General Holding Corporation (Senaat)

09 January 2013

Senaat has been key to the industrial diversification of Abu Dhabi

Company Snapshot

Date established 2004

Main business sectors Oil and gas, construction metals, food

Main business region UAE

Chief executive officer Suhail al-Ameri


General Holding Corporation (Senaat) is one of the largest industrial and holding companies in the UAE. It manages industrial assets for the government of Abu Dhabi. In 1976, the then UAE President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan mandated General Industry Corporation, as it was originally called, to plan and implement industrial diversification policies. This company was reincorporated as General Holding Corporation in 2004 and later rebranded as Senaat in October 2012.

Senaat’s subsidiaries play an important role in helping Abu Dhabi to meet its targets to diversify its industrial base and decrease the emirate’s reliance on crude revenues, which are set out in its Economic Vision 2030. The firm has seven main subsidiaries, either fully owned or operated as joint ventures. At the end of June 2012, the company had total assets of AED24.4bn ($6.6bn) and in the first six months of the year reported AED1bn in earnings.

Senaat is a public joint stock corporation, which is wholly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi. Suhail al-Ameri is the company’s chief executive officer and is also chairman of the board of directors of Emirates Steel and Arkan, both Senaat subsidiaries.


Of Senaat’s seven main subsidiaries, the largest company is Emirates Steel, which operates an iron and steel complex in Mussafah outside Abu Dhabi city.

The downstream firm was established in 1998 to re-roll imported steel billets and produce deformed concrete reinforcing bars (rebar) at a rolling mill completed in 2001. Since then, AED9bn has been invested on a two-phase expansion of Emirates Steel. The first phase transformed the firm into the UAE’s first integrated steel producer and expanded the rolling mill’s capacity to 2 million tonnes a year (t/y). The second phase involved the construction of a 1 million-t/y heavy and jumbo-sections rolling mill.

Senaat owns a 70 per cent stake in oil and gas contractor National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), with the remainder held by Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC). The public joint stock company carries out work both onshore and offshore for the operating firms of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), as well as fabrication, pipe coating and pressure vessel activities.

Arkan Building Materials was formed when Senaat consolidated several factories. The business was restructured and privatised in 2006, with Senaat retaining a majority stake and shares listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX). The company produces plastic pipes, cement, concrete blocks and mortar.

Ducab is a joint venture between the governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It was established in 1979 and is now the largest cable and wire manufacturer in the UAE, with a capacity of 110,000 t/y of high, medium and low-voltage copper cables.

Senaat’s Agthia subsidiary is a food and beverage group with assets across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, producing mineral water, juices, tomato paste, frozen vegetables, flour and animal fodder. Agthia was listed on the ADX in 2004.

Al-Foah was consolidated into a company under Senaat in 2005 to manage the packaging, distributing and marketing of dates produced in Abu Dhabi. Date production has increased to 80,000 t/y and Al-Foah exports about 90 per cent of its produce to 23 countries.


Senaat has made an average annual investment of AED2.5bn over the past five years and has invested AED13bn since 2004 to expand existing businesses and to move into new product lines. While the firm has focused on organic growth over the past decade, its management is open to acquisition opportunities. The company’s newest business is the joint venture with the local Gulf Extrusions Company, Taweelah Aluminium Extrusion Company (Talex). The firm is investing $200m to build a 50,000-t/y plant to manufacture aluminium extrusion products at Khalifa Industrial Zone in Taweelah in Abu Dhabi, midway between the cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Senaat’s senior vice-president of projects and business development, Tariq Ahmad al-Wahed, said on 20 November that Talex was preparing to break ground on the plant.

Elsewhere, Senaat is pursuing an aggressive expansion of its Emirates Steel operations. The third phase of expansion is expected to include a direct-reduced iron plant, a melt shop, and a thin slab caster and continuous rolling mill with a capacity of 1.4 million t/y. The plant will produce hot-rolled coil (HRC) and narrow plate. HRC and narrow plate are used in a wide range of products including steel tubes, staircases and industrial flooring.

Senaat in numbers

AED25.4bn: Value of assets

October 2012: Date of rebranding as Senaat

AED13bn: Amount invested since 2004

Source: Senaat

General Holding Corporation (Senaat) Profile


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