Dubai: About 6,000 elevators are installed in the UAE a year, with average market size ranging around Dh6 billion, according to a top official.

"The demand for elevators is more than 20 per cent, driven mostly by the massive property development activities witnessed in the UAE," Hameed Salahuddin, director of ETA-Ascon Group, one of the largest construction, real estate, trading and shipping conglomerates in the region.

The company represents Mitshubishi elevators in 17 countries in the region and claims to have about 35 per cent market share.

"We install anywhere between 2,000 to 2,200 units per year, which is about 35 per cent of the total market, with an annual turnover of Dh2 billion. We also maintain about 8,000 units in the UAE and 23,000 in the region that we have installed over the years.

Diversified group

"By 2008, we expect the annual turnover of our mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) division to exceed Dh3.5 billion."

He said 2006-07 would be peak period in demand. "This might soften by 2008, when a major chunk of the building units will be completed," he said.

More than 2,000 people are employed by the group's MEP division. ETA-Ascon is also a consortium leader which won the Dh1 billion MEP contract for the world's tallest tower Burj Dubai.

ETA-Ascon, a 50:50 joint venture with Dubai's Al Ghurair Group, is primarily managed by non-resident Indians (NRIs). With annual turnover exceeding Dh11 billion ($3 billion), it is one of the largest diversified business conglomerates in the Gulf with interests in real estate, construction, power and utilities, trading, shipping and retail sectors.