Ceramics today has become a design-orientated, fashion-led product, with fast changing trends. Fashion conscious customers no longer want to wait 5-10 years to replace their tiles or sanitaryware, but change them more regularly to keep their interiors and exteriors looking fresh and modern.
A ccording to research by Frost and Sullivan, the global ceramic tiles market is projected to reach US$125.32 billion by 2020 growing from 12.3 billion square metres in 2013 to 21.8 billion square metres by 2020. Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the global market for ceramics .
Construction industry growth in BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and in particular, India and China, where there is increased spending on infrastructure improvement, is expected to contribute to the rise in demand for residential and commercial structures and significantly boost the market.
In 2013, floor tiles were the largest product segment for the ceramic tiles market, accounting for over 50% of market volume. Emergence of floor tiles as an eco-friendly replacement for hardwood and other flooring options is a key driver for this increase in demand. Coupled with superior qualities compared to other flooring options such as high durability, frost and thermal shock resistance and ease of maintenance, it is expected that this product segment will continue to grow.
In the GCC, the tiles market is predicted to grow by 12% over the next five years. In its report, ‘Tiles and Ceramics Market Assessing Growth Trends and New Opportunities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’, market analysts Frost & Sullivan say up to 10,000 projects are currently either under construction or in the design and planning stage in the GCC. And the tiling industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the building materials market in the region .
The GCC has an advantage, as it is able to competitively price its products, primarily due to the availability of raw materials. The UAE has great infrastructure with some of the best airlines and ports in the world, offering manufacturers quick access to global markets. In Ras Al Khaimah, raw materials can be delivered directly to the port in RAK City and manufacturers based here are uniquely positioned to sell to the entire GCC with no barriers.
There have been mixed opinions about the direction of growth in the construction sector in the region; however, the report anticipates that the GCC has been, and will continue to, experience a significant increase in construction activity, encouraged by factors such as an increase in tourism, positive macroeconomics, and high-budget allocations towards mega-projects. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar are the leading consumers of ceramic tiles in the region, and this is predicted to increase as these countries have secured the rights to host international events, such as Dubai Expo in 2020 and FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Furthermore, as Ras Al Khaimah continues to develop itself as a tourist and lifestyle destination, it is evident that construction growth will continue to accelerate locally.
The growth of the construction industry and the predicted growth in the ceramics industry globally is great news for RAK Ceramics. As one of the largest ceramics’ manufacturers in the world, it is a significant contributor to Ras Al Khaimah’s industrial growth. The company has an annual production capacity of 110 million square metres of tiles, 5 million pieces of sanitaryware, 24 million pieces of porcelain tableware and 600,000 pieces of faucets. RAK Ceramics’ products are sold to a wide range of segments, including residential, commercial, industrial, and hospitality segments amongst others, which maximises its exposure. Similarly, from a geographical standpoint, RAK Ceramics’ products are sold worldwide, reaching a wide range of customers with varied design preferences and needs.
Ceramics today has become a design-orientated, fashion-led product, with fast changing trends. Fashion conscious customers no longer want to wait 5-10 years to replace their tiles or sanitaryware, but change them more regularly to keep their interiors and exteriors looking fresh and modern. It is important for ceramics manufacturers to follow closely what is in fashion, which styles are on trend and ensure market demands are met. Ceramics are now used creatively both indoors and outdoors in many different ways, not only on walls or floors, but also outdoors to create façades, as cladding, and decoration and indoors to replace counter tops such as kitchen and bathroom surfaces. It is a very exciting time, the industry is moving forward and RAK Ceramics is well positioned to lead this movement, inspiring people and designers from around the word and giving them room for imagination.