The Expo site itself is designed as a blueprint for future smart cities everywhere.

GLOBAL technology giant Siemens has digitally linked more than 130 buildings at a purpose-built site – which is twice the size of Monaco – at Expo 2020 Dubai.

As the event’s premier partner for infrastructure digitalisation, Siemens is demonstrating how a city’s buildings, machines and facilities can be connected using MindSphere, the company’s industrial IoT (Internet of Things) as a service solution. MindSphere is Expo’s central nervous system, an IoT operating system for Expo’s infrastructure. It runs in the background, almost invisibly, but everyone who visits Expo will benefit from it, said Siemens.

The first Expo to be held in the Middle East, Asia, or Africa, is giving visitors a chance to experience how digitally-connected smart cities can help overcome some of humanity’s most pressing challenges.

About 80 per cent of Expo’s infrastructure will remain after the six-month event ends in March 2022, forming the core of a sustainable new urban district of Dubai, known as District 2020. The Expo site itself is designed as a blueprint for future smart cities everywhere.

“We set out to make the Expo site the basis for a sustainable, human-centric smart city long after the event is over,” said Mohammed Alhashmi, Chief Technology Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai. “We’re proud to work together with Siemens to create the nucleus of District 2020, which will be an integrated, mixed-use community that carries on and fulfils Expo’s founding vision to be an ecosystem to connect, create and innovate.”

Siemens’ technology enables Expo’s managers to optimise operations, reduce carbon emissions, conserve water and energy and enhance visitors’ comfort and security. It gives them access to data and analytics in real time so they can make better decisions, for example, about how to increase energy efficiency in buildings or how to improve water usage in irrigation systems. This is especially important in the Middle East, where buildings can consume up to 80 per cent of the energy supply, he said.

Siemens has even designed a web-based smart city app expressly for the site’s operators and management teams. It shows a digital twin of the Expo site, and helps to provide actionable insights based on data from both Siemens and non-Siemens systems across the site. 

“We see Expo 2020 Dubai as a milestone for Siemens and even the world,” said Matthias Rebellius, Managing Board Member of Siemens and CEO of Smart Infrastructure. “Here at the most digitally connected Expo ever, we’re showing what Siemens can do to make cities more efficient, sustainable, safe and convenient places to live and work, and to make them less of a burden on the environment at a time when climate change affects us all. We are committed to not just the event, but we will also move our Dubai headquarters to District 2020.”

Specific technologies deployed at Expo include Siemens Navigator, a cloud-based platform to optimise building performance; Desigo CC, which supports the site’s smart building infrastructure; and Siveillance Control Pro to manage security at Expo’s gates and throughout the area.

Siemens’ guests at the Expo site can get a personal taste of this technology at the company’s customer experience centre.