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2.9 MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabia
2018/01/22
Saudi Arabia is still experiencing economic stagnation due to the fall in oil prices, and a sense of political uncertainty lingers. The RAC market reached about 1.4 million units, a decrease of 14.4% year on year. Sales in the PAC market also decreased to 212,000 units in 2017.
 
The year-round hot climate, with temperatures ranging between 39oC and 50oC, contributes to huge unrealized demand for air conditioning.
 
Demand is gradually shifting from window-type units to split-type air conditioners. Models with a cooling capacity of 18,000 BTU/h (5.3 kW) and higher were the major sellers. Inverters are not yet common in the market.
 
Most of the air conditioners sold in Saudi Arabia are cooling-only products. The desert climate does get cool at night, so there is some demand for heat pumps. In fact, the percentage of heat pumps in the ductless split segment has increased to about 20%. For window-type air conditioners, cooling/heating types that use an electric heater are popular in addition to cooling-only types.
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