'Power to the Cloud' event kicks off in Dubai

Schneider Electric's event takes place for its third year at the Atlantis - The Palm, Dubai

Tags: Cloud computingSchneider ElectricSmart citiesUnited Arab Emirates
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'Power to the Cloud' event kicks off in Dubai Aoun: "Dubai is a young city and we don't have all those years to make what Paris and London have created. We have to do what they have done in a thousand years, in only a few years."
By  Helen Gaskell Published  November 4, 2014

Energy management company, Schneider Electric is currently hosting its annual "Power to the Cloud" conference and exhibition in Dubai.

Showcasing the deployment of smart mobility, IT, infrastructure and energy solutions under the theme "Making Smart Cities a Reality", the event features a 2,500 square metre Smart City pavilion to highlight smart buildings solutions, energy efficient home automation systems, smart public services such as security and mobility, smart grids and integrated cloud management platforms.

Charbel Aoun, President, Smart Cities, Schneider Electric, believes that speed will be the main challenge Dubai will face in becoming a smart city, he said: "If you look at London or Paris for example, they have been around for thousands of years, Dubai is a young city and we don't have all those years to make what Paris and London have created. We have to do what they have done in a thousand years, in only a few years."

The event, which is being held at the Atlantis - The Palm, today and tomorrow, is about exposing Schneider Electric's partners and customers to its philosophy, which according to Aoun is collaboration.

Aound also believes that the actual technology is not a challenge for smart cities as it already exists, but the adoption of the technology will be the difficulty: "Change usually happens for a reason and people resist the change either because they are afraid of it or because they don't understand. We have to make sure we don't let the technology hijack the heritage of the city, the culture and the identity because it is not about technology, the challenges won't be technological."

"Business models will also be interesting," he added, "Different suppliers who have never worked together before and never needed to work together before smart cities will collaborate. We will need data to deliver efficiency so mobile phone data will be mixed with data from travel cards for smart mobility. The challenge is how to monetise everybody. We don't know what we're doing yet, we are all playing and testing and experimenting."

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