Posted on September 20, 2014

Lusail and other 'Smart Cities' will help to nearly double the Gulf region's spending on government-related audiovisual technology by 2016, according to trade body InfoComm International, Gulf Times said. Besides Doha's Lusail City, smart cities are rising across the region, including the UAE's Dubai Smart City and Masdar City as well as Saudi Arabia's four economic cities.

By leveraging sensors in objects connected to citywide networks, smart cities often focus on connected benefits across daily life like transportation, utilities, and healthcare. At the same time, mega events such as Dubai World Expo 2020 and 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, and massive infrastructure projects, are driving smart cities to deploy world-class security systems, including CCTV systems, control rooms, and conferencing systems. Infrastructure developments across the Middle East and Africa are in part boosting government and military spending on audiovisual solutions projected to grow by 74% from $441mn in 2012 to $722mn in 2016, according to InfoComm.

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"Technology will be the foundation for Smart Cities of the future - from securing smart grids, to control technology, and environmental sustainability," said David Lim, project director, InfoComm Asia. "Security is vital in smart cities of the near future, and collaboration solutions are necessary to make split-second decisions between control rooms and on-the-ground security personnel." Helping government agencies source the audiovisual solutions that meet their security needs is InfoComm MEA, the region's leading trade exhibition and summit on the audiovisual market, organised by InfoComm Asia and the Dubai World Trade Centre. "No two smart cities are alike - each one requires world-class customised control systems that can evolve to meet the needs of professional audiovisual applications," added Lim.

Frost & Sullivan estimates the global market potential in smart cities could be $1.5tn by 2020, including infrastructure development, technology integration and security services. InfoComm MEA 2014, to be held under the theme of "See, Hear, Touch: The Future of Your Business" returns for a fourth year, from October 13 -16 and will be co-located at GITEX Technology Week 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.