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Dubai stood out for its strategic vision coupled with a clear understanding of the practical requirements to deliver on its vision

Dubai's efforts to become smart city in the word help rank the emirate top in a Smart City Index that studies 10 Gulf cities' strategy and execution of smart city campaigns.

Dubai stood out for its strategic vision coupled with a clear understanding of the practical requirements to deliver on its vision, in a study released by Huawei and Navigant.

The study was undertaken by global research firm Navigant and commissioned by Huawei with the aim of understanding the level of readiness of cities in the region for the next level of smart city adoption and deployment.

Safder Nazir, vice-president of Smart Cities & IoT, Huawei, Middle East said: "As countries in the Gulf are increasingly diversifying their economies away from fossil fuels, they are also coping with the need for rapid digitalisation in business and government.

Huawei is committed to helping countries in the region in their digital transformation through smart city initiatives that are customised to meet specific needs.

Nazir added: "We undertook the Gulf States Smart City Index in order to better understand the current levels of readiness of different cities so that we are better able to serve this region."

The Smart Dubai roadmap has targeted the delivery of 1,000 services by 2017 across 100 initiatives. As of September 2016, it had documented more than 500 current and planned smart services and initiatives, of which 150 have been completed.

With innovative programmes such as Dubai Data Initiative for data sharing and data analytics, smart mobility solutions for traffic control, a smarter grid programme for better management of power and water consumption, smart health services, smart police force and other mobile-enabled e-Government services, the city is a leading example of how smart city strategies need to evolve and be refreshed to maintain focus and momentum.

Most recently, Dubai announced founding partners in a Dh1 billion Dubai Future Accelerators programme that will fund the testing and development of next-generation technology and businesses.

The emirate has quickly understood the value of becoming a smart city. Between 2003-2015 it saved Dh4.3 billion due to the adoption of smart technology in government services, according to Smart Dubai Government.

Public-private partnerships between Silicon Valley tech firms and governments are driving best practices in Smart City cybersecurity standards, with a major market in the Middle East.

As more public and private sector organisations, industrial systems, and billions of mobile devices are connected to the Internet, securing Smart Cities has never seen greater urgency.

Nearly half, 45 per cent, of Middle East, Turkey, and Africa organisations reported cyber-security incidents in first quarter 2016, according to Russian-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab. As a result, the Middle East cybersecurity market will reach about $10 billion by 2019, double the $5 billion size in 2014, according to research firm Markets and Markets.

Gulf governments are investing in Smart City projects, across Dubai, Masdar City, and Sharjah in the UAE, the four Economic Cities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Lusail City in Qatar.

The study profiled seventeen cities and developed an index of ten cities categorising each of the ten as Leader, Contender, Challenger or Follower. The in-depth analysis of each cities initiatives as well as lessons to be learnt from the early adopters has been published in a whitepaper.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Abdul Basit

Quelle/Source: Khaleej Times, 16.10.2016

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