UAE: This is how drones keep Dubai safe



Dubai - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been used to fight crime and curb the spread of Covid-19.


James Jose

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Published: Sat 17 Jul 2021, 12:03 PM

On Wednesday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced a new drone-launching platform.

Set to be introduced at Expo 2020, Drone Box will greatly reduce the time taken to respond to criminal and traffic reports.

"It is a platform for launching drones distributed all over the emirate to reduce the response time for criminal and traffic reports from 4.4 minutes to just one minute," Sheikh Mohammed said.

The extensive use of drone technology, especially during a pandemic, has further enhanced Dubai's image as one of the world's safest and smartest cities to live and work in.

At the beginning of 2021, hi-tech drones helped Dubai Police record 4,400 violations for various offences. They also detected 37 instances of jaywalking, 2,933 traffic violations, 128 cycling offences, and 706 electric bike infringements.

These drones, which are fitted with top-of-the-line technology and can identify faces using high-resolution video, were employed by Dubai Police to nab criminals and those on the wanted list. Its facial recognition technology has also helped them to track down drug dealers and criminals.

Drones were also used to detect Covid safety protocol violations, with 518 offenders found to be not wearing masks. With a detection radius of 1km, drones also helped detect people who defied curfew norms.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) were used by the Dubai Municipality during the National Disinfection Programme in 2020 to help disinfect Dubai's streets. Drones can carry up to 16 litres of disinfectant and fumigate larger areas; drone sprays are estimated to be 50 times more efficient than hand sprays.

Apart from that, drones equipped with dual visual and infrared image sensors made it easier to measure body temperature and help detect new Covid cases. Drones also delivered vital goods, such as medicines and groceries, to those quarantined at home.

Drones are also being used in agriculture, in partnership with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, as part of the UAE's Energy Strategy 2050.

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