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SPA in the Middle East hold virtual meeting

Security Professionals Association (SPA) for the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) is the first security association in the Middle East. It was established to be a voice of the security industry in the UAE and the region through Technological innovation and Operational Excellence held a virtual conference via Zoom on Wednesday, May 20, with international speakers and Q&A session to conclude.


With just under 500 attendees including top officials and industry experts logging on the virtual conference titled “Security Role Against COVID 19”.  The focus of the conference being on everything from disinfection tunnels, thermal cameras and technologies to monitor social distancing and crowd capacities came under review.

Adil Abdel-Hadi the deputy chairman of the association chaired the meeting.

The subjects covered were:

*Use of Thermal Cameras:

Paul Tennent from TenTec Security Solutions covered the technology and types of detection, its uses and applications, environmental factors that can influence results through to the best practices of installation.

Eng. Arif Al Janahi, security operations and services manager at SIRA said during the Q&A sessions “installing thermal cameras isn’t mandatory in Dubai but recommended it as precautionary measure to detect people’s temperature, a key symptom of COVID-19”

Use of Sterilization Gates (Tunnels)

Reem Hassan, head of security systems and equipment testing lab at SIRA debated the idea of installing and sterilization gates, saying “More research is needed on their safety to see if they might have any negative impact to people’s health. It might be a relief for the person who cross the gates as it disinfects them and their clothes, but it can’t eliminate COVID-19,”

Control of Visitors to Shopping Malls and Hotels

Brian Tarpey, security consultant at SIRA, covered all the critical measures that are required for Hotels and Shopping Malls to start to re-open safely including age restrictions and isolation rooms in malls, closing all leisure facilities in Hotels and the continued measures of social distancing.

Eng Al Janahi recommended that major shopping centres reduce the number of their entry points to monitor the number and flow of visitors. Monitoring the number of passengers in every car coming into the mall was also helpful.


This presentation covered the mitigating measures which can be taken once restrictions have been lifted. It allows for the use of shopping malls and hotels, whilst reducing the risk of spreading the Co-Vid virus. It suggests the utilisation of technology to aid in the early detection of people who may be carrying the virus, and also the technology to detect instances where social distancing has not been adhered to. Technology can also be used to track where confirmed cases have been to alert hotels, who can then prevent the further onward spread of the virus.

It was very clear that all were keen to learn as there were many many questions flying in from the participants, in fact I fear too many to answer with such a large number of attendees who all stayed glued to the meeting for its full duration so hats off to the organizers.


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