Video: Inside the smart station where security teams train for Dubai Metro crimes Filed on November 6, 2020 | Last updated on November 6, 2020 at 07.21 am

(Juidin Bernarrd/ Khaleej Times)

Khaleej Times got exclusive access to the newly opened Hamdan Smart Station for Simulation and Training.

Taking a public bus or Metro at any time of the day or night feels safe in Dubai. It is a 24/7 job for the Dubai Police to keep our public transportation crime-free. From smart helmets to face-recognition cameras and riot police to bomb squads, the Transportation Security Department of Dubai Police is keeping a close watch on Metro stations and bus stations to ensure that no nefarious activities go unnoticed.

Khaleej Times got exclusive access to the newly opened Hamdan Smart Station for Simulation and Training — a 3,200sqm facility at the Dubai Police Headquarters, which was established to train the city’s security personnel and equip them with cutting-edge security solutions needed to keep the city safe for commuters.

“Our aim is to realise His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision of making Dubai the safest and smartest city on Earth,” Brigadier-General Obaid Al Hathboor, the Director of Transportation Security Department, told Khaleej Times.

“We want every resident to be able to use the public transportation and carry out their daily duties in an atmosphere that guarantees safety and comfort.”

Al Hathboor said the Training Innovation centre under the department has in 2019 alone trained a total of 3,565 people and conducted 167 training courses in accordance with the highest international standards.

Hamdan Smart Station for Simulation and Training was established as the first and largest simulation facility in the country that uses artificial intelligence for security solutions.

“The centre uses artificial intelligence to develop the expertise and capabilities of the security force with an aim of becoming the leading security force in the world in the transportation sector,” said the Brigadier.

Hamdan Smart Station training spots

The Hamdan Smart Simulation and Training Station has four main components.

1) Station square and Metro trailer

It is the central square for training the employees of the Transportation Security Department to deal with all emergency situations. A replica of the Metro station stands at the heart of the square and the staff is trained by creating simulations of a riot or a hostage situation.

Khaleej Times witnessed a simulation where four criminals wielding sticks stormed into the station and took people hostage. Within minutes, the special riot police charged on them and tackled them. The bomb squad and K9 team were also deployed to comb through the Metro station and trains, and check for suspicious materials.

2) Operating room

The operating room is equipped with the latest intelligent security systems used in the management of transportation security, including television surveillance cameras for Dubai Metro stations. Lieutenant Abdulrahman Al Bastaki said a total of 8,700 cameras are set up in various Metro stations to monitor the movement of people in and out of the stations.

“From the operating room, we monitor the number of people entering and exiting the metro station. If there is an emergency, we will know if someone is trapped inside using the numbers we have,” said Lieutenant Al Bastaki. The security officials also monitor sudden distractions or movement inside the Metro station, if someone is accessing restricted sites, suspicious objects.

“The cameras also monitor whether anyone is loitering around or waiting in the Metro for a long time without boarding the train.” The official said an intelligent attendance system, which records attendance through the fingerprint and body temperature, will issue an alert and send the data and image of a suspected person when he or she passes through the Metro station.

3) The Future Hall

The Dubai Police is the first security agency to use virtual reality technology in the transportation sector. The future hall is a simulation centre that applies virtual reality technology by filming 360-degree simulations of real-life crime situations that could happen inside a Metro station.

The staff is trained in step-by-step procedures of dealing with various situations, like a strike or a crime, and protecting lives and property in the event of an emergency.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Captain Wahid Jallaf, Head of the Command and Control section at the Department, said the Hamdan Smart Station designs training programmes to deal with any emergency situation. “The current pandemic is an example. It has proved the importance of intelligent training programmes that our staff need to get any time and under any circumstances.”

4) Laboratory Hall

Laboratory Hall is where various modern technology and intelligence security systems are tested before they are used in Metro stations. The Smart Helmets and Smart glasses help the Dubai Police identify criminals by scanning their body temperatures within seconds.

The Transport Security Department also uses drones to manage crowds at various events and crises. To achieve the smart use of drones, they have been equipped with live broadcast systems in the Transportation Security Operations Room and connected to a ground station that provides continuous power while in the air for up to eight hours continuously for a comprehensive coverage of any event or event.

Thermal cameras can shoot at any time to detect potential dangers on the railways, and have the ability to approximate remotely shoot. They are also equipped with a multi-lingual guidance speaker. The facial recognition system that has nine intelligent features was also tested. This system will help reduce the time of identification of those wanted in Metro stations — from five hours of work to a few minutes — and will contribute to enhancing security in the sector.


Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.

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