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UL on global expansion mode

Company says it is looking to reinforce its position within the UAE’s diverse and competitive market

| | Jul 23, 2017 | 10:30 am
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Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is on a global expansion mode. Jonathan Gonzalez, Project Engineer for Building and Life Safety Technologies, UL Middle East, while speaking on the global expansion of the company, said it is moving to strengthen its position in the Middle East, including the UAE, which is home to diverse certification standards.

Gonzalez said that the company, founded and headquartered in the United States, continues to enjoy a strong presence in its home country, as it remains indispensable among manufacturers that want to distribute their products there. However, he also said that it has since expanded exponentially. “We are now a global company in over 38 countries, with 170 offices and inspectors around the world, he said. “So, traditionally, we did just have a monopoly in the US but now, for the past 50 years, we have been a global company and, I would say, there’s more global employees in UL than in the US.”

He added that while UL has a strong presence in the GCC region, the UAE features a more diverse market and is, as a result, a bit more competitive. “In the UAE, you have options,” he said. “They have consultants, contractors and architects, from all around the world. So, they are flexible with regards to accepting UL standards, British standards, etc.”

He also said that, from his observations, the country seems to favour a European-based approach, and, thus, UL is aiming to present its case to local regulators and authorities and showcase the standards that have made it dominant in the United States. Currently, Gonzalez said, certification in the country is mandatory only in the sense that products should be tested and certified, but not necessarily to UL, owing to the availability of other standards and certification.

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