Security players embrace Middle East growth potential

Security players embrace Middle East growth potential
The Middle East’s growth potential can’t be ignored. Economic initiatives and upcoming mega-events prompt government to build infrastructure and increase spending. This in turn will also lure private sector players to invest in peripheral sectors for example retail and hospitality. Combined with the need to comply with certain rules and regulations, these factors are expected to drive the Middle East’s security growth into the future, not just in 2018.
Overall, the Middle East security market is viewed with optimism and upbeat sentiment. A separate market research by Frost and Sullivan, meanwhile, points out overall, the Middle East electronic security market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.5 percent between 2017 and 2022, from US$2.6 billion in 2017 to $5.6 billion in 2022.
The survey results were largely confirmed by security players, who said overall, 2017 went favorably. “We had seen a big business growth in 2017 in the Middle East market, due to big demand on the new ongoing construction projects, for example offices, government buildings, hospitals and hotels,” said Mohamed El Shenawy, Reginal Sales Director at Suprema.

Key drivers

Flagship economic initiatives in some Middle East countries, coupled with upcoming major events in the region, are cited as growth drivers. These include Saudi Vision 2030 whose objectives, according to its website, include lowering the country’s rate of unemployment from 11.6 percent to 7 percent and increasing SME contribution to GDP from 20 percent to 35 percent.
As for Expo 2020 Dubai, more than 120 countries and 200 participants, including multilateral organizations and educational institutions, are expected to participate in the expo, according to a report released in August by Modul University Dubai. The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, meanwhile, are expected to attract 1 million visitors, Arabian Business cited Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, as saying.
All these projects and events are expected to bring huge opportunities to Middle East security players, who are banking on an increase in government spending to build and secure infrastructure, protecting visitors and businesses that the events will attract. “Events such as the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022, the first time a World Cup has ever been held in a Middle Eastern country, will be a driver for growth in the entire region in terms of infrastructure needs — including stadium, transportation and other infrastructure upgrades — that will all require security technology investments. Similarly, Dubai is gearing up to host Expo 2020 Dubai,” said Tarek Ismail, Regional Sales Director for Middle East at Building Technologies and Solutions under Johnson Controls.


Another primary growth driver is compliance, as end user entities are required to follow certain security-related rules and regulations. For existing buildings, for example, a new regulation has been introduced specifying that video surveillance be installed in all hotels, banks, money exchanges, shopping malls and presidential palaces. In some countries like the UAE, most residential areas will also have a certain level of video surveillance in place. These regulations, again, present abundant opportunities for security players.
“Regulations are important to assure users and integrators that their system will integrate with others and that it will be reliable. Having regulations as guidelines can help manufacturers more rapidly develop new products that fit within certain limitations. While there are standards such as ONVIF and SIA’s OSDP (Open Supervised Device Protocol) in the U.S., the Middle East has different regulations, all of which are evolving and which we anticipate will make security installations efficient, sustainable, and safe,” said Rick Caruthers, Executive VP at Galaxy Control Systems.

Optimism for 2018

For 2018, security players also hold a positive outlook for the region, citing the fact the all the influencers that contributed positively to the Middle East will continue to be there next year. “Our outlook is positive since a lot of the core new infrastructure in terms of building and roadworks are now well under way for mega projects, rapid transit systems, and airports across the region,” said Malek Akilie, VP for META at Digital Barriers.
“I can see only growth and a positive outlook for the New Year. The construction of buildings throughout the Middle East is not going to be slowing down and we hope to see this continuing through at least 2020 and beyond,” said David Sodergren, Regional Sales Manager for the Middle East at Paxton.
However, growth opportunities in the forms of increased government spending and need for compliance are pitted against challenges such as fluctuating oil prices and increased competition. That said, only by further understanding the Middle East market and offering smart, innovative solutions to provide value and generate additional revenue streams can security players truly leverage the Middle East’s growth potential and win out.

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