A multimillion-dollar expansion is nearing completion at leading Bahrain-based glass and aluminium specialist City Glass, which is now looking at entering the wider GCC market, armed with a portfolio of innovative glazing solutions.
As part of its expansion, the biggest glass production facility in Bahrain is set to launch the first machine of this type in the country that will enable digital ceramic printing on glass used for interior or exterior architectural glazing applications, Sayed Mohamed Al-Alawi, Executive Manager of City Glass, tells Gulf Construction’s Bina Goveas.
“The Vitro-Jet I Series that is currently being installed at City Glass’s 10,000-sq-m facilities allows new possibilities and improvements in flat glass decoration and treatment, including high levels of customisation, translucency and opacity control as well as light diffusion and transmission,” he says.
The machine also provides the ability to calculate solar heat gain coefficiency, electrical conductivity, slip resistance and to print directly on low-e coatings, while the printing reduces incidences of bird collision, he explains.
“Work on the expansion of our facility and installation of production equipment, which is being carried out under a BD2.5 million ($6.59 million) investment, is expected to be completed next month (February 2023),” Al-Alawi states.
The project is part of City Glass’s ambition to target the GCC market and involves introducing a sales team in these countries, he adds.
The expansion programme also enables City Glass to introduce a new fire-rated glazing innovation that is expected to create a stir in Bahrain, he reveals.
Elaborating on this product, Al-Alawi says: “City Glass intends to introduce clear fire-rated glass that conforms to Civil Defence regulations to replace wire-mesh glass, helping consultants to meet modern design requirements.”
City Glass is a Bahraini family-owned WLL firm set up in 2004 that processes and delivers one of the largest ranges of glasses and mirrors in the kingdom. With branches in three strategic locations in Bahrain – Salmabad, Hamala and Muharraq – the company has established a niche in the kingdom’s market through its business model which is tailored to fill the gap in the market.
“City Glass’s main focus is on serving the architectural and decorative needs of the construction sector – both business-to-business and business-to-customer – with glass and aluminium products,” says Al-Alawi.
The company’s vast production facility with nine different production lines is equipped with advanced technologies to process and fabricate glass and aluminium products. It has three tempering lines to process flat and curved glass up to 5 m, one laminated PVB line, two double-glazing production lines with automatic robotic sealing machine that can process up to 5-m-height glass, four automatic cutting tables, as well as other equipment for bevelling/polishing, ceramic/UV ink printing and sandblasting.
On other hand, the factory is equipped with advanced aluminum fabrication machinery such as: two CNC router cutting machines, double-head cutting machines, punching machine, milling machine, crimping machine and a single-head cutting machine.
City Glass claims to own the largest glass warehouse in Bahrain with a capacity of house 200,000 sq m of various glass and mirror sizes, which enables it to maintain a comprehensive inventory and ensure swift delivery.
“Our goal is be a one-stop shop to serve the requirements of glazing and related products in the market,” he adds.
City Glass offers a range of services including:
• Glazing services: for insulating glazing, glass and mirror bevelling, straight and round polishing, cut to size, glass tempering and bending, lamination, sandblasting, glass digital UV ink printing and glass ceramic ink printing;
• Glass installation works for shower enclosures, bathroom ware, kitchens, interior and exterior glass, architecture and motifs; and
• Aluminium fabrication and installation works for doors, fixed and openable windows, curtain-walls, kitchen cabinets, skylights, cladding and perforation works.
City Glass launched its aluminium division two years ago and received good response from the market, securing mega projects in Bahrain, according to Al-Alawi.
The company also provides fire-rated systems for doors and windows, curtain-walls, and frameless partitions that have Civil Defence Department (CDD) approval, he adds.
In addition, the company provides glass accessories for shower enclosures, staircases, balustrades, mirror fixings and shop/office partitions to support its installation activities, as well as meet market requirements.
City Glass procures its raw materials from well-known manufacturers such as Guardian Glass, Pilkington, Emirates Float Glass Company, Glas Trosch and XYG, and uses around 8 tonnes of glass and aluminium on a daily basis, to produce 800 sq m of double-glazing units daily, and more than 2,500 sq m of single glazing units and mirrors.
Thanks to its well-known glass resources and advanced production technologies, City Glass processes and supplies glass to very high standards, while its ample stock of glass and unrivalled production capability and capacity enables it to meet tight lead times, Al-Alawi says.
Commenting on the company’s performance over the past year, he says: “Business has been challenging as we strive to satisfy customers’ every need and keep abreast of market trends. The company expects to see an 18 per cent increase in sales revenue this year.
“Competition has been fierce in Bahrain, given that there are four companies serving the glass requirements of the market and the paucity of projects in 2022. However, City Glass has maintained its reputation as the preferred choice of customers, thanks to its prices, after-sales support and choice of products.”
City Glass is currently supplying its products to a number of projects in Bahrain including Once Mall in the Educational Area at Isa Town, Long Stay Care Centre at Muharraq, and East Hidd and Wadi Al Sail housing projects.
Among the landmark projects that sport its glass and aluminium systems are the Address Hotel Residential & Serviced Apartments, Al Sayah Square, Jumeirah Al Sahel Spa & Resort, Sheraton Hotel Bahrain, Al Moallem Mall, The Court Yard Residential Building and Rashid Equestrian and Horseracing.