Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, today launched ‘Silicon Park’, the first integrated smart city project to be built in DSO at a cost of Dh1.1 billion spanning an area of 150,000 square metres.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “Work has commenced, and the project will be completed by Q4 of 2017. This project is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world over the course of the next three years. The project articulates Dubai’s Vision 2021 to transform the emirate into a smart city while ensuring that it remains on par with the latest global trends for smart cities.”
He added: “We are confident that this project will succeed in offering a modern lifestyle for residents, workers and visitors. The project’s standards are aligned to the Dubai Government’s strategic directions on smart cities that focus on six pillars: life, society, mobility, economy, governance and environment.”
The Silicon Park project comprises 97,000 sq mts of office space, 25,000 sq mts of commercial space, 20,000 sq mts of residential area, and a 115 rooms business hotel in addition to value-added facilities that suit contemporary living such as restaurants, cafes, health and fitness centres, as well as running tracks and cycling trails, prayer rooms, a shopping centre and underground parking for more than 2,500 cars.
Energy and Sustainability
The project is compliant with the UAE Green Building Regulations and Specifications and the international LEED standard, and seeks to enhance environmental sustainability. The project will be built with ‘green’ building material and control mechanisms as well as solar panels and double-glazed windows to reduce heat absorption.
“Silicon Park” is characterised by its buildings topped with green roofs, which will include plants and trees that require minimal irrigation and utilise the direct sunlight on the buildings. The project will optimise renewable energy resources and will apply measures to achieve efficiency in energy consumption. Additionally, it will also feature smart lighting systems with motion sensor systems that respond to traffic and individuals. The smart street light poles will be equipped with digital signboards that can be remotely controlled through an application. The project will implement advanced technologies to support controlling water consumption through recycling procedures at homes and offices for re-use in irrigation to minimise the ecological impact on the carbon footprint.
As a smart community, “Silicon Park” will feature intelligent solutions from charging-docks for smart devices on the street to smart pop-up furniture and digital play tables, as well as optimally-designed bus shelters, piazzas shading, and other public amenities. Visitors to the site will be directed through the most advanced technology - Augmented Reality - which converts real spaces to virtually-generated maps. As part of the ‘smart’ experience, Wi-Fi will be available to tenants and visitors in the premises, giving them access to a wide range of innovative applications and smart robotic technology solutions. The project also includes a number of unique recycling posts and features furniture made from recycled materials. Green landscaping combined with water bodies in certain areas will add to the artistic ambience of the Park. Residents, tenants and visitors will have easy access to neighbouring areas through the tunnels linking the different sites.
The project will also include restaurants, cafes, a shopping centre, prayer rooms, and underground parking spaces that can accommodate up to 2,500 cars. Additionally, the residential units will be equipped with sophisticated remote-controlled systems that can regulate lighting, air conditioning, windows, curtains and electrical charging stations.
The project will feature facilities that enhance the concept of modern, healthy living. It will feature facilities such as health and fitness centers, running and cycling trails, allowing residents the choice of enjoying various sporting activities and prioritizing their health to lead a more holistic lifestyle.
Mobility and Transportation
The Silicon Park complex will be completely devoid of vehicles. Instead, electricity-powered vehicles will serve as the primary form of transportation. A number of charging stations will be set up across the area that can be accessed by all residents and visitors with electric vehicles. The project will also include other means of transportation such as smart rechargeable electric bikes.
The Silicon Park project comprises a spectrum of office spaces and modern business facilities including meeting halls, a multi-use conference centre, residential units and spaces for retail outlets. It will also include interactive advertising billboards mounted on the building’s glass facade with the use of smart glass technology that protects the transparency of the glass and allows a complete clear view from within and without the structure. Smart applications in the public services sector for license issue and renewal will be also implemented.
The project will consist of a control centre that collects and analyses data and information gathered through the sensor devices available at the project’s site. The information gathered will serve to operate and manage these devices in a seamless manner to ensure the delivery of best smart services to employees, residents and visitors.
Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, said: “We are committed to providing the best quality standards in all aspects of this project as part of our priority to shape an intelligent environment that ensures maximum comfort and well-being for the workers and residents in the smart complex. The “Silicon Park” project reflects the vision of Dubai Silicon Oasis to compliment Dubai’s ambition to offer harmonious living for individuals through endorsing smart criteria across the services and facilities that we deliver.”
He added: "The project provides the best solutions and systems in information and communications technology and includes all the equipment that makes it a model for future smart cities. It also reflects the readiness of Dubai to adopt the latest innovative technological solutions. Development projects can be described as ‘smart’ when they can provide a quality living and work environment and a wise management of natural resources. The “Silicon Park” project is a true example of what the future will be like in live-work environments connected to the internet and smart applications. Our primary goal is to provide a contemporary model in the development of integrated smart projects that provide all the elements of modern life. Most notably, the project supports the principles of sustainable design, which reflect the strategic directions of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and its efforts to ensuring a sustainable future for all.”
Free Wi-Fi network access
Dr Alzarooni said: “We are currently working on the implementation of free Wi-Fi within DSO, an initiative we launched in December last year. The first phase of the project was completed recently and we aim to offer wireless internet access throughout DSO by the second quarter of 2014.
“Achieving free Wi-Fi access round-the-clock over the entire expanse of DSO, which extends over 7.2 kilometres of area, will mark a significant achievement for us. More importantly, the facility will help support the smart applications we hope to implement for tenants within the park.”
He added: “As an added advantage, the infrastructure within DSO has been progressively improved through the provision of an advanced fibre-optic network that can support high-speed internet connectivity, which in turn enables the optimisation of online services for the benefit of commercial tenants and residents in the zone.”
A wholly-owned entity of the Dubai government, Dubai Silicon Oasis operates as a free zone technology park for the semiconductor, microelectronic and other high technology-based companies looking to set up their regional headquarters and research and development facilities in the Middle East and North Africa region.