The global homeland security business is flourishing and governments and businesses worldwide are expected this year to spend over AED 216 billion ($59 billion) to thwart terrorists and secure their home countries, denoting a six-fold increase from 2000 figures, according to industry estimates.
“International expenditure on homeland security now surpasses established enterprises like movie-making and the music industry in annual revenues,” said Angela Schierholz, Senior Show Manager at Epoc Messe Frankfurt GmbH, organizer of Intersec Middle East which will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from January 13 to 15, 2008.
Ms Schierholz noted that by comparison, the motion-picture and music industries each generate about AED 149 billion ($40 billion) annually. “Moreover homeland security spending for security goods and services is expected to increase to AED 653 billion ($178 billion) in 2015, or triple its current value,” she estimated.
The business has moved from a frantic and often inefficient scramble in the wake of 9/11 to shore up security at airports to a much broader effort. The scope of security-related spending has expanded to include more sophisticated information technology and the protection of other vulnerable terrorist targets such as ports and nuclear reactors. And spending for anti-terrorism goods and services is expected to keep growing.
"Homeland security is among the fastest-growing industries today and initially the focus was on airport security but the industry has expanded encompassing companies selling all kinds of products and services for securing nearly every imaginable target,” says Ms Schierholz.
The homeland security industry now includes chemical, biological and radiological detection, as well as border, rail, seaport, industrial and nuclear plant security. Other vendors include computer and human resources experts, boat makers for the Coast Guard, information and integrated technology companies, and myriad consultants.
The homeland security business is much bigger in the USA than in any country or region abroad, but that's changing. Rapid growth is expected in Europe, India and China. The USA will make up only 42% of the global market in 2015.
As economies of India and China grow rapidly, crime is rising and both are expected to join other Asian nations in an effort to combat crime and terrorism.
In the Middle East context, Intersec Middle East has played a major role in shaping the homeland security industry by providing security-related goods and services companies with a platform to reach out to key decision makers from the region.
Intersec Middle East enjoys the ongoing support of numerous trade and government organizations namely Dubai Police, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Build Safe Dubai, and Dubai Civil Defence which, after a spectacular premiere in 2007, will again demonstrate their state-of-the-art fire fighting and rescue capabilities at Intersec Middle East in 2008 in Dubai.
The international importance of the Middle East’s biggest show and conference for these industries is emphasized by a steady increase in the numbers of exhibitors, visitors, space and overall international attendance. Intersec Middle East in 2008 will also be host to 13 country presentations from Germany, France, China, Pakistan, Austria, the UK, the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Italy, Scandinavia, Taiwan and Canada.