The AED1.1bn ($300m) smart city at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2017 and will become a ‘Dubai model’ to be replicated elsewhere in Asia and the rest of the world, said Muammar al-Katheeri, executive vice-president of engineering management at Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and Smart City chairman.

The development, known as Silicon Park, includes a business centre, hotel, retail plaza and a residential development.

It will also contain features including charging points for electric cars, smart lighting that gets brighter when pedestrians are passing, and solar-powered, motorised smart shading for open areas, will become a centre of excellence building on three pillars, said Al-Katheeri.

These three pillars will be: ‘smart education’, ‘smart factory’ and ‘think smart’.


The DSOA’s Muammar al-Katheeri

Smart education will be built around alliances with schools and universities. Gems school in Silicon Oasis already hosts a makers’ day for pupils to showcase their creations and inventions.

Rochester Institute of Technology has set up in DSO, and the Polytechnic University of Madrid is launching a master’s degree in city science. It is currently under approval by Dubai’s education regulators and should launch in February 2015. DSO and the university hope to launch a bachelor’s degree afterwards.

A venture capital fund forms part of the ‘smart factory’ pillar, as DSO seeks to invite technology investors. And ‘think smart’ is built around research and development drives with investors including German firms Schneider and Siemens.