The conventional modes of landscaping are evolving and at a singularly rapid pace. Spanning the range from schools and community centres to sporting facilities and recreational parks, sustainable landscaping is fast becoming a major factor in improving quality, design and safety standards. Exploring these developing trends with particular focus on artificial turf, landscape lighting and water installations, is one of the main themes at the Middle East Smart Landscape Summit 2015. Held under the patronage of the Dubai Municipality and produced by global conference organizers Expotrade, the summit will take place on April 28-29, 2015 at Sofitel The Palm Resort and Spa, Dubai.
Examples of schools and sports clubs trading in grass fields in favour of artificial playing surfaces can be found across the world. This trend of moving from homegrown surfaces to durable and synthetic ones is more than a passing fancy and can be traced to genuine reasons such as increased use, upgrade to modern styles of play, low maintenance and lesser cost per use. Artificial turf can be used for multiple sports as well, with the weather a minor or non-issue, thereby expanding scope of usage. The UAE’s keen interest and focus on promoting sporting activities such as cricket – the recent IPL matches being an example – make it an ideal destination for innovative solutions in turf design.
However, simply installing artificial turf or a water feature may not be enough. Using innovative lighting techniques to improve the aesthetics of an installation, park or facility is one of the hallmarks of Dubai, which is renowned globally for world-class water installations such as the Dubai Fountain, which is not just spectacular but also impresses with its sense of balance and design. Juxtaposed against is the Burj Khalifa, the epitome of lighting design. Its stunning LED display during the 2015 New Year Gala event featured 70,000 LED bulbs placed in position using over 100,000 brackets linked seamlessly using 55,000 metres of cabling for a record-breaking, perfect visual spectacle. The Dubai Canal Project, a 14-million square feet initiative extending the Dubai creek water way into the Arabian Gulf is one of the major upcoming attractions in Dubai that is set to revolutionize waterfront leisure activities.
And that’s not all. The 150 hectare Dubai Expo 2020 project site that incorporates urban design, landscaping, signage, facilities management, security and transportation, as part of the plan to transform Dubai in time for the event is, quite possibly, the most high-profile project in the works and is further evidence of the grand vision of the Dubai government.
Dubai’s vision of being a world-class city of the future is also manifest in the Dubai Municipality’s commitment to developing recreational facilities to provide the best services to its citizens. The standards of recreational facilities are high, to say the least, and are evidence of the government’s understanding of recreational needs of its citizens. The recent refurbishment of the JBR Walk in Dubai or its remarkable revamp of the Jumeirah Beach Corniche area, with jogging tracks, play areas, fitness equipment forming part of an impressive hard landscaping solution, come to mind as interesting examples.
The possibilities a tourist hub such as Dubai presents can be understood in detail at the Middle East Smart Landscape Summit 2015, to be held during April 28-29, 2015.