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Structured cabling in the Middle EastNovember 2007

A region with a total market value of more than US$110 million and with an average growth rate of 52% in the last three years needs to be understood.

A recent study published by BSRIA analyses the most influential countries in the Middle East, which includes detailed reports on the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.

Both Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have the largest market value for structured cabling, with a combined value of US$65 million. The residential market is an important segment in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE and Qatar. In the UAE an estimated 30-40% of cabling installations are undertaken in residential applications.

Bureaucracy in many of the Middle Eastern countries, particularly in Kuwait, makes the decision-making process slower and project lead times longer. The political and economic situation of Iran makes it the most complex market in the Middle East. Currently Iran is under trade embargo by the US, but the country continues to receive a wide range of American products, which are imported from other Middle East countries namely UAE.

Many of the major structured cabling projects come from the public sector. In comparison to the fast paced projects in the UAE, the speed of the projects in other Middle Eastern counties is generally slower.
The main competitor is Systimax Solutions, but a trade embargo prevents a strong presence in the Iranian market. Clipsal is a relatively new player within the Middle Eastern structured cabling market and is one of the fastest growing companies. Clipsalâ's aggressive price strategy and the growth of the residential market are the main drivers of the company's rapid growth.
Category 6 channels dominate the majority of the countries. Kuwait remains the leader in the technological field because it uses sophisticated branded end-to-end systems. Furthermore, it is the country with the highest uptake of category 6A and LSZH cables in the Middle East region. Apart from in the Kuwaiti market, category 6A channels have not made a significant impact in the region, because there are very few adopters. Category 6A channels are not seen as a necessity which is hindering its growth. Category 7 channels represent a small share of the market, mainly in Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is not expected to advance rapidly in these markets, however a small penetration of category 7 solutions is expected in Iran. Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cables dominate the Saudi Arabian and Qatari market; in Saudi Arabia UTP cables hold a 96% share of the market.

Saudi Arabia has the largest optical fibre market in comparison to countries in the rest of the Middle Eastern region. There has been a fast, steady uptake of OM3 cables; as a result the market has seen a decline in demand for OM1 cables. However, the OM2 cable segment has maintained stable growth throughout the Middle East. Furthermore, as a result of global trends, fibre continues to grow in the backbone especially at the expense of copper.

Data centres have enjoyed an increase in the Middle East, mainly in UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman, with UAE being the most prominent.

Statistical data in this article is quoted from the Middle Eastern Market for Structured Cabling study, published in October 2007. Separate reports are available for Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE. For more information on this report please contact Jon Williams.
 

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