Middle East Ready for Energy-Efficient Lighting

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Gerald Strickland, Director, Middle East Lighting Association delivering a presentation at the Middle East Smart Lighting and Energy Summit 2016 edition

Energy consumption in the Middle East is among the highest in the world and still increasing, leading to higher carbon emissions per capita than the world average. In the region, lighting accounts for 22 per cent of energy use compared to a global figure of 19 per cent, so the opportunity to increase lighting efficiency is huge.

Despite relatively low oil prices and challenging market conditions, the Middle East market is upbeat for LED technology and systems as it is expected to remain buoyant as private investments continue and government investment stabilizes. Members of the Middle East Lighting Association (MELA) believe that part of the answer to addressing this challenge is to be found increasingly in supporting Governments in the region in their efforts to restrict demand for least-efficient lighting products and systems and to promote “ledification” and supply of intelligent lighting solutions that will allow cities, businesses and individuals to both personalize their lighting solutions and save energy and funds at the same time.

In 2015-2016 across the region MELA members have seen a huge increase in interest for intelligent lighting solutions from office building owners, hotels and governments alike. This is a welcome change, and it shows that customers of our member companies now largely understand the impact of lighting on their energy footprint and the possibilities offered by other building management benefits delivered by intelligent lighting solutions.

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The speed of change from conventional lighting components to energy efficient LED has been faster than predicted as most countries in the region quickly adopt new lighting technologies for high profile projects. Controls are the next disruptive technology and itis in addition to LEDs that controls appear to be making a big difference. Currently, however, it appears government bodies and municipalities across the region do not have the necessary liquidity and this has a knock-on effect on the value chain, leading to project delays or cancellations. For public and private companies, there are also big opportunities but the sticking point also appears to be the initial capital cost. Fortunately, this situation had stimulated discussions about financing, and one can start to see the emergence of performance contract management in the region, a relatively new trend and service.

In general, MELA sees a long term trend of strong demand for lighting and controls as governments increase their spending on infrastructure such as roads, schools, homes and hospitals. Added to this, the growth in overall population in many countries in the region and positive demand for more intelligent lighting solutions can be seen in the long term.

Lighting market outlooks

According to reports by International Expo Consults “the LED market will witness a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent from 2015 through 2022 in the Middle East and Africa region (MEA).” In the same study, the lighting industry in the MEA region was valued at $2.35 billion in 2015. This growth is set to be augmented by other countries in the GCC region that also aim to adopt LED lighting in many industrial, commercial and retail sectors as an efficient and cost saving alternative.

According to a recent study by Transparency Market Research, a global market intelligence firm, the Saudi Arabia electrical market was worth US$4.5bn in 2014 and is anticipated to reach a value of US$10.8bn by the end of 2023 expanding at a CAGR of 10.4% from 2015 to 2023. The lighting control systems segment is projected to grow at a fast pace, exhibiting a significant 14.30% CAGR between 2015 and 2023, thanks to the rapid urbanization in this region. According to the report, the LED lighting technology segment in Saudi Arabia is anticipated to register a 23.60% CAGR between 2015 and 2023 due to the growing demand for efficient lighting systems in this region.

This level of ambition and intent demonstrated by regulators in the region fits well with MELA’s principle objective to represent the interests of the leading lighting product manufacturers, in their support to legislators across the Middle East region in drafting and implementing policy (standards and regulations) for lighting related products and services.

Harmonizing Performance Standards

From a regional lighting-related policy perspective in 2016, regulators in the GCC appear to be in a phase of consolidation of regulatory initiatives targeting the lighting sector.  Indeed information revealed so far this year in discussions with various standards authorities in Gulf Cooperation Council members is that the GSO is attempting to harmonise lighting performance standards across the region. Lighting regulations adopted in ‘first mover countries’ such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are often forwarded to GSO for scrutiny and eventual adoption. The UAE’s pending Restriction of Hazardous Substances regulation is a potential candidate for this harmonization process.

In line with other countries around the globe,  national initiatives in the region aim to prohibit inefficient and low-quality light sources, control gear and  luminaires from entering the GCC markets and to set new criteria for manufacturers and marketers of lighting products. This is particularly the case in the KSA, where the registration period for products within the scope of the new residential lighting regulation has recently come to an end signalling the formal entry into force of Regulation 2870 and the start of the market surveillance/compliance effort managed by the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) in conjunction with regional customs authorities.

In the UAE discussions are underway regarding the update of the existing residential lighting regulation – Cabinet Decision Number 34. Indeed, Governments across the region are giving more attention to standards development and for MELA the priority is to offer the right expertise at the right time to support Governments in their efforts to get those standards right.

It appears that UAE is set to lead the LED marketplace in the Middle East due to the growth in the country’s large commercial establishments, entertainment sector and also investments in infrastructure development.

– by Gerald Strickland, Director, Middle East Lighting Association

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Transforming the Street Lighting Network with Intelligent Solutions

Speaker delivering keynote address at the Middle East Smart Lighting and Energy Summit 2014

Speaker delivering keynote address at the Middle East Smart Lighting and Energy Summit 2014

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2015: Technology has permeated every aspect of our life, from banking to healthcare and from manufacturing to energy, ensuring optimized functionality in our day-to-day lives. It has been the key catalyst in driving change in our ecosystem. The foundation in the development of future cities lies in its power to utilize technology effectively. One of the vital components of a city’s urban development strategy is lighting networks.

Governments have also embraced smart technology solutions; in a bid to offer the general public a resource-efficient and enhanced way of life. Keeping in line with the societal requirements, the technological innovations in the field of lighting have been far too many. Characterized by the intelligent lighting solutions, the new systems are an amalgamation of technology and artificial intelligence that optimize power consumption and drastically reduce maintenance savings. Apart from safety, good visibility and energy efficiency, the aesthetic appeal and reduction in light pollution are also additional factors that promote the implementation of smart street lighting systems.

Cities across the world are experimenting in innovations in street lighting technology and have undertaken measures to implement sustainable smart lighting systems that provide an optimal experience for its citizens. Adoption of smart controls to street lighting installations plays a significant role in moving towards a sustainable society.

In the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi Municipality has been making remarkable strides in implementing smart street lighting projects across the city. With an aim to equip all streets of the Abu Dhabi Municipality with smart intelligent lighting solutions, the city has undergone a massive transformation by replacing its traditional streetlights with power-saving LED lighting systems, thereby achieving its ambition of providing better lighting levels while optimizing power consumption.

The city of Abu Dhabi has emerged as a front-runner in implementing intelligent lighting projects and has successfully positioned itself as a benchmark in lighting technology innovations in the GCC. The Abu Dhabi Municipality has adopted a lighting strategy that offers a host of benefits, from ensuring improved lighting services and safety on the road to enhanced customer satisfaction; from drastically cutting maintenance savings to reducing light pollution and CO2 emission. As part of its extensive strategy, the focus lay on applying smart street lighting solutions across the city’s arterial and internal roads, highways, traffic prone areas, pedestrian crossings and parking areas.

With this in mind, the Middle East Smart Lighting and Energy Summit 2015, in its fourth year will highlight the innovative trends in street lighting and the benefits to the society at large. The event will be held on 23-24 November, 2015 at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi.

For more event details, please log on to http://lightingsummit.com/

About Expotrade 

Expotrade is a global conference and event organizer with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia and a regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronized in the calendar.

For more information, visit www.expotradeglobal.com

SMART CITIES FOR A BETTER TOMORROW

Keynote speech in progress at Arab Future Cities Summit 2014

Keynote speech in progress at Arab Future Cities Summit 2014

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 16, 2015: With half of the world’s population residing in cities, cities are positioned as the engines of growth and are extremely important to help economies succeed. In addition, urbanization drives innovation and transformation, resulting in governments across the globe seeing the need to reinvent cities that are smart and responsive to the requirement of its residents. To this end, governments are adopting new technologies that interconnect and leverage the different pillars of society – citizens, business, transportation, governance operations and practices.

Closing the digital divide and promoting evolving technologies, urban governments are implementing new technological innovations to enhance the development of infrastructure and other public administration services. Utilizing the power of the Internet and new communication tools, governments worldwide are engaging in initiatives to meet this commitment.

Industry reports indicate that there will be more than 26 global smart cities by the year 2025. The driving forces behind the development of smart cities are use of green products and services that reduce energy consumption, pursuit of energy efficient technologies such as smart grids and implementing intelligent systems in healthcare and infrastructure domains.

The adoption of smart technologies are transforming cities and creating opportunities that primarily focus on overcoming limitations and enhancing capabilities thereby ensuring an effective and efficiently managed ecosystem. Along with the governmental initiatives, private entities also play a crucial role in introducing and implementing technologies that guarantee better public services for residents and better utilization of resources thereby mitigating the environmental impact. Many global technology giants have taken steps to facilitate the use of technology in areas such as traffic management, efficient energy use, transportation and environment to spearhead developments in creation of smart cities. The ability to harness new analytical capabilities and gather real-time data, further accelerates the adoption of smart city solutions.

Cities across the globe have undertaken programs in public services, utilities, transportation, and public services, while particularly in the Middle East, the Dubai government has undertaken largescale measures to become the first Arab smart city. To attain its 2021 vision of becoming a smart city, the Dubai government has embarked upon a multitude of customer focused initiatives that allow residents to enjoy a higher quality of life. The government has also introduced the smart government initiative that provides consumers ease of use through its various eServices. The implementation of unique digital platforms, in the field of healthcare, infrastructure, society, economy, governance and environment will pave the way for the transformation of government services to smart services.

Convergence of technologies across industries, products and business models is the key to developing a smart city. Given this, the 2nd Annual Arab Future Cities Summit, held under the patronage of Dubai Municipality, taking place on 2-3 November 2015 at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa will focus on smart solutions for building sustainable cities.

For more event details, please log on to http://www.smartcitiesdubai.com/

About Expotrade 

Expotrade is a global conference and event organizer with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia and a regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronized in the calendar.

For more information, visit http://www.expotradeglobal.com

Qatar Driving Renewable Energy Solutions

Key note speaker sharing insights at the Solar Qatar Summit 2014

Key note speaker sharing insights at the Solar Qatar Summit 2014

Doha, Qatar, June 14, 2015: Qatar has witnessed unprecedented and sustained growth over the past few years and is considered as the fastest growing power markets amongst the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Accelerated socio-economic development coupled with expanding population, high rates of urbanization and substantial industrialization has led to the extensive utilization of its natural resources.

Across the Middle East, the significant increase in demand for energy has doubled over the last decade and will continue to grow in leaps and bounds. In order to cater to this upsurge, it has become imperative to look beyond the existing resources and take credible measures that will reduce the impact of energy use on the environment, help conserve natural resources and boost efficiency.

Qatar, on the other hand, being a natural gas rich country, with ample availability of solar power, has shown a distinct interest in harnessing alternative energy sources for the future. According to industry reports, Qatar has witnessed a significant increase in energy consumption per capita leading to an average annual growth of about 70% in power generation.

Solar power offers tremendous benefits for Qatar in the form of minimal environmental impact, job creation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, to name a few. The country’s renewable energy power potential is undoubtedly larger than its GCC counterparts. In line with Qatar’s National Vision 2030 to deliver a sustainable future, the government, is committed to attain 2 percent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The country is focused on further developing its solar capacity through research centers, pilot projects and with the support of a number of organizations such as Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa), Qatar Foundation, Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).

Kahramaa has introduced innovative methods to accomplish their objective and to this end, they have undertaken steps to install solar panels on the rooftops of redundant surfaces such as water reservoirs and power stations, ensuring optimum utilization of the existing power transmission lines that will significantly reduce construction costs.

Armed with a range of technical options to harness solar energy, the Qatar government has embarked upon a roadmap to develop a robust infrastructure for the deployment of smart grid solutions and applications that will distribute and regulate the flow of energy. As part of its Solar-Smart grid project, the country installed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that are capable of producing 1.68MW of power, and also created its first Energy Monitoring Center (EMC) that is the focal point for managing the Smart-Grid and facilitating real-time administration of monitoring solar power.

Smart grid is capable of improving reliability, reducing cost, and increasing efficiency. Energy efficiency is the decisive lever to raise the competitive edge both economically and ecologically day after day. The success of renewable energy technologies and its implementation in Qatar will be discussed at the Power Qatar Summit, incorporating the annual Solar Qatar event on 26-27 October 2015 at Ritz Carlton, Doha, Qatar.

For more event details, please log on to www.powerqatar.com

About Expotrade 

Expotrade is a global conference and event organizer with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia and a regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronized in the calendar.

For more information, visit www.expotradeglobal.com

Enhancing Customer Satisfaction Through Techno-led Banking

Panel Discussion in progress at Middle East Banking Innovation Summit 2014

Panel Discussion in progress at Middle East Banking Innovation Summit 2014

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 8, 2015: The widespread adoption of technology has resulted in the introduction and acceptance of a multitude of devices and applications that have significantly transformed the way consumers manage their life. Technology has impacted every aspect of our lives and banking is not an exception; it has played a pivotal role in changing the structure and very nature of banking. Traditional banking practices have modernized and paved the way for new innovative technological advancements that have played a substantial role in enhancing customer experience. Banks across the world are making use of technology to ensure consumers enjoy a hassle-free and convenient experience, through its various touch points like web, email, mobile and in-branch.

Technology-led banking has helped simplify and quicken the personal banking experience; introduction of new delivery channels for banking services – ATMs, phone banking, internet banking and mobile banking – have facilitated better customer experience.

Industry reports indicate that the number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass 2 billion in 2016. Today’s customer is more social and mobile savvy relying heavily on internet banking to conduct their banking activities. Mobile and Internet banking have  undoubtedly emerged as preferred digital touch points for consumers’ banking requirements.

Consumers have become extremely discerning and are demanding products and services to match their needs and convenience, along with a consistent, seamless, multi-channel experience. In a bid to address these consumer needs, banks are leveraging technology to their advantage and establishing a customer-centric infrastructure by implementing multiple core banking platforms to build their online and mobile channel offerings. In this new age of mobility, banks have capitalized on the latest trends in technology, mainly, cloud, big data, mobility, social media, security and internet of things to simplify core operations tasks such as recording of transactions, customer records, passbook maintenance, balance of payments and withdrawals and also offer a variety of personalized services to their customers.

Banks are innovating and introducing applications and features to make banking simpler and faster. The latest trends in customer focused banking innovation will be explored at the Middle East Banking Innovation Summit 2015 that will be held on 14-15 September 2015, at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa.

To know more, visit http://www.bankinnovation-me.com/ for event details.

About Expotrade 

Expotrade is a global conference and event organizer with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia and a regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronized in the calendar.

For more information, visit

www.expotradeglobal.com

Arab Future Cities Summit, Middle East’s Largest Smart Cities Event begins in Doha on Monday

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Presentation in progress during Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar 2014

April 8, 2015, Doha, Qatar: The 4th Annual Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar 2015 will take place early next week in Doha, Qatar on April 13 and 14, 2015. Held at the Ritz-Carlton, Doha, the two-day summit will be attended by over 350 senior executives, government officials, developers, urban planners, investors, academics, and cutting-edge technologists from across the GCC to discuss the progress, efficient management of resources, future development and ways of making future cities work better in the Middle East. The summit is organized by global conference producers, Expotrade.

The summit will be inaugurated by Eng. Abdulla Abdulaziz T. Al Subaie, Managing Director, Qatar Rail.

The two-day by-invitation-only summit will feature presentations, panel discussions and networking sessions by renowned experts from across the world. With sustainable urban development as the core theme, the summit will feature topics ranging from smarter cities enabled through IoT, energy efficiency and government initiatives, to sustainable infrastructure, ICT innovation and telecommunications. Sessions focusing on Qatar and the special initiatives taken up by Qatari government bodies such as ICT Qatar and Qatar Rail are among the highlights of the event.

With its growing importance in the region and supported by its leadership and the goals of the National Vision 2030, Qatar is the ideal location to hold a summit that seeks to discuss the latest innovation and technology in smart city development worldwide.

Speakers and panelists at the summit include Eng. Hamad Ibrahim Al Bishri, Deputy CEO, Qatar Rail Company; Dr. Rainer Schnepfleitner, Department Manager Regulation and Competition Affairs, Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA); Ashraf Ali Ismael, National Information Assurance Manager, Cyber Security Division, (QCERT) ICT Qatar; Dr. Fethi Filali, Head of Technology Development & Applied Research, Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC); Cyril Anand, Assistant Director, Business Development Support, Ooredoo Qatar; Mohamed Sleiman, General Manager, Alfardan Properties; Prof. Ali A. Alraouf, Prof. of Architecture and Urbanism, Head of CB, Training, Research and Development–QNMP Doha, Qatar; Ahmad Kawakbi, ICT & Stakeholder Manager, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy – FIFA World Cup Qatar; Mohannad Khader, Vice President – Commercial, Qatar Cool; Safder Nazir, Regional Vice President Smart Cities & IoT, Huawei and many more.

The event is sponsored by industry giants such as Huawei, Accenture, Ooredoo, Cisco, Intel, Alfardan Properties, Schneider Electric, Microsoft, EMC, Qatar Cool, B+B SmartWorx, Proteco LLC (Al Nasr Holding), Esri and many more. Innovation is brought into focus at the Future Cities Lounge, which will see over 30 exhibitors showcasing innovative solutions for building smart cities.

Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, organizers of the conference, said, “The Arab Future Cities Summit seeks to promote sustainable urban development as its main focus. Qatar’s important position in the GCC and its National Vision 2030, coupled with Doha’s emergence as a major city only serve to underline the importance of such a platform which will showcase the latest solutions, technology and innovation in global smart city development. Also of special interest is the summit’s focus on Qatar’s initiatives and progress in this move towards sustainable development. We are very happy to present this platform for knowledge-sharing and networking to our speakers, delegates and sponsors.”

For event details, visit www.arabfuturecities.com

About Expotrade  

Expotrade is a global conference and event organizer with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia and a regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronized in the calendar.

For more information, visit www.expotradeglobal.com

Smart Property Developer Alfardan Properties to Showcase Smart Living Solutions at the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar

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Doha, Qatar, March 30, 2015 – The 4th Annual Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar is proud to announce Alfardan Properties as the Smart Property Developer of this year’s event, to be held at the Ritz-Carlton in Doha, Qatar, on 13-14 April, 2015.

Smart cities of the future are not dependent on systems alone. Infrastructure and smart building solutions are also critically important elements of any plans for smart city development, as both residential and commercial properties must be developed in a sustainable, energy-efficient, durable manner. The challenge is to arrive at the optimum mix of combining traditional construction with the latest in advanced technology, creating the most complete citizen experience. Alfardan Properties, with its commitment to be Qatar’s premier provider of the best living and community solutions finds an ideal partner in the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar, which seeks to discuss the best in smart city solutions from across the world. Mohamed Sleiman, General Manager, Alfardan Properties will be speaking at the summit on ‘Smart Living Solutions.’

Sustainable development is on the rise in Qatar, with its National Vision 2030 that aims to transform Qatar in the near future. In such a scenario, the latest advanced technology has to be used to enhance the living experience for citizens in any smart city such as Doha. Alfardan Properties, with its reputation as one of Qatar’s leading real estate developers, delivers comprehensive, client specific solutions, ranging from design and development to leasing and professional management services, and incorporates the latest in cutting-edge technology in doing so.

The value inherent in an association between Alfardan Properties and the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar is emphasized by Mohamed Sleiman, General Manager, Alfardan Properties, who will be speaking at the summit. He says, “Alfardan Properties shares Arab Future Cities Summit’s vision of harnessing technology for tomorrow’s urban environments. We believe that the adoption of Smart Living Solutions is vital to ensuring safer, sustainable and more efficient living and working experiences. Alfardan Properties is investing heavily in terms of resources, expertise and partnerships to help develop next-generation ‘Smart Living Homes’. We foresee ‘Smart Living’ as the future in upcoming property developments in Qatar and across the region, which is why we aim to leverage the Summit’s role as a premier platform for discussing the future of smart cities.”

Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, organizers of the conference, welcomed the partnership, saying, “We are delighted to have Alfardan Properties as the Smart Property Developer of the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar this year. Alfardan Properties and the Arab Future Cities Summit are both committed to showcasing the latest technology in smart city development, and it is a logical partnership. The Arab Future Cities Summit is the ideal platform for Alfardan Properties to present their Smart Living Solutions to the audience. We look forward to our association with them.”

For more details on the summit, visit www.arabfuturecities.com

Alfardan

About Alfardan Properties

Alfardan Properties is one of Qatar’s premier leading companies that provide real estate solutions and services. Established in 1993, the company specializes in property development and management and offers a high performance portfolio of architecture projects coming from around the country—bearing its signature mark of excellence in the highest level and full customer satisfaction.

Alfardan Properties has a track record of achievements and premium property developments in the country–both residential and commercial, including major mixed use projects and the most luxurious facilities in the real estate community in terms of technical excellence, creation and innovation. The company seeks to highlight the originality of Arabic architecture and to use the concepts of new designs in line with the latest developments of related technologies.

Alfardan Properties is part of the Alfardan Group, one of the most important leading commercial conglomerates in Qatar. The Group is involved in several vital domains including money transfers, jewelry, automotive and marine sector and real estate development.

For more information, please visit www.alfardanproperties.com

About Expotrade

Expotrade is a global conference and event organizer with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia and a regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronized in the calendar.

For more information, visit www.expotradeglobal.com