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The Middle East region exhibits a strong market for IoT, say experts

Experts feel that IoT is relatively more recognised in the UAE than other GCC countries

| | Feb 5, 2017 | 7:51 pm
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Dubai, UAE: According to industry experts who participated in the GITEX Technology Week 2015, held in Dubai in October 2015, the Middle East is expected to become a global driver of Internet of Things-related innovations, as the cloud market in the GCC region is likely to grow to USD 668.5 million by 2020. As IoT makes inroads in the HVAC sector worldwide, industry experts share their views on the preparedness of accepting IoT in the Middle East region.

Colin Bridges, General Manager at Belimo Automation, Qatar, has a positive outlook about the IoT industry in the region, particularly the UAE. He says that the UAE’s increased awareness about energy consumption has encouraged it to look at ways to minimise the usage, while also focusing on efficiency. This could perhaps make the country one of the early adopters of IoT, he adds.

Sounding more optimistic is Ghassan Barghouth, Vice President, Middle East for Oil & Gas and Industrial Sales at Schneider Electric, who says that the Middle East is ahead when it comes to the IoT. “We hear customers asking for it; it is a big thing in the Middle East,” he says. “It is inevitable. If you want to be competitive in this market and provide the best service for your customers, you need to differentiate yourself. This is where the world is going. These are efficiency tools.”

However, Sougata Nandi, Founder and CEO of 3e Advisory, believes that IoT still has a long way to go before being wholly accepted in the industry. “The HVAC industry in the region has not yet woken up to the shift in global paradigm through IoT,” he says. “There have been sporadic interests and initiatives by a handful of players, but they have neither been effective nor sustainable, simply because, the stakeholders are yet to see either the commercial value in this, or how to actually utilise it to their benefit in the most effective way possible. The industry leaders by and large acknowledge the need and benefits of IoT. However, the unfortunate reality is that while equipment manufacturers have the technological expertise to deploy IoT, they are yet to come up with the correct approach to commercialise it.”

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