After parks and markets, it is the turn of beaches in Dubai to offer free wireless Internet connection to visitors. The Dubai Municipality's Smart Palm solar tech hub project will offer free WiFi service and charging points for smartphones and tablets.
It will also be used to announce weather warnings to beach goers. Two interactive screens to demonstrate awareness about the emirate, including weather information, a camera and loudspeakers are the highlights of the Smart Palms that will be sprouting on Dubai beaches, the municipality announced on Tuesday.
Loudspeakers will be used to make public announcements including weather warnings. The Smart Palm is a self-sustaining community tech hub, the structure of which is in the shape of a date palm tree. The six-metre high solar-powered structure has solar panels fixed on top of its fronds-shaped roof.
It also has an attached platform equipped with 12 charging points, designed to support both mobile phones and tablets. All public beaches in the emirate will be made smart with the installation of Smart Palms in as many as 50 locations, Director-General of the Dubai Municipality Hussain Nasser Lootah said. The move is part of making Dubai the most smart and sustainable city.
The locations include Al Mamzar Beach, Mamzar Corniche, Jumeirah 1,2,3 beaches, Umm Suqueim 1 and 2 beaches, Dubai Marina and JBR beach. The free WiFi service will cover approximately an area of 53 metres around the palm, connecting at least 50 users at a time.
However, the launch of the service was not mentioned. Aliya Al Harmoudi, director of the Environment Department in charge of the development of the beaches, stated that it is the first time in the region that beaches are getting wireless Internet facility.
She said the Smart Palm project will link the past with the present in a modern, high-tech way. The photovoltaic solar panels will keep the palm lit even after the sunset, she said.