Recent times have seen Saudi Arabia experience development at a remarkable rate, but key industry sectors have not always been able to keep pace. While certain industries grew by leaps and bounds (architecture, technology), others took longer to find their stride.
Take, for instance, the retail industry; up until the early 2000s, Saudi Arabia was still new to the idea of North American shopping malls—most people still preferred shopping at traditional neighbourhood convenience stores.
Arabian Centres: Developer and operator
One company single-handedly changed that: Arabian Centres. Founded in 2002 as a subsidiary of the Fawaz Alhokair Group, it is the developer and operator of 19 shopping centres in highly-populated cities, with over 1 million square metres of gross leasable area (GLA) under its management. This makes Arabian Centres the largest mall operator in the Kingdom.
It has been an unprecedented change in the retail landscape of Saudi Arabia, and it shows no signs of stopping, with an additional 12 malls currently in development to help Arabian Centres reach its goal of 2 million GLA in the next 3 years. But just a few years prior, Arabian Centres was facing a significant challenge to its future operations: Security compliance.
Upgrading security systems
In 2015, changes in local security laws required Arabian Centres to upgrade their security systems across all 19 malls. Local security standards for video surveillance in retail establishments increased, requiring higher image quality and performance. Arabian Centres needed to meet those new requirements quickly to ensure their malls were up to code in order to continue operations.Local security standards for video surveillance increased, requiring higher image quality and performance
Arabian Centres needed a partner that would not only help them satisfy applicable legal requirements, but also provide them with the hardware and software to meet their own personal standards of quality as a top-ranked market entity. Moreover, with 19 malls currently operational and more coming in the future, any security solutions they adopted would have to be scalable and versatile enough to meet a wide variety of unique scenarios.
Upgrading to Avigilon
Beginning in 2015, and continuing to the present day, the overall video surveillance system of Arabian Centres has been upgraded to the Avigilon surveillance solution. In the first phase of upgrades, Avigilon surveillance solutions were installed in 12 of the 19 malls; for phase two, the remaining seven malls will be upgraded with Avigilon solutions, with all malls expected to contain Avigilon solutions by 2018.
Avigilon solutions that have been implemented:
- HD Dome Cameras – superior image resolution, self-learning video analytics and excellent low-light performance
- HD Pro Cameras – with up to 7K (30 MP) resolution, this camera line captures detailed images over vast areas and provides wide area coverage options
- Avigilon Control Center (ACC) Enterprise video management software – enhances the way security professionals interpret, manage and interact with high-definition surveillance video
- Network Video Recorders (NVRs) – Avigilon NVRs include pre-installed ACC™ software, high-performance recording technology, and a three-year Avigilon warranty with dedicated support
The Avigilon solution provides higher image quality and performance at a lower than previously installed systems
As the new video surveillance standard, each Arabian Centres mall features an average of 350 Avigilon cameras, including HD Dome and award-winning HD Pro cameras, network video recorders, and Avigilon Control Center™ video management software.
The Avigilon surveillance solution provides higher image quality and performance at a lower cost of ownership than previously installed systems. By utilizing Avigilon 5K (16 MP) HD Pro cameras in their parking areas, it allows operators to cover the same area in greater detail with fewer cameras installed.
With the adoption of Avigilon surveillance solutions, Arabian Centres met all security compliance laws across Saudi Arabia. Avigilon cameras provide the image detail and quality that police required, and Arabian Centres passed their inspections without issue.