The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries continue with multi-billion-dollar worth of airport expansion projects with a view to cater to the rapid growth in the number of air travelers, projected to double by 2035, and expanding fleets of airlines, particularly their national carriers.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will lead the Middle East growth in number of air travelers with over 6.3 per cent annual growth, as per latest estimates by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The region is projected to witness a robust 5 per cent annual growth, according to IATA, which expects 7.2 billion passengers to travel in 2035, a near doubling of the 3.8 billion air travelers in 2016. The strong growth is expected to fuel further investments toward airport expansion projects.

Latest Airport Solutions

Representatives from airports across the region will talk about their expansion plans and explore the latest technologies at the 17th edition of the Airport Show, a B2B airport industry event, from May 15-17, 2017, which will also stage the 4th edition of the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo Middle East (WTCEME) and the 5th edition of the Global Airport Leaders’ Forum, organized by CAPA (Center for Aviation).

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, Airport Show will showcase the latest airport solutions, technologies, and services.

With the number of air passengers estimated to double, airports worldwide have been looking at ways to effectively handle the rising numbers and improve and upgrade their facilities.

Airport Expansion And Construction Projects

Sharjah International Airport plans to handle 25 million passengers per annum by the year 2025

According to a latest report by Delloitte, the GCC is fueling $100 billion in airport expansion and construction projects in the six Gulf states.

Dubai is executing a $34 billion Dubai World Central (DWC) project which involves construction of five runways and the capacity to handle 160 million passengers a year.

Dubai International Airport, which overtook London Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport by international traffic, expects passenger traffic crossing 83 million this year from 78 million last year, and 90 million people using the facility next year. To support the growth, the airport has announced it has commissioned work on a project that will expand the number of A380 contact stands at Dubai International's (DXB) Concourse C to enable the facility to accommodate Emirates' growing fleet of superjumbos. The upgrade project which commenced in the third quarter this year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, is part of Dubai's Airports' DXB Plus program under which the operator aims to increase DXB's capacity to 118 million passengers per year by 2023 without building any additional major infrastructure.

Decline In Oil Prices

Decline in oil prices has not impacted the expansion plans due to the UAE’s diversification policy, which has reduced the economy’s dependence on oil.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is set to reach 40 million passengers by 2017 with the new $6.8 billion Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) project.

According to a latest report by Delloitte, the GCC is fueling $100 billion in airport expansion and construction projects in the six Gulf states


The 700,000-square meter terminal building is one of the key strategic infrastructure projects to be undertaken in the UAE capital, and will initially handle 27 million passengers per year and will be 70 per cent complete by the end of this year.

The new terminal is a part of Abu Dhabi’s broader plans to increase tourist traffic as part of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy.

Sharjah International Airport plans to handle 25 million passengers per annum by the year 2025, in line with the expansion of the aviation sector.

Ajman is undertaking a AED2.1 billion ($571 million) new Ajman International Airport project, expected to handle around one million passengers a year when it is eventually completed. 

Airport Control Tower And Access Roads

King Abdulaziz International Airport (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) started its three-stage development with a budget of over US$1.5 billion, with the goal of catering to over 30 million passengers. The first phase, includes a 400,000 sqm terminal complex tower, control tower, access roads and utilities, is scheduled for delivery in 2017. Phase 2 and 3 will take the airport through to 2035 when it will cater to 85 million people.

The airport expansion will help the Kingdom increase its passengers from 28 million to 45 million by 2020, a goal that has been set by the GACA's operational plan.

Kuwait awarded a contract worth $4.8 billion to a local company for the expansion of the country's only international airport. The involves a new terminal and a runway in addition to around 30 gates to boost the facility's capacity from the current seven million passengers to 13 million in 2016. The airport's capacity is slated to increase to 25 million passengers by 2025.

Impressive Portfolio Of Products, Solutions, And Services

Bahrain has undertaken a $1 billion expansion project to boost capacity of the Bahrain International Airport to 13.5 million passengers a year

Bahrain has undertaken a $1 billion expansion project to boost capacity of the Bahrain International Airport to 13.5 million passengers a year.

Daniyal Qureshi, Director of Airport Show, said: “Airport expansion and modernization is an ongoing process in almost every part of the world, especially the Middle East, which is expected to welcome almost double the number of passengers in two decades as compared to today. Authorities in the region appreciate the need for constant investment in their airports and we are pleased to provide a platform where they can see the best and latest the global industry has to offer.”

Over 300 leading international companies will be showcasing an impressive portfolio of products, solutions and services for the airport industry at Airport Show 2017, which will have an anticipated attendance of over 7,500 professionals, 150 hosted VIP buyers, and over 100 regional aviation authorities.

The 17th edition of Airport Show will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center from 15th to 17th May 2017 and is supported by Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP), Dubai Airports and Dnata, among others.

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Access The Right Areas - Making A Smart Home Genius With Biometrics
Access The Right Areas - Making A Smart Home Genius With Biometrics

Household adoption of smart home systems currently sits at 12.1% and is set to grow to 21.4% by 2025, expanding the market from US$ 78.3 billion to US$ 135 billion, in the same period. Although closely linked to the growth of connectivity technologies, including 5G, tech-savvy consumers are also recognizing the benefits of next-generation security systems, to protect and secure their domestic lives. Biometric technologies are already commonplace in our smartphones, PCs and payment cards, enhancing security without compromising convenience. Consequently, manufacturers and developers are taking note of biometric solutions, as a way of leveling-up their smart home solutions. Biometrics offer enhanced security As with any home, security starts at the front door and the first opportunity for biometrics to make a smart home genius lies within the smart lock. Why? Relying on inconvenient unsecure PINs and codes takes the ‘smart’ out of smart locks. As the number of connected systems in our homes increase, we cannot expect consumers to create, remember and use an ever-expanding list of unique passwords and PINs. Indeed, 60% of consumers feel they have too many to remember and the number can be as high as 85 for all personal and private accounts. Biometric solutions strengthen home access control Biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control Doing this risks consumers becoming apathetic with security, as 41% of consumers admit to re-using the same password or introducing simple minor variations, increasing the risk of hacks and breaches from weak or stolen passwords. Furthermore, continually updating and refreshing passwords, and PINs is unappealing and inconvenient. Consequently, biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control. Positives of on-device biometric storage Biometric authentication, such as fingerprint recognition uses personally identifiable information, which is stored securely on-device. By using on-device biometric storage, manufacturers are supporting the 38% of consumers, who are worried about privacy and biometrics, and potentially winning over the 17% of people, who don’t use smart home devices for this very reason. Compared to conventional security, such as passwords, PINs or even keys, which can be spoofed, stolen, forgotten or lost, biometrics is difficult to hack and near impossible to spoof. Consequently, homes secured with biometric smart locks are made safer in a significantly more seamless and convenient way for the user. Biometric smart locks Physical access in our domestic lives doesn’t end at the front door with smart locks. Biometrics has endless opportunities to ease our daily lives, replacing passwords and PINs in all devices. Biometric smart locks provide personalized access control to sensitive and hazardous areas, such as medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, safes, kitchen appliances and bike locks. They offer effective security with a touch or glance. Multi-tenanted sites, such as apartment blocks and student halls, can also become smarter and more secure. With hundreds of people occupying the same building, maintaining high levels of security is the responsibility for every individual occupant. Biometric smart locks limit entry to authorized tenants and eliminate the impact of lost or stolen keys, and passcodes. Furthermore, there’s no need for costly lock replacements and when people leave the building permanently, their data is easily removed from the device. Authorized building access Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door, but also throughout the entire building, such as washing rooms, mail rooms, bike rooms and community spaces, such as gyms. Different people might have different levels of access to these areas, depending on their contracts, creating an access control headache. But, by having biometric smart locks, security teams can ensure that only authorized people have access to the right combination of rooms and areas. Convenience of biometric access cards Additionally, if building owners have options, the biometric sensors can be integrated into the doors themselves, thereby allowing users to touch the sensor, to unlock the door and enter. Furthermore, the latest technology allows biometric access cards to be used. This embeds the sensor into a contactless keycard, allowing the user to place their thumb on the sensor and tap the card to unlock the door. This may be preferable in circumstances where contactless keycards are already in use and can be upgraded. Smarter and seamless security In tandem with the growth of the smart home ecosystem, biometrics has real potential to enhance our daily lives, by delivering smarter, seamless and more convenient security. Significant innovation has made biometrics access control faster, more accurate and secure. Furthermore, today’s sensors are durable and energy efficient. With the capacity for over 10 million touches and ultra-low power consumption, smart home system developers no longer have to worry about added power demands. As consumers continue to invest in their homes and explore new ways to secure and access them, biometrics offers a golden opportunity for market players, to differentiate and make smart homes even smarter.

Quantum Focuses On Unstructured Data, Embraces Pivot3 Acquisition
Quantum Focuses On Unstructured Data, Embraces Pivot3 Acquisition

Video is an enormous wellspring of unstructured data in the enterprise environment. Finding new ways to use video data requires easy access for analysis. Gone are the days when video was recorded just to be played back later. New computer capabilities can analyze video to provide business intelligence and trends, all of which requires that a lot of unstructured data be captured, stored and kept immediately accessible. It's a driving force for companies specializing in video storage such as Quantum, which is focused on storing and managing unstructured data, including video, photos, music and sound. Managing various analytics “Unstructured data is driving the massive growth in storage today, and video surveillance fits right in there,” says Jamie Lerner, CEO and President, Quantum. As data multiplies in business, matters of storing and accessing the data take on a larger profile. Especially challenging is meeting the need to store and access expanding amounts of unstructured data, such as video. Video is also part of a changing end-to-end architecture in the enterpriseWhereas 10 years ago, video surveillance was all about recording and playback, now the emphasis is much more on an end-to-end approach. In addition to capturing and playing back video, systems have to manage various analytics, archival and data retention aspects as well as recording. Video is also part of a changing end-to-end architecture in the enterprise, including hybrid, cloud and on-premise storage. Video surveillance industry Historically, structured data, such as financial information, was stored to allow future analytics. The same trend extends to unstructured data, such as video analytics. Quantum has expanded its video storage capabilities with acquisition this year of the video surveillance business of Pivot3, provider of a hyperconverged system that provides recording, analysis and seamlessly archives data on a converged platform that is less expensive and easier to manage. In acquiring Pivot3, Quantum is refocusing the smaller company on the video surveillance industry. “We are now focused 100% on surveillance and having the highest quality while being very cost-effective,” says Lerner. “The industry is ready for an IT-forward solution that is totally focused on surveillance. You can’t make a platform all things to all people.” Traditional security customers There is overlap in large stadiums and theme parks, where Lerner sees even more opportunity to expand Pivot3 will also help to expand Quantum’s customer base. The larger company has a history of serving customers in entertainment, movies, television and sports production. The addition of Pivot3’s 500 new customers in large surveillance, transportation and critical infrastructure markets will expand the mix. There is overlap in large stadiums and theme parks, where Lerner sees even more opportunity to expand. Pivot3 also helps to bridge the gap between traditional security customers and the information technology (IT) department. “Pivot3 has a reputation as simple to use,” says Lerner. “My belief is that physical security can run separately [from IT] until you reach a certain size, then IT has to be involved. Pivot3 gives IT people in the security space a product that is well formed and fits into an IT strategy. They are not undertaking a piece of equipment that will be a burden.” Physical security presence Customers expect their infrastructure vendors to provide systems that allow them to “Set it and forget it,” says Lerner. It’s one of the big advantages of cloud computing and also central to Quantum’s approach with their traditional products. “At the end of the day, you want to run a hospital, for example, so you want your systems to be easy to use,” says Lerner. The Pivot3 acquisition will also allow Quantum to expand their physical security presence more broadly and globally. Previously, the geographic reach of Pivot3 was limited by the high cost of placing personnel in diverse locations. Under Quantum, which has been serving global companies for 40 years, the problem disappears. “Quantum has global support on all continents and in more countries,” says Lerner. “It’s a higher level of support, given size and legacy of our organization.”

Data Explosion: Futureproofing Your Video Surveillance Infrastructure
Data Explosion: Futureproofing Your Video Surveillance Infrastructure

Video surveillance systems are producing more unstructured data than ever before. A dramatic decrease in camera costs in recent years has led many businesses to invest in comprehensive surveillance coverage, with more cameras generating more data. Plus, advances in technology mean that the newest (8K) cameras are generating approximately 800% more data than their predecessors (standard definition). Traditional entry-level solutions like network video recorders (NVRs) simply aren’t built to handle massive amounts of data in an efficient, resilient and cost-effective manner. This has left many security pioneers grappling with a data storage conundrum. Should they continue adding more NVR boxes? Or is there another, better, route? Retaining video data In short, yes. To future proof their video surveillance infrastructure, an increasing number of businesses are adopting an end-to-end surveillance architecture with well-integrated, purpose-built platforms for handling video data through its lifecycle. This presents significant advantages in terms of security, compliance and scalability, as well as unlocking new possibilities for data enrichment. All of this with a lower total cost of ownership than traditional solutions. Security teams would typically delete recorded surveillance footage after a few days or weeks Previously, security teams would typically delete recorded surveillance footage after a few days or weeks. However, thanks to increasingly stringent legal and compliance demands, many are now required to retain video data for months or even years. There’s no doubt that this can potentially benefit investigations and increase prosecutions, but it also puts significant pressure on businesses’ storage infrastructure. 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Common management console Security pioneers can easily add or remove storage capacity or compute resources – separately or together As businesses add new cameras or replace existing ones, many end up with inadequate surveillance infrastructure made up of multiple NVR boxes along with several application servers for running other surveillance functions such as access control, security photo databases, analytics, etc. This patchwork approach leaves security pioneers scrambling for capacity, maintaining various hardware footprints, repeating updates and checks across multiple systems, and taking up valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere. By contrast, flexible HCI surveillance platforms aggregate the storage and ecosystem applications to run on the same infrastructure and combine viewing under a common management console, avoiding ‘swivel chair’ management workflows. Plus, they offer seamless scalability. 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Firstly, meta tags can provide context around data, making it easier to find and access when needed. Object storage platform For instance, if security teams are notified of a suspicious red truck, they can quickly find data with this tag, rather than manually searching through hours of data, which can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Plus, meta tags can be used to mark data for future analysis. This means that as algorithms are run over time, policies can be set to automatically store data in the right location. For example, if a video is determined to contain cars driving in and out of your premises, it would be moved to long-term archiving such as an object storage platform for compliance purposes. If, on the other hand, it contained 24 hours of an empty parking lot, it could be wiped. These same meta tags may be used to eventually expire the compliance data in the archive after it is no longer needed based on policy. Video surveillance architecture Continuing to rely on traditional systems like NVRs will fast become unsustainable for businesses Even if your organization isn’t using machine learning or artificial intelligence-powered applications to enhance your data today, it probably will be one, three, or even five years down the line. Implementing a flexible end-to-end video surveillance solution prepares you for this possibility. With new advances in technology, the quantity of data captured by video surveillance systems will continue rising throughout the coming decade. As such, continuing to rely on traditional systems like NVRs will fast become unsustainable for businesses. Looking forward, when moving to an end-to-end video surveillance architecture, security pioneers should make sure to evaluate options from different vendors. For true futureproofing, it’s a good idea to opt for a flexible, modular solution, which allow different elements to be upgraded to more advanced technologies when they become available.