The series of construction projects invariably underway in the Middle East backed by high oil revenues, easing property laws and the effort to diversify local economies has stimulated the market for Building Management Systems (BMS) in the region.
“Excluding Saudi Arabia, the GCC market for BMS products was estimated at AED 301 million ($82 million) in 2006*,” according to Chris Fountain, Event Director of UK’s CMPi, organisers of Working Buildings Middle East, which is scheduled to take place in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 10 to 12 December.
Mr. Fountain noted that this figure does not include installation, which would add an estimated additional 15-20% on top of product revenues and excludes after sale services. “The overall market is forecast to almost treble and reach around AED 810 million ($220.6 million) by 2012, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 17.9%. This is an impressive growth, especially when compared to Europe, where the market is growing at a CAGR of less than 2% over the same period,” remarked Mr. Fountain.
The major driver behind the growing market for BMS products in the GCC countries is clearly the continuous need for and investment in construction. While in the past only every other building opted for a BMS, today it is a must for every one of them. This is not only for the sake of comfort or because of the potential for reduced operation costs and energy consumption, but more importantly, the high number of luxury developments could not really function without such an essential device.
“Also, as large projects turn into so-called mega developments - where whole cities or islands with both commercial and residential complexes grow out of nowhere - a BMS system becomes critical to connect the buildings as well as ‘the city’,” observed Mr. Fountain.
Comfort is the current top priority of BMS features. This is particularly important in a region, where due to its climate, the use of air-conditioning equipment is exceptionally high. However, in the longer term, BMS products could be increasingly used for optimised energy consumption, too.
At present, most of the opportunities lie in the emirates, where although Dubai is still the largest and one of the fastest growing markets in the Middle East, Abu Dhabi is rapidly picking up.
Another emerging market is Qatar. Growth is expected from the relaxation of property laws, which now allows foreign nationals to own freehold title to any real estate, and the attempt to diversify the country’s economy away from oil. The market for BMS is likely to grow exceptionally fast in the next few years. Although starting from a relatively low level, the current market size is forecast to quadruple by 2012.
Even though Oman is a large country, its BMS market is relatively small, due to the low number of ongoing construction projects. In the past most of the projects were in the public sector and funded by the government. There has been a recent shift towards tourism related developments, as the country tries to follow the steps of its neighbours and increase the sector’s contribution to the national GDP. However, this can be a difficult task having to compete with other more liberal destinations, such as Dubai in its close proximity.
The remaining GCC countries, namely Kuwait and Bahrain, are relatively mature markets with less impressive growth potential.
Working Buildings Middle East will provide a valuable opportunity for local and international companies to showcase their products and services to the increasingly important Middle East market. The new event has been designed to target all those involved in the management and maintenance of buildings and property. Working Buildings Middle East will explore the latest products, services and best-practice examples relating to the complete life cycle of a building.