Well-connected Dubai gets smart about internet links

Ahmad bin Byat, the chairman of du, describes how the Internet of Things is coupling up Dubai to a brighter future, and progress is set to rocket.

Imagine a world with no queues at the airport, the supermarket or the bank. Imagine driving on roads with little or no traffic. Imagine avoiding an accident because your car communicates with other cars on the road. Welcome to the future today.

Technology and mobility have fundamentally altered our lives in the past decade. The convenience of our connectivity has revolutionised the way in which we communicate with each other, how we make purchases and even how we conduct research.

Our lives will be transformed as we enter an age where the Internet of Things (IoT) is a reality and it is becoming increasingly available. IoT will power human connections and improve lives. Its potential is sure to come into focus at the World Government Summit, which starts today in Dubai.

According to Juniper Research, the number of IoT-connected devices will be 38.5 billion in 2020, up from 13.4 billion in 2015 – a rise of more than 285 per cent. These connections open new doors for the collection and aggregation of data, which will enable and ensure ease of life for everyone.

It will bring unprecedented opportunity for city leaders and urban planners, in Dubai and across the globe, to exponentially improve the provision of services to residents and visitors. This technology will deliver solutions that make life easier by enabling decisions to be made faster, resources to be used more efficiently, infrastructure to be more seamless and people and data more secure.

In Dubai, we have pioneered world-class infrastructure to drive global competitiveness over the past two decades. Our transformation into a global benchmark Smart City is being guided by the landmark government initiative, Smart Dubai.

We are getting ready to host World Expo 2020, welcoming an additional 25 million visitors to our city – our infrastructure and services must be ready to welcome and accommodate our guests. Smart city technology and IoT are embedded into the citywide blueprint for 2020.

Adopting smart technologies powered by IoT will deliver 100 smart initiatives and 1,000 smart services to Dubai residents and visitors over the next three years. As Dubai approaches its goal of setting benchmarks for IoT implementation and smart city transformation, it will create opportunities for global competitiveness and enhancing the quality of life for citizens and residents alike.

In fact, Dubai is committed to delivering value for the public and private sector, and individuals, to meet this opportunity. According to a report last year from Cisco and Smart Dubai, IoT technology deployments will be worth Dh17.9 billion to Dubai’s economy and will open new doors of opportunity for the public and private sectors.

Innovation is the primary driver of the knowledge economy and society in general. Driven by entrepreneurship, the private sector will benefit most with, according to the Cisco report, Dh13.6bn forecast in technology deployments, empowering more entrepreneurs to innovate, seize opportunities and become powerful contributors to our growing knowledge economy.

Embracing happiness as its core objective, IoT innovations in Dubai will make city experiences more seamless, safe and efficient for residents and visitors alike. Moreover, IoT enables personalisation.

It captures and analyses rich data, which will enable services and solutions to become more personalised, preempting and addressing citizen requirements. Smarter buildings, for example, will enable customers to improve how they manage their energy bills. IoT will en­able solutions such as smart metering, inventory tracking, vending machine monitoring, automotive industry and utility applications, street lighting, waste management, load sensing of bridges, signalling, smoke detention and traffic control.

Living in a city that can efficiently deliver these new technologies will create benefits from the ground up.

Data orchestration is a crucial component to successful IoT implementation and Smart Dubai, together with its partners, is laying the groundwork for this. A collaborative approach between all entities will empower IoT deployments across Dubai.

We have undertaken this initiative to derive the most value from IoT and create new opportunities and improved experiences for residents and visitors to Dubai. Our goal is that Dubai will become a global benchmark for smart city transformation, and a leader in IoT implementation. Our mission is urgent and we are not waiting.


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