27 Mar Review: Intersec 2023
All eyes were on Dubai in January, as the 24th edition of the annual Intersec exhibition opened its doors to the security industry.
With the aim of advancing the security landscape, more than 800 exhibitors from 55 countries packed out the halls of the Dubai World Trade Centre ready to meet the thousands of visitors who were keen to hear the latest innovations, listen to world-leading speakers and network with their peers. The show was officially opened by HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Council for Border Crossing Points Security, who also took the opportunity to tour the 10 halls of exhibition space.
At the Dubai Police stand he was briefed on the force’s latest public safety solutions. He also met with executives from Saudi Arabia’s National Security Services Company (SAFE) to hear about its latest initiatives to elevate the standards of the kingdom’s security sector. Alex Nicholl, Portfolio Director at Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “The high level of interest in Intersec 2023 in the build-up to the event has carried forward into an exciting opening day with great energy, dialogue, deal-making and networking fuelled by positive industry growth forecasts and increased demand for the latest solutions for safety of people, places and a rapidly evolving cyberspace.”
Three days of innovation, learning and history making.
The opening day of the show included a conference session with Helmut Spahn, Director of Safety, Security and Access at FIFA. He shared with the audience some of the safety learnings that were made at the recent Qatar World Cup 2022. The conference programme also included popular sessions with Sultan Al-Owais, Digital Lead, Prime Minister’s Office, who led a talk on the present and future of hybrid cyber warfare.
Dr Bushra Al Blooshi, Head of Research & Innovation at Dubai Electronic Security Centre also held a keynote session titled Pioneering Digital Economy: Integrated and innovative smart secured services ecosystem. Day Two of Intersec featured the historic signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the UAE Ministry of Interior and Chinese state-owned video surveillance company Hikvision. Under the terms of the MoU, which was signed by Brigadier Ahmed Humeid Al Suwaidi from the Ministry of Interior, and Xi Ming Xu, Senior Vice President at Hikvision, the two parties will work together to develop solutions that will benefit and maintain the safety of residents and visitors to the Emirates.
The third and final day of the show featured one of the most popular seminars: a session on strategy and leadership, led by Rob Cooling, Executive Director of HSEQ at NEOM. He detailed for the audience the challenges faced by leaders of a major programme, such as scale, complexity, schedule, unpredicted outcomes and internal and external stakeholders. Then looked at how to best overcome them based on his own experiences.
As well as a packed conference programme there was also a host of features at the show to engage the audience and showcase the very best of industry. The Loss Prevention Certification Board hosted the Attack Zone – where exhibitors had the chance to test their products in live-action demos. For those looking to find the latest industrial safety gear, The Safety Walk, sponsored by EnSafe Evacuation Chair, Jutec and Teijin, was a catwalk doing just that.
This was a new feature to this year’s show and one that was well received. It saw the likes of MSA Safety, KIVANC Group, Centurion, Drager, Sensor Zone and others parade their latest safety equipment and protective clothing on the catwalk. The Tech Stage was another packed out feature of this year’s event with people keen to see the latest innovations be unveiled. This year saw a host of new technologically advanced solutions on show including virtual reality solutions, anti-drone technology and new safety materials.
The Cybersecurity Stage featured a number of industry leaders all trying to tackle the same challenges from within their own fields of expertise. One of the panel discussions looked at the challenges faced when converging worlds collide – in this case information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). Shahab Siddiqui from Petrofac, Andres Desa from Mubadala Investment Company, Biju Hameed from Dubai Airports, and Hamad Saeed Husain Abdulrahman from King Hamad University Hospital were all on hand to share their views.
For visitors to Intersec one of the most valuable benefits of attending is the chance to hear so many world-leading experts share their views, opinions, best practice examples and own experiences. At the SIRA forum, Asma Abdelhamid, Customer Happiness Manager at SIRA, presented a session outlining the journey to a Smart-Safe city.
She explained: “A ‘Smart City’ is built around the use of sensors, technology, and communications infrastructure that can enhance the community. It is less about how many sensors or apps a city has and more about how they are used; are they connected?” According to Abdelhamid 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.
Get set for 2024
“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 Messe Frankfurt’s Nicholl. “With more than 800exhibitors from 55 countries, including 10 standalone country pavilions, Intersec 2023 was truly a global exhibition. After this year’s success, the focus now turns to 2024 and making sure we continue to offer value to all attendees, exhibitors, and stakeholders.”
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.