LED lighting is booming in the Middle East, say analysts

Electricians swop sodium lights for LED fixtures at the Dubai Energy and Water Authority power plants site. Over 8,500 luminaires are being replaced in a major retrofit project funded by Etihad Energy Services.

The LED light fixture market in the Middle East is booming, say market analysts Strategies Unlimited. 

The researchers say that LED luminaire technologies will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent from 2015 through 2022 in the Middle East and Africa in terms of revenues. The MEA luminaire market was worth approximately $2.35 billion in 2015, not including lamps.

The region was later to adopt LED lighting than other parts of the world, such as Europe, but its adoption is accelerating as many vertical markets such as retail, commercial and industrial approach the ‘tipping point’.

‘We’re seeing tremendous growth in the LED luminaire market in the MEA region today and expect this to continue through 2022,’ said Philip Smallwood, director of LED and lighting research at Strategies Unlimited. ‘While LED luminaires make up 20 per cent of the market today, by 2022 we forecast that they will comprise approximately 49 per cent of the total market’.

Despite the fall in the oil price over the last few years, the Middle East market for LED fixtures and systems is expected to remain buoyant as government investments stabilise and private investments continue. Events such as the Expo in Dubai in 2020 and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 will deliver solid impetus to growth in the GCC region, especially in the hospitality market. The latter is increasingly using the latest lighting and controls as a differentiator.

Other factors driving the market to LEDs is the reduction in energy subsidies by many governments in the region and changing attitudes to the suitability of LED lighting in the Middle East.

Faraz Izhar, senior lighting designer at Abu Dhabi-based KEO International Consultants puts it thus: ‘There’s a mindset here – especially in Abu Dhabi – that LEDs are expensive and don’t deliver. But that attitude is slowly changing. Everybody knows, for instance, that LED luminaires can more than cope with the Middle East’s heat conditions.

‘If we are proposing to substitute LEDs for compact fluorescent, we show clients that although LEDs cost twice as much, in the long run there is a saving. Three years ago the LED would have been five times the price of the LED.’


  • Next month, the Middle East gets its own dedicated LED lighting event in the shape of LuxLive Middle East. The two-day exhibition and conference will showcase the latest LED lighting innovations from 40 top brands and hold a massive outreach educational programme, explaining how to specify LEDs. Under the patronage of the Ministry of Energy in the UAE, the event takes place on Wednesday 13 April and Thursday 14 April 2016 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. More information at


Picture: Philips Lighting