ENTERPRISE Minister Arlene Foster has congratulated Portadown-based Ulster Carpets on winning a major order in Dubai.
The company has been selected to provide carpet for a luxurious Sofitel hotel, which is under construction in the heart of new Downtown Dubai. The hotel is located close to the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa.
Speaking after a meeting with Ulster Carpets personnel in Dubai – at the conclusion of a three-day trade development mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Minister Foster said: “Ulster Carpets are to be congratulated on winning this latest order.
“The company has once again proven what can be achieved in the Gulf region, which offers significant opportunities for local businesses.
“By focusing on and winning business in key export markets, Ulster Carpets has become a global brand, synonymous with high quality craftsmanship. The company’s investment in new and innovative technology means it now has the capability to weave up to 25 colours in a single carpet, which gives it a competitive advantage.”
The Sofitel contract follows the Portadown company’s recent announcement that it had secured orders to manufacture 100,000 m2 of luxury axminster carpet for The Gulf region. The order was for four new hotels, including world-renowned hospitality groups Hilton, Conrad and Marriott, at Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
The Minister added: “My department and Invest Northern Ireland are fully committed to supporting local companies as they seek contracts in this and other global markets. Ulster Carpets has made extensive and effective use of Invest NI trade missions to develop contacts, particularly with interior design consultancies, in key export markets.”
Ulster Carpets’ business in the Gulf region has continued to develop strongly and owes much to significant investments in the area, including the establishment of an office in Dubai.
Nick Coburn, Managing Director at Ulster Carpets, commented: “Our market is a global one and we face severe competition from low cost labour countries in Asia. The ability of Ulster Carpets to effectively compete on a worldwide scale as the premium supplier is a result of our constant endeavour to exceed customer expectations, push the boundaries of design and embrace innovative technology, in addition to our continual drive to improve productivity and quality.”
The Minister’s three-day visit to the UAE involved a number of high level meetings and a visit to Gulfood, one of the world’s biggest food and hospitality events, where she supported local companies taking part in a Northern Ireland Naturally presentation organised by Invest NI.
Minister Foster added: “During my time in the United Arab Emirates, I have been hugely impressed by the success of Northern Ireland companies, who are proving that opportunities exist in the Middle East for those with quality products and the drive to succeed.
“My department, through Invest Northern Ireland, is providing support and advice for companies who want to explore new markets, and the success stories I have witnessed here at first hand are proof that local companies are really making their mark on the global stage.”