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A variety of solutions

The coastal city of Sohar in Oman is warming up. While this statement is undoubtedly applicable to climatic conditions, with an ambient temperature of 35°C, it is also representative of the local economy and its investments in safety. Now we will see one made at the Al Wadi Hotel.

by Phoebe Li*

While Sohar has been regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the Middle East, much of its recent economic success is directly due to the port of Sohar. This relatively new port, one of the largest and most expensive in the world, has contributed greatly making this city of Oman an important regional and international trading point. Specifically, Sohar has become synonymous with export for its shipment of metals and petroleum products.

To accommodate the influx of foreign and domestic companies, a variety of infrastructures have been developed. It highlights the creation of a wide variety of hotels, such as the Hotel Al Wadi, to serve this new clientele. However, it was not simply a matter of building new hotels, equally important was the issue of developing high-quality security. To this end, the Al Wadi Hotel cooperated with Hikvision and its wide variety of high-tech cameras.

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General interior
Haja Mohideen, Project Engineer at OHI Electronics, oversaw the development and installation of Al Wadi Hotel's security system. As such, Mohideen chose to use many Hikvision cameras in order to specifically address the security issues offered by this project.

One of those problems was the interior environment, where the hotel management had requested a model of the interior chamber that was aesthetically pleasing, mostly discreet, and always higher in the line of action. In addition, management wanted all of these features to be integrated into a single camera model, rather than a handful of different models.

To satisfy these requests, Mohideen selected DS-2CC591P-A Dome Analog Camera from Hikvision. This camera specifically oversees the hotel lobby, the corridors on each floor, and the elevators. Mohideen explained that "This dome camera is especially suitable for the Al Wadi Hotel. This has to do with excellent camera aesthetics and high-performance capabilities.

However, Mohideen also had an additional factor to consider in his decision-making. In this case, the management of the hotel was not the catalyst, but it was the Government of Oman.

Oman has enacted a law that chambers responsible for public assembly areas must now be monitored manually. That is, the cameras can no longer be pre-set and will be recorded on their own. This change was established to avoid the possibility of randomly pre-establishing coverage of possible missing incidents. Mohideen recounted: "This has had a direct impact on what kind of camera we're interested in. We need a camera that can be mounted at a certain distance, but quickly focuses on specific areas of interest. This is why we have chosen the Hikvision dome – we have the same excellent coverage in the bright lobby as we have in a dark corridor."

And that's the features of the Hikvision dome, such as the automatic day/night shift and a resolution of 540 TVL, which largely satisfies the Wadi Al security staff of the ability to acquire these clear images, no matter the condition and demand.

While the dome camera mentioned above provides excellent overall coverage of the lobby, it was felt that priority areas in the lobby, particularly the reception, may require a higher level of resolution. As such, Mohideen chose the DS-2CD852MF-E 2 megapixel, CMOS-based network camera to provide the high resolution.

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"Obviously, lobbying is of great security importance. It is the reason why we have adopted a dual system: Dome cameras are used to get an overview, but at critical points, such as reception, a 2 megapixel camera from Hikvision is used. Not only can we monitor every step of the customer, from the front door to the front desk, we can see with great resolution 'who' the customer is actually, including facial recognition," he explained.

This great detail provided by the DS-2CD852MF-E 2 megapixel network camera based on CMOS is the result of Hikvision's technology, all this is between H.264/MPEG4 compression of dual stream video and UXGA (1,600 x 1,200 pixels) resolution.

Outdoor areas
Outside the hotel, hotel management initially chose a number of areas that require a high level of security. These areas are the front and rear entrances, to the pool and the parking lot. While the coincidence between the four was the importance of security, each of the four presented a different set of specific challenges that needed to be met.

Mohideen explained that "the pool needs clarity and a wide angle, in the parking lot you need to be able to see a tremendous detail, such as the license plate number, while the two entrances require a high level of resolution to see who was entering or exiting. Fortunately, the DS-2CC193P, a Box high-definition camera provided a solution for everyone."

Obviously, high-definition resolution in each of these areas is vital. It was also essential that this camera works in extreme temperatures, a stark reality in outdoor Sohar. In order to ensure continuous functionality and longevity, Mohideen decided to use DS-1313HZ outdoor camera housing. This housing is weatherproof, and includes a heater and fan to allow these cameras to continue operating smoothly on the very hot day and noticeably colder night.

Mohideen noted, "For the Al Wadi Hotel, we have high-tech cameras, but since this is Oman: these cameras also have to be extremely durable. As such, Hikvision's internal fan and heater are very important to our needs."

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Safety Nerve Center
Linking all these cameras together is a central security office employing the standalone DS-8116HFI-S DVR. This DVR unit has allowed the Al Wadi Hotel to successfully comply with Oman law requiring video storage for a value of 30 days of recordings. This is mainly due to the H.264 video compression used by this Hikvision DVR, and the 8 SATA HDD at 2TB in 8 of each DVR.

In addition, the AL Wadi hotel employs four security officers, 24 hours a day, to see the active shape of Hikvision's array of cameras throughout the hotel's interior and exterior.  Mohideen explained, "Since none of our cameras have been pre-set, it is imperative that our DVRs have excellent functionality. An example of this is the ability to watch multiple cameras at the same time, and with this DVR you can watch 16 channels at the same time."

The future
As the new port of Sohar indicates, the future looks very bright for Sohar. But with this new influx of related business tourism, there is also a need for security.

In this regard, Mohideen plans to purchase additional cameras from Hikvision: "In the future, we plan to install additional cameras, especially the DS-2CC591P-A Dome, analog camera that we are currently using" he also noted that future areas of the facility would be bathrooms, bars and any additional meeting points that customers often frequent. "We are very satisfied with the quality of Hikvision's cameras, and the excellent results they offer," he said.

*Phoebe Li is part of the Marketing department of HIKVISION Digital Technology Co., Ltd.


Santiago Jaramillo
Author: Santiago Jaramillo
Comunicador social y periodista con más de 15 años de trayectoria en medios digitales e impresos, Santiago Jaramillo fue Editor de la revista "Ventas de Seguridad" entre 2013 y 2019.

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