Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities: The Future of Urban Development in Qatar

One of the most important aspects of sustainable design is its ability to adopt a multilayered understanding of the needs of communities, sites and the environment to propose integrated solutions that not only address short and long term environmental and economic benefits but could provide opportunities to enhance social and cultural aspects of the development. Over the past few years, this has extended beyond the scale of buildings well into the public realm to include sustainable urban development strategies, infrastructure design and smart city solutions.

The reasons for creating more sustainable design solutions to minimize the environmental impact of cities are no longer questionable. The main issues facing designers and developers now are how to find the most suitable, smart city solutions that balance client needs, project budgets and the environmental design challenges and opportunities that arise from a project’s context. This is why creating sustainable urban environments will be a continuous endeavor that the Middle East will be experiencing over the coming years.

Fueled by an economic boom that adds pressure on available resources, Qatar, like other countries in the region, is at a crossroads to rethink its approach to urban planning and design to create more sustainable built environments on a macro level and redefine the impact of its future cities. Many steps have already been taken as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to realize the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030, where the country is witnessing a number of large-scale development projects set to the highest local and international sustainability standards. Over the coming years, it is crucial to continue down this path by providing the necessary tools to ensure that targets are met. The integrated efforts of all stakeholders will not only ensure that goals are realized but set on a continuous path of sustainable development.

–  by Rashed Al Nasa’a, Senior Sustainability Consultant, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, GSAS CGP, PQP, Arab Engineering Bureau

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2nd Annual Arab Future Cities Summit 2015 triggered discussions on integrated smart city solutions

Eng. Abdulla Rafia, Assistant Director General - Engineering & Planning Sector, Head of The Sustainability Committee, Dubai Municipality and Mr. Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource City inaugurated the 2nd Annual Arab Future Cities Summit 2015

Eng. Abdulla Rafia, Assistant Director General – Engineering & Planning Sector, Head of The Sustainability Committee, Dubai Municipality and Mr. Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource City inaugurated the 2nd Annual Arab Future Cities Summit 2015

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 4, 2015: Various solutions and initiatives pivotal for smart city development were the key talking points at the recently concluded 2nd Annual Arab Future Cities Summit 2015. Held under the patronage of Dubai Municipality and organized by global conference producers, Expotrade, the summit witnessed participation from over 350 attendees from across the GCC.

Eng. Abdulla Rafia, Assistant Director General – Engineering & Planning Sector, Head of The Sustainability Committee, Dubai Municipality and Guest of Honour, Mr. Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource City inaugurated the summit. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by an opening speech by both these esteemed dignitaries. Premium sponsors Samsung and DarkMatter also took the stage to deliver a welcome address.

Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource City, said, “Dubai is already an established international hub for business, ICT, media and so on, with dynamic industries and a vibrant economy, and smart initiatives will further enhance the Emirate’s position as a leader in the field of technology and also in the field of innovation. This conference provided an excellent platform to showcase just how far Dubai has come as a Smart City, and also for businesses and individuals to discuss areas of future collaboration and ways to work towards our leadership’s ambitious goal; to be the smartest city in the world.”

All the invited speakers during their sessions covered different facets in the smart cities domain that ranged from cloud computing to cyber security; from ICT innovation to robotics; from energy efficiency to hydrology. Mohammed Gharaibeh, Head of Enterprise Business Group, Samsung Electronics Business presented on the company’s innovative end-to-end solutions that can be integrated not only in a citizen’s day-to-day life but also can be adopted by cities at large to enhance efficiency, increase productivity and security.

Dr. Mario Rossi, Landscape Architecture Manager, The Office of H.H Crown Prince of Dubai during his session emphasized on the use smart technologies for a better and sustainable landscape in Dubai. He supported his presentation with an extremely interesting case study on the implementation of robots for maintenance activities with the display of three robots on stage, which piqued the curiosity of all the attendees present.

The impressive lineup of speakers included Manchester City Council’s Stephen Turner; William Ruh of GE Software; Huawei’s Safder Nazir; Micorosft’s Michael Mansour; Shafik Jiwani of Rolta; Hive technology’s Gert Botha; Rami Hajjar from Philips amongst many others. RTA’s Abdulla Al Madani delivered a session on the topic of smart and sustainable mobility that provided a holistic view on the initiatives adopted in driving a smart government. His inputs on RTA’s smart city strategy garnered a tremendous amount of interest and was followed by questions from many of the summit attendees.

Talking about the success of the summit, Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, mentioned, “In the second edition, our summit has covered a broad scope of topics and themes that are integral to smart city development in the Middle East. Experts from the government and industry leaders delivered keynote sessions with case studies and strategies of initiatives implemented that offered tremendous value to the summit attendees. We are thrilled with the feedback we have received from our sponsors and delegates. We look forward to continue our success at next year’s edition of the summit as well.”

Wim Elfrink, President, Digitalisation Solution Ventures moderated the first day’s panel discussion on cyber security, safe and secure connected cities. Joining him on the panel were Eric Eifert, Senior Vice President of Managed Security Services, DarkMatter; Furqan Ahmed Hashmi, IT Operations Leader, Emirates Investment Authority and Yousuf Mohammed Al Shaiba, Director of Smart Services Development Department, Ajman Municipality & Planning Department.

Day two of the summit commenced with Paul Copping of The Royal Borough of Greenwich’s session on what a smart city constitutes. Steven Velegrinis of Perkins + Will outlined how hydraulic systems will be used in future cities as a positive transformative urban element, while Faisal Rashid of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy spoke on mapping the energy intensity for Dubai and management of energy conservation.

Dr. Zahra Al Rawahi, Director of Innovation, The Research Council – Sultanate of Oman during her session spoke of how ICT is the main enabler of smart cities, and also shared examples of smart city solutions by some countries across the globe.

The second panel discussion of the summit was on the topic implementing sustainable strategies to increase energy efficiency in Dubai with a focus on solar energy. James Stewart, General Manger, Alec Energy moderated the panel and was accompanied by fellow panelists Dr. Corrado Sommariva, Managing Director, ILF Consulting Engineers; Jamie Low, Associate Engineer, Buro Happold Engineering; Matar Suhail Salem Al Mehairi, Vice President in Asset Management Department – Distribution Power Division, DEWA and Jane Boyle, Technical Director and Head of Sustainability and Energy, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff.

With multiple networking sessions, attendees were presented with ample opportunities to visit the exhibitor lounge and connect with over 20 companies such as Samsung, Dark Matter, GE Lighting, Philips, Microsoft, Huawei, Rolta, Fusionex, Hive Technology and Introsys who showcased their smart city solutions. The success of the summit prompted sponsors and delegates to comment positively at the close. Salwar Bayaty, Assistant Director, Dubai Properties Group, said, “The topics and presentations were related to the theme of the summit and were extremely informative. There was a good mix and variety of presenters.” Mark Hauenstein, President, Technical Designs said, “An excellent forum to share ideas and technologies that promote and encourage smart infrastructure.”

The event closed with a prize draw that saw two lucky participants win a 2 nights’ stay at the luxurious Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa and an Apple iPad.

2nd Annual Arab Future Cities Summit 2015 Kicks Off Tomorrow in Dubai

Keynote speech in progress at Arab Future Cities Summit Dubai 2014

Keynote speech in progress at Arab Future Cities Summit Dubai 2014

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 1, 2015: The stage is set for the 2nd Annual Arab Future Cities Summit 2015. Held under the patronage of Dubai Municipality and organized by global conference producers, Expotrade, the two-day summit will bring together over 350 attendees, including representatives of government organizations, sustainability experts and smart city solution providers.

Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource City will inaugurate the summit and deliver the opening speech in the presence of esteemed dignitaries such as Eng. Abdulla Rafia, Assistant Director General – Engineering & Planning Sector, Head of The Sustainability Committee, Dubai Municipality and ambassadors of the Embassies of Montenegro, Sweden, Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Angola and Consul General of the Consulate General of Canada. It will be followed by a welcome address from Eng. Abdulla Rafia, Assistant Director General – Engineering & Planning Sector, Head of The Sustainability Committee, Dubai Municipality.

Mr. Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, said, “With an elite lineup of keynote speakers and panelists, our summit is the ideal platform to discuss technological innovations that deliver smart city solutions seamlessly and also hold dialogues on the region’s ambitions and progress to gain a smart city status.”

With a series of forward-looking topics, the summit agenda will feature engaging keynote sessions, case study presentations and interactive panel discussions. Across two days, the summit will provide an opportunity to gain insights from industry thought leaders and experts on the best practices, challenges and opportunities emerging in the smart city domain. The summit agenda will broadly cover topics under the purview of Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Connected Home, Cyber security and Connected Lighting.

Featuring presentations by 30 regional and internationally acclaimed speakers including, Abdulla Al Madani, CEO – Corporate Technical Support Services Sector, RTA; Stephen Turner, Head of Future Cities, Manchester City Council; Dr. Mario Rossi, Landscape Architecture Manager, The Office of H.H. The Crown Prince of Dubai; Faisal Rashid, Director, Demand Side Management, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, to name a few, the summit will focus on the trends and technologies that will drive the growth of sustainable smart cities. Experts Yousuf Mohammed Al Shaiba, Director of Smart Services Development Department, Ajman Municipality & Planning Department and Furqan Ahmed Hashmi, IT Operations Leader, Emirates Investment Authority will participate in a panel discussion on Cyber Security, Safe and Secure Connected cities.

Offering unrivalled networking opportunities, possibility of dialogue and knowledge sharing with the industry stalwarts, the summit will showcase cutting-edge and emerging technologies that will shape the future of smart cities in the region. The summit has the support of more than 20 sponsors, including Samsung Business, Dark Matter, GE Lighting, Philips, Microsoft, Huawei, Rolta, Fusionex, Hive Technology and Introsys to name a few.

For more event details, please log on to http://smartcitiesdubai.com

5th edition of the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar rolls out in April 2016

Ribbon cutting ceremony of the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar 2015 edition

  • The Summit will be held on 11-12 April 2016 at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Doha
  • With sustainable urban development as the main theme, the summit will focus on the various facets of smart city development

Doha, Qatar, October 19, 2015: The Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar, today announced the 2016 edition of its marquee event featuring regional and international industry experts, senior government officials and sector specialists will be held on 11-12 April at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Doha. Organized by global conference producers, Expotrade, the summit is considered as the premier smart cities event in the region, connecting over 400 participants from across the GCC with prominent thought leaders from around the world. The summit aims to discuss path-breaking ideas, and explore how technology can be leveraged within the smart city infrastructure to create sustainable solutions.

The 2015 edition of the summit was inaugurated by Eng. Abdulla Abdulaziz T. Al Subaie, Managing Director, Qatar Rail, in the presence of esteemed dignitaries including Hamad Ibrahim al-Bishri, deputy CEO of Qatar Rail; Dr. Rainer Schnepfleitner, department manager, Regulation and Competition Affairs, Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA); Ashraf Ali Ismael, national information assurance manager, Cyber Security Division, (Q-CERT), ICTQatar; Dr. Fethi Filali, head of technology development and applied research, Qatar Mobility Innovations Centre and Ahmad Kawakbi, ICT & Stakeholder Manager, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy – FIFA World Cup Qatar who also spoke at the summit.

Developing a robust smart city ecosystem involves seamless integration, synergy and connectivity of the central pillars that constitute a city – public transport, governance operations, infrastructure, utilities, healthcare, communications, and municipal services. In accordance with Qatar’s National Vision 2030, the government has ushered in a new phase of development, incorporating smart technology, state-of-the-art infrastructure and services to provide its citizens a smart, sustainable and efficient future that ensures an improved quality of life. Additionally, hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 has presented a gamut of growth opportunities and further propelled the concept of smart cities in this region.

Announcing the dates of the Summit, Mr. Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, said, “In its fifth year now, the Summit has established itself as the foremost smart cities event in the region. Setting the benchmark in promoting innovation and identifying emerging trends impacting this region, the summit presents a common platform for all stakeholders to innovate, educate and collaborate to generate ideas on making the concept of smart cities a reality. Over two days, leading experts and practitioners from across industries will share their expertise and knowledge on harnessing technological innovations and defining effective strategies to boost smart city initiatives in the region.”

The two-day conference agenda covers a broad range of forward-thinking topics such as smart connectivity, smart mobility and transportation, Internet of Everything (IoE), economical and sustainable smart vehicles, building automation, Lusail city’s innovations, cyber security amongst many more, that provide a comprehensive view of the smart city development in the State of Qatar.

Over 20 speakers and industry visionaries will unveil their views on how smart city development and technology deployment will meet Qatar’s smart city vision. Keynote sessions, panel discussions and case study presentations at the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar will provide attendees with an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on the latest smart city technologies and solutions influencing the smart city domain in the region.

With a plethora of networking opportunities, the summit will witness participation from technologists, developers, urban planners and researchers, investors, engineers and policy professionals from across the GCC.

The 2015 edition of the summit was a runaway success and in the forthcoming year the summit is expected to be bigger before than before. The summit received appreciation from attendees and sponsors alike. Mr. Mohannad Khader, Vice President – Commercial, Qatar Cool, said, “Every year when we come here, we listen to new ideas, we get to know more people and great strategies from other well- reputed companies. It has been valuable for sure.

Safder Nazir, Regional Vice President, Smart Cities & IoT, Huawei, said, “We are glad to be back here at the Arab Future Cities in Doha. We find a very well-attended event with a high quality of guests here. We have been able to interact with a lot of people and share our vision and thought for the future of smart city development not only within Doha and Qatar but across the region as well.”

More information on the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar is available now at http://www.arabfuturecities.com/. Follow the Summit on social media with the hashtag #AFCS2016.

2nd Annual Arab Future Cities Summit welcomes Philips as ‘Connected Lighting Partner’

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 18, 2015: Arab Future Cities Summit Dubai 2015, is delighted to welcome Philips as a ‘Connected Lighting Partner’ for this year’s edition of the summit. Held under the patronage of the Dubai Municipality, the summit will take place early next month, on 2-3 November 2015 at Sofitel The Palm Resort & Spa, Dubai. Produced by global conference organizers, Expotrade, the summit will convene senior policy makers from within the government, several thought leaders from across the globe to share their ideas and strategies that drive Dubai’s Smart City vision.

According to an industry report, it is estimated that by 2050, 66 per cent of the world’s population is expected to be residing in urban areas. Given the wave of urban growth, the concept of sustainable smart cities has gained momentum. An integral part of the smart city infrastructure is connected lighting, that enables urban spaces to be more efficient, sustainable and makes it more livable for its citizens.

Announcing the new partnership, Mr. Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, said, “We are thrilled to announce Philips has joined the growing list of sponsors for the Arab Future Cities Summit as Connected Lighting Partner. Philips has been a pioneer in introducing cutting-edge innovative products & services that has transformed the lighting industry globally. The future of lighting has changed; they have proved that lighting is no longer just a matter of illumination.”

Philips is working with cities around the world to transform the lighting infrastructure, in order to deliver more energy efficient, and more sustainable lighting in their cities. In fact, earlier this year, in the Middle East, the company was awarded a lighting refurbishment project by Etihad-ESCO to retrofit several power plants owned by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to LED lighting.

The importance of connected lighting will be discussed by Mr. Rami Hajjar, General Manager, Philips Lighting Middle East who will be speaking at the summit on the topic ‘Philips connected lighting: Value beyond illumination’. The presentation will emphasize Philips connected lighting vision as well as current connected lighting systems available in the region. Connected lighting systems from Philips connect people to each other, to the spaces they work and live in, and to the information and services they need in a particular location.

Philips connected lighting systems are available for home and outdoor applications, integrate seamlessly with other systems and share information on occupancy, activity patterns, and daylight levels.

Rami Hajjar, said, “Philips Lighting is committed to deliver innovative lighting solutions to help meet the region’s vision of building sustainable and livable cities. By taking lighting beyond illumination, Philips connected lighting allows cities and businesses to enhance and enable the spaces they manage, to offer greater comfort, personalization, safety, productivity and efficiency to the people that use those spaces.

An example is CityTouch, our latest innovative remote lighting management system that allows cities to manage and control their lighting environment in real time with just simple click, while also monitor their energy consumption. With greater insights and control on lighting, cities can save up to 70% on their lighting energy consumption. With Philips connected lighting systems, we take lighting beyond illumination and show how our solutions contribute to building a sustainable future for cities in the Middle East.”

More information can be found on www.philips.ae/connectedlighting

The summit that supports the theme of Smart Solutions for Sustainable Cities will witness over 400 senior executives, smart city solution providers, city and government officials coming together to discuss the technologies associated with smart cities.

For more event details, please log on to www.smartcitiesdubai.com

Building Smart Cities With The Power Of Cloud

Keynote speech in progress at the Arab Future Cities Summit Dubai 2014

Keynote speech in progress at the Arab Future Cities Summit Dubai 2014

  • Use of cloud computing and analytics to help create smarter cities

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 14, 2015: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been a key enabler to drive productivity, improve collaboration and accelerate innovation. Large-scale infrastructure-driven projects have been the key growth drivers for cloud computing, big data, and analytics. Leading IT solution providers are developing their technology and experimenting with cloud-based computing solutions to help governments deliver smart city projects across the globe. Industry reports indicate that there has been a steady year on year increase in government spending on cloud computing facilities. Many governments have embraced the cloud-based platform to interconnect the various facets of a city’s services – infrastructure, public services, government bodies educational and health institutions, that will enable ensure seamless communication.

Armed with a colossal amount of data, governments and private organizations alike are investing heavily in data centers to store data in a centralized platform that will help in more effective knowledge sharing and provide support for better planning and governance in the city. Moreover, it will also help improve efficiency, reduce cost and complexity of building smart city IT infrastructure by efficiently and effectively integrating and supporting the various city operations such as healthcare, traffic, police, fire, citizen services, electricity, water and municipal operations.

Mr. Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, said, “Governments across the globe are harnessing the power of technology to develop solutions that will enable them to introduce platforms and applications to significantly improve and increase effectiveness of the citizen-oriented government programs and also help align existing city initiatives.”

To deliver smart city solutions, companies are unleashing the full potential of innovation, and developing tools, infrastructure platforms and integrated solutions using cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies such as sensors and smartphones, that generate maximum city-specific data and help in better city planning and management.

According to an industry report, 10 percent of China’s total IT spending will be directly related to smart city projects. Additionally, the report also indicates that the Middle East is one of the fastest-growing IT markets in the world. The demand for IT in this region is fueled by the government’s roll out of its Smart City initiatives – Smart City Dubai and Masdar City in Abu Dhabi – and other high-profile events such as the Dubai Expo 2020.

He further added, “With the Dubai Smart City project, the country is undoubtedly at the forefront of innovation and transformation. As part of its Smart City initiative, the Dubai government has laid out specific plans under pillars such as Smart Life, Smart Economy and Smart Tourism that aim to offer citizens an enhanced quality of life.”

Adoption of ICT to improve the efficiency and sustainability of cities will be discussed at the 2nd Annual Arab Future Cities Summit. Held under the patronage of the Dubai Municipality, the event will take place on 2-3 November 2015 at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa.

For more event details, please log on to http://www.smartcitiesdubai.com/

Driverless Cars –The Future Of Mobility

Keynote speech in progress at the Arab Future Cities Summit Dubai 2014

Keynote speech in progress at the Arab Future Cities Summit Dubai 2014

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 29, 2015: Cities around the world are coping with issues of traffic congestion due to metropolitan expansion and rising population growth.  To address the common transport challenges and counteract this endemic problem, there is an imperative need to develop congestion management systems and smart transportation systems by enabling technological innovative solutions. The emergence of advanced intelligent solutions and sophisticated sensors in the transport system is enabling cars to communicate with each other thereby increasing consumer safety and enhancing convenience.

While a well-functioned transport system is one that seamlessly connects vehicles, pathways and terminals; however, the transport system of the future will implement discrete technologies and develop advanced automated driving solutions. The transportation sector worldwide is witnessing major technological breakthroughs, the most instrumental being the advent of self-driving vehicles. Considered to be a game changer in the automotive and transport sector, autonomous vehicles will be equipped with sensor-based solutions, global positioning systems, artificial intelligence, and connected-vehicle communications that will ensure increase in vehicle safety and reduce emission. Apart from effortlessly controlling the steering wheel, speed and brake system of the car, the driverless technology also ensures avoiding collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians on the road.

Mr. Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, said, “We are indeed on the brink of a technological revolution – smart buildings, delivery drones, smart roadways and now driverless cars. These are all aspects of a smart city. Government authorities worldwide and global technology giants are applying innovative tactics, introducing new policies and utilizing technologies that will help improve the transport systems and cities to ensure greater prosperity and growth and make a sizeable difference in the citizens’ lives.”

Many of the world’s renowned automotive manufacturers have joined hands with global technology players to introduce automated driving solutions. While the United States of America (U.S.A) is at the forefront, becoming the first country to introduce legislation to permit testing of automated vehicles, Japan, Sweden and United Kingdom (U.K) have also jumped the bandwagon and begun hosting driverless car trials on public roads. In the Middle East, the Dubai government has been preparing its infrastructure for electric driverless cars that are expected to be seen on the roads by 2020. The adoption of autonomous cars on roads will cause less traffic congestion, massive reduction in pollution and provide more road safety.

Mr. Hariharan further added, “The concept of self-driving autonomous cars will gain traction in the coming years, and will soon become a reality. It will revolutionize the landscape of urban mobility and bring about a massive transformation to our lives.”

The practicality of adopting driverless cars and implementing smart transportation solutions will be discussed at length at the 2nd Annual Arab Future Cities Summit, held under the patronage of Dubai Municipality, taking place on 2-3 November 2015 at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa.

For more event details, please log on to http://www.smartcitiesdubai.com/

About Expotrade 

Expotrade is a global conference and event organizer with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia and a regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronized in the calendar.

For more information, visit http://www.expotradeglobal.com