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Country Profile: United Arab Emirates

TajKollaraBy Taj Kollara, KNX Middle East.

Established in 1971, the United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates, namely Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Fujairah and Ras al-Khaimah. Each emirate is governed by an absolute monarch, one of whom is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates, and all of whom jointly form the Federal Supreme Council.

Abu Dhabi serves as the capital of UAE.
Abu Dhabi serves as the capital of UAE.

The UAE has the most advanced and developed infrastructure in the region. Since the 1980s, the country has been spending billions of dollars on infrastructure, which is particularly evident in the larger emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The northern emirates are rapidly following suit, providing major incentives for developers of residential and commercial property.

Driven by these developments, KNX Association started with the first activities in Dubai on the 6th November 2012 with the foundation of KNX Middle East. More than ten members, amongst them manufacturers, integrators and institutions, joined and formed the local KNX organisation, KNX Middle East, which aims to push KNX to the next stage. Due to the regional involvement of most of the key members, the focus of this group was not only on the UAE, but on the Middle Eastern region as a whole.

KNX Middle East Foundation in 2012.
KNX Middle East Foundation in 2012.

Spreading the Word in the Middle East

The first event, organised by KNX Middle East, was the ‘First Middle East Forum of KNX Technology and Application’ in 2012. With 100 participants, this event was a major success and the beginning of many upcoming events.

KNX Middle East then participated in the Light Middle East show in 2013, followed by a string of activities that included visiting officials in UAE and beyond, to explain the advantages of KNX to government officials. The outcome of these discussions was the implementation of KNX in various governmental complexes all over the region.

In 2013, KNX Middle East organised the first KNX Roadshow, covering UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Each stop consisted of two events, and helped to spread KNX to the other emerging markets outside of Dubai. With more than 400 participants, the Roadshow clearly pointed to the growing awareness of KNX and necessity all over the Middle East.

In 2014, taking advantage of the obvious developments in UAE and the upcoming activities in Dubai and Qatar, KNX organised its biggest KNX National Group Conference in Dubai, inviting representatives from forty KNX National Groups to this moving event.

More than 50 delegates from 30 different countries joined the KNX National Group Conference in Dubai, which coincided with the launch of ETS5.
More than 50 delegates from 30 different countries joined the KNX National Group Conference in Dubai, which coincided with the launch of ETS5.

KNX Projects

Among the growing number of KNX projects in the UAE is the new concourse at Dubai International Airport, Concourse A. This features 24 gates, plus Duty free shops, offices, lounges, restaurants and luxury hotels, and is the first airport in the world to offer multi-level boarding for the Airbus A380 – the aircraft known as the ‘super jumbo’. Multi-level boarding means that first- and business-class passengers can reach their seats directly from their respective lounges.

KNX technology is already used in numerous airports around the world, so it was the obvious choice for this installation. Thanks to its demand-based control system, the lighting system alone – which consists of 140,000 lighting points illuminating a total area of 528,000m² – reduces the concourse’s energy consumption by between 30 and 40% compared to a conventional installation. This large project, made up of more than 7000 KNX devices, won the ‘International – Asia’ KNX award.

KNX Awarded project at Dubai Airport Concourse 3, exterior view in the night with lighting.
KNX Awarded project at Dubai Airport Concourse 3, exterior view in the night with lighting.

Future Plans

KNX Middle East has many activities planned for this year. These include participating in exhibitions, conducting road shows, and raising the awareness of consultants by having seminars, technical sessions etc. KNX Middle East is also planning a technical workshop, with participants invited from all of the Middle Eastern countries.

Our primary objective for this market is to ensure that KNX technology is specified in upcoming building and home automation projects by encouraging all of the KNX manufacturers who are present in this market, to cooperate.

Those interested in finding out more about KNX National Group Middle East are welcome to contact us via

Taj Kollara is Secretary of KNX Middle East, and Managing Director of ‘Total Automation LLC’ in Dubai and ‘Automation Specialists India Pvt Ltd.’ in India – specialists in automation projects in Asia and the Middle East.

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