GWI’s next Global Water Summit will be in the Middle East. We’re stepping out of Europe and that’s really different for us.
When we decided to stage the GWS 2016 in Abu Dhabi we asked ourselves if this might come as a surprise for some of our long-standing European partners who have worked with us over the last 10 years in building the event to what it is today. It turned out to be no problem.
The issue now for the international water industry – and GWI’s core constituency – is growth. The Middle East is one of the world’s largest markets for desalination, water and wastewater treatment and it could be on the verge of getting a lot larger. Current developments in solar desalination, membrane technology and infrastructure building are making almost every country in the region a place to watch. Bring in the possibilities offered by Iran, with sanctions due to be lifted pending a successful nuclear deal and it adds up to 2016 being exactly the right time for locating GWI’s Global Water Summit in Abu Dhabi.
The water sector in the Middle East is changing and it’s understandable that water people with plant designs to sell and technology to supply might be tempted to come to the region looking for success. But the Global Water Summit 2016 won’t only be about international water companies coming over to make the most out of a growing market. The 1970s view of the Middle East as a place flush with oil cash ready to spend its way through water scarcity no longer has credibility (if it ever did) and we’ve all pretty much got over that one.
Because, for all its potential, growth and pilot support of emerging technologies, the Middle East is not necessarily open to all comers. It is a sophisticated market driven by finely-tuned long-term business relationships and a confident industrial base. The international players who attend our Summit know that; and they will be coming to Abu Dhabi next April prepared for two days of intensive networking and talking to decision makers.
They’ll also get our one-2-one meetings, round table discussion groups, interactive debate and a hard hitting sessions agenda.
The Global Water Summit 2016 will bring you the inside track on the international water business, helping you to make vital contact with potential clients, partners, investors, technologists and water authorities. Come join us in Abu Dhabi on 19-20 April at the Jumeirah Etihad Towers and make water meet power.
Spend two days with us contacting the right people and save yourself a lot of time, telephone calls and emails.
In the meantime, we’re building the agenda and welcome your comments to this post.