Economy, Business And Markets

Sanctions Relief to Revitalize UAE Businesses

Sanctions Relief to Revitalize UAE BusinessesSanctions Relief to Revitalize UAE Businesses

In the 10 years since RAK Ceramics opened a $40 million tile manufacturing plant in Iran, the United Arab Emirates-based firm has racked up millions of dollars in losses, fired hundreds of employees and all but stopped its kilns from burning, Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

But then Iran struck a nuclear deal with the US and other foreign powers this summer. Now with sanctions expected to ease, RAK Ceramics is looking to boost output of the kitchen and bathroom tiles it sells in Iran and the wider region. Executives for one of the world’s largest manufacturers of tiles and sanitary ware by capacity are now betting the long wait on Iran is about to pay off.

“We were a patient investor,” Abdallah Massaad, RAK Ceramics’ chief executive, told the journal.  RAK Ceramics is one of a handful of Arab-owned firms positioning their businesses to profit from a post-sanctions neighbor.

UAE-owned Etihad Airways launched a daily commercial service to Iran’s capital Tehran in April. Dubai-owned FlyDubai has launched seven new routes to Iran this year after a bilateral aviation agreement was signed in January between the UAE and Iranian government.

Dubai’s Jumeirah Group, operator of the ultra-luxury Burj Al Arab hotel, is searching for properties in Iran. Officials at DP World, one of the world’s biggest shipping container handlers, recently visited Iran to see if the country’s ports and railroad infrastructure can be used to transport goods faster between China and Europe.