Six companies from Tyrone and Fermanagh returned this week from the Arabian Gulf which they visited on an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to explore business opportunities.

The mission, which visited Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was led by Bill McGinnis, Chairman of the Dungannon-based McAvoy Group, a leading manufacturer of modular buildings for clients in Romania, Nigeria, Norway, the Caribbean and the Republic of Ireland. The company is a recent winner of Invest NI’s First Time Exporter of the Year Award.

The other Tyrone companies were: Growmoor Horticulture, Dungannon; Moygashel Ltd, also Dungannon; Legend International Ltd, Moy; Phoenix Picture Frames Ltd, Enniskillen; and Viper International, Coalisland.

They were included in a group of 12 Northern Ireland companies on the mission to develop business in the oil rich Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and UAE. The mission was centred on the Saudi business centres of Jeddah and Riyadh and Dubai, the UAE’s commercial and financial capital.

Commenting on the mission, Mr McGinnis, an Invest NI Board member, said: “Saudi Arabia and the UAE are markets in which Northern Ireland companies have a strong track record. Both are still buoyant because of the strength of the oil sector and are investing vast amounts to develop their industrial bases to meet the needs of fast growing populations.

“Our focus on the Middle East provides real opportunities for Northern Ireland companies to supply a broad range of products and services,” he added.

The mission to Saudi Arabia and UAE was part of a comprehensive programme of Invest NI trade missions and exhibitions which are open to companies in Tyrone and Fermanagh and details are listed on Invest NI website

Growmoor Ltd, Dungannon produces peat-based substrate to the specific requirements of individual growers, countries and climates for all aspects of plant management. The products are used by professional nurserymen and ordinary gardeners.

Legend International Ltd, Moy, is a food processing company specialising in meat for Arab countries.

McAvoy Group Ltd, Dungannon, is a leading manufacturer of modular buildings and temporary accommodation such as jackleg cabins. The company is seeking business in the Gulf for the first time.

Moygashel Ltd, Dungannon, is a weaver of linen and other fabrics for the household furnishings industry

Viper International Ltd, Coalisland, designs and manufactures materials handling machinery for the quarrying industry.

Phoenix Picture Frames Ltd, Enniskillen, produces a broad range of picture frame mouldings and has established business with art galleries and picture framers in the Gulf region.

The mission also included Andronics Ltd, Larne; Beaufort Air Sea Equipment Ltd, Dunmurry; Fayrefield Foods Ltd, Belfast; FG Wilson (Engineering) Ltd, Larne; Memsis, Belfast; and TR Shipping Services, Belfast.