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WETEX reports growth in number and diversity of participants

MD and CEO of DEWA highlights growing relations between China and the UAE, and Dubai’s position as a hub for innovative technologies

| | Oct 24, 2019 | 10:23 am
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H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer

DUBAI, UAE, 24 October 2019: The 2019 edition of the Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX), from October 21 to 23 in Dubai, saw a growth of about 10%, said H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and Founder and Chairman of WETEX, in an exclusive interview with Climate Control Middle East during the event.

Al Tayer said the 2019 WETEX was the biggest to date, with 2,350 exhibitors from 55 countries. He described the exhibition as a forum that brings together governments, industry leaders and investors from around the globe.

H.E. Al Tayer pointed out that in addition to growth in the number of exhibitors, the diversity of participating companies showcases the UAE’s growing relations with international partners and Dubai’s position as a hub of innovation and knowledge exchange in the Middle East region.

In the 2019 edition, H.E. Al Tayer said, among the 18 country pavilions in WETEX, China’s was the largest, hosting about 120 companies. “It’s the first time, and it’s a good sign,” he said. “I think this is because of the visits of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed. Now, we see more Chinese companies coming to Dubai that are good in different technologies, especially in solar. We are working with them on many projects in Dubai.” H.E. Al Tayer added that DEWA has also seen innovations aplenty in different types of products. “Especially relating to the robotic cleaning of the PV panel and also new innovations with respect to the PV efficiency itself,” he said, H.E. Al Tayer added that WETEX is a vital platform to showcase such technologies, as it covers the entire spectrum of the industry, from generation to transmission and distribution.

Ahmad Bin Shafar

Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower, echoed H.E. Al Tayer when he highlighted the exhibition’s important role as a platform for different companies. Being a District Cooling provider, he said, Empower is eager to discuss new ideas with newcomers and see how the organisation can benefit from collaborating with new partners. He added that the growth of the exhibition is owing to the success and progress Dubai has had over the years. “In any place, if you have a success story you will find all the global companies surrounding them, to share in the knowledge, to learn to participate and to make business,” he said. “Dubai is always the hub of the Middle East. That’s why this exhibition has allocation in the world map, and people intend to come and participate in WETEX every year.”

Rafael Solimeo

One such participant is the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. Rafael Solimeo, Head of International Office, Middle East and North Africa, at the organisation, said that he believes there is great opportunity for both regions to work together in the move towards clean energy and that it is the organisation’s objective to strengthen the bridge between Brazil and the Arab world. The Gulf region is known to be highly dependent on petrol, Solimeo said, adding that stakeholders in Brazil need to be informed of great strides the UAE has made in renewable energy through its solar parks. “The UAE can learn a lot from Brazil, on different types of energy, such as the use of Ethanol, and we have a lot to learn, as well, from the UAE, such as desalination, which is very common in this part of the world and not so common in Brazil,” Solimeo said, adding that knowhow of both regions greatly complement each other.

Foued Kefif

Highlighting the participation of French companies in the event, Foued Kefif, Head of Industry and Cleantech for Middle East at Business France, said the GCC region market can greatly benefit from expertise of French companies, in view of their experience in the field. “French presence at WETEX is composed of big players in the renewable energy sector,” he said. “We have EDF national utility company, which is very active in the emirates on renewables, such as nuclear and solar. There is Vinci energy that is also investing a lot and active on a wide range of industries, and you have Engie, which is a big player in the emirates in electricity and different kinds of technology.” Kefif said that in view of the UAE’s investment on renewable energy “partnering with big groups that bring knowledge and human resource can help the local market accelerate and continue to be leaders in the region”.

Jens Husted Kjær

Speaking at the Danish Pavilion, Jens Husted Kjær, CEO and President, Alumichem, and CEO of Norlex, discussed the company’s specialisation in water treatment chemicals and water treatment systems. “We can take the best available technologies in Europe and North America and supply to this region,” he said. “That’s why we are looking for partners and distributors in each segment to get into the Gulf region. We want to invest and build factories locally with these products. We want to be green, have a positive influence on being green, as this is what we see in WETEX, which is headed in the right direction.”

H.E. Nicola Lener, Italian Ambassador to the UAE; H.E. Valentina Setta, Consul General of Italy in Dubai and Gianpaolo Bruno, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, Oman and Pakistan at the ITA Pavilion at WETEX

Twenty-two Italian companies also showcased sustainable and renewable technology solutions at the exhibition, with the Italian Pavilion inaugurated by H.E. Nicola Lener, Italian Ambassador to the UAE; H.E. Valentina Setta, Consul General of Italy in Dubai and Gianpaolo Bruno, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, Oman and Pakistan. Bruno said that participating companies specialising in different segments in environment, water, technology and energy efficiency are looking for opportunities in the market, owing to the fact that the UAE and the Middle East have to reach a number of sustainability targets over the years. He added that the participating companies also aim to support objectives of EXPO 2020. “With the theme of EXPO 2020 devoted to sustainability, to energy efficiency, to circular economy and to the environment at large, we have many companies specialising in these segments and want to promote them in the market and Middle East, in general.” Bruno added that it is part of the mission of the companies to share best practices developed in Italy, in the UAE market.

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