MBRSG hosts first Dubai smart cities forum
Forum held today about Dubai Smart City initiative included speakers from IBM and SAP
Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), a research and teaching institution focusing on public policy in the Arab world, today hosted the first session of the Dubai Smart Cities Forum.
The forum, which talked about the Dubai Smart City initiative that was announced in February by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, was attended by decision makers from the public and private sector and addressed factors of the future of urban planning for the development of the smart cities project.
Delivering the keynote address, His Excellency Ahmad Bin Byat, CEO, Dubai Holding and vice chairman of the Board of Trustees for Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, said: "Smart city projects, in general, revolve around people more than anything. We measure the smartness of a city by what it offers to residents and visitors in terms of improving their efficiency and productivity or enriching their quality of life. Our goal is not just to make Dubai a smart city but to make it the smartest city.
"What we are witnessing in Dubai is a massive transformation more than just technological change. Service providers, government or private, are increasingly under pressure to meet the growing requirements of the public. We face the challenge of creating a connected city in which the public and private sector work together with individuals in an integrated ecosystem. We hope through this forum to benefit from the available resources of knowledge and expertise."
Rashik Parma, president, IBM Academy of Technology and Dr Hichem Maya, Head of Business Transformation Services, SAP, led the session.
Highlighting the impact of a smart city on the government, transport, health service and standard of living, Parma said: "A smart city is not just about hi-tech, it's about engaging people and responding to their needs. The city should be able to talk to its residents through seamlessly interconnecting systems to facilitate their lives in the best manner possible while making optimum use of the resources."
Dr Hichem Maya said: "A smart city improves living standards, transforms governments and boosts economic prosperity. If we are to achieve this objective, we need to ensure that the public and private sector is flexible, agile, innovative, and capable of engaging individuals and communities."