$2.5 billion waterfront city at Bahrain Bay comprising seven islands

• Qatar will invest up to US$13 billion in major infrastructure projects in 2017

• The UAE is set to increase share of the manufacturing sector in the country’s GDP from 14% to nearly 20% by 2021

• As part of its Energy Strategy 2050, the UAE plans to invest US$163 billion in projects to generate almost half the country’s power needs from renewables

• Led by construction & manufacturing sectors, GCC’s non-oil growth is expected to be 3% on average in 2017-2018

• With Middle East passengers projected to double by 2035, the GCC is pumping in US$100 billion in airports expansions



Known for their expertise in precision manufacturing and optimal designs, the UAE fabrication industry requires high-end machinery and equipment in order to provide on-time deliveries, and ensure quality and craftsmanship on every part.

The industry includes well established big players as well as industrial houses that have invested in fabrication facilities over time and mid and small-size fabricators who take up smaller works and sub-contract on major projects.

They are equipped with latest technology from top global manufacturers, have the best talent available in the world, and prefer to grow organically.


SteelFab features a series of special focus areas that make it the most comprehensive and dedicated show of its kind in the region. They include Wear Resistant, Welding & Cutting, Machine Tools and Tube & Pipe.