A fully-integrated aluminium industrial complex being built as a joint venture between Alcoa and Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) alone involves a capital investment of approximately $10.5bn.

More foreign investors are looking to the Gulf for aluminium business due to its cost effective gas stocks and strategic geographic location, with Europe already sourcing around 6% of its aluminium demand from the region.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are the Gulf’s two largest aluminium markets. Smelting operations managed by Dubai Aluminium Company (DUBAL) and Emirates Aluminium in Abu Dhabi produce around 1.8Mt/y or 40% of total annual Middle Eastern production.

The 2nd edition of Aluminium Dubai, the exhibition for aluminium products, technologies and investments in the Middle East, will again serve as an investment catalyst as it runs from May 9 to 11, 2011 at Sheikh Saeed Halls 2 and 3 of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).

Mahmood Daylami, General Secretary, Gulf Aluminium Council, said: “Aluminium has emerged as one of the key economic activities of the Arab World and complements regionwide efforts to diversify national development beyond oil and gas. Our sector contributes significantly to foreign trade, job creation and economic expansion and thus deserves more funding to expand its scope, facilities and capabilities.

"Aluminium Dubai is a vital platform for us to showcase the business and investment opportunities the region offers to the global stage and maintain our lead in the international markets.”