Arabal 2017 conference begins in Muscat

Under the auspices of  Sayyid Harib bin Thuwaini al Said, Assistant Secretary General of the Council of Ministers for Conferences, Sohar Aluminium, kicked-off the 2017 Arab International Aluminium Conference (ARABAL). Running through November 9, the event welcomed over 550 attending delegates from 35 countries and 64 industry leading speakers from a cross-section of industries, to share their insights on the challenges and opportunities around the aluminium industry.

Sayyid Kamil bin Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said, Assistant Secretary General for the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, said, “While Oman’s many natural resources have been harnessed with considerable success, we need vision to unlock their full potential. This is something Oman has been able to achieve within the global aluminium sector since its emergence as a player only a few years ago. Locally, the industry has boosted job opportunities and created a valuable knowledge base regionally and internationally, which has contributed significantly in raising Oman’s profile.”

Host of this year’s edition, CEO of Sohar Aluminium, Eng Said al Masoudi said, While like any industry we have our fair share of challenges, including rapidly changing market prices and a changing surplus within the market, today is the ideal opportunity to discover the most sustainable way forward.”

Day One also saw the Arab International Aluminium Conference Appreciation Memento, recognizing the efforts of ARABAL’s last year’s edition host in Dubai, Emirates Global Aluminium. The Gulf Aluminium Council then introduced the very first “Community Service Award”, a most prestigious acclaim for outstanding contributions to the local public community and in recognition that the company recognizes that is has social, cultural and environmental responsibilities to the community where it operates. The Community Award was then presented to Sohar Aluminium.

The event’s most anticipated session did not disappoint. Session 1 featured the most senior executives of all the GCC and Middle East primary aluminium producers. Comprised of all ARABAL’s member companies, the six regional heavyweights discussed the current global economic situation, market challenges, as new supply and demand centres emerge.

Highlighting the stature of the event, industry leaders from Norway, Australia, China, USA, Russia, Iran and India participated in a single session for the first time in ARABAL’s history. Representatives from aluminium giants Norsk Hydro, Rio Tinto, UC RUSAL, Aditya Aluminium India, Iranian Mines & Mining Industries (IMIDRO) and AZ China Ltd, tackled future demand for aluminium produced in emerging markets including the Middle East.