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Are major events in the Middle East driving growth?

Are major events in the Middle East driving growth?
Do events have a sustainable impact on the market? Experts weigh in.
As 2020 begins, several countries in the Middle East are preparing for some major events and projects. In Dubai, it’s the EXPO 2020, a world expo set to begin in October this year. Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, and Saudi Arabia has a Vision 2030 plan to develop its economy. 

There is much speculation about how these initiatives could boost demand for security solutions in the Middle East, but is the market being overly optimistic? We talk to certain industry experts on this.

Sive Hu, Marketing Communications Director, Hikvision MENA

“These are some major events that are about to happen, and these require integrated solutions. I think only some large companies will have the ability to do this kind of work, but yes, it does increase demand. These events are going to be massive and, at least, the demand for devices like security cameras will be high. They also need intelligent ways to save costs of human resources.”

Vikas Chadha, VP, Commercial Security, Honeywell 

“Definitely, there is a demand that’s growing for smart cities. The Neom city that Saudi is working on is an example. Then there is the new capital in Egypt, which we are implementing the full security infrastructure for. Many countries are looking for smart cities and safe cities. We are supporting governments in realizing their visions.”

Kenneth Hune Petersen, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Acting VP, EMEA, Milestone Systems

“I think these projects are making a difference. They are out there defining the market because they demand complex installations, pushing solution providers to come up with new and exciting products. EXPO 2020, especially, is going to be very exciting. It is creating good business for us, and [contrary to some concerns] I don’t think that after EXPO 2020, the demand might go down.”

Jeff Bennett, Commercial Director, Middle East & Africa, Allegion

“There are ongoing security challenges in this region. Those concerns are leading people to question the security of buildings, how they gain access to those buildings and how they control access. As a result, we see a demand in electronic locking with smart capability.”

Stuart Rawling, VP Market Strategy, Pelco

“EXPO 2020 makes an impact. We’ve got some of the key pavilions, which are Pelco projects, so it becomes a poster child because it attracts so many people to the region, and it’s exciting from that perspective. But I think the other side of it is that the way it is going to bring people into this region. I remember going to Shanghai during the EXPO there and it changed the way people thought about Shanghai. It changed the entire area. I think the same thing is going to happen to Dubai.”

Paul Such, VP of Sales for EMEA, Avigilon

“Expo 2020 will have a great influence on the security industry by delivering a unique opportunity for the market.”

Mark Williams, Director, Sales, EMEA, AMAG Technology

“I think the Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia, without a doubt, is driving growth. They are looking to divest from the oil sector, so there is capital investment in other areas, and that is increasing demand for all kinds of products. EXPO 2020 is not particularly a major driver for demand.”

Philip Stockham, VP, Operations, EMEA, Vidsys

“Events such as these are catalysts. In the Middle East, Abu Dhabi has been hosting sporting championships for years. Special events like this bring in special security considerations. Many people come from outside, and you never have enough time to prepare for every scenario in terms of risk management. So, these events are an opportunity for the market as a whole.” 
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