UL has opened a new fibre optics testing and research laboratory in Abu Dhabi to support regional growth within the wire and cable sector and further expand its MENA presence

UL, a leading global safety science company, has launched its first fibre optics testing and research laboratory in the Middle East with the opening of a 600 square-metre facility in Abu Dhabi. UL’s wire and cable capabilities include the evaluation of more than 70 different wire and cable product categories to both national and international standards for safety, performance, quality, environmental impact and regulatory compliance. Established as a global centre of excellence, the laboratory will service customers from around the globe, with a focus on Middle Eastern, European and African markets.

LunFai Lai, vice president and general manager of UL’s Wire and Cable division, said: “The technological requirements of fibre optics bring challenges as well as unlimited possibilities for telecommunications service providers and optical fibre manufacturers. The launch of our state-of-the-art fibre optics testing and research laboratory in the United Arab Emirates is a milestone achievement for everyone at UL’s offices in the Middle East. Establishing the laboratory demonstrates our ongoing commitment to operations in the region and represents another step in our growth, adding further in-region capabilities and cementing our position as a full-service provider. We are better positioned to support our customers with research testing and to help enhance their product development, enabling them to fast-track projects, compete locally and globally, gain market access internationally, and achieve their growth targets.”

According to leading industry body, Fibre to the Home Council Middle East & North Africa, the United Arab Emirates ranked first for the highest fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) penetration among its global counterparts in 2019, with its fibre network coverage surpassing that of Singapore, China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. The increased use of fibre optic connections between government departments is further contributing to the higher demand for wires and cables. For example, according to the Dubai E-Government’s executive team, 70 per cent of Dubai’s government departments utilise fibre optic connections for the flow of digital information.

Hamid Syed, vice president and general manager in the Middle East for UL, said: “As more telecommunications and network systems providers adopt fibre optics, we identified the Middle East as a hub for the surrounding regions. Establishing a laboratory in Abu Dhabi allows us to be closer to our customers and serve them better, enabling us to address the growing concerns of compliance within the information and communications technology sector throughout the region and globally. We are proud to be working with our regional partners, including major telecommunications companies, for the opening of our new fibre optics testing and research laboratory in Abu Dhabi as part of our ongoing commitment to our safety mission.”

As a leading ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory, UL’s testing and research laboratory will provide a comprehensive range of customer-centric testing and compliance services, including rigorous assessments for manufacturers, installers, brand owners, retailers, regulatory bodies and consumers, which will help reduce liability and risk across supply chains. The facility will test and certify products within the FTTH network, such as cables, splitters, patch cords, distribution boxes and closures.

Lai concluded: “We are experienced in launching and equipping testing and research laboratories that help our customers with critical challenges through the application of science and objective authority. Utilising the technical expertise and state-of-the-art testing facilities of our fibre optics testing and research laboratory, both service providers and cable manufacturers will benefit from our customised compliance solutions based on their specific requirements.”