Smart thinking for homes and business

The first time walking around the streets of Dubai is a real eye-opener. No matter how much you’ve heard about the locals’ desire for the latest electrical and electronic gadgets, you will never be prepared for the sheer volume of shops there are selling everything from the smallest mobile phones in the world to the largest plasma screens.

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By  Alison Luke Published  September 23, 2006

|~||~||~|The first time walking around the streets of Dubai is a real eye-opener. No matter how much you’ve heard about the locals’ desire for the latest electrical and electronic gadgets, you will never be prepared for the sheer volume of shops there are selling everything from the smallest mobile phones in the world to the largest plasma screens.

Virtually everyone has at least one gadget in their pocket that they wouldn’t leave home without and most have countless others that they ‘just had to have’ at the time. The electronic showrooms of London’s Tottenham Court Road look distinctly small-scale and old school compared to Computer Street in Dubai.

So it makes sense that this desire for the latest technology has now reached the residential market. Why limit your desire to be ahead of the technology game to individual items? With the right products it’s now possible to own a home that can be controlled almost as easily as your stereo.

Push a button and the lighting, air conditioning and security systems are all set exactly as you want. And if something should go wrong when you’re not at home, don’t worry, a link to your mobile phone can let you know.

The advent of the intelligent or smart building has come, perhaps surprisingly, later to Dubai than some other areas of the world. In Europe, for example, systems of varying degrees have been getting installed in high-end properties for several years now. But the market is now taking off and this is good news, even if you can’t afford the price tag of the luxury properties.

For the contracting industry, the increasing demand for such technologies provides an opportunity for firms to expand their horizons. By undertaking training in the installation of these systems now, you will surely have an advantage come tender time for the influx of smart developments that are set to enter the market. For now this technology has hit the streets, it’s unlikely to go away and is more likely to become another boom market.

And it is not just the electrical guys that should be rubbing their hands with glee. There will be plenty of opportunities to adapt the type of controls technology these systems involve for use in installations undertaken by the plumbing fraternity.

The water firms are already getting in on the act, with a project that is seeing smart metering systems installed in homes in Dubai. Add to this the increasing need to monitor and control energy use in all operations and the options are seemingly endless.||**||

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