LoRaWAN IoT network strengthens safety, security for Red Sea project

Red Sea Development is deploying an IoT LoRaWAN network and 39,000 sensors to enhance worker safety, site security and productivity during construction of its luxury tourism destination.

najwa hamzeh
Najwa Hamzeh

Along the western coast of Saudi Arabia, an ambitious venture is underway to create the Red Sea Project, a luxury, regenerative tourism destination covering 28,000 square kilometres of land and waters. Many technical systems will be implemented throughout the development, but one of the first is an extensive LoRaWAN IoT security network for its construction workforce and vehicle fleet.

Once complete, the project is expected to welcome up to one million visitors and contribute US$5.9 billion to the Saudi GDP every year. Established to lead the work, The Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC) is using technology to optimise all aspects of the project, from planning and construction through to operation, creating a ‘smart destination’.

It was imperative that the organisation ensured the safety of its 36,000-person workforce, in addition to keeping access to the site secure, and so it began thinking about the issues that needed to be considered, along with potential solutions.

“The chief delivery officer came to me one day highlighting the fact we’re going to have thousands of workers on remote island locations and therefore need to make sure we can track where they are and ensure they don’t miss the boats home. From there I started asking them about other issues they might have and where technology could help,” says Najwa Hamzeh, Smart Destination senior director at TRSDC.

“We discussed things like an SOS button workers could press if in danger, ways to ensure only certified contractors and vehicles could access certain areas of the site and even traffic management. We also looked at secondary benefits — how we could use data from the site to measure contractor productivity, and in turn forecast and potentially resolve delays before they occur.”

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