Dubai and Doha are Middle East “smartest” cities

A recently-released survey on buildings performance specification has decided that Dubai and Doha are Middle East “smartest” cities.

The survey undertaken by the US-based engineering firm Honeywell and labelled Smart Building Score is a global index with the objective of assessing buildings performance.  620 buildings including airports, hotels, hospitals, office and residential buildings and educational and commercial facilities, across Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait City, and Riyadh were evaluated based on the assessment on their use of 15 technology assets to find out which systems are in place to make them green, safe and productive.

The first finding was that more than half of the surveyed cities in the region have only limited connectivity and integration of building systems.

The second conclusion was that airports lead the way with smart building technologies and hotels follow, with hospitals, commercial retail and office space in that order.  Education institutions were found to be lowest, with however all residential buildings.

The study found also that buildings scored relatively low on asset capability. . . .[ms-protect-content]   This includes investment in smart systems such as gas and water leakage detection, health and fire safety fixtures, energy-efficient components and emergency power systems.

Remarking on these findings, Norm Gilsdorf, president for Honeywell’s Middle East, Russia and Central Asia regions, said: “Smart buildings are the fundamental building blocks of smart cities, and every city in the survey showed clear leadership in delivering examples of benchmark-setting smart buildings.

“With the advent of new technologies, the role buildings play is being redefined from a static environment to a more dynamic and interactive space that impacts the happiness, lifestyle, well-being and productivity of their occupants.”

Whether in the Qatari capital, Doha or the Emirate’s Dubai, the score stood at 70 and 65 respectively out of 100. These high scores were fundamentally attributed to the “presence of stronger building regulations in both cities, both past and present.”  Abu Dhabi came third regionally with a score of 48.

On average as well, the smart building score across the Middle East was found to be 48. However, the report also said that 70 per cent of building owners and managers believe safety is the most important aspect of a smart building – with upgrades in safety and security being planned for during the course of 2016.

“The survey results show that the region is well on its way to achieving its smart city goals, with Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi in particular serving as great examples for the region,” said vice president of Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions for the Middle East Pete Costa.

“The scores also reflect the local regulatory focus on building codes, which is a crucial driver behind creating and maintaining smarter buildings.

“Investing in smart building solutions can make facilities more connected and adaptive, reduce energy and operating costs, and improve the safety and quality of life for occupants and users.”

“Smart buildings are the fundamental building blocks of smart cities,” said president for Honeywell Middle East, Russia and Central Asia Norm Gilsdorf.

“We spend 80 to 90 per cent of our lives in buildings; they are an integral part of a city’s ecosystem. With the advent of new technologies, the role buildings play is being redefined from a static environment to a more dynamic and interactive space that impacts the happiness, lifestyle, well-being and productivity of occupants.”

“Many Gulf Cooperation Council government initiatives clearly indicate how the importance of smart buildings has moved up the agenda,” the report said.

“In the GCC, the next generation of buildings will reflect contemporary global as well as regional challenges. This will include measures to conserve natural resources, and meet rising security and productivity needs,” it added.

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