The UAE air conditioning market has been forecast to grow at an increasing rate over the next five years, and is forecast to surpass $1 billion in revenues by the end of 2018.
Air conditioning is a necessity in the UAE, given its geography and climate. Air conditioners, therefore, will continue to be in demand in the country, in one form or the other, for the foreseeable future. Despite this, the market for packaged and split air conditioners has witnessed a dip over the last three years, though the nature of air conditioning itself has evolved.
The reasons for the sluggish air conditioning market are not difficult to ascertain. The UAE's GDP as a whole shrunk by 0.7% in 2009. The global economic slowdown, shutting down of capital markets, the fallout from Dubai's property crash and the impact of the announcement concerning deferment of debt, could be enumerated as the main causes for the contracted GDP. This has obviously had a direct impact on Dubai's packaged air conditioning sector, in particular, and the UAE's in general.
The advent of new technologies such as Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) and district cooling are likely to contribute to the industry's growth as these technologies are gaining wide acceptability resulting from the growing need for energy efficiency.
Reflecting the global mantra of sustainability, the UAE government has thrown its weight behind energy efficient air conditioning products in recent years. As an upshot of this, the Federal UAE Emirates Authority for Standardisation & Metrology (ESMA) is working on a project on air conditioner energy performance standard.
ESMA initiated a preliminary survey and data collection project in the first half of 2010, involving brands like O General (Fujitsu General), Super General, LG, Westpoint, Mitsubishi Electric, Carrier, Supra, Aftron and Samsung. The products on ESMA's radar are window, ductless split, portable, multi-split and packaged air conditioners.
Since environmental concern has entered the equation, in the long run, air conditioners that are environment friendly and reduce energy bills are likely to survive and prevail, be they innovations from established brands or new entrants in the market which can deliver on these two counts.
The good news is that the UAE government's fiscal stimulus, such as it is, is aimed at infrastructure, including its nuclear power plant, oil and gas facilities. The public sector has also injected money in renovating schools and police stations. All this will, perhaps, translate into healthier sales figures for the air conditioning sector in the coming years.
For more information on the UAE air conditioning market, see the latest research: UAE Air Conditioning Market
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