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Case Study

Diversifying the UAE economy: Emirates Steel Arkan

The success of Emirates Steel Arkan parallels that of the UAE itself. In 1998, the Abu Dhabi Government’s General Holding Corporation actively began efforts to diversify the local economy. As a result, the Emirates Iron and Steel Factory (EISF) was born, starting out to reroll imported steel billets and produce rebar for the UAE market.

Demand quickly outstripped capacity, and by 2001, the company, now known as Emirates Steel, built its first dedicated rolling mill, with a capacity of 500,000 metric tonnes per year. This decision would transform the region’s steel industry and help to kickstart the rapid development of Abu Dhabi and surrounding emirates.

Now on the world map as a leading steel supplier, the company expanded its operations in 2006 to include the Emirates Cement Factory, which would soon make it the largest cement manufacturer in the UAE. It was not until the 2021 merger of Emirates Steel and Arkan Group to create the region’s largest listed steel and building materials company that it would adopt the name we know today: Emirates Steel Arkan.

As well as steel and cement works, Emirates Steel Arkan also operates Emirates Blocks and Pavers, which provides a broad portfolio of concrete products from regular blocks used for the construction of villas, buildings, and retaining walls to high-end architectural pavers for landscaping. Another company subsidiary is Anabeeb Pipes which supplies U-PVC pipes for applications such as sewerage, irrigation, drainage and fittings for manholes.

Unlike many UAE businesses, Emirates Steel Arkan is a publicly listed company, posting annual revenues of AED 9.5bn in 2022, up 10% on the previous year.

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