Dubai is well-known for its technological prowess and – we can say with confidence – it is the most developed country in the Middle East.

They made huge investments in flying vehicles over the last few years and these could be an exciting addition to the Dubai sky very soon, but until that happens, they will stick to using smaller versions – drones.

People mostly use drones for fun – as a hobby or for taking photographs and videos from above. However, new purposes for drones are constantly discovered, such as drone racing, falcon training, livestock monitoring, surveillance, and in search and rescue missions. They are also used for media monitoring and in the manufacturing industry for inspections on the field.

People tend to turn to drones mostly because of their precision, easy navigation, and – naturally – the cost. Everything mentioned above would otherwise be done by a satellite or helicopter, so drones are a significantly cheaper investment.

Vice-President of market research and analysis services provider AMRB, Sukhdev Singh, predicts the drone market is going to reach critical mass in the near future. He said:

“Robust growth is expected in use cases related to inventory management, and in the utilities, oil and gas industries in the Middle East and Africa with drones being used for monitoring and inspection purposes.

Drones will also be rapidly implemented in use cases related to precision mapping as well as in agriculture, not just for monitoring, but to also assess crop health, field drainage and irrigation requirements.”

Meanwhile, consulting company Strategy& recently produced a report which indicates that the drone market in the Gulf Cooperation Council is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2022. Ramzi Khoury from Strategy& Middle East said:

“Airspace regulators are aware of the growth of drone technology, and are searching for balance between public safety and economic efficiency. Progress of drone legislation and regulation in the GCC is uneven, and therefore the main purpose of the drone traffic control centre is to serve as a centralised authority to manage drone traffic and ensure regulation is followed.”

The sensors attached to drones can capture an impressive amount of different data which can facilitate the digitalisation of numerous industries and enable the conducting of a variety of research. One use for drones that is currently being researched is extending cellular reception to remote areas, such as the desert. This would enable rescue services to locate people that get lost in these areas.


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