Increasing oil prices, rapid recovery from COVID-19 setbacks, and sweeping reforms by the governments of Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to relax foreign ownership of estate have resulted in a significant demand for new property in the Middle East. This growth is expected to sustain over the next few years according to the global real estate services provider, Savills.
Countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE rank high on the list of the safest countries in the world. Yet, the increase in population in recent decades warrants a need to improve safety measures in residential and commercial units.
So, what has changed on the corporate front? With an office in Dubai, Virtusa Information Technology Services Middle East is well aware that improved corporate office physical security features are crucial for mitigating security risks and safeguarding employees and assets.
“At Virtusa, we have implemented a centralized and robust access control system, including video surveillance, to significantly enhance the overall security posture of our company,” Senior Vice President Vasudev Telikicherla tells The CEO Magazine.
“At Virtusa, we have implemented a centralized and robust access control system, including video surveillance, to significantly enhance the overall security posture of our company.”
- Vasudev Telikicherla
“In addition, we have some of the strongest online security practices protecting computer systems, networks and data from unauthorized access, breaches, theft or damage.”
Meanwhile, the company’s Global Head of Facilities, Denver DeZylva, reiterates the need for safe spaces in the workplace to attain improved focus.
“Virtusa has a purpose-driven approach that involves providing workspaces that will create a sanctuary of comfort and safety for our teams to collaborate in and enhance learning opportunities and productivity,” he says.
After COVID-19 lockdowns which forced entire families to stay under a roof, mostly confined to three or four rooms, a new class of buyers has emerged who want bigger homes, more rooms, a separate study space and safe living quarters. These clients have embraced the new normal of social distancing and are looking for housing that offers them the convenience of contactless security.
While Dubai rolled out initiatives like the 10-year Golden Visa program and the Retire in Dubai scheme, other countries like Bahrain and Oman have come up with their own residence-by-investment visas. With a young, tech-savvy population, the focus of Middle Eastern countries is slowly shifting from oil and gas to technology.
“As technology continues to grow, home security systems are strengthening and the market for advanced security systems is expanding rapidly.”
- Scott Manson
While Proptech offers solutions to close deals quickly and with more transparency – digitalization, AI and the Internet of Things empower facility management services to monitor a building’s security and other maintenance activities efficiently.
“As technology continues to grow, home security systems are strengthening and the market for advanced security systems is expanding rapidly, giving customers a plethora of options to choose from,” Scott Manson, Cisco’s Cyber Security Lead for the Middle East and Turkey, told Security Middle East.
“Simple things like having lights on timers to make your home look occupied is a major deterrent to burglars. A by-product of the smart home is an incredible level of convenience.”
Advanced access monitoring systems include the use of high-definition closed-circuit television cameras with features like night vision, motion detection and facial recognition, entrance monitoring through key cards, biometrics and video analytics. These are integrated with a centralized security management platform for comprehensive security governance.
Most communities offer guidelines on who would require access passes or permits to enter the gated area, and when it is enough to just register your entry with your name and contact details. Nakheel’s security pass guide for Palm Jumeirah, one of the most prestigious projects in Dubai, offers a comprehensive list of who needs long-term or temporary security passes and who need not go through the hassles of getting one.
Modern parking management has moved away from manual monitoring to access-based parking, app-based parking and license plate recognition systems.
Parking management is a vital feature of security in large gated communities, offices and public complexes like malls in the Middle East. Modern parking management has moved away from manual monitoring to access-based parking, app-based parking and license plate recognition systems.
The process offers a smooth parking experience without having to drive around looking for space for your car. For instance, Kite Beach at Jumeirah has a smooth parking system that operates 24 hours, seven days a week, with options to pre-book your parking slot and e-ticketing.
Doors are the first face of your apartment or office. Hence, they must not only be sturdy and protective but also tasteful, reflecting your personality.
Should you opt for uPVC or wood or aluminum doors? While uPVC is the cheapest option, is heat resistant and is available in several designs, aluminum doors are in trend now, highly customizable and look sleek. Wood, on the other hand, has a timeless appeal and is perfect when you want the vintage look.
Modern door locks come with their own menu of smart features. Buyers can opt for smartphone-operated locks, wi-fi enabled smart locks that allow you to let guests into the house remotely, biometric locks, automatic locks and locks with ID technology.
Gated communities are popular in several parts of the Middle East, like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, because they promote a high quality of living with access to various amenities with reliable security. To ensure the safety and privacy of residents, only authorized individuals can access common areas like the swimming pool, clubs, sports rooms and gyms.
Such customized access is made possible through smart access cards, key fobs or pin codes. Effective perimeter security and outdoor lighting further help to enhance security and keep unauthorized individuals out of these zones.
Video analytics, remote monitoring and options to integrate with a centralized system have also been game-changing features in video surveillance.
The Middle East, with its searing temperatures on one hand, and the abundance of high-rises and residential towers on the other, is always on the alert to fight fires.
The Governments of Dubai and Sharjah have recently announced new fire safety standards. Now, owners of all residential units are mandated to install fire-detecting devices in their homes in Sharjah. Security personnel and staff of large apartment complexes are also trained in fire safety procedures.
The field of surveillance cameras has had an interesting journey in the Middle East, especially because it was adopted by the security sector quite early – in the 1980s and 90s. Since then, bulky analog cameras and video recorders have given way to digital technology. These modern surveillance cameras offer high-definition details with features like night vision and motion detectors.
Video analytics, remote monitoring and options to integrate with a centralized system have also been game-changing features in video surveillance. Now, security services in the UAE are analyzing the use of AI and machine learning in behavior analysis and detection of anomalies to further reduce dependence on human monitoring.