Renowned as the leading aluminium event in the Middle East, the annual ARABAL conference, hosted by Kuwait Industries, took place last week and was officially opened by H.E. Khaled Al-Roudan, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Under the conference theme - Honouring the past; embracing the future, ARABAL 2018 highlighted the success of the last three decades and sought to find sustainable innovations for a greener aluminium industry in the future.

ARABAL Chairman Mr Mohammed Al Naki said, “The GCC has been looking for ways to diversify its industry and income and aluminium is now a key sector for the region. When we started ARABAL 35 years ago there were only three smelters and production was extremely low. Now we have 6 smelters and aluminium production has increased to 10% of global output. A great achievement. You can see from the level of participants at ARABAL, the networking and new partnerships being formed here, that this will really have a positive effect on the industry in the coming years.”

High level speakers from the aluminium sector and its associated industries gathered to discuss topics including sustainability, industry dynamics, trade wars, industry dynamics, market outlook, upstream and downstream in a series of presentations, keynotes, workshops and panel discussions.

Speaker Hans Erik Vatne, CTO of Norsk Hydro ASA said, “ARABAL has established itself as a good meeting place for networking and has a strong brand name within the industry. The Gulf is a key area for the aluminium industry. It is good to come together and share information both on the technical and commercial side. It has been a great conference so far. I will definitely be back next year.”

The conference and exhibition attracted over 600 attendees (committee members, delegates, speakers, sponsors and visitors) from a broad cross section of the industry, with 25 different countries represented. Feedback from all attendees was extremely positive.

Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director General, KFAS said, “The fact that it brings in panels of experts to discuss the most important developments in this growing industry is the success of ARABAL.”

Laith Al-Hindawi, Aluminium Growth Director, GE said, “ARABAL is a major event for us on the annual calendar. ARABAL is important as it gives people a forum to get up to date with the latest innovations and developments. Being able to know what is going on around the World and in this region. It is incredibly important networking event to share knowledge and opinions. It gives you a much broader vision of the aluminium industry as a whole.”