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“Our purpose is to change the way imagery is used in the region”


Mohammed El-Kadi
managing director,
space imaging middle east, dubai, UAE
[email protected]

Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, Space maging Middle East (SIME) offers high quality, high-resolution, satellite imagery for a geographic area that spans the Middle East, Eastern Africa, the Gulf and Central Asia. The company was established as DSI (LLC) in November 1997. In this candid interview Mr. Mohammed El-Kadi, Managing Director, Space Imaging Middle East describes about the trends evolving in the satellite imagery market of the Middle East

What locational advantages, challenges and prospects have emerged with the significant opening of the Space Imaging Middle East (SIME) branch?
The Middle East is a region that needs imagery for its development. The region’s imagery is also required globally (due to the conflicts). Our advantage is that we came to a virgin market and we introduced high-resolution satellite imagery to this market. The challenge is to educate the market. That is why we always say our purpose is to change the way you look at the region and change the way imagery is used in the region. The region has many prospects especially in the arena of solutions.

How do you perceive the trends evolving in the satellite imagery industry in Middle East? Which application areas are emerging as the most proactive user segments?
Satellite imagery is used to map and update regularly urban areas. It is a cost-effective way to produce base maps at different resolutions and to monitor on ongoing basis major projects. The applications that are emerging are the ones to host and publish data to different users, mainly vehicle tracking solutions.

What are the various products and services, which SIME is offering in the region? What is your edge over the other key players in this industry?
Across the different sectors we have offered our clients a variety of services, ranging from photogrammetry mapping consultancy, database design, programming, implementation to on-site support and training. To constantly lead the market we have set up a technical partnership network through which we continuously add new sensors and new solutions.

We offer imagery from aerial and satellite sensors with resolutions varying from15 cm to 30 m, as well as mosaic and tiles. Our advantage is that we control the source of our imagery we own. We own the airplane that we operate for aerial imagery and we task the satellite directly. This gives us the flexibility to fulfill every requirement a client might have.

We are a true one-stop shop for all your geospatial and GIS needs. We also have the flexibility as all the solutions are developed by us and by our partners.

The geospatial market is growing tremendously. Are there any key markets in which you see the role of geospatial technology expanding? Is there a specific strategy for the Middle East region to cater to its unique and fast growing identity?
Location based services and other communication-related services such as vehicle tracking are growing at a tremendous pace. We are from the region and we understand the region. We are owned by investors from the region. We have lived through the evolution of the remote sensing industry in the region and we work for its progress.

“We offer imagery from aerial and satellite sensors with resolutions varying from15 cm to 30 m, as well as mosaic and tiles. Our advantage is that we control the source of our imagery we own.”

SIME had ventured in Europe in the recent past by setting up its wholly owned subsidiary ‘European Space Imaging’ in Germany. How does such regional cooperation initiatives help mature the industry and SIME?
European Space Imaging (EUSI) is a gateway for SIME on European technologies and it puts us in direct contact with the latest innovations. Actually two of our partners are in Europe – GAF to provide remote sensing studies and the German Aerospace Center provides electronic hosting delivery of data. At the same time EUSI is a marketing arm for SIME. The imagery of the region is wanted in Europe which permits EUSI to expand its offering to the European market.

“We are currently working on providing online hosting and delivery of our archive. We are working on signing in new technology partners and developing our offer to the market place. We are also working on developing imagery archiving software and other GIS tools.”

In the present changing world of constant innovation, developments and technology upgrading, how does SIME match its technology base?
We always look to adopt the latest technologies and to build our in-house capabilities by continuously sending our staff for training. We also introduce the latest technologies by going to partnership with other companies. Our technology partnership network includes:

  • DLR German Space Agency, Ground station operation, image processing software and large data hosting and delivery systems.
  • GAF Remote sensing studies
  • Sanborn Aerial imaging, products and advance modeling solutions
  • MapPointAsia Vehicle/Asset Tracking Systems
  • Khatib & Alami Specialized GIS systems

May you mention some your interesting and worthwhile case study services? What are your immediate plans for the future in terms of products, services and technology?
We have several applications:

  • Vehicle tracking by police department to control and manage their patrol
  • Base map extracted from imagery by Municipalities

We are currently working on providing online hosting and delivery of our archive. We are working on signing in new technology partners and developing our offer to the market place. We are also working on developing imagery archiving software and other GIS tools.

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