UAE pioneers smart cities tech to drive $2.7bn MEA market


ABU DHABI — The UAE’s pioneering smart cities initiatives – including smart services, the 5G rollout, AI projects, and hyperloop – are supporting the strong growth in the Middle East and Africa’s smart cities tech market, which IDC says will reach $2.7 billion by 2024, industry experts said today at the World Future Energy Summit.

Supporting regional and global smart cities development, the World Future Energy Summit’s Smart Cities Expo & Forum is seeing robust conference discussions and the latest innovations from BMW, Circ e-scooters, Cubic Art Technologies (CATEC), Hyperloop, Tesla, along with the national pavilions of Japan and The Netherlands that are showcasing innovative technologies.

Majd Coussa, Head of Energy & Utilities industry at Etisalat, who will be on the panel ‘5G - The True Enabler for Connected Smart Cities?’, said: “Smart cities that combine state-of-the-art 5G technologies with artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will see the biggest benefit in digitally transforming the society and economy, in addition to supporting the country’s leadership to progress its sustainability agenda. The Smart Cities Expo & Forum is a key event for showcasing the UAE’s 5G leadership, with Etisalat’s world-pacing commercial 5G network launch supporting innovations at mega-events such as Expo 2020 Dubai.”

The Smart Cities Expo & Forum, which concluded Thursday, brought together the key smart cities stakeholders from the region and world. These included Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, and Tadweer; innovators such as ekar, IBM, Hyperloop One, and Killa Architectural Design; financiers such as HSBC; and industry associations such as the GSMA.

“Smart cities rely on a wide range of technologies – such as artificial intelligence, 5G, the Internet of Things, and transport innovations – to transform citizen experiences and reduce carbon footprints,” said Grant Tuchten, Group Event Director, World Future Energy Summit. “The World Future Energy Summit’s Smart Cities Expo & Forum is bringing together key industry experts, project leaders, and solution providers to discuss how leveraging smart technologies can transform the urban environment in the region.” — SG