Queen Elizabeth attending the opening of Dubai Aluminium 'Dubal' in 1979. Image Credit: Taken from the book 'Qissati'

ABU DHABI: To mark the anniversary of the production of the first tonne of aluminium in the UAE, young Emiratis were invited to shadow senior executives at Emirates Global Aluminium and participated in the company’s weekly executive leadership meeting.

“The first tonne of metal at EGA’s Jebel Ali site in 1979 was a transformative moment for the UAE industrial sector, which led to the growth of what is now a major industry for the UAE,” said Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry. “Today not only metal, but also aluminium parts for downstream value-added industries from automotive to construction, are made here in the UAE and exported around the world by EGA and its 26 local customers.”

Since production began in November 1979 at EGA’s site in Jebel Ali, then known as Dubai Aluminium, Dubal, the aluminium sector has grown into one of the UAE’s largest industries accounting for 1.4 per cent of the economy and supporting 60,000 UAE jobs.

Dubal was founded in 1975 by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Dubal and Emirates Aluminium merged to form Emirates Global Aluminium in 2013. Emirates Aluminium, Emal, was founded in 2007.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said, “Today EGA is a national industrial champion and a global UAE success story making one in every 25 tonnes of aluminium worldwide. EGA, and the aluminium sector that has grown around it, contributes some Dh20 billion to our economy every year. EGA has played an important role in growing our national prosperity for the past four decades and I look forward to the company’s future contributions to further economic diversification.”