By Rasoul Moghaddam, Armiti Group.
The State of Qatar is a sovereign Arab country and an absolute monarchy. It comprises a small peninsula on the north-eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula and its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Qatar is the world’s richest country per capita, and has a developed economy backed by the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves in excess of 25 billion barrels.
Qatar, is not only a very wealthy country, but also home to a growing number of KNX projects. There are two main reasons why industry in Qatar is developing so quickly. The first is a strategic plan to make Qatar one of the most important countries for Islamic culture, as the country provides good education, with renowned universities for teaching and training people.
The second is that Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022. The country will welcome millions of people to this massive footballing event, and is engaging in numerous building and infrastructure projects in preparation.
KNX in Qatar
KNX is being promoted heavily in Qatar thanks to the marketing efforts of companies such as ABB, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Jung and Berker, among others. These companies are increasing their presence in the country, and almost certainly their respective sales volumes too.
In order to be fully prepared for the biggest sporting event worldwide and present the country in the best possible light, buildings are sprouting up rapidly. There is also a drive to ensure a high level of sustainability for the future, and KNX provides the solutions for this, making it truly the best suitable technology for the unusually fast developments that are happening currently in the region.
In fact KNX is already being used in a number of significant projects in Qatar, mainly for lighting control and energy-saving applications. These include the Heart of Doha City which is a downtown regeneration project that will revive the old commercial district. Using the latest in sustainable technologies, it will adhere to the highest standards in green building.
KNX is also being used in numerous office buildings, as well as in the Qatar Main Exhibition Centre; the Palace of the Emir of Qatar; the Mall of Qatar; the Kempinski Hotel; the Traders Hotel; the W-Hotel; the Marriot Hotel; and in the Pearl of Qatar – an artificial island spanning nearly four million square metres.
Another KNX project is the first eco-villa to be constructed in Qatar. It is designed as per the Passivhaus standards for energy and water efficiency and has been designed to reduce energy usage by 50%. It is powered completely by solar panels that feed any excess power back to back to the Grid, and is fitted with numerous monitoring systems.
The Future for KNX in Qatar
Although there is no official KNX group in Qatar, we come under the auspices of KNX Middle East. Indeed the last stop of the KNX Roadshow Middle East took place in Qatar and was so well-attended that it prompted discussions about the foundation of a KNX Userclub Qatar immediately after the event.
Qatar has great ambitions to be a high-end country, so it is no surprise that the use of KNX is growing rapidly. We expect to see KNX Middle East expand its activities in the region, and for a KNX Userclub Qatar to develop, particularly in the run up to the football World Cup.
Rasoul Moghaddam is the Managing Director of Armiti Group, a building automation firm that specialises in hotels, luxury palaces and villas.