Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced £1.5million worth of new business for Portadown-based Ulster Carpets, in Saudi Arabia.
The most recent contracts won by the company include bespoke designed carpets for the prestigious King Abdullah Convention Centre in Jeddah as well as major hotels such as the Marriott in Riyadh, Le Meridien in Al Khobar and the Sheraton in nearby Damman.
The Minister made the announcement during a visit to the company, which employs 300 people in Portadown. Arlene Foster said: “Through its extensive investment in manufacturing and design technologies, Ulster Carpets has become a global leader in the development of high quality carpets for the competitive hospitality and cruise industries.
“The company is an excellent role model, as their success in Saudi Arabia, and indeed around the world, demonstrates how local businesses can help drive economic growth. It is a perfect fit for our strategy of encouraging and assisting the growth of ambitious and entrepreneurial companies focused on market-led innovation and international sales.”
Fifty per cent of Ulster Carpets’ business is from international clients, with a portfolio including many of the world’s leading hotel chains and cruise operators.
The Minister concluded: “Ulster Carpets has made extensive and effective use of Invest NI trade missions to develop contacts, particularly with interior design consultancies, in key export markets. It is encouraging to see many other businesses following their example, by focusing on a market which offers such huge opportunities.”
During the visit, the Minister met Nick Coburn, Managing Director of Ulster Carpets, and other members of the management team.
Mr Coburn said: “Our business in Saudi Arabia and other markets owes much to our significant investments in every critical area of the business, focusing on the high value-added segment of our key markets.
“This advantage is appreciated particularly by the network of interior design consultancies which we work closely with in the development of bespoke carpets for the corporate and hospitality sectors. Our interior design partners Oger International for the King Abdullah Convention Centre in Jeddah required a broad range of colours and intricate designs which only Ulster Carpets could offer the client.
“We are providing carpets for the public areas which include the convention hall, meeting rooms, formal dining and function suites in what will be a high profile and very prestigious complex. The complex will be used by leading organisations such as the Arab League and the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance and will be an extremely influential reference site for our carpets and technology in one of the most important markets in the Arab world.”
In addition to its success in Saudi Arabia, Ulster Carpets, over the past year, has also signed significant contracts in other Gulf markets such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Copyright: Harrison Photography
Pictured with the Minister during a tour of the factory is Nick Coburn, Managing Director Ulster Carpets and Gary Irvine, Contract Sales Manager, Ulster Carpets who is going to Saudi Arabia on an Invest NI Trade Mission.