EGA marks 40 years since aluminium production began, leading to the development of one of the UAE’s most significant industries

Young UAE Nationals ‘run’ EGA for the day on 40th anniversary, as next generation prepares for the decades ahead

The development of EGA since the foundation of Dubai Aluminium by His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum has taken the UAE from no aluminium production to the fifth largest aluminium-producing country in the world

EGA is today the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas and EGA’s aluminium is the second largest made-in-the-UAE export

Ministers lead tributes to EGA’s contributions to UAE economy and society

United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, marks 40 years since the first tonne of aluminium was produced in the UAE.

Since production began in November 1979 at EGA’s site in Jebel Ali– then known as Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL) - the aluminium sector has grown into one of the UAE’s largest industries accounting for 1.4 per cent of the economy and supporting 60,000 UAE jobs.

In line with the vision of the UAE’s Founding Father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to diversify the UAE’s economy, DUBAL was founded in 1975 by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. DUBAL expanded under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance of the UAE.

Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) was founded in 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa directed in 2013 that EMAL and DUBAL merge to form Emirates Global Aluminium. The company has continued to expand under the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

To mark the anniversary of first production, young UAE Nationals who will be responsible for EGA’s continuing success in the decades ahead are ‘running’ EGA for the day. Young Emiratis are shadowing EGA’s Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer and other Executive Committee members and participating in the company’s weekly executive leadership meeting. EGA’s Youth Council has organised shift patterns so that the supervisors on duty in every part of the production process are young UAE Nationals.

Ministers also paid tribute to EGA’s contribution to the UAE’s economy and society over the past 40 years.

H.E Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, said: “Today EGA is a national industrial champion and a global UAE success story making one in every 25 tonnes of aluminium worldwide. EGA, and the aluminium sector that has grown around it, contributes some AED 20 billion to our economy every year. EGA has played an important role in growing our national prosperity for the past four decades and I look forward to the company’s future contributions to further economic diversification.”

H.E Eng. Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy & Industry, said: “The first tonne of metal at EGA’s Jebel Ali site in 1979 was a transformative moment for the UAE industrial sector, which led to the growth of what is now a major industry for the UAE. Today not only metal, but also aluminium parts for downstream value-added industries from automotive to construction, are made here in the UAE and exported around the world by EGA and its 26 local customers. The vision of our Leadership and the commitment of our people made it happen.”

Khaldoon Mubarak, Chairman of EGA said: “EGA is the result of two of the UAE’s industrial champions – Dubal and Emal – coming together to create a world-leading and globally competitive aluminium business that is at the heart of a strategic industry for the UAE. Today, EGA connects the UAE to over 50 countries and more than 350 industrial customers. More importantly, it is a significant employer of talented Emiratis, in addition to being an incubator of aluminium smelting technology, and a concrete example of the successful economic diversification efforts of the UAE..”

EGA Managing Director & CEO Abdulla Kalban said: “EGA has produced over 30 million tonnes of aluminium since that first tonne in 1979, with our metal becoming part of everything from cars to skyscrapers and making modern life possible for people worldwide. Over the past 40 years, we have taken the UAE from no aluminium production to the fifth largest aluminium-producing country in the world. We can proudly say that we have built a great company and UAE industry, turning the vision of our founder the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum into reality.”

DUBAL began production in 1979 with a capacity of 135,000 tonnes per year. DUBAL was officially inaugurated by Sheikh Rashid and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom..

The Jebel Ali site has been expanded eight separate times since 1979, taking its production to over one million tonnes per year.

In 2007 development began at Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. Production at phase I of EMAL started in 2009 followed by phase II in 2013.

DUBAL and EMAL completed the merger to form EGA in in 2014.

EGA is equally owned by Mubadala Investment Company of Abu Dhabi and the Investment Corporation of Dubai and is the largest company jointly owned by the two Emirates.

EGA directly employs some 8,000 people around the world including 7,000 in the UAE. Over 1,000 UAE Nationals work at EGA, including in more than 40 per cent of the top 250 positions.

EGA has developed technology in the UAE for more than 25 years to continually improve the aluminium smelting process. EGA’s latest industrialised technology, the 10th, is amongst the most efficient in the global aluminium industry. EGA has used its own technology in every expansion since the 1990s and has retrofitted all its older production lines.

In 2016 EGA became the first UAE industrial company to license its core process technology internationally, in a major milestone for the development of a knowledge-based economy in the UAE.

EGA supplies more than 350 customers in over 50 countries worldwide.