Dubai is known as one of the most secure major cities in the world. One of the underlying aspects that have created a safe environment for both residents and tourists is the prevalence of closed-circuit television (CCTV). With growth in new business and residential properties on the lead up to Expo 2020, this is the best time to start a CCTV business. According to market research, the UAE video surveillance market will be valued at $194 million by 2023.
The first thing you need to do is decide on what you’re going to be specialising in. Some companies only sell CCTV equipment to their customers, while some like to provide installation services, and a few provide both services. Regardless of which niche you choose to select, it’s critical that you understand the local landscape as the rules and regulations are unique to Dubai.
Understand the Local Landscape
The SIRA (Security Industry Regulatory Agency) is a government agency responsible for managing the CCTV sector in Dubai. Dubai government requires that companies engaged in certain types of businesses (financial institutions, jewellery and gold traders, shopping malls, hotels and motels, sports and social clubs, phone companies) install a CCTV system on their premises. Recent rule changes stipulate that apartment buildings and villa compounds have CCTV systems.
Any new business within the SIRA list of oversight cannot get its business license without a CCTV system in place. SIRA provides a NOC for a trade license only after a SIRA auditor has approved the installed CCTV system. As you can see, these rules and regulations guarantee that CCTV businesses will remain in continued use because it is essential to their continued operation and ability to have a license.
SIRA has specific CCTV installation guidelines depending on the type of license a business holds. These guidelines specify things such as field of view, location of cameras, frame rate and resolution of video surveillance. Your business will need to be familiar with all the specific regulations. The SIRA also requires that all CCTV systems connect to SIRA’s servers over the internet. Therefore your technicians will need to become familiar with their proprietary software.
Over the years, SIRA has greatly increased the number of individual certifications that it provides for security system installation and management. You should either hire technicians with these certifications or make sure your staff attains them so that they are compliant with local rules.
Getting your CCTV Business License
It’s very rare to find a business in the CCTV sector that operates from a free zone due to the restrictions that this imposes on their ability to do business freely. Most businesses obtain a local license through the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). With a local license, you can set up your business in any of the commercial areas of Dubai.
While the standard DED licensing process is quite straightforward, getting a license to trade in CCTV equipment or to install such equipment requires the approval of SIRA. As technology and privacy protection norms evolve, the rules and regulations of SIRA are constantly evolving. It is highly recommended that you use the services of a seasoned business consultancy that is familiar with the local rules.
Growing your CCTV Business
The CCTV sector in Dubai is highly competitive with large dominant players as well as hundreds of smaller niche players. There are a couple of ways you can stand out in the market. You can partner with companies that work with start-up firms on the lead up to Expo 2020 as a vast majority will need CCTV systems. You could reach out to property developers, and management companies as a substantial amount of new developments will be legally required to have CCTV.
Long term contracts can be highly profitable if you include ongoing maintenance and servicing. With the rise of artificial intelligence and facial recognition, many businesses are upgrading to state-of-the-art systems. As a new company, you can offer the best possible service and equipment in the market. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by, ask us for more details on how you can launch your CCTV business today.