Article archive

Ziotech & Dubai Airport FIDs Screens

For almost a year now Ziotech has been working with the Dubai Airport to install, commission and manage their flight information display system. With more than 2 thirds of the screens at the airport being managed by Ziotech, there is round the clock service provided by our team to help both from the point of view of both hardware and software.

Ziotech is immensely proud and thankful to the Samsung and the Dubai Airport team for entrusting them with the integration of such a crucial system. This mass roll out has been supported by the latest Samsung SOC technology, and DA was the first governing body to have adopted this product and converted their FIDs to a cloud system.

SoC technology that is changing how digital signage is being operated. SoC, short for System-on-Chip, is the technology that integrates all key computer components into one little compact board. This means that the kind of computing horsepower and gear that used to be contained in boxy personal computers is now small enough to be built right inside devices. As a result, commercial display panels with embedded SoC technology can now be used as digital signage media players, negating the need for external players. This simplifies the operation of digital signage networks.
Ziotech enjoys working with the latest technologies especially in the AV sector, and SOC based FIDs screens are another feather in the cap for the team.

Installing La Mer

Providing a high-quality BGM solution to cover 2.5km of open air retail and dining spaces was the challenge for Dubai-based systems integrator, Zio Technologies, at Meeras’ latest destination, La Mer. The solution came in the form of combining Meyer Sound and Bose speakers with a QSC Q-Sys backbone.
Read the full report on the project in the January-February 2018 edition of Pro AVL MEA.

4 of UAE’s biggest projects that will boost consumer spending

Dubai: In a country where shopping is a favourite pastime for residents with high disposable incomes, there is no shortage of malls, shopping centres and boutiques.

Every so often, a new development is being announced, be it a mega shopping complex on a man-made island or a series of retail shops to complement another larger-than-life landmark.

Between  2017 and 2020 alone, at least four mega developments that are currently under construction in the UAE are scheduled for completion, and they are expected to deliver more than 3,000 shops.

The developments include malls, as well as leisure and recreation facilities, that cost as much as $1.8 billion (Dh6.6 billion) to build. And all of these projects have one goal in common: to cash in on the spending power of UAE residents and visitors.

In 2016, shopping malls in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the emirates, attracted more visitors than ever, with footfall numbers posting a 5.8 per cent increase, thanks mainly to the huge influx of tourists, shopping promotions and events, and a tax-free regime.

Retailers in the UAE generated more than $50 billion in revenues in 2016 and, as consumers are expected to continue opening their wallets, sales will rise further over the next few years.

According to an analysis by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, sales turnover is projected to surpass $71 billion by 2021, up from $56.6 billion at the end of 2016.

“Demand within the UAE’s retail sector remained steady [in 2016], supported by a 5.8 per cent year-on-year increase in footfall within shopping malls. This trend was supported by a rise in the number of tourists, the absence of sales tax, in addition to the expansion of sales events, promotions and shopping festivals,” the chamber said in a report.

BNC Construction Intelligence, which issued a report on Monday for the Big 5 event in Dubai, has identified four more UAE projects that are currently underway and may further boost spending numbers.

Deira Islands Mall – Deira Island

Project type:  Retail facilities
Project value: USD 1.8 billion
Project stage: Under construction
Completion date:  December, 2020
City/country:  Dubai, UAE
Developer : Nakheel
Highlights: The project is a three-storey shopping mall with 620,000 square metres of retail, dining and entertainment space at Deira Islands. Its 2.9 million square feet of gross leasable area can accommodate 3,000 shops.

Dubai Eye – Bluewaters Island Development

Project type: Leisure and recreation facilities
Project value: USD 272 million
Project stage: Under construction
Completion date: October, 2017
City/country: Dubai, UAE
Developer :  Meraas Holding
Highlights: While it’s not a giant shopping complex per se, the development will include the construction of retail spaces, as well as residential, entertainment and hospitality offerings on an artificial island with a 210-metre Ferris wheel as a centrepiece.

Abu Dhabi Mall – Al Maryah Central

Project type: Retail facilities
Project value: USD 1 billion
Project stage: Under construction
Completion date: December, 2018
City/country: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Developer : Gulf Related
Highlights: The project includes the construction of a 2.3 million-square-foot shopping centre, which will offer 400 retail stores, a food market, 145 cafes and restaurants and a premier health club.

Silicon Park – Dubai Silicon Oasis

Project Type: Mega urban development
Project value: USD 354 million
Project stage: Under construction
Completion date: December, 2018
City/country: Dubai, UAE
Developer : Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority
Highlights: The project includes the construction of a shopping centre, 25,000 square metres of commercial space, a 115-room business hotel and underground parking for more than 2,500 cars. These facilities will be within a new integrated smart city at Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Emirates NBD debuts FaceBanking on online platform

Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the region, today launched FaceBanking, a first-to-market service that will offer the bank’s customers instant video and live chat with advisors on its revamped online banking platform as well on the mobile banking app.

FaceBanking is a significant addition to Emirates NBD’s growing portfolio of digital banking innovations, all designed to create a customer-first banking experience via seamless solutions that match customers’ lifestyles and needs, the bank said.

The new service empowers customers to instantly connect with a personal banking advisor for queries and transactions by simply clicking a button on Emirates NBD’s enhanced online banking platform, thus effectively bringing in human interaction to digital banking, a first for the region’s banking industry.

FaceBanking is available 24 x 7 and offers customers the option of chatting with a bank representative with priority and private banking customers also able to initiate a video call.

The initiative forms part of the banking group’s Dh1 billion ($272 million) commitment towards digitalization and multichannel transformation of its processes, products and services over the next three years, it said.

With a newly designed user friendly interface and customer centric approach, the new platform includes a diverse range of features, allowing users to personalise their profiles with images and links to their social media, create nicknames for accounts and cards for simpler and speedier transactions as well as input personal savings goals.

Based on individual data, the new website will offer customers smart insights on their money and recommendations tailored to their lifestyles as well as assist in creating realistic savings targets, understand their net worth based on assets and liabilities and provide them with a curated, customised feed of new offers via the Digital Store, it said.

Suvo Sarkar, senior executive vice president and group head – Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Emirates NBD, highlighted features of the new online banking platform, saying: “Moving from a transactional to a social experience, our new online platform truly delivers on Emirates NBD’s promise of providing digital banking with a human touch. Be it a query on an account or a loan discussion, customers can chat with a Personal Banking Advisor from anywhere with the click of a button via FaceBanking. The goals dashboard is innovative in its approach to helping customers manage their finances, and providing meaningful insights on their spending habits. Every new feature added in this portal goes one step ahead in delivering a seamless, user-friendly banking experience and helping our customers fulfil their dreams, and live their life to the fullest.” – TradeArabia News Service

Source: GDN Online

UAE climbs up in global digital government rankings

The UAE has moved up from 40th to 34th in ranking for its use of information and communication technology to improve the quality of services provided by the digital government, a study by the Waseda University Institute of e-Government revealed.

The survey was conducted by specialists from Tokyo-based Waseda University and 10 world-class universities under International Academy of CIO (IAC) in the field.
According to the 2017 Waseda- IAC International e-Government ranking survey — which evaluated 10 core indicators and 35 sub-indicators over almost a year — UAE is ranked ninth in digital government promotion and seventh in e-participation.
The 2017 ranking survey marks Singapore staying at first place, followed by Denmark in second, the US in third, Japan in fourth, Estonia in fifth, Canada in sixth, New Zealand in seventh, South Korea in eighth, UK in ninth, and Taiwan ranked tenth.

Professor Toshio Obi, director of Institute of Digital Government and President, International Academy of CIO, said that the UAE D-Government believes in the importance of e-participation and enabling its customers to take part in the decision-making process.
“The government portal clearly encourages citizens and customers to participate in government decision making process including policies and initiatives. The ‘Contact Government’ section in the portal is dedicated by providing many important tools, including web 2.0 tools and online direct communication with the customer,” he said in the report.

Moreover, he said that the UAE Government has launched its new federal portal, redesigned to offer many e-participation channels, include advanced practices such as Open Data, and be a better-unified gateway to access many online services provided by the UAE Government.
Among the Arab countries, Bahrain is ranked second in the Arab World and 41st globally, followed by Oman in third rank on the Arab level, and 43rd globally, Saudi Arabia ranked fourth on the Arab level and 46th globally.
“The efforts of various government entities in the field of e-participation have succeeded in attracting the attention of residents, and the UAE has been ranked seventh, as well as the efforts to spread the culture of smart transformation and promotion of services, where the UAE has been ranked ninth,” Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Director General of TRA UAE, told Gulf News.
This indicates the spirit of work and dedication of all government entities to enhance the use, satisfaction and quality of various services and policies in the government, he added.

Obi said that the next phase for the UAE — which is seeking to establish itself as smart government leader in the region — will be to win users over to the latest apps and building m-government to help citizens have a better channel to apply for their services.
“The future is going to be about interconnecting government to government, and more collaboration with the government to citizen side. The UAE is investing heavily in adopting and implementing ICT in its government and private sectors,” he said.

Source: GulfNews

Palm Jumeirah’s Atlantis hotel to undergo $100m revamp by 2017

One of Dubai’s most famous hotels, the Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah, is about to spend $100 million “or even more” on renovations, a senior executive at the resort has said.

Serge Zaalof, president and managing director of Atlantis, told Arabian Business that the revamp will include a full renovation of the hotel’s rooms, as well as the launch of a new “family and children activity project” of 2,200 square meters within the existing Atlantis site.

The hotel is currently in the mock-up stages to finalize the new room designs, which are being upgraded eight years after the Atlantis opened.

In 2014, Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), which has a 46 percent stake in the Atlantis hotel’s owner, Kerzner International, unveiled plans for a second branded hotel on the Palm Jumeirah.

The 800-room $1.4 billion Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences will be sited close to the existing Atlantis hotel, and is expected to take two years to complete.

Master developer Nakheel has already signed building contracts with Ssanyong Engineering & Construction, China State Construction Engineering Corporation and Six Construct.

In February this year, Bloomberg reported that ICD was seeking a $700 million, 10-year loan to fund the construction of the second Atlantis resort.

Source: Arabian News

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