Hotels 'spending millions to upgrade surveillance'
Dubai, May 10, 2010
Hotels across the UAE are spending millions to upgrade their security surveillance systems following the assassination earlier this year in Dubai of a senior Hamas leader, said an expert.
“Working with the co-operation of police, hotels in Dubai in particular are spending a lot on major upgrades of already extensive security systems, in some cases almost doubling the number of cameras,” revealed Ray Tinston, sales director of The Hotel Show, a leading event for hospitality and leisure sector, to be held next week in Dubai.
The leading hospitality event will this year have a special 'Security and Technology Zone' where top companies will unveil latest security technologies including major 'Closed circuit TV' and 'Security system gadgets, said the event organisers.
“We know from a number of hotel operators that the scale of upgrade taking place since the Dubai incident is on a multi-million dirham basis with one new property alone reporting that it is virtually doubling the number of cameras it is installing to almost 200,” Tinston noted.
"The hit squad that killed senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al Mabhouh were caught on closed circuit television at a number of hotels in the hours leading up to the murder in January. Video footage of the suspects was later issued by Dubai Police and broadcast worldwide."
"Investment in active security systems that include video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection systems and X-ray machines at hotel main entrances is high in the UAE and other Gulf countries compared with many regions,” Tinston said.
“The police and government bodies are also keen on ensuring security standards in the UAE remain among the best in the world," he stated.
Accorrding to Tinston, the installation companies have reported brisk business with the amount of orders from hotels increasing by up to 40 per cent since the incident.
"In particular, cameras with better resolutions are being sought for clearer monitoring of entrances, lobbies, corridors and hotel car parks,” he noted.
"Another recent example of large scale security technology upgrading is the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai which reopened its doors last month following the deadly attack by terrorists in 2008."
The hotel’s surveillance system has been upgraded from 15 security cameras prior to the attack to 150 now. Security personnel have also increased by five times, he pointed out.
"For that reason, security cameras in the lobby or public areas and coded access control cards for elevators and rooms alone are not enough in today’s world. There are now very sophisticated danger management systems, similar to those at airports, which a number of owners and investors in the UAE are looking at," he added.
According to Tinston, the human element is another critically important area in hotel security. "There needs to be a clear and effective link between what the security equipment is monitoring and security personnel with the proper training in how to protect guests and assets in real time."
“Security is an area that no operator or owner can afford to ignore and not just to protect guests, a serious security breach can significantly damage brand value,” he added.
The Hotel Show is divided into four zones - Interiors and Design; Operating Equipment and Supplies; Security and Technology; and The Resort Experience, covering all things outdoor including furniture, accessories and design and includes Hotel Spa.
Alongside the show, are seminar programmes as well as The Seven Star Conference and the Middle East Spa Summit. The Hotel Show runs concurrently with FM Expo.
The special 'Security and Technology Zone' will see leading companies such as Bond Communications, GCC Computers, Salto Systems, VingCard, ABB, Interel and Schneider Electric showcase their latest security gadgets.-TradeArabia News Service