The UAE: the safest place to set up shop
GM Lisa Harwood discusses the draws for opening up in the UAE
Despite only 15% of its GCC orderbook coming directly from clients in the Emirates, Lisa Harwood, general manager of Magus International says the UAE is an ideal host for its regional logistics and distribution centre
Magus International offers a comprehensive portfolio of quality health and safety products with particular emphasis on PPE and protective clothing. The company has sales office in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and an administrative, warehousing and logistics centre in Sharjah.
“Magus International has over 30 years experience in the Middle East. As a result much of its portfolio of products and expertise has evolved to include and cater to the general requirements of the oil and gas industry, in addition to other specialist applications, explains Lisa Harwood, general manager for the United Arab Emirates.
Harwood says the local UAE market makes up approximately 15% of the company’s total GCC order book. “Saudi Arabia remains our major market within the GCC. Our UAE logistics and distribution centre allows us to support our other Middle Eastern operations,” she explains.
“The political stability, excellent infrastructure and the efficient import and export procedures of the UAE enable us to respond quickly to customer demands. For similar reasons, many other multi-national companies have opted to choose the UAE as their regional base and this has resulted in the UAE becoming an important trading gateway to the rest of the region, giving us local access to other GCC markets and beyond.”
Regionally, spending has increased over the past few years, Harwood says, both in terms of volume and unit cost as the demand for quality products conforming to International standards grows.
“Whilst the oil and gas sector has historically demanded high quality products and bespoke solutions, it also embraces cutting edge technology and innovation. The brands that we represent are global leaders in the field of research and development, which means that we have a constant stream of new and exciting products to offer,” she adds.
With the increasing implementation of health and safety policies and a growing understanding of PPE solutions and applications, customers are becoming more specific with their needs.
“The large and innovative portfolio that each one of our brands provides means that we can cater to this demand and as a result we are seeing real growth of sales in the more specialist products.”
Harwood says, for the company the biggest sellers to the oil and gas industry as a whole include gas detection (Rae Systems); fire retardant clothing (Workrite); fire fighting clothing (Bristol) and chemical protective clothing (Respirex).
“These manufacturers are world leaders in their particular areas of expertise offering a huge portfolio of products, in addition to providing custom made solutions and value for money.”
With the economic downturn of other markets globally, the focus of PPE manufacturers has recently intensified in the ME region in terms of stock holding, technical support and product development. This has lead to many of Magus’ suppliers setting up regional offices in the UAE, which has enabled the company to benefit from technical support located right on its doorstep.
“The UAE has always been an easy place to access and has therefore been an important meeting and training location for our company. Due the caliber and diversity of market specific tradeshows and publications, the UAE has also evolved as an important platform to showcase and advertise our products at a regional level,” she concludes.