The Middle East paints and coatings market is likely to average between 4 per cent to 5 per cent by 2014.As the economy recovers from the slowdown, construction activities in many Middle Eastern countries are expected to resume, leading to an increased demand for paint and coatings in the region. This expected growth in projects, in turn, is likely boost the demand for paints and coatings in the Middle East. The Middle East and non-state industrial coatings market report predicts, that between now and 2014, the Middle East paint market, will average between 4 per cent to 5 per cent of the world market.Many chemical and paint companies have recently entered the Middle Eastern market including Germany-based BASF and Bayer, Huntsman, Perstorp, Sweden, and Norway, Jordan, etc. In future too, these two countries will occupy the central position in the Middle East paints and coatings market. Saudi Arabia has already earmarked plans to invest 500 billion U.S. dollars to build six new industrial town, including King Abdullah Economic City, Knowledge Economic City and Prince Mu Saide Economic City, which is likely to boost the paint market in the region.Demand driversThe Middle East paints and coating market is led by two sectors: the projects segment that includes all ongoing and upcoming mega projects, and the local retail sales sector. Today, industry players are revamping their strategies to meet the requirements of these market segments. Expectations from clients have also dramatically increased over the last three to four years. The market is increasingly driven by discerning consumers unwilling to compromise on colour, feel, texture, finish and durability.The Middle Eastern paint market continues to be dominated by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in terms of size, with Qatar emerging as the fastest-growing in the region.As with most of the markets in the region, overwhelming growth in the construction industry is the key driver for paint consumption. Other aspects underpinning the Middle Eastern paint market growth include the implementation of infrastructure, tourism development, post-war reconstruction and economic diversification as major economies reduce their dependency upon oil revenues and create jobs to reduce unemployment problems.Evolving trendsWater-based emulsion paints and coatings have been used successfully as protective and decorative coatings for many decades and constitute industrial benchmarks. Over the years, these systems were adapted steadily to the changing demands of the market replacing more and more of the solvent-based recipes. Today water-based systems are available for nearly all kinds of applications and the used raw materials are available in abundance.Also apparent is the evolution of corrosion-resistant coatings, which is largely due to high demand in the offshore oil and gas industrial sectors. As one of the biggest consumers of corrosion-resistant paints, the oil and gas sector requires high standards of performance deliver.Rising demand for paper pigments from the paper industry has been the main driver behind the rapid growth of these in GCC since the early 1980s. GCC competes with kaolin and precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), mainly as filler, but increasingly in coating applications in printing and writing paper. The market for GCC paper coating has shown a high rate of growth due to its high performance in high-speed paper machines, which has helped GCC to take market share from kaolin.Due to increasing awareness regarding sustainable and environmentally friendly products, one of the most important demands is the reduction of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in paints. Similarly, all players in the paints and coatings industry are focusing their R&D on green technologyMajor challengesThe paints and coatings manufacturers from the Middle East face three big challenges: increase in internal competition in addition to European competitors and required improvement in their product quality. To overcome these challenges, the Middle East manufacturers must increase their production quality and capacity by getting an automatic dispensing system. The fact that the region even through this economical crisis is still investing in new projects and new construction is attracting European to invest in it; thus bringing quality and experience to the sector.Future aheadIndustry leaders continue to be optimistic about the future, with the production of environment-friendly products finally taking off in the region, not to mention Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and an increase in oil and gas projects in places like Abu Dhabi. Demand for paints in the coming five years will be based on three main drivers including performance, sustainability and functionality. The market will demand products offer good features at affordable prices. Moreover it will demand products protect environment, and the well-being of the population in general.