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INSIGHTS

How smart are the smart city plans in the Middle East?

How smart are the smart city plans in the Middle East?
Earlier this year, a report from the IMD World Competitiveness Centre’s Smart City Observatory Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) showed that Dubai stood 45th in the global ranking of smart cities.
Earlier this year, a report from the IMD World Competitiveness Centre’s Smart City Observatory Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) showed that Dubai stood 45th in the global ranking of smart cities. This is ahead of tech-savvy cities like Seoul, Barcelona, and Paris. To security industry professionals, this signifies how far the city has come in recent years.

“Dubai’s approach to smart cities is very exciting and there have been some great developments in this sector, especially where security is blended seamlessly into other aspects of day to day life such as traffic management, communications, and retail,” said Mark Horton, Founder and Director of The Plena Group.  “Some of the latest developments include solutions to promote healthier communities utilizing body-worn technology as well as further steps towards a cashless environment and connected vehicles that reduce pollution and dangers to pedestrians. Of course, each solution comes with its own challenges but ultimately will continue to make Dubai a safe and sustainable city to reside in.”

In the video surveillance market

Several global solution providers have been part of implementing numerous projects in Dubai. It’s important to note that smart cities are a combination of various other sub-verticals working to create an optimized ecosystem. For their efficient operation, integration is key and companies that work in this sector should provide the options for it. Axis Communications, for instance, provides the flexibility of installation with its open platform and flexibility to integrate even with analog systems.

“We have been driving a huge amount of innovation through Axis and partner solutions for smart traffic management, license plate recognition,
Ettiene Van Der Watt
Business Development Director
Axis Communications
Middle East & Africa
parking violation, traffic management, sustainable environment, facial recognition, lane management, smart lighting and more,” said Ettiene Van Der Watt, Business Development Director, Axis Communications Middle East & Africa. “We have three main focus areas in smart and safe cities – public safety, mobility, and the environment.”

Bashar Al Zubaidi, Sales Director for Security in the Middle East at FLIR Systems, pointed out that In the security industry, his company is seeing metropolises transition from safe cities that primarily deploy surveillance technologies for reactive evidence capture to smart cities that deploy integrated, intelligent sensors that deliver proactive threat detection for improved real-time response.

“Just south of Dubai, the city of Abu Dhabi has one the world’s leading smart city solutions that utilize license plate recognition, facial recognition, video analytics and video management from approximately 20,000 sensors spread across the Emirate,” Al Zubaidi said. “Our FLIR United VMS is the central operational platform for all data for this unified platform.”

On a similar note, Sive Hu, Marcom Director for MENA at Hikvision Digital Technology pointed that their solutions are also in use in the traffic management vertical in the region, besides being used in commercial buildings.

“With the process of urbanization, Hikvision’s portfolio of traffic solutions with AI technology incorporated has transformed standard video
Sive Hu
Marcom Director. MENA
Hikvision Digital Technology
monitoring with features that alert operators about traffic issues in real-time,” Hu said. “Hikvision’s face recognition terminals apply to a wide variety of scenarios and environments and can be highly personalized. Multiple authentication modes are available: face images, swiping ID cards and comparing images, custom modes, and more. Many office buildings in Dubai have adopted this product, which greatly improves the operational efficiency of buildings and site management.”

In the access control market

Speaking from an access control perspective, Nassim Abu Yousef, VP for the Middle East at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions said that his company contributes in different directions.

“For project specification, we have developed a software that generates a complete design for architects and developers, this software can provide the project in BIM and Revit files so that the whole building is completely visible and present on 3D and 2D files connected to the designer/architect,” Yousef said. “At any stage, for any changes in the building, you can use the soft file to get full details of the products, the technical datasheet plus all the information you need about function and location. This makes the process easy and fast with precision. It complies with Dubai Smart city standards for BIM organization.”

The company also provides a seamless key management system in big buildings and governmental offices, where you have different types of keys for various types of offices with different individual security and authority levels, managed by individuals at building security or management departments.

“Now we have everything in one box where that box controls who gets which key for how long, all of which is done without human interference and is recorded online,” Yourself added.


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