The 24th edition of Intersec – the world’s leading trade fair for safety, security and fire protection – opens at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) today spanning more than 48,000 square metres and running across nine halls and the Trade Centre Arena.
The event, held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will feature 800 exhibitors from Australia, the UK, Europe, the Middle East, the Balkans, Russia, CIS, North and South America, North and South Africa, Asia, Scandinavia, the USA, and the Indian Subcontinent. There is a 54 per cent rise in the number of exhibitors from 2022 with 180 new-to-show participants. Of the 55 nations represented by exhibitors, ten will have their own national pavilions: Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Singapore, Turkey, and the UK.
“This year’s show will feature some of the biggest industry names, alongside new entrants to the sector,” says Alex Nicholl, Show Director of event organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East. “We have 42 newcomers from the Emirates this year, which means the UAE now accounts for 20 per cent of our exhibitor profile. Saudi Arabian participants are up 20 per cent too, while we have also seen particularly strong growth from India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Qatar, Nigeria, and Egypt.”
Nicholl adds that the growth is largely due to positive industry forecasts, high demand for solutions to combat increasing cybercrime, and strong international support from government and professional organisations, such the UAE Cybersecurity Council, Saudi Arabia’s National Security Services – SAFE, and Huawei.
"If you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, either you are looking the wrong way or you are the light,” says Dr Aloysius Cheang, Chief Security Officer, Huawei Middle East and Central Asia. “Start looking at the right way by being part of the community, join events such as Intersec and start sharing because cybersecurity is a team sport. And through sharing, you will become a beacon for others. This is why I am here and why Huawei is part of Intersec - to light up your future."
Major new entrants include Thales of France, Singapore’s ST Engineering, Saudi Arabia’s SAFE, Germany’s AGMC/BMW, Israel’s D-FEND, the UAE’s Tabbara, The Netherland’s Robin Radar, Sigma Security of Greece, Poland’s Megavision, and VX Ray of the USA.
The event will run from Tuesday until Thursday, with dedicated product showcases for commercial and perimeter security, homeland security, fire and rescue, safety and health, cybersecurity and special features, plus a powerful conference and knowledge-sharing programme.
Special features include the Attack Zone, which will be hosted by the Loss Prevention Certification Board and see exhibitors testing their products in live-action demonstrations; and the Safety Walk – sponsored by EnSafe Evacuation Chair, Jutec, and Teijin – which promises a catwalk of industrial safety gear. Meanwhile, the Tech Stage will unveil innovations, including virtual reality solutions, anti-drone technology, and new safety materials.
In the Start Smart Zone, start-ups will connect with decision makers, buyers, and potential investors, while the purpose-built Future Defenders Hack Arena will see cybersecurity teams from schools, universities and CISOs compete for prizes and industry recognition.
“Forecasts reveal an industry eager to invest,” says Nicholl. “The Middle East’s homeland security market is expected to grow annually by 14.5 per cent to 2024, while the commercial security market is set for 16.5 per cent annual growth to reach $2.3 billion in value by 2026. Rising cybercrime is also fuelling demand with the Middle East and African market estimated to grow 14.35 per cent annually to 2030.”
Intersec this year also includes cybersecurity awareness sessions for students and sector professionals with Cybernode, a partnership between the Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC) and Thales, looking to upskill the region’s cyber workforce.
Four streams of conferences
The main Intersec Conference features four dedicated streams and over 150 speakers. The invite-only, two-day Intersec Security Leaders’ Summit is a high-level strategic convention for policymakers and decision makers to collaborate, innovate and seek new technologies. The gathering will address government strategies, homeland security and policing, commercial and perimeter security, and cutting-edge technologies. There will also be an on-stage conversation around the development of a holistic approach to large event security management in which FIFA’s Director of Safety, Security, and Access will share learnings from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Other conference highlights will be keynotes by DESC’s Dr Bushra Al Blooshi, Head of Research and Innovation, on pioneering the digital economy, and another by Adrian Whelan, SVP, Head of Global Security at DHL Express, focusing on a future supply chain security road map.
The UAE Cybersecurity Council will also host a dedicated Cybersecurity Conference with attendees hearing from government leaders, CSOs and CISOs across oil and gas, BFSI, healthcare, hospitality, and energy and utilities industries.
A dedicated Fire and Rescue Conference will be hosted by Dubai Civil Defence and will see the region’s fire and emergency service leaders delve into the key challenges, opportunities, standards, policies and technology. Meanwhile, a highly focused safety and health seminar will explore MENA’s new regulatory changes.
Intersec 2023 will also recognise the best of the security and safety industries through its awards programme, which has attracted 1,256 entrants – including 54 that have been shortlisted to be recognised at a gala dinner at the Ritz Carlton DIFC on Wednesday, January 18.
Messe Frankfurt Middle East anticipates Intersec 2023 will also deliver the event’s highest visitor turnout with pre-registrations showing an increase of 133 per cent on 2021. Pre-registered visitors span 111 countries with first-time visitors coming from, among other countries, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Intersec 2023 is supported by Dubai Police, the Directorate General of Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Municipality, the Security Industry Regulatory Agency, the UAE’s Cyber Security Council and Dubai Electronic Security Centre. The event has a comprehensive sponsor portfolio that includes NAFFCO, Saudi Arabia’s National Security Services – SAFE, Dahua Technology, Hikvision, Digifort, Western Digital, Ateis VELOX, Commport, Monitoreal, Honeywell, PERCo, FM Approvals, Huawei, Cellebrite, NX Digital Technology, Onvif, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. It will be open to trade visitors daily from 10am until 6pm.