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Smart cities rise up with digital twin technology

Article-Smart cities rise up with digital twin technology

Dubai Expo Technology
The development of smart cities is set to increase over the next few years. A smart city is any urban space that uses sensors to measure and collect data in order to manage and develop services and assets more effectively.

With human health, happiness and wellbeing coming to the fore over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities are increasingly looking to smart technology to improve quality-of-life. MarketsandMarkets predicts the smart cities market will grow from $410.8 billion in 2020 to $820.7 billion by 2025.


At the heart of this growth is the digital twin.

A digital twin is a digital copy of a physical asset. It is used to run simulations of real-world situations in order to optimise systems, responses and practices, and monitory real-time performance.

These digital copies can simulate an entire city, in order to, for instance, calculate the impact of increased traffic. It can also simulate a single asset, such as a subway line.

They are particularly useful for simulating disasters, break-downs, and system failures in order to discover the fastest and most efficient way of repairing a broken asset or avoiding an incident.

For example, at last year’s Year in Infrastructure Awards, Águas do Porto used digital twins to improve the management of the urban water cycle. This resulted in operating gains of 25% and reduced water supply failures by around 30%.


Digital twins are finding use in the MENA region, including at Dubai’s delayed Expo 2020, now set to take place in 2021.

The platform, which utilises Siemens’ MindSphere Internet of Things-enabled technology, will use data gathered before and during the Expo to optimise the event, implementing energy, building and security management. Using simulations, it has also supported the design, planning and construction of the venue itself.

The Middle East is investing heavily in smart cities. Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are in particular embracing the Internet of Things to plan new sustainable infrastructure powered by renewable energy.



DRIVERS OF CHANGE: Top 20 most Influential Sustainable MENA Real Estate Professionals. You can nominate a peer, colleague, line report, or a key figure in real estate who is making a significant strides towards the MENA region’s green transition here.

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