Manitou Group has officially opened a new subsidiary, Manitou Middle East, based in Dubai.

The group has been present in the region for some time but says it intends to ‘strengthen its local presence and adopt new strategic ambitions’.

The offices of Manitou Middle East are located at Jafza, Jebel Ali Free Zone, and will provide all technical and commercial functions, including training, in house.

On 3 November, the subsidiary invited more than 40 significant representatives from the region, along with the company’s existing Africa-based distributors to the Pullman JLT hotel in Dubai, to share the group’s vision and discuss opportunities.

Heading up the new entity is manager Jean-Marc Chartier, assisted by Romain Drouet, after sales manager. Mr Chartier joined the group in 2006 as manager of its export zone covering a large part of Africa as well as the Middle and near East,

He said, “The relationships with our regional partners and user customers will be strengthened through this new establishment in the heart of the region. Because of it, we will be even more responsive and more accurate in providing solutions to our customers' requirements. It is a region that is particularly attentive to local support.”

The Middle East has seen significant development for several years, added the company, despite a slowdown in the hydrocarbons market. “It represents a growth zone where the agricultural market has strong development potential. Concerning construction, demand is sound and real estate is growing to support inhabitants' requirements for housing. The modernisation of Riyadh is also giving rise to numerous architectural projects whose work sites are impressive due to their gigantic size,” said a company spokesperson.

The region’s governments have ‘colossal’ budgets for housing, public works, motorways, and railways over a long period, even though income from oil remains uncertain, added Manitou. As such the group’s market share and sales of telehandlers has tripled, it said.

François Piffard, EVP sales and marketing, added, “We know the Middle East well, as we have been present there for many years. We now wish to strengthen our commercial presence in this booming region and we know that we can count on strong support from the network to achieve this.”

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