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Gulf region’s LED market shines

24 Jul 2017

Manufacturers report full order books with high hopes of continued success at three-day lighting technology showcase

Dubai, UAE: Global lighting suppliers have reported a significant increase in business across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the last 12 months, with the region’s LED penetration estimated to surpass 50 per cent by 2020, according to industry sources.

The energy efficient and eco-friendly LED (light emitting diode) technology is backed by supportive government regulations encouraging its uptake, as are declining prices and large-scale projects in architectural, industrial, hospitality, outdoor, and residential applications.

According to analysts Frost & Sullivan, LED comprised around 38 per cent of the GCC’s US$910 million lighting fixtures market in 2015, with its penetration expected to grow 17-18 per cent annually over the next three to four years.

In turn, many lighting manufacturers enjoyed full order books in 2016, and have high hopes for more of the same at the Light Middle East 2017 trade fair, which runs from 17-19 October at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

US-headquartered Fulham will be one of more than 340 exhibitors from 31 countries set to descend upon the region’s premier exhibition for architectural lighting design and technology, and is looking to build on its successful participation at previous editions.

“2016 was a record revenue year for Fulham, in which we acquired a European LED driver and a controls company this year and developed many new products for commercial LED applications,” said Srinavasan Sudarshanan, the General Manager at Fulham.

“The regional LED market today is about 50 per cent new construction and 50 per cent retrofit.  Customers are increasingly aware that LED lamps and tubes that use existing Fluorescent, HID or induction power systems are not the best way to reduce energy use. 

“Therefore, we’re seeing more and more use of complete retrofits – either via the luminaire or from retrofit kits that go in existing luminaires.  While the market continues to grow at 20 per cent, we see emergency lighting systems and controls as our next growth areas,” he added. 

European companies PUK from Italy and Spanish manufacturer Airfal are also returning exhibitors this year to Light Middle East, with both having landed major projects in the region over the last 12 months.

“The Middle East is an important market that appreciates the ‘Made in Spain’ product that we offer,” said Manuel de Dios Ariza, Airfal’s Export Manager. “We’re going to show our new light fittings for specific environments such as farming areas, greenhouses and livestock zones, as well as our latest develops in EX lighting.

“Thanks to Light Middle East 2016, we signed major projects such as the lighting of the Lebanese National Library with our waterproof light fittings, as well as the Eco Mall in Iran, which we’re very proud of.  We got really good results last year, and we’re sure this year will be the same.”

Simone Ferrari, PUK Italia’s Export Manager said the company supplied lighting fixtures for Dubai’s City Walk and Legoland developments, both of which came through contacts established at Light Middle East 2016.

“Over the last 12 months, we enlarged our range of outdoor lighting fixtures and started important cooperation with famous Italian design studios to combine our technical know-how with their design skills,” said Ferrari. 

“We have so many clients in the Gulf region and our business volume is increasing year after year.  At Light Middle East 2017, we’ll display a selection of our 2017 portfolio, along with some prototypes that will enter into production in 2018.”

Other key exhibitors returning to Light Middle East in 2017 include 3S International from Canada, Bjb from Germany, Italian manufacturers FIVEP and Forma Lighting, while major UAE players will be spearheaded by Al Zubair, Decolight, and Light Factor Enterprise.  Hoping to make a big splash on debut include Elettrico Lighting from the UAE and ELT from Spain. 

“The Middle East lighting industry is at a crucial tipping point, with new technology driving innovative and energy efficient lighting solutions,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Light Middle East.

“Solid state lighting solutions or LED is expected to account for close to 50 per cent of the total global lighting market, with the GCC region quickly catching up. 

“Ambitious plans by governments are also driving the progress towards greater efficiency, with Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy and Abu Dhabi’s Estidama programme among ongoing initiatives powering demand for smart and sustainable solutions,” added Pauwels.

Now in its 12th edition, Light Middle East 2017 returns with a host of headline features such as the Light Middle East Awards, where the spotlight will shine on outstanding regional and global lighting projects; and the Think Light Conference, a two-day summit bringing together designers, architects, engineers, and developers to share insights, inspiration, and thought leadership in the lighting industry.

Other features include Light.ication, the Middle East’s only competition nurturing the next generation of regional lighting designers, architects, and engineers; and Ready Steady Light Middle East, a live competition during the show where teams are given 90 minutes to design and install a lighting scheme with a range of provided equipment.  More information about Light Middle East is available at: