Belfast Telegraph

Wrightbus opens Middle East office

BY Simon Rowe

Wrightbus International – the international arm of Co Antrim busmaker Wright Group – has strengthened its presence in the Middle East region with the opening of a permanent office at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

The company, which is behind the iconic new London double-decker Routemaster bus, said that the office, headed up by Middle East operations director Paul Brannigan, would provide a springboard for the company's business ambitions in the region.

It will add further global reach for Wrightbus International, which already has operations in India, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as its Ballymena headquarters where it employs 1,000 staff.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and one of the fastest developing cities in the world.

Speaking at the official opening, managing director of Wrightbus International, Damian McGarry, said: "Our new offices here in Masdar gives us the perfect platform to showcase our wide product range and extensive capabilities to the entire Middle Eastern market."

He added: "Wrights Group have had trade links with the region since the 1970s and Masdar City represents the perfect office location for Wrightbus International as both Masdar and ourselves share the same core principles of smart technology and continuous product innovation in the field of low carbon transportation."

Wrightbus' new Masdar office is located in the city's 'clean tech cluster' alongside global firms such as Siemens, Schneider Electric, General Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Masdar City is now considered an innovation hub in the international transportation sector.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said Wrights Group had achieved "a significant milestone".

"The strategic decision by Wrights Group in Ballymena to open an office in Masdar marks another significant milestone in the growth of this international firm," she said.

"This news underlines the importance of assisting ambitious companies, both large and small and across all industries, to grow worthwhile and, above all, profitable sales in international markets and the value of Invest NI's In-Market Trade Advisory Service to strengthening our economy," said Ms Foster.

Wrightbus' Middle East operations director, Paul Brannigan, said: "This is a highly significant and exciting development for Wrightbus International and, with the ongoing support of UKTI and Invest NI, we plan to use our new office in Masdar as a springboard to grow our business throughout the region and beyond."

In 2009, Wrightbus was commissioned by London Mayor Boris Johnson to build a cleaner and more efficient 21st century version of the Routemaster – London's iconic red double-decker bus. The so-called 'Boris Bus' began service in 2012 and 600 of the hybrid buses have been ordered.

Belfast Telegraph