Living in a smart home is no more a high aspiration, but a new normal for UAE residents - more so for the digital-savvy millennial population who either own a house or looking to buy one.
As the world hails 2017 as "The Year of the Smart Home," the UAE is already leading the revolution in the region, aided by its increased adoption of smart technologies.
Gitex Shopper - the Middle East's largest annual consumer electronics exhibition - is a key enabler of such smart technologies along with UAE telecoms, a multitude of smartphone brands, and a breathtaking array of smart technology devices.
"This year we are seeing more exciting devices for the home that can control all manner of things simply with a click of a button, via an app, or even speaking directly to the smart device. As the largest consumer and IT electronics show in the Middle East, Gitex Shopper enables visitors to find everything from smart fridges to smart speakers, all revolutionizing the everyday routine and make laborious tasks more manageable," said Avinash Shanbhogue, portfolio director - Exhibitions, Dubai World Trade Centre.
The previous edition of the show in 2016 saw the introduction of many Smart Home Ecosystems, including Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, SamsungSmartThings, among many others, said Shanbhogue.
Gitex Shopper, running till September 29, has on display a whole range of intelligent systems that allow the user to control a variety of household items to easily manage the home - such as locking the front door, controlling the lights, thermostats, alarm clocks, and even window blinds.
Such a line-up of digital marvels will not only help transform the lifestyle of residents, young and old alike but also triggers a revolution propelling the UAE smart home market at a compound annual growth rate of 14.8 percent during 2016-22, latest data shows.
Across the globe, smart home households are predicted to grow more than fivefold from 90 million in 2016 to 463 million by 2021. Globally, the smart home market, classified on the basis of products in lighting, security and access, HVAC, entertainment, healthcare, and kitchenware, is expected to reach $121.73 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 14.07 percent between 2016 and 2022, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.
The drastic migration from offline to online home management, which is picking up momentum in a digitally disrupted ecosystem, is an important step in integrating homes across the UAE into the country's Smart City future, according to experts.
Thanks to the highest per capita smartphone penetration rate in the region, a typical UAE home is witnessing this momentous transformation enabled by the increased adoption of smart technologies, they said.
The UAE's per capita smartphone penetration rate is at an estimated 73.8 percent, according to Google, as well as a wide 4G LTE network that covers 85 percent of the country's populated areas.
Fahad Al Bannai, CEO of Axiom Telecom, believes the GCC, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia in particular, play an important role in this rapid global growth.
According to him, the country's telecoms, Etisalat and du have been important enablers of this smart home evolution. In addition to providing the data network, both operators are taking initiatives to help residents embrace smart home technology.
While Etisalat offers 'Smart Living', a unified approach to home automation that integrates home monitoring, security, safety, and air conditioning management into one system that can be managed from a smartphone, tablet, or computer, du brings smart home solutions, ranging from surveillance and monitoring to entertainment automation, to its customers across the UAE through the operator's partnership with PCCW Global.
A recent surge in villa construction in the UAE has fuelled the growth of the smart homes market led by Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Al Ain. During the forecast period, Dubai is forecast to grow at a relatively higher CAGR on the back of government initiatives to build a smart city in the region, according to 6Wresearch.
At Gitex Shopper, Sharaf DG, one of the region's largest retailers, is featuring a wide selection of smart home devices, including Google Smart Home Speaker powered by the Google Assistant and the Nest Thermostat for smart energy efficiency savings.
Regional power retailer, Jumbo Electronics, is showcasing the latest smart home security devices, such as Grains keypad lock, which can be operated with a fingerprint and Grains video doorbell, which gives a real-time view of the door at any point, via a mobile application.
Gitex Shopper is also a shopper's paradise for the latest smartphones, TVs, laptops, wearable tech, smartwatches, cameras, and gaming consoles, all conveniently showcased under one roof, and at unbeatable prices.
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Media Courtesy : Khaleej Times