The Middle East stands on the cusp of a digital revolution, driven by megaprojects, Smart Cities, hospitality, retail, transportation and entertainment sectors. The professional AudioVisual (pro-AV) solutions market in the Middle East and Africa is worth an estimated USD4.63 billion in 2016. In the UAE alone, the market is expected to reach USD707 million in 2018, up from USD656.2 million in 2016. A vast expanse of opportunities in the Middle East and Africa digital boom is up for grabs. InfoComm Middle East & Africa is the launch pad to capture a share of this lucrative market.
A REGION OF SUPERLATIVES
The Middle East is set to host many mega global events like the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It is home to many top-of-the-world attractions, including the Guggenheim and Louvre Museums in Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s USD10-billion Mohammed bin Rashid City, and Museum of the Future – the world’s only innovation museum. Under construction in Dubai are the Aladdin City – a mixed-use hub of iconic towers spanning Dubai Creek, inspired by tales of Aladdin and Sindbad; and The Mall of the World – the world’s largest shopping mall which not only adds 4.5 million sqm of retail spaces but also indoor game park, theatres, medical tourism and 20,000 hotel rooms. Hospitality revenue in UAE is expected to rise to USD9.8 billion in 2020. Retail, hospitality, sporting, music and concert events open up immense opportunities for high-quality audio, digital signage, ultra-high definition LED walls and other pro-AV installations.
A HOTBED OF DIGITAL REVOLUTION
Digital technology is taking the front seat as the Middle East economies are driving forward to diversify from oil to a service- and tourism-oriented economy. According to Gartner, IT spending in the Middle East topped USD213 billion in 2016 and is projected to increase to USD220 billion and USD235 billion in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Transformation projects in banking and financial services, retail, healthcare and hospitality are fuelling demand for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services and hardware. In the UAE, business spending on ICT reached USD16 billion in 2016. The run-up to Expo 2020 in Dubai will see large-scale innovation projects come to the forefront in all sectors, driving IT market growth to 5% per annum for the next five years. With greater internet connectivity and applications of big data, spending on data centres, IT services and communications services in the Middle East is estimated to increase from USD168.4 billion in 2016 to USD174.2 billion in 2017.