Security City

High-tech security solutions for futuristic Dubai

By Kate Pavao

Winter 2018

There’s no doubt that technology is changing policing, says Andrew Ferguson, a law professor at the University of the District Columbia and author of The Rise of Big Data Policing. Just take a look at Chicago, he says, where police are using an algorithm to create a list of likely victims and perpetrators of violence so they can intervene before crime happens.

But perhaps no city is quicker to embrace high-tech security solutions than futuristic Dubai, which plans for nearly a quarter of its police force to consist of robots by 2030—and showcased two very shiny solutions at the GITEX Technology show this October. Here’s what to look for next time you’re in the business hub.

Ready to Roll

Singapore’s OTSAW Digital has created O-R3, a tiny self-driving, self-charging police car outfitted with thermal imaging, facial and license plate recognition, and a drone in the trunk to deploy as needed. Look for the cars to hit Dubai’s streets before the end of the year. More at

Today, there are far more invasive surveillance technologies changing how police do their jobs, where they go, who they target, and in many ways how they monitor society.”–Andrew Ferguson

On the Fly

Russia’s Hoversurf signed an agreement to sell Dubai police Scorpion 3 hoverbikes, which officers can use to respond to emergencies in a flash. Scorpions can hover at speeds up to 43 miles per hour—and you don’t have to be a police officer to have one. You can buy your own for just under US$60,000. More at

photography by Enyo Manzano Photography/Getty Images