A South Tyneside flood protection specialist is looking to expand to one of the driest parts of the world.
Members of the management team at Hebburn company Watergate Flood Solutions have returned from a fact-finding visit to Dubai aimed at securing its first export order.
You would not expect areas such as Dubai to suffer from storms, but the fact is that flash floods do cause extensive damage to both domestic and commercial property and the costs are substantial.Paul Briggs
The company, which makes upvc and composite flood defence doors, has previously only supplied customers in the UK.
But it was alerted to the prospect of demand from Dubai by another South Tyneside company which has traded successfully in the city for a number of years.
The week-long visit to Dubai by Watergate managing director Paul Briggs and chairman Gerard Hiscock was hosted by Shaun Sadler, group managing director of engineering firm UTS Group.
Shaun introduced the pair to his contacts in Dubai and provided them with an insight into business in the region.
Mr Briggs said: “You would not expect areas such as Dubai to suffer from storms, but the fact is that flash floods do cause extensive damage to both domestic and commercial property and the costs are substantial.
“With Shaun’s help, advice and personal contacts, we have visited Dubai and we believe that there is good opportunity for us.”
Mr Sadler, whose business supplies pipeline products and services to the water industry worldwide, said he had been pleased to help another South Tyneside company.
“My business has a base in Dubai and we understand the region very well,” he said.
“Like so many things in business, it is all about building relationship and trust.
“Watergate has a strong product line and, as it is based in South Tyneside, I was only too pleased to share my knowledge and contacts in the region.
“I wish them well going forward.”
Watergate is believed to be the first company in the UK to secure a much-vaunted British Standard kitemark for its composite flood defence doors, which it achieved earlier this year.
A similar kitemark for its upvc flood doors was also obtained.
Mr Briggs added: “Our products are in great demand in the UK with the vast majority being fitted in areas affected by Storm Desmond.
“Most people will recall the storm for the desolation it caused in Carlisle, but whole areas of Cumbria, the Borders, Yorkshire and Lancashire were badly hit.”