The advent of the COVID-19 crisis has meant that there has been a huge increase in products related to personal hygiene and protection

  • The pandemic has already claimed more than one million lives around the world, and it continues to impact several countries in a severe manner
  • In order to protect themselves, people are choosing to rely on products such as face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE)

Traditionally, countries such as China were seen as the major producers of face masks and PPE kits

  • However, the crisis has meant that other nations around the world are also ramping up the production of these products in order to cater to local and international demand
  • One such country is the UAE. The gulf nation has focused on increasing the manufacturing and export of face masks in order to make the most of this market opportunity

This blog discusses the key factors related to the UAE’s relentless focus on manufacturing and exporting face masks

Increasing Exports of Masks from the UAE

In May 2020, the UAE-based sovereign investor Mubadala Investment Company announced a collaboration with Honeywell in order to produce and export N95 masks

  • This partnership resulted in the setting up of a manufacturing unit in the Al Ain area
  • The new unit has a production capacity of 30 million masks on an annual basis
  • The setting up of this new unit was a first for the Gulf region since no other country had such manufacturing capabilities

Similarly, IBC Group has also set up a mask production unit in the country

  • The company has announced an investment of $1 million in order to build this facility
  • This facility has the ability to produce up to 600,000 masks on a daily basis
  • It is expected that most of these masks would be exported to countries such as China, where the crisis began
  • Production in China has been hit by the crisis as several factories are still closed
  • This is where the UAE is looking to step in and meet the demand via exports

There are plans to set up further mask manufacturing units in the country

  • The UAE government has also realised the importance of face masks and PPE during this crisis
  • Demand for these products has been extremely high around the world, and the UAE is no different
  • Before these initiatives, the country used to be highly dependent on mask imports in order to meet the local demand

Overall, the UAE has taken the lead in mask production within the Middle East region

  • The country wants to establish itself as a long-term producer and exporter of face masks
  • In addition to this, the country is also looking at other adjacent markets such as PPE kits and face shields
  • The nation is well-positioned to take advantage of the market opportunity and establish itself in the mask export space
  • The exports of masks could also help the UAE economy in the long run, helping it in strengthening its trade position

To conclude, it is clear that the export of masks from the UAE has been increasing at a rapid pace. Institutions such as Euro Exim Bank offer customised support to traders in the form of financial instruments and bespoke trade advisory services. Euro Exim Bank offers financial instruments such as Bank Guarantees and Letters of Credit (LCs). Further information about Euro Exim Bank and its key product offerings is available here.