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Expo 2020 Dubai opens as a future city blueprint, digitalized with Siemens technology

Expo 2020 Dubai opens as a future city blueprint, digitalized with Siemens technology
photo: Siemens/Siemens
12 / 10 / 2021

The first Expo to be held in the Middle East, Asia, or Africa gives visitors a chance to experience how digitally-connected smart cities can help overcome some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. As the Premier Partner for Infrastructure Digitalization at Expo 2020 Dubai, Siemens has digitally linked more than 130 buildings at a purpose-built site twice the size of Monaco. About 80 percent 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 fulfills Expo’s founding vision to be an ecosystem to connect, create and innovate.”

At the Expo site, 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. 

Siemens’ technology enables Expo’s managers to optimize 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 percent of the energy supply.

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 AG 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 optimize 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 center, immersing themselves in interactive audio and visual digitalization display on smart infrastructure, the future of manufacturing, and sustainable transportation. 

Siemens will also host the MindSphere Future World Series from its experience center at Expo 2020 Dubai. The series brings together people who are interested in the technologies that make our world smarter, more livable, and sustainable. The event will feature hackathon challenges that address pressing sustainability issues in one of five dimensions – buildings, energy, mobility, industry, and water.

The company has participated in World Fairs since the inaugural one in London, in 1851, where company founder Werner Von Siemens unveiled his pointer telegraph for the first time. Expo 2020 Dubai, which opened to the public on Oct. 1, takes place in the desert city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and focuses on the themes of sustainability, mobility, and opportunity.