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Dubai has everything in place to become ‘an exemplary smart city pioneer’

March 23, 2015 6:44 am

Dubai: Dubai’s Smart City strategy is a robust plan structured to benefit residents, businesses and visitors, and it is emblematic of the city’s receptivity to cutting-edge technology but it has its challenges and benefits, industry experts said.
“The journey is aligned with multiple transitions through the city and it is expected to attract $15 billion investment and $7.2 billion investment on the Expo 2020 event,” said Rabih Dabboussi, Managing Director at Cisco UAE.
He said Dubai is already a smart city. The broadband infrastructure, 4G network and readiness are the best in the Mena region while broadband and mobile penetration is over 200 per cent.
Cisco believes that the principles of openness that made the Internet a thriving ecosystem over the past 20 years can be applied to create and grow a networked platform for connecting people with products, services and information.
Dabboussi said the same network can also provide a means for cities to manage services, provide citywide information, learn how citizens use managed services and deliver business opportunities.
Frost & Sullivan estimates that the global market potential for smart cities — infrastructure development, technology integration, and e-government, energy and security services — could reach $3.3 trillion by 2025.
Danny Karam, Principal at Booz & Co, said that smart city is a journey and not a destination.
“The key challenges digital Dubai faces are siloed applications with no common interworking layer, closed data sets and sensor portfolio,” Karam said.
Between 2013 and 2018, he said Dubai has the capacity to create more than 27,000 jobs and an economic impact of $5.5 billion.
“Smart City is not a technology story and it is more than that. The benefits of sustainable communities are the creation of jobs, energy savings by 30 per cent, reduction in water consumption by 50 per cent, reduction in crime rates by 20 per cent and reduction in traffic by 30 per cent,” said Anil Menon, president of Smart + Connected Communities and deputy chief globalisation officer at Cisco.
The global need for cities to adapt is intensifying. Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) predicts that cities in the future will account for nearly 90 per cent of global population growth, 80 per cent of wealth creation, and 60 per cent of total energy consumption. “The era of inert buildings, unresponsive citizen services, and lack of logistical transparency is over, and Dubai has everything in place to become an exemplary smart city pioneer, not only throughout the region but also on a global scale,” said Dabboussi.