Smart Sensing for Smarter Cities, Dubai, UAE

Dubai – the land of what dreams are made of, the land of great architecture and the land where the impossible is made possible, a land which was a desert a few decades ago (difficult to believe for many) is now one of the fastest growing city in the world. The rate at which Dubai has progressed is mind blowing, to say the very least. What we perceive as growth might be the great architecture, the buzzing tourism and the per capita income of the city. However what one fails to see is how Dubai is one of the world’s first smartest city and is one of the world’s fastest adopters of the Internet of Things. It is estimated that the IoT solution market in the GCC will be at $11 billion by 2025, which will generate a revenue of $160 billion. WOW!

IoT is a network of devices embedded with electronics, software and sensors and enables objects to be connected to and communicate with each other. The data collected can be stored and analyzed for further research. IoT is reshaping the world and creating smarter cities through automation, by making lives easier, simpler and smarter.

Dubai and the Middle East have embraced advanced technology much earlier than their counterparts. With an increased number of broadband devices, connected services and smart city initiatives, the Big Data generation has only been growing exponentially. About 70% of the companies have digitized their entire process and is now one of the crucial factors for businesses. So how has IoT made Dubai a smarter city?

  • Smart city projects have been undertaken by the government to leverage long-tern sustainability
  • Smart Dubai project – a government initiative to connect sensors across the city
  • Smart meters help utilize water efficiently and also aid in a systematic distribution channel
  • Smart building management tools help in connecting to cooling systems to dissipate heat
  • Smart sensors also help manage the entire building infrastructure
  • Sensors/cameras in all public places connected to a central system ensure real-time video monitoring, thereby ensuring public safety

How has the implementation of IoT impacted the businesses and the lifestyle of Dubai, making it one of the most sought after places in the world?

  • IoT architecture connects devices to make life easier
  • Public and private companies in Dubai are participating in the IoT development to create job opportunities and new revenue streams
  • Smart homes, gadgets, utility devices are in use on a day-to-day basis making the lives of all citizens easier
  • Dubai has harnessed digital innovation and has successfully transformed into a global city
  • Dubai has utilized the advent of technology to see unprecedented growth

However, it was not an easy path as any smart city has a few concerns. The major challenges Dubai had to face and overcome were:

  • Security concerns – the more the number of connected devices, the more vulnerable the system becomes
  • Privacy concerns – With connected devices, all your data is no longer privy to you
  • Regulation concerns – Civil rights and law enforcement are a few legal issues connected with IoT

In spite of the above cons, IoT is still a sought after development. It is growing at a rapid pace and must be embraced for the growth of a business or a city! IoT covers a wide range of aspects of the growth of our economy!

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