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Relocating Middle East HQ to Dubai

Group, the German pharmaceuticals maker, is shifting its Middle East headquarters to and making an initial investment of Dh80 million in new facilities here, a senior company executive said.

Stephan Rosenthal, managing director of Bayer Middle East, told Khaleej Times that the company would complete an additional manufacturing plant in Dubai Industrial Park within the next five years. The plant would add capacity to its established Material Science operations in the emirate.

The new facility would also contain offices to house its regional headquarters, which Bayer is transferring from Cairo.

However, the company’s top executives are waiting for more information on Dubai’s financial situation before deciding on any further expansion plans within the emirate.

“There’s very much speculation in the news over the events of recent weeks. We would hope that there are more facts available in the future,” Rosenthal said, alluding to the surprise request by state-owned Dubai World group that it needed to delay payments on $26 billion in debt.

“We have noted what has happened, and the location of our headquarters will not be impacted,” he said.

Bayer agreed with Dubai’s Foreign Investment Office two months ago to bring its regional headquarters to Dubai.

Rosenthal said that the emirate is the gateway to the region. “We are looking more broadly at the Middle East, rather than just Dubai,” he said.

Bayer Group has for the last 25 years operated a joint venture in Dubai called BaySystems Pearl for the manufacture of polyurethane materials.

The new Dh80 million plant in Dubai Industrial Park would expand those operations, as well as provide a modern facility for the regional headquarters. The site selected is close to Maktoum Airport in Jebel Ali.

Fahad Al Gergawi, chief executive officer of the Foreign Investment Office, said that Bayer’s investment decision attested to the faith that companies have in Dubai.

“This is a large multi-national corporation who have decided to invest here just a week after everyone said that confidence in Dubai was at a low,” Al Gergawi said.

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