Dubai: The automotive sector in the Middle East remains upbeat despite turbulence in many countries in the region, a senior UAE official has said.
Almost every car maker, from Bentley to Hyundai, has reported sales growth in double digits, ranging between 20 and 40 percent in the region.
"Majority of these brands expects over 25 per cent growth in 2013," said Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO of Dubai's Jebel ali free zone (Jafza) and Economic Zones World (EZE), the parent company of Jafza.
"The automotive aftermarket in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in 2012 was equally vibrant and estimated to have grown between 15 and 20 percent. By 2016 the Aftermarket sector is predicted to hit USD 14.4 billion," Al Janahi said, referring to a recent report by Frost and Sullivan, a leading market research and analysis firm.
The report predicted a growth between 15 and 20 percent in GCC - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates- across parts and accessories, tyres and tubes, batteries and lubricants over the next 5 years.
The report also said that the total consumption within the automotive aftermarket in the GCC countries in 2012 posted more than 15 per cent growth to reach USD 7.5 billion.
The automotive sector generated trade worth USD 4.2 billion in 2012, posting a growth of 15 percent on 2011 for Jafza. In the last 10 years the number of companies in the sector has grown 7-fold.
"According to Dubai Custom's statistics the auto parts trade in Dubai has grown over 27 percent in the last four years," said Mahmut Gazi Bilikozen from Epoc Messe Frankfurt GmbH, the company which organises world's largest trade fair.
"The main trans-shipment destinations for automotive-related products from Dubai were Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Dubai's automotive exports were led by automotive parts and accessories, tyres, body parts and engine parts," he added.