The upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 has sparked fresh impetus in the Gulf security market, as governments and authorities look to secure critical infrastructure and protect the millions of expected visitors to the showpiece event.
The Middle East region's first ever Expo is expected to attract more than 25 million people from around the world, while price tag of at least US$9 billion suggests the host Emirate is pulling out all the stops to create state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure.
The immense security challenges that come with hosting such a major attraction means the Middle East is expected to be hotbed of innovation from international players in the safety and security market, with more than 1,300 getting ready to showcase their latest products and services at the 17th edition of Intersec in Dubai.
Prominent companies exhibiting at the three-day event, which takes place from 18-20 January 2015 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, are targeting large-scale business growth and increased opportunities, as a result of Expo 2020.
“The Dubai Expo 2020 will create major global opportunities in the safety and security industry, and will encourage new ideas for innovation,” said Alessio Grotto, the President of Italian exhibitor Videotec, which is launching its latest range of video surveillance PTZ cameras at Intersec 2015.
“Authorities will spend a huge amount on defence and security for supporting infrastructure, including airports, transportation, hotels and stadiums. New plans on how to secure sensitive areas, as well as to protect government officials and the influx of visitors will be drawn up and existing installations will have to be updated,” he added.
Organised by Epoc Messe Frankfurt, Intersec is the world's largest trade fair for security, safety and fire protection. Long-time exhibitor and global security solution provider G4S expects the regional security market to be worth US$ 7 billion in 2015, with a steady 10 per cent growth rate likely to continue at least up until 2017.
Chris Fergus, Regional Managing Director, Middle East at G4S, said: “Hosting world renowned events such as the Dubai Expo 2020 will undoubtedly require world class security measures that need to be implemented prior to and alongside the event.
“From risk mitigation plans to incorporating the latest electronic security to event security, the requirements are endless, not just at the event's location, but nationwide. Event security is a key service line in G4S, as we have experience in securing the largest regional entertainment and sports events here in the UAE,” added Fergus.
While many Intersec exhibitors anticipate an influx of new business opportunities, others say they are already feeling the impact of the Dubai Expo, including Axis Communications, one of the world's top ten security companies.
“Numerous projects from the public and private sectors are already taking place, most notably in transportation, hospitality, retail and critical infrastructure,” said Gilles Ortega, Regional Director of Axis Communications for the Middle East and Africa. “As a result, we expect the growth for network video surveillance in the GCC to grow by 25 per cent over the next five years.”
Echoing the sentiment was Milind Borkar, Vice President of Sales at Infinova and March Networks for the Middle East & Africa and South Asia, who said: “Dubai Expo 2020 is setting the stage for many new developments and projects across the Middle East, thus increasing the security requirements in all these facilities. Infinova is looking at a broader picture and is observing a big boom across the entire security market.”
The growing international focus that major events have brought to the Middle East will be highlighted at Intersec 2015, which is expected to grow by 15 per cent year-on-year, and will host 13 country pavilions from Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, UK and the USA.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt, said: “Large-scale international events coming up in the region not only create demand for stringent safety and security measures, but also drive fresh waves of innovation from the leading providers as they adapt their products to the ever-changing needs of today.”
“As the largest international safety and security platform serving the wider region, Intersec provides international manufacturers and suppliers unmatched networking and business development opportunities.”
As many as 300 exhibitors will be making their debuts at Intersec 2015, which features an enlarged conference line-up covering Fire Safety; Information Security; Commercial Security; Disaster Management; Occupational Safety and Safety Design in Buildings.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Intersec is the largest and most international of Messe Frankfurt's global network of security and safety exhibitions, which include: Secutech India, Secutech in Taiwan, Secutech Thailand, Intersec Buenos Aires, Secutech Vietnam and Seguriexpo Buenos Aires.