Interview with Omar J. Bin Adai, VP of Engineering Services Unit at Dubai Airports

10.03.2015 - In 2014 Dubai International became the worlds number 1 airport for international passengers according to Airports Council International. International passenger numbers added up to...

In 2014 Dubai International became the world's number 1 airport for international passengers according to Airports Council International. International passenger numbers added up to more than 70 million in 2014, up 6.1 per cent compared to 2013. The airport serves more than 130 airlines flying passengers and cargo to more than 260 destinations across six continents. Such a fast growing airport needs very efficient and flexible operation management. It is easy to imagine that the security operations are very sophisticated to keep the visitors, staff and assets protected round-the-clock. Bosch Security Systems had organized for GIT SECURITY to meet with Omar J. Bin Adai, Vice President of Engineering Services Unit at Dubai Airports, who is responsible for the security equipment and solutions installed at Dubai International.

GIT Who is involved when it comes to decisions which system is chosen for Dubai Airport?

Omar J. Bin Adai: Well, I would consider two scenarios in this case. There are cases in which Dubai Airports or entities within execute projects or implement systems. In such cases the technical decisions or selection is made by Engineering Services. When it comes to facility expansion projects, this is facilitated by Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP). Here too, Engineering Services advises DAEP on end-user expectations, previous experiences, asset life cycle requirements affecting operation and maintenance, which influence design and decision making.

What are the criteria that are important for you when you chose a vendor?

Omar J. Bin Adai: Considering the importance of the business we do and the international clientele - our international passengers - we serve, we look for the vendors who understand the value of our business and align with us in delivering our goals. To deliver high quality solutions with a very proactive after sales support is one of the most important criteria to measure this. Today we have many vendors like Bosch, who meet these criteria and who we consider as our partners.

How does the cooperation look like between you, the system integrator and Bosch as the vendor?

Omar J. Bin Adai: Very often we find it more comfortable to work with the manufacturer than the supplier or integrator considering the volume and importance. We strongly believe that the manufacturer has a bigger stake in delivering the befitting solution and gaining a satisfied client. This message was given to Bosch a couple of years ago and Bosch has acknowledged positively by improving their direct presence in airport projects. During a project we need a close cooperation of our staff with the system integrator and the manufacturer. We need strong leadership and commitment from all three parties involved.

How do you deal with challenges during such a project?

Omar J. Bin Adai: As a best practice we do not wait for challenges to arise to define solutions. In major projects we conduct risk analyses as part of ground work. Among the various options for mitigating risks, one of the most important is to identify a vendor who has a proven track record in delivering similar projects successfully many times in similar situations. Let me say without any ambiguity, if we spend the right level of effort in choosing our vendor and partner, rest assured they will contribute to a successful outcome. As an airport with a lot of traffic and with our management always looking for new ideas and better solutions, there is also a big advantage for the vendor. We are often working at the forefront of technological developments and develop new ideas, so if a vendor and its products and solutions succeed here in Dubai, they will have success everywhere in the world.

Can you give us an example?

Omar J. Bin Adai: A good example is our public address installation. Our PA installation is the world's largest installation and unlike for many other airports, in Dubai the PA system is not only used for alarm notifications. Our PA system has been co-developed hand-in-hand from the beginning with Philips and later with Bosch. It is used for alarms and potential evacuation announcements, but also informs our passengers about flights and public announcements. If you listen to the new system installed in Terminal 3, you can easily judge that it is an absolutely no-compromise, high-quality customer experience. Terminal 3 is perhaps the most powerful example yet that Dubai Airports is totally committed to comfort, style and professionalism.

How do you make sure that a new installation is well integrated with the other systems already installed at the airport?

Omar J. Bin Adai: I wish I could ask this question back to you. Of course when we consider such situations our requirement specifications are made with utmost care ensuring a seamless integration is achieved. In the decision making stage itself due diligence is done to ensure that such integration will not adversely affect the ease of use, maintainability, operability and cost. 


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