Dubai developed his flamboyant image of modern and vibrant city with iconic skyscrapers, city-sized malls and extravagant attractions, framed by a deep blue sea and white beaches.

Its vivid business, cultural and art activities have rapidly placed Dubai as one of the leading leisure and business destination globally.


Dubai is a dream city to experience, live and enjoy. The Burj Khalifa, the city most renewed iconic landmark, is the world’s tallest building standing fierce at 828 meters and offers a spectacular express elevator featuring the longest travel distance world-wide as well as a breath taking view of the rising landscape through glass outdoor observation deck.


Dubai has experienced a booming of the Tourism industry and growing changes in the past decades, beginning the region’s dynamic hub.


Strongly believe in becoming the leading global Smart City both to please its residents with unparalleled living standard as well as aiming to find a sustainable balance with the surrounding environment. In support of this initiative, dozens of smart city projects have been launched to evolve to a “Smart City”, by connecting smart solutions and providing its residents and visitors many benefits.


Bluewaters Island by Meraas Development is a mixed-use development located off the coast of Dubai, that will feature retail, residential, hospitality and entertainment zones. It will also house Dubai-I, the world’s largest ferris wheel.

Serving as the centrepiece of the island project, the 210-meter Ferris wheel will offer breath-taking views of Dubai’s exotic coastline and iconic landmarks such as Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa.

Design and construction are undertaken by Hyundai Contracting and Starneth Engineering, while Jumeirah will operate the Venu Bluewaters Island Hotel and adjoining serviced residences, which will function under the Venu Living brand.

A key instrument to reach its challenging target in becoming the leading global Smart City, is the Building Information Modelling. This articulated model encompass and analyses all the key variables involved in the Real Estate engineering and development and provides specific guidelines to reach top efficiency while implementing the best technologies available to minimize the waste of the precious and limited natural resources.


The first integrated smart city project – “Silicon Park”, which is worth 1.1 billion DHS has been entirely built in the hub of the Dubai Silicon Oasis. This area spans an area of 150,000 m2. It includes 71,000 m2 of office space, 25,000 m2 of commercial space and 46,000 m2 of residential area. Additionally 115 business hotels and various value-added facilities are being included.

The residents would enjoy fitness centers, running tracks, cycling trails and the shopping centers would include facilities to allow worship of Allah’ and his kindness in prayer rooms. As well, the parking area for around 2,500 cars will be situated in an underground area along the side road, and would not be visible.


On the sustainable mobility, Dubai has significantly invested in a number of charging stations for electric vehicles and rechargeable bikes including charging docks for smart gadgets will be deployed across the project. Solar panels of the “Smart Grid project” will be installed on the rooftops of houses to reduce the consumption of power, while the “Smart Meter” will allow monitoring of power and water in real time.


As the green model for roof building towers represent the unique concept of this project, the use of particular plant species requiring less water have been selected to both assist in the overall protection and rally against the heat and the strong light from the bright and intense sunshine. This will minimize electric power demands of the building. Additionally, the water required throughout the project will be supplied from recycling systems for use at both homes, building and for irrigation systems. This project is expected to be completed by Q4 in 2017.


Bulgari Residences Dubai is part of the 1.7 million sq ft Bulgari Resort and Residences that is taking shape on the Jumeira Bay Island. Comprising 165 apartments, eight penthouses and 15 mansions entirely designed by the renowned Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners. The master development, Bulgari Resort and Residences Dubai, is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Integrated transportation systems utilizing smart solutions for both private and public transport have also been provided. Information on the availability of parking spaces will be delivered to the driver, screens at major bus stations, through live data, which will inform people of the arrival time of the next bus. People may also access the internet to check the real time schedule and time table for public transport. The traffic control system will be able to detect accidents, control traffic lights on major roads and track urban congestion.

For the World Expo in 2020 with the fascinating theme: “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future“, Dubai is planning a faster roll out of all its Smart Projects to welcome the more than 25m expected visitors with a direct and immersive experience of its fully blown “Smart City” concept, environment and features.

The very core of the World Dubai Expo 2020 would be the iconic photovoltaic fabric structure, which tile up by the solar grids generating at least half of event’s power demand while architecturally connecting the 3 main district zones of the city.
This trilling event will further boost the city roadmap and investments to accomplish the full paradigm of becoming the global leading Smart City welcoming its residents and visitors in a natural, desirable, sustainable, innovative and enjoyable environment.


Dubai’s Meydan One record-breaking development in Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City is a 39,514,000 sq ft mixed-use destination that will host the world’s tallest residential tower, the largest sports facility, the world’s longest indoor ski slope, the largest ever dancing fountain and a 100-berth marina. The luxury mansions of District One will feature stunning views of Dubai’s iconic skyline and will have their own ‘beachfront’ on what will become the world’s largest ‘Crystal Lagoon’*,a 7 km water body creating an idyllic manmade beach in the heart of the city surrounded by lush green landscaping.

The project also features several signature Mansions and premium luxury villas which range from 1,650 square metres up to 3,250 square metres.

Is one of the lowest density villa developments in the heart of any international city. With a total land size of 4.3million square metres, surrounded by over 2.5 square kilometres of glorious green natural surroundings, District One dedicates 60 per cent of its area to open spaces; with parks, lawns, green corridors, recreational parks, as well as landscaped walkways.

Meydan current projects include Mohammed Bin Rashid City – District One, Meydan Business Park, Meydan Heights, Racecourse Villas and the Meydan Tower, a 112-storeyed building which include 200 standard and 244 serviced apartments, as well as a 112- keys hotel managed by the Meydan Hospitality. AE7 is the design consultants of the project and Buro Happold is the supervision consultant. The completion of the project is scheduled by Q2 2018.


Nakheel’s Deira Islands, a 15.3 square kilometre tourism, retail and residential hub in Dubai, will feature five hotels, including a 500-keys Avani Hotel in JV with Thailand’s Minor Hotel Group and Dubai’s first four star all inclusive beachfront Resort under a joint venture with Spain’s RIU Hotels and Resorts. Nakheel is also developing hotels at Dragon City and Ibn Battuta Mall, and the five star Palm Tower.


The Palm Tower is a 504 luxury units housed in the 50-storey landmark development on Palm Jumeirah, due for completion in 2016. Includes a five star, 290-room hotel with an array of dining and leisure facilities, including a rooftop restaurant, viewing tower and infinity pool – all of which are available to people living in the Palm Tower Residences. The hotel rooms will occupy the first 18 floors of the tower. The Palm Tower will be Nakheel’s flagship hotel, under the company’s expansion into the hospitality and leisure sector.


The Royal Estate by SRK is a joint venture project between the Bollywood Star Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), PAL Developments, Aristrocrat and Pacific Ventures, featuring two-, four-, and five-bedroom townhouses, apartments, office units, retail outlets and a luxury hotel spread over 2.3 million-square-foot in Dubai Investments Park.

The project, designed by award-winning architect Tony Ashai and world-class designer Gauri Khan, will have 2,000 units and it would be completed in three phases by 2018. Phase one of the project comprising of 400 units will be delivered by first quarter of 2016.


The Sterling by Omniyat, is a truly sustainable project, comprising two towers, The East House with 139 apartments in 52,000 sq. ft., and The West House with 137 apartments in 51,100 sq. ft. Both of these apartment towers have ground plus 25 storeys and a pool deck in the level 4. and offers fantastic views of Burj Khalifa, Mohammed Bin Rashid City and The Creek. The concept design is by the award-winning australian FHSI Architects, while Buro Happold is leading the sustainability design, and the world-renowned interior designer and architect Steve Leung is the mastermind behind The Sterling interiors.


The Opus is an extravagant building designed by the world-famous architect Dame Zaha Hadid, recently awarded Riba’s royal gold medal for architecture, making her the first woman to be awarded prestigious Riba. This 100,000m2 mixed-use building by Omniyat, accoemodate the first ME Hotel brand in the Middle East, of the famous Spanish Hotel Chain Melia, a retail area, offices and serviced apartments. The hotel and the serviced apartments are expected to be completed in 2017. Brookfield Multiplex is the main contractor, while BSBG were appointed Lead Consultant for the project and Clarke Samadhin Associates to lead the MEP Engineering.


Dubai Silicon Park is the first integrated Smart City project to be built in DSO spanning an area of 150,000 square metres.

This project is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world over the course of the next three years.

The Silicon Park project comprises 97,000 sq mts of office space, 25,000 sq mts of commercial space, 20,000 sq mts of residential area, and a 115 rooms business hotel in addition to value-added facilities that suit contemporary living, and will be completed by Q4 of 2017.


DAMAC Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts is a hotel and residential complex located in the heart of the stylish Burj area, Dubai. This four tower development comprising circa 1,200 luxury serviced hotel apartments in three towers, will offer sumptuous living with a Hollywood flavour. A fourth tower will house the world’s first Paramount Hotel and Paramount Residences and is already under construction, with completion scheduled for Q3 2019.


Montrose by Deyaar is located at Barsha South at the extension of Umm Suqeim towards Mohammed Bin Zayed Road. The two residential towers feature one-bedroom up to four-bedroom apartments. The hotel apartment tower pairs urban elegance with the latest smart home technolo- gy and has been designed to host 88 studios, as well as 68 one-bedroom and 24 two-bedroom units.


The insider: Illario Vuan

Today’s hoteliers are striving to gain back the “tech” leadership versus their guests. Consumer electronics through smart gadgets, like smartphones and tablets, have significantly shortened and accelerated. Technology has become a normal day-to-day component in our life making it increasingly challenging for the hotel managers to create a “wow” effect for their concept and smart solutions.



SS. Maria Theresa Luxury Ship by Uniworld – Red Carnation Hotels


Hub Premier Inn, London


Mr. Illario Vuan, founder and chairman of the VDA, a leading Italian group in the development of Room and Building Automation, innovative IPTV solutions and Smart Switches for the Residential and Hospitality industry, will assist us in investigating how upcoming automation technologies will play a key role in the crafting the development of future Smart Solution for Hotels.


Q: Mr. Vuan, Smart Cities, like Dubai, are increasingly looking at implementing and embracing new automation and smart technologies to better interact with their residents, manage the core processes and enhance their overall value proposition. Can you expand on this?


A: Through the implementation of upcoming technologies, Smart Cities can now effectively reach two key objectives at the same time: create significant additional value for their integrated master plan projects while enhancing the real estate asset value and residents’ living experience. In addition this increases the quality of life of the Smart Cities leading to a better market positioning while differentiating their global value proposition in respect to traditional metropolitan conglomerates.


Q: From a Hotel Developer perspective, what are the core advantages in implementing these technologies?


A: For Real Estate Investors and Developers, the adoption of innovative technologies, is key to optimize their time to market, enhance the value proposition of their projects, as well as delivering a better product in terms of energy efficiency and security. This process leads to a higher intrinsic value of the property, reduced management costs and maintenance costs and a much lower impact on the environment.

I strongly believe that a project that approaches green building materials and smart technologies from the initial design and concept phase, has a higher potential to deliver a more solid las ting value proposition while providing an environmentally friendly and sustainable approach.



Eccleston Square Hotel, London


To give developers the highest grade of flexibility, we widened our product portfolio with both wired and wireless automation solutions, based on ModBus, KNX and Z-Wave solutions. They all deliver the same solid and effective results. However, in deciding which system to adopt, every project needs to be analyzed in-depth, so as to understand it’s core objectives and then to tailor the optimal solution.


Q: According to your vision, what are the key drivers to deliver outstanding guest experiences?


A: VDA mission since its incorporation has been focused in delivering the best solution for the hotel in-room automation. Throughout the years we have developed an in-depth knowledge of this industry. This has allowed us to be the key driver of success in our R&D and new product releases. I believe that this can be applied even to the Hospitality approach. Keep updated on new technologies and systems, never forgetting the design trends, can help to develop stunning projects. Consider, for example, the case of Vitrum Smart Switches: the combination of a design vision with smart technologies has led a great success.


The meaning of ‘Hospitality’ itself has significantly changed widened its scope over the years mainly driven by an exponential growth in technology and guest expectations. We have been one of the pioneers of sensing this innovation and we launched in the early 90’s our first solution for what we would call today, Infotainment. This intuition leads the group to become a global leader in the IPTV panorama.


Recently we have been focusing all our R&D effort in analyzing all the opportunities related to the in-room technology convergence and we have crafted a seamless integrated cloud based solution that blends together IPTV box and box-less universe, the ultimate In-Room Automation, smart and BYOD device control, cross platform guest content streaming, real time front and back end hotel management and an innovative and proactive upselling solution. Our new approach will deliver unparalleled value to the hotel managers and a stunning range of features for the guests to enjoy with ease of use and a cool and bold design.


Q: Do you see any convergence between the Hospitality and the Residential industries?


If we look at what has happened in the past, we will notice that for a substantial period the Hotel industry has lead the technological and design innovation. In recent years though, this has been drastically inverted and residential projects now often feature very high end and innovative solutions both in terms of technologies and architecture an interiors.


All this has lead to a deeper technological knowledge of the general public and therefore hotel guests. This process has unleashed the creativity of the Hotel Industry architects, consultants and managers, who are not afraid anymore in using new technologies, but now look at all opportunities that arise alongside their full implementation, stretching from energy efficiency to all-round guest satisfaction. This is a more balanced environmental policy, that does not comprise their quality standards. We are thrilled about the various synergies that will drive these industries over the next 5 to 10 years and that the VDA group will be leading this innovation.




The Insider: Olav Beruto


Buildings and Homes are becoming more and more automated, reaching new frontiers in communication and interactions with men. To have some insights we asked few questions to Olav Beruto, one of the industry’s most prominent figures.

Olav Beruto is the new Director of VDA Asia Pacific, a leading company in the development of Home and Building Automation solutions, Smart Switches for the Residential and Hospitality Industry and cloud-based innovative IPTV.

After graduated with Honors in Economics, he started his career in Corporate Finance working for leading international Investment Banks and moving afterwards in the Real Estate Development and Fund Management industry. Lately his interest and passion for the technology and research pushed him to join the VDA Group.




During his career, he has developed a Luxury Boutique Resort in the charming area of Barolo, the most iconic food & wine region in the world,  selecting the best products, technologies and innovative building materials to meet the increasingly demanding requests of the Resort guest while accomplishing the target of creating the first Italian truly eco and self-sustaining Resort.

Mr. Beruto, in the recent years, Home and Building automation has experienced a rapid growth while increasing their sophistication. How these new technologies affect the real estate development industry and the end user experience?

“Real Estate Developers now can effectively reach two key objectives at the same time: create significant additional value for their assets while enhancing the owner and end user experience.” In addition, it increases the perceived quality of their final product and therefore results in a better market and price positioning while differentiating their product in respect to traditional development present in the market.

From a Real Estate Developer perspective what are the key benefits of implementing these technologies?

It improves their time to market, enhance the overall value proposition of their project delivering a better product both in terms of energy efficiency and security while providing advanced monitoring and remote control features to their units and embedded appliances.

These results can be reached both with wired or wireless system architectures. There is not a golden rule to apply while choosing which system to implement and every decision has to be addressed analyzing each single project and its intimate objectives.

The VDA Group can provide the market with both system architectures and in particular, ModBus and KNX for the wired solutions while Z-Wave for the wireless.

Many readers may be not familiar with the Z-Wave wireless protocol and its benefits. Can you expand on this matter?

VDA has been one of the early adopter of the Z-Wave technology as we saw from the very beginning its great potentials. In addition, we are already upgrading all our products to the newly released and more powerful Z-Wave Plus standard.

Z-Wave Plus is a low power energy efficient wireless protocol for embedded systems and it can be deployed in a wide array of smart building solutions. It supports a full and solid mesh networks without the need for a coordinator node and operates in the sub-1GHz band hence not suffering from any interference from Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies in the 2.4-GHz range like Bluetooth and ZigBee.

Z-Wave has been extremely successful so far simply because it works smoothly, it is easy to set up, grants full backwards compatibility and, most of all, it maintains a strong standard and certification program across an extremely wide product range across all categories of smart building solutions.

Is Z-Wave a future proof platform?

Z-Wave most of all means interoperability and this is the key word for future expansion. Recently it has been announced that it will be soon launched a standardized solutions to join in directly with Apple’s HomeKit environment and with NEST’s development partnerships. This will further broaden the product range, features and scope of Z-Wave technology across the major and leading platforms giving the protocol a solid and future proof global growth.