ENG was established as Emirates Neon by Hanif Merchant in 1976, with just 27 employees focusing on creating neon signs. This 32-year journey took us from our humble beginnings as a small company with a single focus to our current position as a market leader offering a diverse array of products and services that together constitute a comprehensive range of communications solutions.
Now grouped under the new parent company name of ENG (Emirates Neon Group), our specialist divisions include: Brand, Consultancy, Digital, Industries, Media, Outdoor, PR, Print, and Signage.
Mission & Vision
ENG (Emirates Neon Group) is determined to provide effective solutions to specialized industries, offering customers a consistently timely, reliable and affordable service.
ENG's mission is ultimately to build a name for ourselves that is recognized regionally and internationally and is associated with nothing but the highest standards of quality and professionalism.
ENG's vision is simple; we aim to be the best at what we do. Our energies are therefore focused on three distinct targets:
To achieve market leadership with innovative products and services that set new trends across our industries.
To identify and exploit new opportunities to sustain growth and profitability.
To generate demand by consistently exceeding customer expectations.
ENG's 32-year history has witnessed monumental changes in infrastructure, resources, facilities, offices and manufacturing capacities. Created by Hanif Merchant in 1976, and previously known as Emirates Neon Group, the company has continually assessed and reassessed the operating procedures and has steadily paved the way for a metamorphosis from a sales focused Emirates Neon into a brand name of ENG (Emirates Neon Group) synonymous with the highest standards of quality and professionalism.
1976 Mr. Muhammed Hanif Merchant established Emirates Neon in the United Arab Emirates with 27 employees
1980 Signed first contract with Emirates Petroleum for their filling stations in the UAE.
1987 Opened a branch in Abu Dhabi and branches in other Emirates.
1990 Installed first Tri-O-Vision on a Unipole at Al Ahli stadium, Dubai-Sharjah Road & Established a separate division for Outdoor advertising - Emirates Outdoor (now ENG Outdoor).
1996 Did the first Dubai Shopping Festival Decorations Projects for all Lamppost & Lighting Decorations.
1997 Awarded the first ever Unipole Billboards contract by Dubai Municipality for advertisement on the Sheikh Zayed Road Highway and Al Ain Highway.
1998 Rehan Merchant joined ENG as Executive Director.
1998 Awarded the prestigious Emirates Office and Hotel Tower, Dubai signage project to ENG Signage.
1998 Established ENG Print as an offshoot to cater to market print requirements.
1999 Installed the first ultra-bright LED sign (Video Wall) in the UAE, at the Strand Cinema Building, Bur Dubai.
1999 Established ENG Digital to develop digital ambient media.
2002 Established ENG Industries to cater to castings, traffic signs business in the UAE and the Middle East Region.
2004 Established the Scrap Metal Trading & Aluminium Recycling Divisions in ENG Industries.
2004 Started regional market push by setting business in Oman.
2005 Established ENG Consultancy.
2005 Established business in Bahrain.
2005 Entered into a Joint Venture with Roof Internationals in Kuwait in Outdoor Media.
2006 Foray into TV media by acquisition of Max Media; an Ad Sales and Events firm with tie ups with the Star TV Network Channels, Fox Sports, Neo Sports
2006 Started ENG business with offices in North Africa.
2006 Established ENG Media for media buying and planning; consolidation of ads sales via media sales representations and media ownership.
2007 Started ENG business with offices in East Africa, China, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.
2007 Established a new architechural and interiors division in ENG Consultancy in China.
2007 Acquired a branding, marketing, web solutions and PR company in the UK called THINK.
2007 Foray into Publishing and Broadcast media by acquisition of 100 Publishing.
The ENG Brand Story
Hanif Merchant arrived in Dubai over 30 years ago with just a dream to create a sustainable family business, which he did with Emirates Neon. The seventies were tough – margins were small and the work was labour intensive, but Hanif Merchant slowly built a business creating neon signage that the growing petrochemical and leisure industries would come to see as an essential part of their image.
Making neon signs takes exceptional skill, patience and no small amount of physical strength. It also requires a creative understanding of the image and message each individual client wants to project. No two jobs were the same and each presented Hanif Merchant with new challenges, and every successful new sign pushed the limits just a little further – until the neon signs made by Emirates Neon were almost as well known as the multi-national companies who used them.
The end of the seventies brought consolidation and invigorating new business opportunities as Emirates Neon grew to dominate the signage sector in the early 80s. As Dubai expanded and broadened its horizons, so Emirates Neon offered new and better services to clients – multi-national oil companies with international scope and high standards. Emirates Neon flourished.
Hanif Merchant's son Rehan Merchant took control of Emirates Neon in the early nineties, with the clear objective to develop a highly successful family business into a far-reaching international media organisation. Building up sales, driving new processes, expanding the offer to clients from signage into broader media provision - the new company began to spread its wings – adding digital printing, project management, signage construction.
Establishment and consolidation in Dubai led naturally to wider participation in the growing business centres of the Gulf and beyond. Emirates Neon became Emirates Neon Group and then ENG to reflect its group status and expanding offering. Rehan Merchant expanded Emirates Neon into new areas of business – powerful design and media consultancy services, far-reaching media buying, as well as moves into TV advertising on popular satellite channels.
New territories await ENG’s unique combination of pragmatic business sense and extensive experience, bringing new challenges and new opportunities. Under the guidance of Hanif Merchant, Emirates Neon Group has excercised fresh acquisitions and a thriving workforce are now delivering significant new services across the world in some of the most demanding and exciting markets. As one chapter ends, so another begins – everyone at ENG is proud to be part of this extraordinary global success story.
About Hanif Merchant
Hanif Merchant is the Founder and Chairman of Dubai 9 Group, Emirates Neon Group and Ruwaad Holdings. The holding company, Dubai 9 Group is a UAE-based investment company with holdings in more than a dozen countries across four continents. Established in 1971, the Dubai 9 Group has ventures in the fields of signage and visual communications, media and advertising, executive training, human capital consulting, consumer electronics, aluminium and steel fabrication, industrial coating, destination development, hotels and resorts.
The Group’s portfolio includes companies such as Emirates Neon Group (the biggest signage and visual communications company in the Middle East), Ruwaad Holdings, Leading Concepts and Paradigmz.Dubai 9 Group also is a stakeholder and one of three founding members of Enshaa Holdings, whose projects, through Emirates International Holdings and Emirates Sunland, include the Palazzo Versace Resort Development in Dubai and the Palazzo Versace Resort on Australia’s Gold Coast, in addition to many other real estate developments.
Hanif Merchant in his role as Founder and Chairman of Ruwaad Holdings is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the company and for providing strategic counsel of all its initiatives.
Ruwaad Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dubai 9 Group, is a real estate, hospitality and tourism investment and development company that focuses on creating iconic destinations with a strong focus on entertainment, hospitality and lifestyle in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The company is in the process of creating a number of unique, high-end developments in cooperation with leading global brands in the real estate, lifestyle, hospitality, tourism and leisure entertainment industries.
Hanif Merchant has extensive experience across four continents as a very successful entrepreneur. His ambition and vision is what can be observed as the Dubai 9 Group today. His experience spans across business start-ups, business operations and strategic partnerships. Over the past five years, the Group has registered tremendous growth year after year, and Mr. Merchant has played an instrumental role in this achievement.
Hanif Merchant holds various degrees and certificates in Business Management and he has also attended executive education courses at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, USA; the Michigan Ross School of Business, USA; the Columbia Business School, USA, and the Center for Creative Leadership.
About Rehan Merchant
Rehan Merchant is the Group CEO of ENG (Emirates Neon Group), one of the fastest growing media empires in the MENA Region. In less than a decade after taking management control from his father who founded the company in the mid 70s, Rehan has transformed the UAE focused signage company into an international visual communications and media solutions conglomerate that is spread geographically over Asia, East Africa, North Africa, Gulf and Europe. During his tenure, the company has experienced more than a 5 fold increase in revenues brought by a number of well executed and strategic acquisitions and mergers. The company now boasts revenues of over $100m annually, employs 1200 individuals and has varying interests in over 20 companies worldwide.
Merchant is a Bachelor in Science with Honors from one of UK’s top Management universities (in Business Research) the University of Lancaster, and has specialization in Strategic Marketing and Organisational Studies. He started his professional career in 1997 in various other businesses before joining ENG in 1998 as trainee and within a year gained operative company control. With hands on experience in every technical and engineering aspect of the business, it did not take long for him to bring on a new set of clients, consultants, architects and European automation ideas to ENG. His starting success was in 1998 when the company was awarded the prestigious Emirates Office and Hotel Tower.
With the goal of providing clients with comprehensive communication solutions, Merchant established theENG Print division in 1998 to cater to the print requirements of the market. The division now leads the industry with high quality images and speedy execution of campaigns. During these initial years, Merchant pioneered numerous outdoor media in the Middle East including the introduction of Digital technology for outdoor advertising. A visionary, he predicted the potential of outdoor advertising in the Gulf early on and invested heavily in the medium- the ENG Outdoor division currently leads the industry with inventory investments that surpass $100m and is experiencing unprecedented growth.
With the Gulf markets opening up to the world, Merchant established ENG Industries in 2002 to support the region’s development; the division manufactures road & traffic signage in its state of the art facilities that employs top-level creative minded engineers. Immense regional growth also saw this division catering to castings, scrap metal trading and aluminum recycling.
Merchant started ENG’s international journey by setting up operations in Oman and Bahrain in 2004 and successfully establishing a joint venture with Kuwait’s leading outdoor company, Roofs International. The period also saw Merchant expanding the company’s offerings to include a variety of services including architectural, interior design and way finding design consultancy by establishing ENG Consultancy in 2005.
In the same year Merchant acquired the region’s leading Television advertising sales and events Company, Max Media and formed ENG Media whose services span media planning & buying and who are represented by a dedicated advertising sales team. Year 2007 saw Merchant secure the acquisition of the UAE based 100 Publishing which brought into the group includes a network of radio stations and enabled Merchant to launch a publishing arm to the business. In its first six months of operation the publishing division has launched titles in both the B2B and B2C platforms; most prominent of which include Insider, a weekly celebrity gossip title and IQ, the only weekly men’s magazine in the UAE.
In the past two years, Merchant has launched the outdoor side of the business into international markets setting up office from as wide afield as Kenya, Egypt, China, Pakistan and the UK.
In 2008, he extended the ENG brand to include Brand consultancy and PR.
As a result of his unflagging ambitions and ability to turn around companies, Merchant sits on numerous advisory boards including the Dubai9 Group, Ruwaad, Greater Metropolitan Asia, East African Investments and 100 Publishing.