The GCC Drones Market was valued at USD 0.64 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 1.86 billion in 2026 with a CAGR of 16.15% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
With the growing focus on travel and tourism and the presence of a huge oil and gas industrial base, GCC offers huge potential for the growth of the drone industry. With the growing demand, construction, Energy, and Entertainment sectors have witnessed increased adoption of drones over the years. However, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected several mega construction projects in 2020, thereby hampering drone use in the region. Furthermore, the disruption in the travel and tourism demand in the region due to the pandemic is also expected to restrain the market growth in the coming future.
The adoption of drones has increased at a fast pace in the region over the past few years, and with the countries in the region relaxing the regulations for the use of drones, civilian end-users now have greater freedom regarding the usage of drones in the GCC countries, which is expected to bolster the market prospects in the years to come.
However, the volatile nature of the relations between the countries in the region and the recent drone attacks on the oil production facilities are expected to hamper the market growth in the region during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Adoption of Drones is Expected to Increase in the Construction Sector During the Forecast Period
From land surveillance at the prelude of the construction activity to visual inspection of the high-risk areas at the site during the construction, drones are being used as an important tool for on-site communication and management in the construction industry. In addition, drones are also being used to obtain an overview of potential issues and facilitate site managers in key decision-making aspects to streamline the operations. As the countries in the GCC look to transform economically and socially, they have planned almost USD 1 trillion worth of investments in megaprojects. As many as 30 real estate megaprojects are underway in the six GCC countries as of 2020, and these are expected to become operational in this decade. In this regard, an increasing number of construction firms and real estate developers in the GCC are adopting drone technology in their operations. Also, as the COVID-19 pandemic halted the construction activity in the first half of 2020, players in the GCC construction industry have adopted drones to cut down site time wastage and conduct activities at a more accurate and faster pace than manual labor. Also, the fact that drones help in reducing manual inspection and human contact at the construction sites, thereby safeguarding the health and safety of the workforce, is also boosting their adoption. According to Falcon Eye Drones (FEDS), one of the region’s leading providers of drone technology, an increasing number of construction firms and real estate developers in the GCC are adopting drones in the construction activities as they get their operations back on track following the impact of COVID-19. Such factors are expected to drive the market during the forecast period.
UAE is Expected to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
The market is expected to be dominated by UAE due to the favorable government regulations and the rising adoption of drones in several applications in the country. The United Arab Emirates has been witnessing an increase in drone sales in the last decade, due to their increased applications in many commercial sectors, mainly in the country's oil and gas industry. The United Arab Emirates plans to become the market leader in using AI and applications for unmanned systems. There is growing adoption of drones for various purposes in the country, driven by government encouragement. The country is taking initiatives to bolster the adoption of drone delivery services. In July 2020, UAE has issued a new law regulating the operations of drones, which will pave the way for granting instant government permits and NOCs to public and private entities to use drones for services like flying taxis and drone delivery services. The law helps players to take a step closer to connecting the city's landmarks and buildings aerially, through the 'Sky Dome' project. Likewise, the UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) is leveraging drones to aerially map 1,100 km2 of agricultural land. The initiative, once completed, will place the country among the top five countries in the world in terms of the area surveyed using drones. The country will also become the first to employ this technology to map these many categories statistical data. Such initiatives will drive the market growth in the country during the forecast period.
SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd., Parrot Drones SAS, Primoco UAV SE, Yuneec Holding Ltd., and FalconViz are some of the prominent players in the GCC drones market. The growing commercial applications of drones have led to the entry of new players into the market in recent years. Manufacturers are introducing new drone models to support various end-user applications. Also, drone manufacturing companies are collaborating with the service providers to further increase the drone-based services in this region. In the recent past, Eniverse Technologies, Fetchr, and Skycart entered a partnership to develop autonomous drone operations in UAE. Such initiatives are expected to attract new investments into the drone industry, thereby propelling the growth of the market. Also, the growing government support is expected to encourage new players to enter the market, which is expected to further intensify the competition in the market during the forecast period.
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