RAK Ceramics considers new Saudi plant as demand heats up

The strong US dollar has increased construction costs in the UAE. (Supplied)
Updated 08 August 2019

RAK Ceramics considers new Saudi plant as demand heats up

LONDON: RAK Ceramics is considering adding a secondary manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia to meet local demand as well as growing export markets in Europe. 

The UAE-based tile maker reported an 8.5 percent decline in second quarter profits to 110 million dirhams ($29.9 million) compared to a year earlier as it absorbed rising energy costs. 

Total revenue fell 6.8 percent to 1.29 billion dirhams during the period, but its sanitaryware sales were lifted 7.6 percent on sales to Saudi Arabia, India and Europe. 

“We have seen an improvement in our gross margins during the period due to continued investment in operational efficiencies,” said RAK Ceramics Group CEO Abdallah Massaad. “Despite high energy costs, we remain focused on running an efficient and profitable business.” 

A slowdown in the regional construction industry has hurt demand for tiles as fewer new villas and apartments are built while at the same time, the strong US dollar to which the UAE dirham is pegged has made construction exports from the country more expensive. 

RAK Ceramics is one of the largest ceramics’ brands in the world with the capacity to produce 123 million square meters of tiling per year across its 22 factories in the UAE, India, Bangladesh and China. 


Saudi Finance Ministry ramps up e-services

Updated 16 July 2020

Saudi Finance Ministry ramps up e-services

  • Gulf states are investing heavily in e-services in an effort to make their public services more efficient

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance said 12 new services will be made available on its Etimad e-government platform which aims to simplify tendering and procurement across government.

Deputy Minister for Technology & Development Ahmad Alsuwaiyan said the platform has helped to boost transparency and strengthened partnerships with the private sector.

Gulf states are investing heavily in e-services in an effort to make their public services more efficient, reduce bureaucracy and cut costs at a time when government departments are increasingly under pressure to deliver savings.

Among the new Etimad offerings are budget services between government entities and the ministry of finance and a virtual marketplace listing products and services at standard rates under framework agreements.

Contractors and suppliers with financial claims against government entities will also be able to use the platform to submit them. It will also allow private companies to issue bank guarantees and link them to tenders and procurement.

Civil servants needing to travel will be able to use the service to book tickets with Saudi airlines.