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Accenture: Smart Cities a necessity of life

Dubai has every potential to be world class smart city says Accenture Middle East MD

Accenture: Smart Cities a necessity of life
Boulos: Dubai smart city could be the best of its kind.

Dubai's smart city initiative has the potential to be world class, or even world leading, according to Omar Boulos, Managing Director, Middle East, Accenture.

The consulting and services company is engaged on smart city projects in the Middle East and around the world, and Boulos said that Dubai and the rest of the region have the ability and the positioning to become leaders in this segment.

"All the elements are here to make [Dubai] best in class - if you look at a technology adoption perspective, this region is very tech savvy if you look at any of the statistics. There is a lot of things that we can take from others, we don't have to start where other started, we can start where they ended, and as the technology matures, and as people's perceptions and needs change, I think we can pick up from there," he said.

"Given the technology, given the demand for technology, and given the talent that does exist in this region, I think this can be world class - I believe it will be, maybe even best in class."

Boulos explained that Accenture is involved in many different smart city projects around the world, including Singapore, Barcelona, Amsterdam. Accenture is involved in all aspects of smart city programs, from strategy, to execution, to operations. In Amsterdam, where Accenture have been involved for over a decade, the company has worked on projects to cut carbon emissions from urban areas, instal local renewable energy plants and develop energy saving apps for consumers.

"We are very excited about the smart city concept in general," he said. "Smart cities are a necessity of life. It is a way for us to be much more efficient from a footprint perspective, much more capable and enabled from a technology perspective, and therefore it goes back to effieciency not just from an environment, from people's ability to conduct, work etc.

"Our engagement in this area has been around for a while. We help organisations from a strategic perspective, to define what it means, does it mean the infrastructure, the services on top of the infrastructure, what are the services that are relevant - what is smart about the place?

"On the implementation side, whether it is the ability to offer cloud or specific services for data and analytics, providing data to retailers so they can make informed decisions, and so on and so forth, we can help with that. From an operations side as well, we can run some of these things on their behalf."

The company is also the technology part for the world Expo 2015 in Milan, the next Universal Exposition, which will take place before Dubai 2020. Bolous added that the Expo includes many of the elements of what a smart city needs to be, so there is good experience to be gained from these events.

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