Dubai has a long-standing history of making the most of the pioneering technology in every walk of life. From an extensive array of smart services and smart initiatives, Dubai has made the best use of the latest tech to move forward, propelling it as one of the five fastest-growing metropolitan cities of the world. Here are 10 of the most compelling tech advancements that Dubai already has, or is set to welcome in future:
Hyperloop One, the company revolutionizing pod transportation systems, has made an agreement with Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to explore the possibility of high-speed routes in the UAE. The idea is to use small levitating pods that shoot through tunnels at a speed of 760 mph from one station to another. At that speed, it will take a mere 12 minutes to go from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, 10 minutes to go to Fujairah from Dubai, or 50 minutes to Riyadh. Once the Hyperloop system is completed it will completely change the face of transportation providing an option that is cleaner, faster and more efficient.
Dubai also has plans for the world’s first indoor city. The specialty of this city will be its climate controlled environment featuring a retractable glass roof which can be closed to keep the area air-conditioned during summer and pulled back to let in cool air during winter. The plans for the city span seven kilometers with a 750,000-square-metre shopping centre in its midst. Once completed, the area will also have a theatre district and a giant theme park.
When it comes to architecture, Dubai is foremost in everybody’s mind. It comes as no surprise then that the world’s first fully functional 3D printed building is located here. The office space was constructed using a special mixture of cement and building materials created into an arc shape to ensure safety and stability. This 250-square-metre space is a testament to the United Arab Emirates’ commitment to technological innovation.
Dubai skyscrapers are famous for their breathtaking panorama. But, for those who wish to enjoy a different view every day, a group of architects is working to create a rotating skyscraper which will allow its residents to wake up to a different vista each morning.
The idea of a rotating tower was first imagined by architect David Fisher of Dynamic Architecture. Plans for an 80-story residential building were first announced in 2008 but put on hold. However, the idea has been revisited now, and it is hoped that the rotating tower will soon become reality.
New York-based firm, Clouds Architecture Office, recently revealed its plans to develop skyscrapers which will be suspended from space and they hope to construct it over Dubai. The speculated building named the Analemma Tower is designed to be suspended from an orbiting asteroid 50,000 km above the earth’s surface. The building shall be divided into residential, commercial and business sections with architectural provisions for changes in atmospheric pressure and temperature.
The Dubai Metro network made its way into the Guinness World Records as the world's longest fully automated driverless metro network. Spanning a length of almost 75 km, Dubai’s Metro system operates on an integrated electronic system which allows enhanced control over the cars and allows the setting off trip timings in an accurate format. Currently, only two routes are available; the Red Line and Green Line, but work on expanding the routes is already underway.
Dubai is a trendsetter when it comes to dealing with public transport systems. Dubai aims to upgrade its transport system so that by 2030, 25% of the regular commutes become autonomous. With that end in mind, last year Careem, Dubai’s personalized cab-booking service, announced their plans of introducing driverless pods to enhance the public transport experience. In addition to the flying taxi, RTA has also signed an agreement with Tesla Inc. for 200 electric vehicles with self-driving technology for the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC).
Earlier this year, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the test run of Ehang 184, an autonomous aerial vehicle wherein a passenger can select preset routes and destinations to fly to the required location. This flying car seats one and will be monitored from a ground-based center.
With Dubai leading the front for driverless transport, it comes as no surprise that the world’s largest automated vehicle system is planned for the same city. Dutch technology firm 2getthere has a contract to deliver a new automated transport system that will link BlueWater Islands, an upcoming lifestyle destination, with Dubai Metro. This new system will be able to transport 5000 people per direction in every hour. Once completed, this system will be the largest of its kind and a testimony to transport solutions of the future.
As part of Dubai’s Smart City Initiative a new service was launched to measure public happiness and satisfaction with government services. The ‘Happiness Meter’ uses electronic devices to connect to a central network that sends daily reports to the authorities enabling them to understand customer satisfaction with government services. This is the world’s first live sentiment capturing system which will go a long way towards making Dubai the ‘happiest city on earth’.
In a city which witnesses heavy traffic on a daily basis, emergency services such as firefighters often face the disadvantage of slow response time. And, fire breakouts in hard to reach areas pose a large scale threat. To tackle fires in tough areas such as on boats, bridges, or shoreline areas, the Dubai Civil Defence has introduced a system called Dolphin which uses jetpacks and jet-skis to douse flames. The Dolphin devices consist of a jet-ski equipped with a fire hose and jetpack which allows a firefighter to soar over to the fire source and put it out faster.