Kevin Hudson, Event Director of Gulf Glass, said: 'The GCC area, and in particular the UAE, is booming at present and its phenomenal growth rate looks set to continue for at least the next decade.
It's certainly no surprise that international heavyweights are putting their bulk behind the new initiatives - the Gulf currencies have continued to surge, lending plenty of impetus to spending power.
Glass, glass technology and all its ancillaries will be required to play a vital role in the work ahead. This is more evident than ever before. Ongoing and planned construction projects in the UAE have just hit the $2.5 trillion mark and, as has been reported often over the past few weeks, keeping up with materials demand is the challenge ahead.
'In the UAE, the construction industry's expenditure on infrastructure and real estate projects is expected to reach Dhs850bn or more over the next five years. This will result in expenditure of Dhs31bn on glass products in the construction sector alone,' he added.
Hardly surprising that the pressure is on - not with 20,000 people moving into the UAE every month. New building and renovations of course, but how about auto glass, housewares, container glass for foodstuffs and beverages? Technology will be the facilitator and Gulf Glass 2008 will be the place to see it.
'This would be reason enough for us to decide to stage a dedicated glass industry show for the Gulf - and this year's is the second such event we've put on - but it's important to take into account the other glass requirements which flow from continued immigration and consumer demand. I'm thinking in particular of container, catering, auto, screen and optical. When demand is so acute, both in terms of technology and volumes, then it's logical to bring the international supply scene to the Gulf and not the other way round,' continued Hudson.
The imperatives in the region are clear. The construction boom accounted for nearly 25% of GDP in the emirates last year. On top of all that, and ignoring commercial and industrial buildings, it is estimated that there will be a housing shortage - in Abu Dhabi alone - this year of around 50,000 units.
If this isn't a flat and processed glass hotspot then there's never been one. Gulf Glass has established itself as this industry's key event in the GCC trading area and continues to bring in the top names.