UAE air-conditioning market reports strong growth
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, December 04 - 2003 at 13:17
- PRESS RELEASE
Recent reports by air-conditioning unit suppliers' Al Futtaim Electronics reveal that the market for all types of cooling units, including window and split air-conditioners, ducted splits, package air-conditioners and chillers, has been growing steadily.
Virender Jakhar, General Manager of Aftron, one of the companies comprising the electronics and air-conditioning business of Al Futtaim, elaborated: "The first quarter of 2003 proved to be a successful one for our sales levels, with a 100 percent growth over the same period last year.
The air-conditioning market in the UAE has grown considerably in the last few years, worth around Dhs. 1.66 billion in 2000, to an estimated Dhs. 2 billion in 2003. It continues its phenomenal growth in line with the many residential and commercial projects taking place.
With real estate taking off in the Emirates, and with the boom in the sale of residential communities, consumers, either residents or house-owners, are becoming more involved participants in the choice of their air-conditioning units. Suppliers have noticed this trend and have consequently become more aggressive. As a result, buyers have a wide range of air-conditioner brands to choose from, including Japanese, Far Eastern, American and Gulf-produced units. However, although customers are more informed and are more active in researching the market, there is still scope for error, especially when cost becomes the decisive issue.
Dawood bin Ozair, General Manager of Panatech, explained: "When it comes to advising consumers about which air-conditioners are best, an overall analysis of their exact needs is required, because sometimes the cheapest units with the cheapest installation costs may not be right for the project."
The price war in the air-conditioning unit market has led to a reduction in prices by about 10 to 15 percent over the last two years. The most prevalent trend in this period has been the split air-conditioner, because this kind of unit is comparatively less noisy than window air-conditioners. Sales for split units have increased by 11 percent from last year. Since Japanese, Korean and other Far East producers focus on the split air-conditioner segment, they are witnessing an upsurge in their sales.
In addition to the real estate factor in sales of air-conditioners in the market, there are two other trends which follow the more general developments in the country. "For example, there is a growing demand for close controlled units, which are air-conditioning units required for electronic telephone exchange computer rooms and pharmaceutical industries," explained Peter Castelino, General Manager of Sanyo. "The other area where air-conditioning units are needed is in absorption chillers, which are seen as the most promising growth segment because of the expected availability of gas as a fuel in the future."
In conclusion, the future of the air-conditioning industry looks bright. Developments in the country, real estate, technological and otherwise, seem poised to ensure that consumers remain cool about it.
The Al-Futtaim Group represents some major brands in air-conditioning such as Panasonic, Sanyo, Toshiba, Aftron, York, McQuay, Airdale and Thermax covering window units, decorative splits, ducted and package units and closed controlled units. In addition it is a leading player in the UAE for entertainment electronics and appliances representing global brands in consumer electronics, household appliances, telecom, IT, systems integration and software solutions. After-sales service is covered by a countrywide service network.
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