- Abdallah Massaad, CEO, RAK Ceramics
RAK Ceramics is around $1 billion global conglomerate that supplies to over 160 countries. The company has been officially recognised as the world´s largest ceramics manufacturer with a global annual production output of 117 million sq m of ceramic and porcelain tiles, 4.6 million pieces of bathware and 24 million pieces of tableware. The Ras Al Khaimah-based public-listed company was established in 1991 by HH Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and UAE´s Supreme Council Member who had the vision of making the company a world-class organisation and HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah and the Chairman of RAK Ceramics has been directing the company towards global competitiveness. Abdallah Massaad, CEO, RAK Ceramics speaks on the company´s plans for The Big 5 mega event scheduled to be held in the region soon.
What are your expectations from The Big 5 Dubai event, this year?
The Big 5 is an important exhibition in the UAE, which contributes to the market and spurs development in the region. Hence, we are sure that we will receive a greater response from our clients and visitors at this year´s event than the previous years.
Which are the products that you plan to launch at the event?
At the exhibition, RAK Ceramics will be unveiling the Maximus Mega Slab Gres Porcellanato tile with majestic dimensions of 1.5 m x 3 m for the gulf market. Our company is the first in the region to produce such large format tiles. RAK will also be introducing new products for the Gulf market such as additions to its wood art collection, stone collection, cement collection and metallic collection. Through this collection, we want to promote eco-friendly tiles and contribute to a sustainable construction. Additionally, the company will be showcasing tiles in unique sizes such as 20 cm x 60 cm and 30 cm x 100 cm.
Also, what are your strategies to generate sales from an event of this nature?
This year, we have allotted a separate space within our stand called ´Architect´s Delight´ specifically for the B2B segment where tiles such as Surface, Lounge and Indus will be showcased. These tiles are available in a wide range of colours, sizes and finishes, thus making them an absolute delight for architects and interior designers.
Who will your target buyers be at the event?
The exhibition brings together architects, civil engineers, interior designers, contractors and developers - these are our target buyers. The four days of networking provides ample opportunities to network, identify and also source the latest products and services in the industry.
What are the factors that compelled you to participate in the event this year? RAK Ceramics is a regular participant at The Big 5 expo. The event is an important exhibition in the UAE, which reaffirms the status of the brand.
It is also a platform that showcases a new range of products and takes advantage of the networking opportunity offered by The Big 5 to scout for new market trends. The event provides immense networking opportunities to tap new markets and build a good rapport with new distributors. Our participation last year was a successful brand positioning exercise that complemented our international expansion strategy perfectly.
How do you view the current market for the building and construction sectors in the GCC?
The GCC construction market is set for rapid growth due to the stable economies, heavy government investments and diversified market drivers. Business has picked up strongly as the sentiments are positive on account of real estate and construction sectors gaining momentum in the last couple of months. The year 2014 has been positive so far and with the recent successful bid for Dubai´s Expo 2020, the region augurs well for the future of the construction and real estate industry in the region. Prospects for the construction industry in the GCC look strong, primarily with Saudi Arabia and Qatar leading from the front. This, along with the development of other GCC countries, looks comparatively positive and sturdy in future. That said, we are looking to expand our product range as well as global reach. The company is also looking to tap new markets and eyeing areas where tiles are not traditionally sold.