10 Muharram 1446 - 16 July 2024
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Eye of Riyadh
Technology & IT | Tuesday 4 June, 2024 11:46 am |

Future-Ready Bahrain: Digital and Sustainability Advancements Signal Smart City Ascent

Experts in contracting, development, design, architecture, and information technology have confirmed that the Kingdom of Bahrain is well on its way to becoming a leading smart city. This transformation is fueled by a variety of factors, including Bahrain's compact geographic footprint, advanced infrastructure – particularly in information and communication technology (ICT) – and a population that is both aware of and eager to embrace modern technologies.


Additionally, Bahrain's commitment to sustainability across sectors is a key component of its smart city strategy. With a strong foundation in place, Bahrain is poised to become a regional and global leader in the smart city movement.


This discussion took place during event hosted by NGN, a leading Bahrain IT and IoT integration and Managed Cyber Security firm. The event, themed "Smart Buildings: Navigating the Future," was part of NGN's ongoing Majlis initiative, aimed at fostering awareness and understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT).


Industry leaders and experts convened to delve into the multifaceted challenges and promising opportunities facing smart cities. Key topics included investment prospects, essential technologies driving smart building innovation, the tangible benefits they offer, and the strategic steps required for successful urban transformation.


During the event, speakers emphasized the critical role of integrating IoT solutions and modern technologies to enhance resource and energy management in smart cities. They highlighted the use of IoT sensors for collecting data on temperature, lighting, and air quality, the adoption of centrally controlled building management systems and automation, and the exploration of artificial intelligence and machine learning for predictive maintenance and optimizing smart building performance.


Mr. Sharat Faqurudheen, Head of IoT Solutions at NGN International, and the moderator of the event, highlighted the need for incorporating advanced cybersecurity solutions in smart city planning, and emphasized that these solutions are crucial to protecting smart city systems, data, and infrastructure, as well as ensuring citizen safety and privacy. By integrating robust cybersecurity measures early in the planning process, cities can secure critical services like waste management, water, and electricity, contributing to a safe and sustainable urban environment.


Mr. Dessy Philip, Associate Director - MEP at MSCEB, provided expert insights into the multifaceted challenges facing smart cities, and emphasized the critical need to address cybersecurity concerns arising from increased automation and data collection within buildings, advocating for robust protocols to safeguard residents' privacy. 


Mr. Philip also shed light on the potential threats posed by job displacement due to automation in building management, while acknowledging the initial financial investment required for implementing smart building technologies. Mr. Philip also offered a clear distinction between connected buildings, which prioritize interconnection, and smart buildings, which leverage data and automation for enhanced functionality and efficiency.


Mr. Azeem Mohammed, Director of Global Sales and Business Development at Fidelix, raised a crucial point regarding the interconnectedness of smart systems, highlighting the potential for any weakness within the infrastructure to jeopardize the entire system. Mr. Azeem underscored the necessity of developing a comprehensive and proactive strategy for smart cities, encompassing policies, systems, and guidelines that ensure the secure and resilient development and implementation of smart city solutions, and stressed the importance of establishing a robust foundation that can effectively mitigate various threats. 


Additionally, Mr. Azeem explored the innovative concept of self-repairing buildings, capable of autonomously identifying and addressing maintenance issues, showcasing the potential for further advancements in smart building technology.


During the event, Mr. Mohamad AlZuhlof, Sales Manager at INTERRA, underscored the pivotal role of government regulations and incentives, alongside the promotion of public-private partnerships, in fostering the development of smart buildings, and stressed the necessity of ensuring that all residents have equitable access to the benefits and technologies associated with smart buildings.


 Mr. AlZuhlof elaborated on smart building codes, compliance standards, and environmental regulations, emphasizing their importance in balancing sustainability with innovation, and also cited examples of successful smart buildings, illustrating how these frameworks and technologies have been effectively implemented.


Commenting on the event, Mr. Yaqoob Al Awadhi, CEO of NGN, emphasized the significance of the majlis and the valuable insights shared by the speakers, and highlighted the opportunities, challenges, and modern trends that can be leveraged in the field of smart buildings. 


Mr. Al Awadhi pointed out the crucial role of smart cities in enhancing environmental protection, reducing energy, electricity, and water consumption, and noted the reduction in pollution and carbon emissions and the benefits to the economic, health, and educational sectors. Additionally, Mr. Al Awadhi expounded upon the facilitation of mobility by smart cities, which translates into remarkable annual savings amounting to billions for nations.


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