Smart Palm: Free Wi-Fi on Dubai beaches

Smart Palm provides Wi-Fi, charging station and weather information on the beach

Sitting on the beach under the shade of a palm tree while connected to the Internet with your personal device is no longer a fantasy of the perfect holiday; it is now possible in Dubai.

Dubai Municipality last Thursday launched the Smart Palm on Umm Suqeim Beach, an electronic palm tree offering Wi-Fi and other smart services to beachgoers, all without a charge.

The Smart Palm was earlier introduced in Zabeel Park and will be available on all public beaches in Dubai, said Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality.

The device offers Wi-Fi connection, charging stations, and touch screens displaying information about the beach in particular, and Dubai in general, while shaded seating allows users to comfortably enjoy the services on the beach.

“The Wi-Fi connection provides high-speed internet access within a range of 200 meters. Fifty people can be connected at the same time,” explained Alia Harmoudi, Director of the Environment Department of Dubai Municipality.

“Every Palm has eight mobile phone chargers for different modern types and is fitted with comfortable private seating and tables that make it easier for everyone to deal with the modern technology quietly.

The electronic trees, which are 6 meters in length and include 12.8 square meter of solar cells, will provide information about the weather, the sea conditions, transportation and other amenities in Dubai through touchscreens and speakers, while a built-in camera allows for an eye on the beach.

“The municipality introduced online services in public parks and on beaches a year ago in an effort to make Dubai a smart city. Now we are developing those services through the Smart Palm, said Lootah.

More than 103 Smart Palms will be installed this year on Al Mamzar Beach, Al Mamzar Corniche, Jumeirah 1 Beach, Jumeirah 2 Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim 1 Beach, Umm Suqeim 2 Beach, JBR and Dubai Marina Beach.

In the meantime, other concepts such as the Smart Palm Street and 3D printing facilities are under discussion, with the prospective of introducing high-tech facilities at Expo 2020.

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