French plywood specialist Joubert is establishing a branch in Ras Al Khamiah, United Arab Emirates –its first step in the Middle East ¬– reports Construction Week.

General manager Michael Geoffroy described the venture as a new market and a new opportunity. He said Joubert was attracted to the area because free trade zones allow businesses to hold 100% ownership of their companies.

He said the company had visited Dubai every month in 2009, as well as Qatar and Bahrain, and had identified a gap in the market for its product, which is not sold in the UAE.