Dubal General Manager Marketing and Sales Mr Sultan Al Sabri told the 16th CRU World Aluminium Conference that the crisis will accelerate social and infrastructure programmes across the region.

This would lead to an increase in metal demand.

Mr Sultan Al Sabri said the reason for the unrest had been due to low wealth among its inhabitants. The majority of the unrest had occurred in North Africa, with only Oman and Bahrain experiencing unrest among the Gulf states. Of the two, the unrest had been contained and the countries were now stable.

The challenges the disruption had caused were that the cost of business had gone up, in terms of higher political risk and increased freight insurance and there was potential risk aversion of inward investment.

ME governments had brought forward their planned infrastructure projects, with up to $985bn being spent between 2010 and 2015 by the six countries in the GCC.

One propsed such project is the GCC railway network which would link Jordan with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf countries from Kuwait to Oman. This would have a highly positive impact on aluminium demand, said Mr Al Sabri.