The California company is partnering with Aconfort, a member of Al Habtoor Enterprises, to market its solar canopies in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Spain.
“I have lived and worked in the Middle East,” said Desmond Wheatley, Envision president and CEO. “I have known for a long time that the product we’re developing here is ideal for that region of the world.”
The oil-rich countries of the Middle East are looking for investments that will carry them through the post-petrol era, Wheatley said. And renewable energy is one of those investments. Solar energy especially makes sense because there is abundant sunshine in the region.
“There’s also a good deal of cash there,” Wheatley said.
And the leaders in those countries aren’t afraid to spend it on ambitious projects. They’re not interested in the cheapest solution, Wheatley said.
“There is so much emphasis in that part of the world on quality,” Wheatley said. “They want to be sure that they’re getting the very, very best.”
And that’s what Envision builds, Wheatley said.
The other major advantage the company has in the Middle Eastern market is that the region puts tremendous emphasis on architecture.
“They have some incredibly ambitious projects there,” Wheatley said.
The tallest building in the world is under construction there and the building design throughout the region is innovative, intricate and – above all– beautiful.
“They will want solar with some sex appeal,” Wheatley said.
And that’s what Envision provides. It’s solar canopies are functional, but they’re also works of art.
Now is the time to begin marketing the product in the Middle East for a few reasons, he said.
The company has been working to reduce shipping expenses and has developed a highly-modularized product that ships easily and can be quickly and simply constructed on site.
“It’s just as easy to ship it to Dubai as it is to send it to New York or Nevada,” he said. “It just takes longer.”
The partnership with Aconfort will be key to Envision’s success in the Middle Easte, Wheatley said.
“I saw when I worked there that international companies had meetings and lunches, but companies with a presence in the country got the work,” Wheatley said.