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SMG to explore unmanned potential in region

Posted 11 July 2016 · Add Comment

Streamline Marketing Group (SMG) is holding a series of working groups to explore the potential of commercial and civil drones in the Middle East. Running bimonthly from September in Dubai, the working groups will be a forum to chart the progress of this sector in the region and to aid the creation of a comprehensive licensing and operations platform.

The global market for commercial and civilian drones looks set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19% between 2015 and 2020. Although this reflects the nascent stage of this sector it outpaces the growth in military drones, projected to be around 5%, by a considerable margin. Growth in the enterprise sector will be swift, and outpace the consumer sector. The Middle East is a large potential market for enterprise drones if a stable and transparent regulatory environment can be created.
Globally there is a rapidly growing ecosystem of drone software and hardware vendors who already serve sectors including agriculture, land management, energy, and construction. There are many opportunities to utilise drones in the Middle East, especially in urban planning, oil and gas, power and utilities, and construction, but there are also extensive challenges. In some of the world’s busiest and most congested airspace how will drones be safely integrated, and how will operators be controlled and licensed?
The working groups will explore different drone technologies and their potential for operation in the Middle East. For international manufacturers and operators it is an opportunity to establish which sectors in the Middle East are actively exploring the use of drones, and how the regulatory environment is evolving. Discussions will also explore the use of drones by civil defence and emergency services and the potential for the use of drones in humanitarian fields and disaster relief. The UAE has already built momentum in this sector through the Drones for Good competition which showcases innovation in the field with a prize fund of USD 1.37 million.

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