Dubai Science Park (DSP), a holistic science-focused business community and part of TECOM Group, has welcomed Jotun Group, a leading supplier of paints and powder coatings in the world, as the latest addition to its thriving business hub. DSP will be home to the company’s new regional headquarters and the only R&D laboratory in the Middle East.
Jotun Group has 40 production facilities in 24 countries, 62 companies in 45 countries, and is represented in over 100 countries around the world.
The company has broken ground on the land plot where the new 230,000 square feet complex will be built. The ceremony drew the participation of Abdulla Belhoul, Chief Commercial Officer of TECOM Group, Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of DSP, and Odd Gleditsch d.y., Chairman of the Board of Jotun, Morten Fon, President & CEO of Jotun Group, Esben Hersve, Vice President – Jotun MEIA Region and Herve Crozier, R&D Director Jotun MEIA Region.
Jotun Group’s regional R&D centre in Dubai will combine the existing three centres in the emirate in one umbrella location to meet the needs of clients across the Middle East, India and Africa. A total of 47 Jotun employees are currently engaged in research in the region, and this number is expected to reach 70 by 2030.
In line with Jotun Group’s brand identity, the sustainable and innovative building design will embody Scandinavian simplicity and modernity. Areas of focus will include product development, environment and sustainability. In addition to the regional headquarters and the R&D laboratory, the new complex will comprise pilot facilities for wet paint production and an application pilot line for powder coatings. The outdoor roof area will feature exposure panels for testing. Expected to open in Q4 2021, the centre will accommodate up to 230 employees.
Abdulla Belhoul said: “TECOM is committed to creating world-class business ecosystems. It is our belief that for true progress to happen, we must provide an environment that boosts productivity and encourages investment in research and development.”
Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi said: “With its state-of-the-art infrastructure and business-friendly framework, DSP seeks to attract leading research- and science-focused companies to develop this strategic sector in Dubai. As part of this priority, we are proud to welcome Jotun Group to DSP and look forward to a successful partnership.”
A rapidly growing population with relatively high incomes, combined with the expanding real estate and industrial sectors, has led to a steady increase in the demand for paints and coatings in the region in recent years. According to leading market research firm Mordor Intelligence, the Middle East market for paints and coatings is anticipated to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 3.6 per cent during 2019-2024.
Climatic conditions in the UAE present paints and coatings producers with several challenges and opportunities. The unforgiving summer weather with high temperatures, high humidity, air salinity, and regular dust storms for a large part of the year makes it mandatory for paint producers to offer special formulations and superior quality paint products and finishes for the country’s discerning consumers.
Morten Fon, President and CEO of Jotun Paints said: “For the last four decades we have delivered innovative and high quality products and solutions to the region in our industry across our four segments: Decorative Paints, Protective Coatings, Marine Coatings, and Powder Coatings. Investing in the new regional headquarters & R&D Centre represents a significant business opportunity and development of the industry and a reflection of our commitment and support towards our region by creating career and development opportunities”.
Currently home to over 350 business partners with more than 4,000 employees, DSP’s vibrant business community continues to attract leading international companies within the science sector. In the past year, DSP has attracted global players such as the Himalaya Drug Company, a world-leading producer of over 300 cosmetics, nutritional supplements, herbal medicines and pharmaceutical-grade Ayurvedic products, and Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and flavour company, have set up research hubs at DSP. Scheduled for completion in 2021 and 2020 respectively, the facilities will support the increased R&D needs of the region.