Idex 2021: UAE’s Caracal plans more global manufacturing units

The company is already in talks to open a plant in India, chief executive says

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 23, 2021.  Idex 2021 Day 3.
Hamad Salem Alameri, CEO of Caracal.
Victor Besa / The National
Section:  NA
Reporter:  Fareed Rahman
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Caracal, the biggest small arms manufacturer in the Middle East, plans to open new plants around the world as demand for its products grows.

The company has four factories in Abu Dhabi, Algeria, Germany and the US. It manufactures pistols and rifles for military use.

"We want to open more facilities due to higher demand for our products," chief executive Hamad Al Ameri told The National on the sidelines of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference yesterday.

“We are currently in negotiations to open a facility in India.”

He did not give further details.

Caracal is one of 25 entities that make up Edge – a defence conglomerate formed in 2019 that specialises in developing advanced technology for weapons systems, cyber protection and electronic warfare.

Gulf countries, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia, are pushing to ensure that military equipment is manufactured locally as they focus on reducing their economic reliance on oil.

Mr Al Ameri said the company had also finalised a deal with the Indian government to supply 93,000 rifles valued at $100 million.

“There is a big demand [for Caracal products],” he said.

“What makes our products unique is that they were made for the environment of the Middle East. So, if it works here, it works in any other environment."

He said the company's high-quality weapons work in the desert and in humid conditions – giving them a reputation that they can work in any other region.

The company unveiled its second-generation Caracal F Gen II pistol and the CSA338 semi-automatic rifle during Idex this week.

“This pistol was on demand and everybody was waiting for the upgraded version of [the] Caracal F pistol,” he said.

The CSA338 semi-automatic rifle has a “very accurate system" that can take shots from up to 1,400 metres away, he said.

The company also plans to export weapons to more countries.

“We are looking at more markets especially in South and East Asia,” he said.

Alongside India, the company already exports its products to South Korea and Indonesia.

Caracal is also looking at partnerships with international defence companies.

“There is great potential and there is more demand for small arms.”

Over the past three years, the company has recorded growth through new orders, he said.