Revealed: Dubai's $300 million Green "Oasis"

Published March 10th, 2014 - 05:00 GMT

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has announced the launch of its new Dh1.1 billion ($300 million) ‘Silicon Park,’ the first integrated smart city project to be built on a sprawling 150,000 sq m area in DSO.

The eco-friendly project will feature buildings that boast of 50 per cent Green Roofs and 50 per cent Solar Energy Generating Photoelectric Panel, stated DSOA, the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park.

Announcing the mammoth project, DSOA chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum said work has commenced on the project and will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2017.

It is in line with Sheikh Mohammed's vision to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world over the course of the next three years.

The Silicon Park project comprises 97,000 sq m of office space, 25,000 sq m of commercial space, 20,000 sq m 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.

"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," remarked Sheikh Ahmed.

“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,” he added.

Sheikh Ahmed said the project was compliant with the UAE Green Building Regulations and Specifications and the international LEED standard, and was aimed at enhancing 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, he added.

“Silicon Park” is boast of 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, stated the DSOA chief.

On the lifestyle in the smart community, Sheikh Ahmed said the 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, he stated.

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, explained Sheikh Ahmed.

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, he stated.

On the sporting activities, Sheikh Ahmed said 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.

On mobility and transportation, the top official said 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, he stated.

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, the vice-chairman and CEO 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.”

"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," explained Alzarooni.
“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," he stated.

"Achieving free Wi-Fi access round-the-clock over the entire expanse of DSO, which extends over 7.2 km 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.

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