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U$4.5 billion forecast for IT infrastructure on civil projects under construction.

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25 Mar 2009

U$4.5 billion forecast for IT infrastructure on civil projects under construction.

Arabian Gulf countries are forecast to spend almost US$4.5 billion on information technology and communications hardware for civil projects under construction between now and 2011, according to new figures.

The forecast is made by project database company Proleads and comes in advance of the eagerly anticipated Middle East Communications (MECOM) exhibition and conference which takes place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 25-27 May 2009.

MECOM brings together the region’s major operators and service providers to provide a major platform for multi-million dollar deals and partnerships throughout the region. The showcase is the region’s only dedicated communications for enterprise trade show, which will also host leaders of the top telecommunication companies and regulators throughout the Middle East and Africa.

The Proleads forecast for communications hardware capital expenditure covers all six Gulf Co-operation Council countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – and shows the UAE accounting for the lion’s share of infrastructure demand for materials such communications cabling. The UAE forecast amounts to almost $3.3 billion of the total.

The forecast also indicates that mixed use civil projects will account for the biggest proportion of communication hardware expenditure in the period at around US$2.95 billion. Residential development will account for a further US$674 million and commercial developments such as airports, offices, hotels, railways and retail for about US$577 million.

“The continued growth of information technology and communications infrastructure continues to be a major element in the development of the region in spite of slowdowns in other sectors,” said Ed Malkoun, Group Exhibition Director of IIR Middle East, organisers of MECOM 2009.

“On a worldwide basis, fixed broadband internet lines have reached 1.1 billion - only one sixth of the world's population,” he added. “Regional figures are still low as Saudi Arabia, the biggest market, has a penetration of only 4%. But, as the Proleads data shows, residential and mixed developments are taking up broadband services aggressively.”

Last year MECOM attracted 5,640 business-to-business visitors from 49 different countries. IIR Middle East, the organiser of MECOM is confident of increased trade participation this year.

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