Abu Dhabi, UAE. 01 June 2023 – Khalid Al Khatib, CEO of NAFFCO, today highlighted the pivotal role played by the UAE's robust infrastructure and the support from the government in his personal success as well as the remarkable growth of NAFFCO.
During his opening talk on the final day of the Make it in the Emirates Forum, Al Khatib delved into the extraordinary growth and development of the UAE's manufacturing industry, emphasizing the government's role in creating an enabling environment that nurtured NAFFCO's growth.
Reflecting on the company’s transformative journey, he said: “I see a successful business model as complementary. It has the dreams, the instruments, and the developers... We have to synchronize all this together to create a rhythm.”
Al Khatib also shed light on the initial challenges faced by NAFFCO, with some underestimating the company's ability to compete with established global manufacturers. However, he emphasized the importance of resilience and persistence, recounting NAFFCO's humble beginnings as a team of 15 individuals, including two engineers, operating in a 100-square-meter manufacturing facility in 1991. Today, NAFFCO has emerged as one of the largest fire pump manufacturers globally, serving over 100 countries through eight plants globally.
The discussion provided valuable insights into the factors that have contributed to the UAE's manufacturing success. It underscored the visionary government policies, strategic partnerships, and significant investments in cutting-edge technology that have propelled industry forward. Al Khatib also emphasized the importance of sustainability in manufacturing and the UAE's commitment to becoming a global leader in this vital area.
NAFFCO, a leading provider of fire protection and safety solutions, has experienced exponential growth since its establishment in the UAE in 1991. The company now boasts a workforce of over 14,000 employees, including 2,000 highly skilled engineers, and operates from a state-of-the-art, 10-million-square-feet manufacturing facility. Al Khatib mentioned the opening of NAFFCO's first US manufacturing facility in South Texas, marking a significant milestone in the company's global expansion.
During his talk, Al Khatib also shared insights on his personal journey as a businessman, describing how he has witnessed drastic changes in the UAE as the country has transformed into a global model for success. He referred to the country’s business friendly environment, including a supportive legislative and regulatory ecosystem as well as robust partnerships between the government and private sector.
The Make it in the Emirates Forum takes place from 31 May to 1 June at the Abu Dhabi Energy Center under the theme ‘Investment. Sustainability. Growth’. It is being hosted jointly by MoIAT, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and ADNOC.
The Make it in the Emirates Forum is organized in line with Operation 300 billion and convenes stakeholders from across the industrial landscape. Around 2,200 senior decision-makers, industry and technology leaders, experts, innovators, entrepreneurs, financial institutions, investors, and representatives from major national enterprises are in Abu Dhabi to discover new opportunities and announce new partnerships.
The forum has numerous corporate sponsors, including Diamond Sponsors such as Mubadala Investment Company, Emirates Steel Arkan, and Emirates Development Bank (EDB), as well as Gold Sponsors such as Aldar, Tawazun Council, KEZAD Group, Agthia, Edge, and PureHealth.
The event’s Silver Sponsors include First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Dubai Investments, Al Masaood Energy, Emirates Global Aluminum, and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), while the Bronze Sponsors are Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), Dubai Industrial City, Electro Mechanical Company, Mashreq Bank, Baker Hughes, National Oilwell Varco (NOV), Control Contracting and Trading (CCTC), Weatherford International, and Schlumberger.