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Abu Dhabi's Sha Emirates Island to get self driving transport

Bayanat, a geospatial data products and services provider, has signed an initial agreement with Abu Dhabi-based real estate developer Imkan for the development of smart mobility infrastructure on Sha Emirates island in the Al Jurf district.

The project will feature an integrated and artificial intelligence-enabled transportation ecosystem that allows for fully autonomous driving on the wellness island, Bayanat said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sha Emirates is a planned residential community designed to be the “world's first well-being island”. It's located on a private island within the Al Jurf development, located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The project, which will open in 2026, is a partnership between Imkan and European wellness brand Sha Wellness Clinic.

Imkan will develop the project’s physical infrastructure, while Bayanat will provide the critical digital infrastructure for autonomous vehicles and unmanned systems.

“Bayanat has long been a pioneer of autonomous driving and unmanned systems in the Middle East,” said Abdulla Al Shamsi, chief operating officer at Bayanat.

“We are excited about this joint project with Imkan, which will combine our expertise to create a unique concept globally – a healthy-living island featuring autonomous vehicles,” he added.

Bayanat's digital twin technology will help create a virtual replica of the island's infrastructure. This will allow for real-time monitoring and management of autonomous transportation systems, ensuring smooth operations without the need for human intervention.

The technology will also facilitate predictive maintenance, optimise traffic flow, and enhance the safety and reliability of autonomous vehicles, Bayanat said.

Beyond the joint infrastructure, the partners will also closely collaborate on data privacy and sustainability efforts, Bayanat said.

The real estate wellness market is booming as people seek environments that reduce stress and support healthy lifestyles, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The wellness real estate market worldwide is expected to be worth $913 billion by 2028, compared with $438 billion last year, according to the Global Wellness Institute.

Meanwhile, the UAE’s property market has continued to record strong growth on the back of government initiatives and the expansion of its economy.

Abu Dhabi's real estate sector attracted a record Dh1.81 billion ($493 million) in foreign direct investment in the first quarter of 2024, as demand for property continues to rise in the UAE capital.

In Dubai, where the real estate sector is a key component of the economy, the residential and commercial sectors posted “significant” growth in the first quarter of 2024, according to consultancy ValuStrat.

For 2024, the emirate's real estate cycle is expected to head towards a “new phase”, with a projected resurgence in the apartment market and tempered growth for villas, ValuStrat said in its outlook for this year.

For a detailed perspective on the property market, visit:  Abu Dhabi - Real Estate Review Q1 2024