The Middle East Electricity Exhibition opens today at Dubai International Exhibition Centre, and has drawn hundreds of top companies, organisers said.
"Given the continued growth in the regional market, it's no surprise more and more major international companies are focusing their attention on this part of the world." said Sarah Woodbridge, exhibition director, IIR Middle East.
"The global energy industry meets up at the Middle East Electricity Exhibition - that's why it is internationally acknowledged as the premier energy event in the Middle East. That is why it is rated as one of the world's top five trade events by exhibitors." she said.
The Middle East's energy market needs investments of more than $1 trillion (Dh3.67 trillion) over the next 20 years, mainly in the utility sector, with a strong focus on power generation, distribution and lighting, organisers said.
New and renewable energy sources are of increasing importance - clear evidence of this was provided by the recent opening of the UAE's first wind power plant on Sir Bani Yas island, organisers said.
There are plans underway to build similar plants throughout the country, organisers said. The region's first solar-cell production line also opened in the Fujairah Free Zone. It can manufacture 2.5 million solar cells a year.
There are over 700 exhibitors from 47 countries and 16 national pavilions, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Taiwan, Iran, Korea, Austria, Switzerland and many others. Germany will once again host the biggest pavilion.
Visitors can also attend a series of free industry seminars, presented by international and regional industry experts. These sessions will give valuable insight into many major new advances, organisers said.
Running alongside Middle East Electricity 2005 are the tenth Annual Power Generation Summit and the fifth Annual Power Transmission and Distribution Forum.
These two four-day events will see key government decision makers, leading regional and international power companies and industry advisors gather together to discuss how new strategies, innovations and technologies can be developed to meet the region's rapidly expanding energy needs, organisers said.