NERVES OF STEEL

Sharjah 2015 | ENERGY & INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Eng. Marwan Orabi, General Manager of Metallic Equipment Co. L.L.C, on two decades at the helm of the company, and the benefits of being based in Sharjah.

Eng. Marwan Orabi
BIOGRAPHY
Eng. Marwan Orabi, General Manager of the Metallic Equipment Co. L.L.C, is responsible for the entire operations of MEC Sharjah. He is an Engineer by profession, having graduated in 1986 from Damascus University, Syria, and has 30 years of experience in different fields. MEC is well known as one of the leading global business organizations in the field of architectural interior works that focuses on latest innovations. His contribution to achieving the highest levels of sustainability is in line the company’s objectives and reaching targets while remaining environmentally-aware and pushing the boundaries of excellence in the industry.

How has market evolution in recent years impacted your business?

Two decades ago, the time I started managing this business in UAE, there were less companies in the market specialized in our field, and few of them had the expertise and the knowledge to produce required standards. The healthy growth the Emirates experienced in the past decade attracted many new companies including international ones. This by itself created challenges for us which helped us to improve and upgrades our performance. We are proud that we are able to achieve these higher levels of standards by acquiring the necessary certifications, the qualified personnel and the up-to-date technologies. Our business nature has also matured to a level that we have become one of the main players in the architectural metal work market. Nowadays we deal with wide spectrum of customers, from residential villas to airports, the metro, hotels, malls, hospitals, towers, oil and gas, palaces, mixed-use, and clubs and restaurants. Some of our prestigious projects include Dubai Metro, Central Market—Abu Dhabi, Masdar City, Mumbai Airport, Sheraton Hotel Doha, Conrad Hotel as well as the Hyatt in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, we are currently involved in the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Presidential Palace, and the Four Seasons Hotel. Geographically speaking, we are always on the lookout for opportunities and challenges in any market.

How would you assess the strategic advantages of Sharjah?

We experience more advantages of being located in Sharjah Emirate. Logistically, we are able to reach all other Emirates with great convenience given the esteemed network of roads and infrastructure the government has built during the last decade. At the same time, the cost of living including the housing market is considered quite reasonable in comparison with other emirates. Utilities are also slightly more competitive to others.

Could you tell us more about your growth strategies and expansion plans?

Generally speaking, our strategy is in line with growth strategy of the market. We are in fact privileged to be living in the UAE since it's a key element to the economy of the Gulf and the Middle East. The market indicators in the UAE are quite realistic and accurate. We have an advantage here that we sense the economic activities in the entire region through the economic vibes we experience from our customers and observing the projects boom.

What are your company's expectations for 2015?

Having said about the above growth in the market, this year we look forward for at least 20% increase in our activities compared to the year 2014. We are confident of achieving these figures and working towards them accordingly. I believe our turnover should increase by a minimum of 20% as compared to 2014. I am confident about the current economic developments in the region, and as a result we are prospecting ways to expand our business.