The Middle East & African flat glass market is expected to register a healthy CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period. Flat glass finds two major modes of application in the automotive industry, original equipment (OE) supplied to manufacturers for new vehicles and automotive glass replacement (AGR) products supplied to the aftermarket for retrofit purposes, usually damages.

  • Sand, soda ash, limestone, and dolomite are the materials needed for the production of flat glass. Limestone is added to increase the durability of the product, whereas, dolomite is used to enhance the functional properties.
  • Dynamic shifts in product standards, such as lightweight and non-fragile nature, are encouraging the flat glass manufacturers to incorporate the latest technological innovative methods.

Key Market Trends

Construction End-user Vertical to Account for the Largest Share

  • Construction is the largest end-user segment of the market studied. Similar to most of the oil-based economies around the world, most of the Middle East & African economies were also severely hit by the low crude oil price situation, during the past four years.
  • As a result, several residential and commercial construction works have been restrained, leading to a high number of backlogs, in recent years. The situation worsened further when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to initiate production cuts, which influenced the demand for flat glass equipment, such as protective glass, which are in high demand, from the construction vehicles involved in the operations.
  • Additionally, the demand for flat glass, especially the insulated variants, which are of high demand in the commercial construction sector, witnessed a decline, over the past few years. This can be attributed to the slowdown of the domestic construction sector. Even countries, like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, faced all-time low occupancy rates in office buildings and commercial places.
  • Moreover, the increasing investments of Asian vendors in the African market and a steady increase in the number of smart city initiatives in the region are expected to steadily increase the demand for flat glass in the Middle East & African construction sector.

United Arab Emirates is Expected to Witness the Highest Growth

  • The United Arab Emirates remains a fastest growing construction market in the GCC and is on track to deliver lead up to Expo 2020, with steadily improving demand from the region’s building sector. The Dubai government has set aside a budget of AED 11.886 billion (USD 3.2 billion), for infrastructure projects. An estimated AED 5 billion has been allocated for Expo 2020 alone.
  • Governments across the Middle East are rolling out robust initiatives to diversify their economies and shift from their reliance on oil to renewable energies, especially solar energy. These initiatives are also expected to bolster the growth of the market studied over the forecast period.
  • According to the new regulations enforced by the Emirate’s Municipality and Planning Department, the residences in Ajman city require a green permit, ahead of their construction.
  • The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), in collaboration with the Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), organized the Solar Decathlon Middle East Seminar, as the country aims to provide about 75% of its total power output from clean energy, by 2050.
  • Owing to all the aforementioned factors, the market for flat glass in the country is likely to grow during the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape

The Middle-East and Africa flat glass market is consolidated in nature. Major players, such as AGC Inc., Saint-Gobain, and Schott AG, are well known for their brand names and aggressive branding strategies. The robust dealer network established by the major players increases their competitiveness and dominance in the global, as well as regional market.

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