Picture used for illustration purpose. File
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Featuring everything from a seminar on safe-smart cities to a theatrical catwalk for protective clothing, the final day of Intersec 2023 produced a wide-ranging agenda fitting for the 24th edition of the world’s leading trade fair for safety, security, and fire protection.
Bringing together more than 800 exhibitors from 55 countries under one roof, this year’s show at Dubai World Trade Centre featured a Safety & Health Stage that proved popular among attendees, particularly a seminar on strategy and leadership led by Rob Cooling, Executive Director of HSEQ, NEOM.
The session detailed how the goal of a major programme is to realise the outcomes and benefits of strategic relevance. Cooling outlined the challenges faced by leaders – such as scale, complexity, schedule, cost-cutting, unpredicted outcomes, internal and external stakeholders – and how to best overcome them. He also narrowed down strategy to three main focuses: Envisioning a better future, a leader’s behaviour, and taking accountability.
“I feel proud that we certainly made a legacy when it came to safety and worker welfare,” he said. “And that didn’t happen by accident; it happened by defining what success looks like. That is something we can all do in our own organisations. Ask the question: What does success look like for health and safety? When you are developing your own health and safety strategy in your organisations, you should be asking the question: Where is the business going, and what are our vision and values. Use these answers to articulate and integrate health and safety into that.”
To that end, Dubai Government’s Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) is dedicated to giving Dubai the highest possible standards of safety and security. Its SIRA Forum took place as part of the Safety & Health Conference on Thursday, providing the international commercial security community a place to discuss issues, share expertise, and work together to create a more sustainable, secure, intelligent, and connected society.
Asma Abdelhamid, Customer Happiness Manager at SIRA, presented a session outlining the “Journey to a Smart-Safe City”, highlighting digital innovations both at home in Dubai and abroad in cities such as Barcelona, Singapore, and Tokyo. She explained that levels of smartness can be measured using four criteria: Infrastructure based around technology, environmental initiatives, effective and highly functional public transportation, and people’s ability to live and work using the city’s resources.
“A ‘Smart City’ is built around the use of sensors, technology, and communications infrastructure that can enhance the community,” she said, adding that 90 per cent of Dubai Government services are now available via the Dubai Now mobile application. “It is less about how many sensors or apps a city has and more about how they are used; are they connected?”
Abdelhamid explained that smart innovations can help with everything from traffic management systems to buildings and architecture to waste management and litter removal. “Of course, there are challenges, but the first way to overcome these is to establish a legislation figure. SIRA is a government project with an emphasis on regulations focused on the private sector. We must widen these rules to make sure our smart city remains a safe city.”
For the first time in 24 iterations of Intersec, this year’s show also featured a ‘Safety Walk’ in which brands such as MSA Safety, KIVANC Group, Centurion, Drager, Sensor Zone, and others theatrically paraded their latest safety equipment and protective gear on a catwalk.
Unveiling its latest line of protective clothing and gadgets, MSA Safety showcased an MSA Bristol X4 firefighting jacket, an F1XF helmet, and a LUNAR Connected Device that provides Firefighting Assistance Search Technology that combines direction and distance data with thermal imaging to decrease response time and connect separated teammates.
“Intersec has been a very exciting event and it’s great to see them make the safety business as cool as possible,” said Yassin Afroukh, Executive Field Sales Manager at MSA Safety. “What we think is special is we communicate with firefighters a lot to make their lives safer and easier, so I was very interested to see all the products on display at today’s show.”
Next year’s edition of Intersec is set to return from January 16-18, 2024, at Dubai World Trade Centre with dedicated product showcases for commercial and perimeter security, homeland security, fire and rescue, safety and health and cybersecurity, special features, and a powerful conference and knowledge-sharing programme.
“This year’s show has demonstrated once again the importance of Intersec to both the regional fire safety, security, and fire prevention industries, but also international markets,” said Alex Nicholl, Portfolio Director at Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the event organisers.