Dhahi Khalfan launches first-of-its-kind Smart Building

Mansoor Al Awar: “Through changing the face of education, we are moving closer to the future set out by our wise leadership”

New building inspired by the national vision to position UAE as an Artificial Intelligence hub 

Transforming from a traditional building to smart building is an advanced step in bringing a positive educational, social, economic and environment change locally & internationally 

University’s commitment to building effective and productive partnerships is a key factor in reaching ‘Smart Building’ status 

His Excellency Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai and Chairman of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University’s (HBMSU) Board of Governors (BOG), officially inaugurated the Smart Building. The opening of the building is a one-of-a-kind achievement for an educational and academic institution that reflects HBMSU’s commitment to keep pace with the strategic guidelines of the Government of Dubai, especially in its move to transform the emirate into a smart city of the future–falling in line with the continuous directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President, HBMSU. The opening ceremony was held in the presence of H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) and Vice President of the Board of Governors, HBMSU, along other members of Board of Governors and distinguished personalities and partners. The new building is a pioneering step in supporting HBMSU’s approach towards positive educational, social and economic change at the local and international levels, based on an ambitious vision to leverage the potential of innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) as the driving force of development. The highlight of the success of the Smart Building is the University’s commitment to partnering with leading global innovators in the field of smart buildings, including Signify-formally known as Philips Lightning, Siemens, Smart Citti and Trane, based the University’s core values of ‘Together We Grow,’ complementing HBMSU’s belief in the importance of cooperation for shared success and creative initiatives.

H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim pointed out that the launch of the Smart Building is an important step forward in changing the face of education and moving closer to the future set out by the wise leadership of the UAE, accompanied by the help coming from tomorrow’s next generation of builders, further moving forward with the country’s thrust towards excellence and leadership.

H.E. Khalfan added: “The launch of the building is a part of the future initiatives aimed at supporting national efforts towards making the UAE a new center for the development of artificial intelligence mechanisms, techniques and legislation. The building is being developed in accordance with the highest international standards of quality, innovation, sustainability and technology, as solid pillars for building an educational system that is the smartest in the world. We look forward with confidence to the new building that meets the highest standards of creativity and smartness. The project will create an innovative environment to prepare young generations by equipping them with education, knowledge and determination to take our country to even greater heights.”

The Smart building is unique, flexible, adaptable and capable of keeping abreast of future innovations as it operates under a smart system, the latest and first of its kind in the world. The system is supported by interactive features that provide a unique experience for the academic community based on a sophisticated smart system to enhance operational efficiency and control of lighting, energy and air conditioning with best practices of sustainability and innovation, in line with the UAE’s efforts to reach the ranks of developed countries by 2021.

The new Smart Campus application connects four smart systems connected to each other with the latest technology of artificial intelligence such as power and efficiency control, Signify smart lighting system, smart cooling system and smart building management system. Each of the four systems works individually to gather information and data in an automated way, and to deliver it to the smart application, which in turn processes and analyzes the data received and responds using artificial intelligence techniques. This provides a more accurate approach to smart decisions, whether predictive or adaptive, in a powerful push for smart transformation.

The most important feature of the Smart Building is the simplification and facilitation of the academic life of the learners and members of the administrative and academic entities through a smart application. This application allows users to interact with the facilities of the building and access information directly, with the possibility of personal control of the ideal brightness of light and temperature within the academic offices and meeting rooms with the click of a button, as well as the benefits of personal guidance on directions, meeting rooms and classrooms with light.

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, said: “We are proud to launch the Smart Building, as it embodies an unprecedented global achievement that came as a result of our continuous efforts to redefine learning and education, according to a unique vision to precede other global universities by ten years and drive and accelerate change. Our efforts follow the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai Chairman of the Executive Council and President of HBMSU, who once said: “The world is changing, and participants must cope with this change by enhancing education to prepare for the future.” We are confident that the new building supports the leadership of HBMSU in realizing the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the city of the future.”

Al Awar concluded: “With the unlimited support from our wise leadership, we are moving steadily towards a new stage of excellence in upgrading the higher education on the local regional and global levels. The focus is on enriching the knowledge and advancing intelligent transformation and strengthening the quality of scientific research, entrepreneurship and innovation, which will make us main contributors in building a competitive economy led by Emiratis with knowledge and innovation. The achievement is the result of our commitment to work on a solid system based on one of our corporate values based on building strategic partnerships with leading international companies that are proud to be an integral part of the global leadership of HBMSU’s sophisticated systems, which enhance the sustainable and creative benefits of the new building, offering a unique experience that meets the expectations of both learners and teachers. The campus will thus provide a unique experience that meets the expectations of both learners and academics and will encourage an environment for innovation, creativity and excellence within smart facilities that outperform traditional facilities that are unable to cope with the rapid transformation of the 21st century.”

Commenting on the inauguration of the smart building, Samir Al Aref, General Manager of Signify, the world’s leading lighting company in the Middle East, said, “We are proud to be part of this remarkable project, which is supported by a vision that inspires the future with its scientific and technical innovations. This building will be the best model in the region for educational and academic institutions.”

Aref added, “The modern lighting systems offered by Signify to HBMSU not only provides light and enhances good vision, but also eliminates the need for learners to turn on the light switches or search for their classroom anymore. Our technology allows faculty members to control and customize lighting settings with a custom application on smartphones, while learners can be guided to the classes using indoor GPS technology inside the building. These innovative options reflects Signify’s strategy to introduce new lighting capabilities and add value to their products, systems and services.”

Markus Strohmeier, Senior Executive Vice President of Siemens Building Technologies in the Middle East, said: “I am very pleased with Siemens’ contribution to the great initiative launched by HBMSU. Our participation for this initiative was to provide technologies that allow for efficient smart building management. Smart buildings that rely on digital solutions will be an essential component of future cities. We look forward to implement leading initiatives such as what we are witnessing today to raise awareness on the importance of using technology to build a smart, high-performance, energy-efficient infrastructure,”

The building has sustainable benefits and several operational and economic advantages. It improves energy savings and reduces operational costs, while achieving the highest standards of sustainability and innovation, in line with the University’s direction to employ the latest technological innovations to achieve a higher level of smart operations while maintaining environmental sustainability. This enhances the University’s strong efforts towards achieving significant energy savings, which has managed to save about 560,000 kW despite increasing the operations in all campus occupancies by 600 per cent over the past four years, further enhancing its contribution to the provision of up to AED 200,000 to the UAE’s savings.