"Intersec has played a significant role in the region"

Wilbert Heijmans is Group Exhibitions Director, Epoc Messe Frankfurt GmbH. He has worked in Dubai since 2007 and joined Epoc Messe Frankfurt in January 2009.

The 2011 edition of the security trade show Intersec will take place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from January 16th to 18th and is expected to attract about 22,000 visitors. met up with Wilbert Heijmans, Group Exhibitions Director at the organiser, Epoc Messe, to find out more about the biggest exhibition of its kind in the Middle East.

Security is a multi billion dollar industry. In terms of the Middle East, where does it lie?
One of the reasons the security industry is such a huge business is down to its vast expanse. When you say security, many think of homeland security or commercial security, but it spreads much further than this. You have airport security, video surveillance, IT security, fire and rescue, safety and health etc - all these fall under the security sector. In essence, we look at security as everything which is associated with the protection of life, property and assets, information and borders.

In monetary terms, how significant is the security market in the Middle East?
In terms of figures in the Middle East, the security technology and appliances market is estimated to be worth about US$2.1 bn with a 50% increase expected by 2013! For video surveillance it is expected that the market would have grown by about 10% in 2010. In terms of airport security, spending in 2009 would have hit about US$34.4 mn and with all the new airport developments in the region, this can only increase.

Biometric security seems to be on the rise. Is this something you have noted?
This is definitely another rapidly growing sector with worldwide biometric revenue expected to treble to about US$14 bn by 2015. This rise can be attributed to government and institutional efforts to combat and counter the threats posed by sophisticated criminals and terrorists around the world. As the threat grows, security agencies are investing in cutting edge technologies to preserve a safe and secure environment.

Has the rapidly evolving security environment affected the industry in the Middle East?
Well developed and planned counter measures against criminal and terrorist threats are essential in today's modern world where the evolving scenario has given rise to more sophisticated criminals. The same holds true in this region too. According to industry research, countries in the Middle East are expected to spend US$2.1 billion in security related products and services by 2013 while the UAE's homeland security bill is expected to double to US$10 bn over the next ten years.

What about security systems in the commercial and non-governmental fields which you have mentioned earlier?
One of the trends we are seeing in this region is the efforts within the construction industry to adapt to the latest in international safety measures. It is estimated that over the next few years more than 60,000 buildings in Dubai will be fully equipped with direct alarm systems, which will bring them in line with international safety best practices. Also with the increasing number of high rise towers in the region, there is a need for experts to fully understand the latest fire safety and building fire protection technology.

There are increased concerns for the safety and security of airports from terrorist attacks. How will this impact the industry?
This is certainly something which has received increased media coverage of late. New airports, extensions and other developments within airports are widespread across the Middle East. It is estimated that this will lead to increased spending of up to US$57.7 mn by 2015 on the installation and modernisation of security systems at these airports.

How does Intersec fit in with all this?
Intersec Trade Fair and Conference has played a significant role in the development of the security industry in the region. It provides the ideal networking platform for industry professionals to interact with experts in the field as well as government officials. The exhibition provides a gate way for international manufacturers and suppliers to introduce their products and services to the region, ensuring security professionals have access to the best products and know-how in the market.
In addition to this the Conference will look at the challenges faced by the security industry and techniques and methods for overcoming these. The 'Security in a Changing Economy' Conference will feature key note speakers and case study presentations on a range of topics from security risk assessment, identification of suitable technology, security legislation updates, ONVIF Steering Committee recommendations, access management strategy to crisis management.
The 'Protecting Life and Major Developments from Fire and other Emergencies' Conference will take a look at the latest fire safety and building fire protection technology bringing together international and regional experts to discuss the challenges involved in high rise fires, updates in innovative technology and case studies on tackling real life tower fires from around the world.

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