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Dubai and Doha Leading The Way For Smart Buildings In The Middle East


A new survey of buildings across the Middle East by global technology leader Honeywell shows that while Dubai and Doha top the list for cities with the “smartest” buildings, more than half of those surveyed in the region had only limited connectivity and integration of building systems. 

The Honeywell Smart Building Score™, a first-of-its-kind global index designed for the comprehensive assessment of any building, was used to evaluate 620 buildings across seven major Middle East cities: Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait City and Riyadh. The survey, developed by Honeywell with researchers Nielsen and global advisors Ernst & Young, assessed airports, hotels, hospitals, office and residential buildings along with educational and retail facilities.

Read Honeywell & Ernst & Young’s white paper, "A Smarter Tomorrow: Buildings. Cities. Life.” 

The Smart Building Score evaluates a building’s use of 15 technology assets to find out which systems are in place to make them green, safe and productive — the three main indicators of smart buildings. The systems’ overall capabilities, coverage of the facility and uptime are then factored in. Overall, Dubai and Doha led the scores across the board.   

Key findings from the survey include:

  • The average smart building score in the Middle East was 48 out of a possible 100.
  • The average building score in Doha was 70 - more than 20 points above the regional average. The average score in Dubai was 65. Abu Dhabi came third, with a score of 48.
  • Overall, the region’s airports are leading the way with smart building technologies, with an average score of 80. Hotels had an average score of 57, followed by hospitals at 56, retail at 52 and private offices at 46. Scoring the lowest were high-rise residential buildings at 45 and education facilities at 41.
  • With the exception of airports, connectivity and system integration were found to be lagging. 57% of the buildings surveyed were found to lack efficiency-boosting technology that helps centralize facility information and streamline operations.
  • Across the Middle East, buildings scored only an average of 38 on asset capability. This number is influenced by investment in smart systems such as gas and water leakage detection, health and fire safety fixtures, energy-efficient components, and emergency power systems. 

The survey provides valuable insights into opportunities to make buildings in the region smarter. Facility operators and building owners can assess the “smartness” of their own buildings online by visiting the Smart Buildings Score Middle East site. 

The Honeywell Smart Building Score is a global tool. The score debuted in India in 2015 and subsequent launches were held in the United States and China.