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What’s unique to demands in the Middle East?

What’s unique to demands in the Middle East?
Several factors make the Middle East market unique. Key among them is geographical and cultural differences.
Several factors make the Middle East market unique. Key among them is geographical and cultural differences. For security solutions providers, this means they need to tailor their solutions according to local needs. Mustafa Masri, Principal Security Consultant at DSP Consultants said that examples of such unique conditions include high temperature and impact of natural phenomena like sandstorms.

Large-scale complex projects

While the demand for devices that can withstand high temperatures is definitely evident in the Middle East, what is more significant is the complex nature of projects, according to Mark Horton, Founder and Director of The Plena Group.

“There is a demand for high temperature rated products for remote desert applications but not necessarily any more than other parts of the world,” Horton said. “Deployed solutions in the region tend to be larger and more complex given the size of developments here – for example, major airports, malls, residential complexes and these require resilient and converged solutions. Border security requirements differ in this region to perhaps America or Europe as they tend to be remote sandy areas with no clear delineation which requires unique solutions to ensure the borders remain secure.”

Bashar Al Zubaidi, Sales Director for Security in the Middle East at FLIR Systems said that customers in the region are interested in military-grade products with a track record of reliability and superior performance. These customers want the highest level of quality when it comes to perimeter protection solutions.

“As FLIR has been the industry leader in thermal technology for over 40 years, we see strong interest in our premium cooled thermal cameras,” Al Zubaidi said. “These cameras are characterized by their long detection ranges, high performance in rugged environments with extreme temperatures, and rich image detail.”

Resilience and cybersecurity

As Al Zubaidi pointed out resilience is definitely a key necessity in the Middle East. Another factor that has been growing in demand is cybersecurity, according to Jamil Al Asfar, Senior Sales Manager at IDIS Middle East and Africa.

“Middle East end users want to see multi-layered protection implemented for transmission and storage,”  Al Asfar said. “Plug-and-play solutions that use one-click configuration for multi-site rollouts are also appealing because they streamline cybersecurity by eliminating the need for IP addressing for every device, effectively closing cyber loopholes caused by human error during large deployments and maintenance.” 
For the same reason, Middle East customers like the convenience of being able to automatically propagate firmware updates to every device quickly and cost-effectively compared to working with separate cameras, VMS and storage. 

“In some cases, Middle East regulations require that NVRs and storage devices have built-in RAID 1 and RAID 5,”  Al Asfar continued. “So, both cameras and storage equipment need to be resilient enough to operate 24/7 in desert environments, dealing with extreme temperatures and dusty conditions, without the risk of gaps in footage which might result in significant non-compliance penalties.”

Storage and image quality

Government regulations often stipulate how long footage should be stored. In the Middle East, this ranges from 120 days up to a year.  As a result, the adoption of the H.265 standard is critical, while end users also look for additional technologies that further reduce bitrate and storage requirements.
 “This lets users achieve up to 90 percent reductions if they apply Motion Adaptive Technology (MAT) and, as a minimum, they typically achieve 65 percent to 70 percent compared to the older H.264 standard,” Al Asfar said.   
True dynamic wide range and IR are almost must-have camera features and are often stipulated in compliance requirements such as those provided by the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) in the UAE for specific applications such as retail, hotels, and leisure.  Cameras need to be able to cope with darkness as well as intense sunlight and capture a clear picture of faces and high definition forensic detail, even with a bright glare in the background of the scene. 

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