Issue 64, Apr 2023

ATAL Chairman Visits Dubai to Explore Potential Market Opportunities in Middle East for the Engineering Industry
安樂工程集團主席往訪杜拜 為工程行業探索潛在市場機遇

Following in the footsteps of President Xi Jinping, who visited the Middle East in December 2022 and HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee, who led a high-level business delegation there in February 2023, ATAL Engineering Group Chairman Ir Dr Otto Poon has visited Dubai recently to explore potential market opportunities for the engineering industry.

“The Middle East countries, with their rich resources, capabilities, the aspiration to grow and diversify their economies, offer attractive market opportunities for Hong Kong engineering companies,” said Ir Dr Poon.

While in Dubai, Ir Dr Poon met with business leaders and consultants to explore their needs, such as meeting with a major conglomerate operating in sectors spanning oil and gas, energy, navigation and so on. He observed that many Dubai businesses were interested in finding out more about what Hong Kong could offer, setting the scene for further communication to bridge the knowledge gap and build mutual trust.

The Emirate of Dubai is one of the seven city-states of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE has a population of approximately 10.5 million and one of the most open economies in the world. With GDP of US$415 billion and GDP per capita of over US$44,000 in 2021, the UAE continues to be a strategic hub with business-friendly free zones and a quickly growing economy.

Dubai, with a population of 3.5 million, is the second largest and one of the wealthiest constituents of the UAE. As a truly modern city of skyscrapers, ports, businesses and tourism, Dubai has transformed its energy-based economy to become a financial and service centre of the region. Earlier this year, the Gulf emirate’s ruler announced a bold plan to boost foreign trade and investment in the UAE financial hub and “double the size” of Dubai’s economy in the next decade.

Saudi Arabia, another leading economy of the Middle East, is a country mainly underdeveloped with vast deserts. With a population of 36 million, GDP of US$834 billion and GDP per capita of over US$23,000 in 2021, Saudi Arabia aspires to growing and diversifying its economy from dependence on oil exports to developing industries in new high technology.

Indeed, Hong Kong engineering companies such as ATAL Engineering Group (“ATAL”) have much to contribute to the Middle East economies. With strengths and international experience in a full range of engineering businesses covering ATAL’s core segments of Building Services, Data Centres, Environment Engineering, Information, Communications and Building Technologies (“ICBT”) and Lifts and Escalators, there are abundant market opportunities to explore in the region.

“The Middle East market is relatively new to Hong Kong as our traditional focus has often been the Mainland, America and Europe. It is time for our engineering industry to broaden its vision and step up our knowledge of and relationship with the region to capture new market opportunities,” Ir Dr Poon concluded.

Ir Dr Otto Poon met His Excellency Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman and Group CEO of KBI-uae, a conglomerate operating in sectors spanning oil and gas, energy, navigation and so on, during his visit in Dubai.